Literary Pursuits

The Workbasket – June 1952

This issue of the Workbasket magazine is from 59 years ago– June 1952. Such a pretty lacy crocheted doily on the cover. I can’t quite make out what’s in the dish, though. Can you? I think maybe it’s candy and/or nuts. I can’t think of anything else a 1950s housewife might keep in a fancy dish on the side table.

“I’m proud to show you mine.” Our prissy model “has no wish to be conspicuous by being shouted at” but apparently she goes around flipping her hair back because she’s so proud to show us her hearing aids. If you’re interested in more information, all you need to do is clip out the little coupon and send it in. Can’t you imagine the Sonotone company getting hundreds of envelopes with all these little scraps of paper in them? I suppose they really did.

“Keep furniture clean and still let your family use it without keeping after them to ‘be careful’.” I don’t b’lieve I’d care to sit on that plastic stuff every day, thank you. And, of course, you wouldn’t bother to take it off when company comes. Everybody just has to look at your “lovely upholstery” through the plastic.

If you find yourself in the “family way” and are looking for summer fashions, Crawford’s assures us that the catalog for maternity styles will be mailed in a plain envelope. Wouldn’t want to mailman or the neighbors to know you were expecting, now would you?

I love this crocheted edging. Wonder if I have something that needs an edging? I’ll have to keep that in mind.

Or maybe I need a sunbonnet. “Make ’em to match your housedresses, your gardening outfits, even your sports clothes or your square dance costumes.”  Wouldn’t I look cute trotting around town with a sunbonnet to match each of my outfits? The pattern is included right in the magazine.

Another hearing aid ad– “Oh, what a blessing to come out of that lonely world of silence… to enjoy music, movies, church and social life again as I hadn’t done for years!” Once you get your Beltone, I expect you’ll be inspired to go to church again, too. (Interesting that “church” and “religion” are used as selling points, isn’t it?)

Here’s an article on how to make Nylon Corsages out of, get this, old nylon stockings! Seriously! The directions tell how to bleach out the color, and re-dye the nylon, and then use the crinkly wire from window screens to fashion these fancy accessories! I wish I could see what they really looked like, not just a drawing. But I don’t wish it bad enough to try making some. What an idea!

Don’t have enough surplus of old nylons for making flowers? Well, then, you should become a stocking salesperson, and help add to John’s pay check! “…right now I do most of my ‘business’ on the telephone. I’ve made many new friends and my old friends feel that I’m doing them a favor…” Oh, I’m sure they do! Only because this was in the days before Caller ID or answering machines so they couldn’t screen their calls!

Yet another ad for making flower “for pleasure and profit.” Oh, wait, that first one was an article. This is an ad. I guess if you really get into it and want to branch out into wood fiber bouquets, corsages, and plants then you can write for a HANDSOME INSTRUCTION PORTFOLIO with 15 flower patterns for just 50 cents. Gotta spend money to make money, you know!

The ad below it encourages you to SERVE THE LORD AND EARN. The world is in danger and it behooves us to “spread the Lord’s word everywhere” by taking orders for Religious mottos. Why, it’s practically our Christian duty!

This pattern for Tatted Earrings is for my tatting friends: @ Tatting Chic and Tatting and Not a Lot Else. My tatting has not progressed to this level yet. Not that I wear earrings anyway. But I think they are cute. Notice that it says, “These are tatted of yellow thread…” but the picture is red. Okay, so that’s their spot-color for that page. However, other pages have a spot-color of yellow, so I gotta wonder why they didn’t use yellow on this page? Or put the pattern on a yellow page? Or change the thread color in the pattern to red? I dunno. It’s all very confusing!

I guess that’s enough little gems for one issue. I’ll try to do another one soon. As always, I’ll leave you with the dress-pattern page. I lovelovelove the old dresses!

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I look forward to reading your comments. Thanks for joining in the conversation! ~Karla

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