Literary Pursuits

The Workbasket – September 1952

It recently occurred to me that I never did finish sharing my collection of vintage Workbasket magazines. It’s time-consuming to choose and scan the “precious” little tid-bits from each issue, but oh-so-much-fun to share.

So let’s see… looks like we’re ready for September 1952.

Crocheted hats are kinda in right now. Just trying to visualize how that one would look made up with today’s yarns. Yeah, I’m not seeing it. Maybe with a different flower? Eh. Maybe not.

“Need Money?” Of course you do. You know you do! “Everyone wants greeting cards, stationery and gifts.” Whew! I’m so glad they finally came out with “the line that fills that need.” So peer closely at the items in the stocking. Which of those do you need? In case you can’t make out what each thing is, they are helpfully labeled and coded with a number. If it’s got a number 5, though, you’re on your own there. “Gift Items, Novelties” could be who-knows-what. But don’t worry, this “line” includes “over 150 fast sellers” so it’s not like you’re going to be stuck with a bunch of junk. Right?

I like the cute little cartoon dudes on this ad, extolling the delightful benefits of these lovely nylon SOX. Or is it SOCKS? They can’t seem to decide.

This is a crack-up!  First of all, they are giving away 10 sets of silverware as first-place prizes… and “over 25 second-place discount awards.” Uh-huh. I bet the “over 25” number equals exactly however many people respond.

Secondly, the way you enter is to identify the flowers by filling in the missing letters. And if that’s too hard they helpfully provide the answer for you! But be sure to write very neatly, in pencil. This is the funny part: “Easy Rule #2: Entries will be judged by an ordained minister the day the contest closes on following rules, correctness and spelling.” So… apparently ordained ministers are experts on flower types and spelling. Who knew?

Here’s a sweet Children’s Coin Purse that “would be treasured by any little girl.” The article assures us that “one can get pleasing results by using gold for the front; purple for the wing splotches; cerise for the back, handle and body; and green sequins on the wings.” Now, they can’t promise what your results will be if you use black and green, as pictured… nor do they tell us what color cerise is. I had to Google it to find out it is a “deep to vivid reddish pink.” I know they didn’t have Google back in 1952, but maybe housewives 60 years ago weren’t as ignorant as me. (Be honest. Did you know what color cerise is? Okay, if you did know, don’t tell me.)

We “stout women” can take comfort knowing that “style counts more than size”…

…that is, until we see the tiny little waists in the styles for the “non-stout” ladies! *sigh*

I have to remind myself: These are drawings! Most real women weren’t built like that, not even back in the day. But aren’t they such pretty drawings? I do love looking at them!

It is somewhat discouraging, though, to read this 60-year-old article on the “most common form of malnutrition in the United States” which states that “at least one-fifth of the population… is overweight.” That’s 20%. Just Googled the current trends. Today’s statistic is “more than one-third” (35.7%). With easy access to just about any food we can think about year ’round, it sure seems to me that ought not to be. Something’s gone haywire, for sure. Kinda interesting that they call obesity a form of “malnutrition,” isn’t it?

Well, that’s it for this time. I hope to scan more Workbaskets soon.



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