Literary Pursuits

The Workbasket – September 1950

I don’t know if anyone else is enjoying these nearly as much as I am… but for your viewing pleasure I present the September 1950 issue of The Workbasket!Workbasket1

Such a pretty crocheted tablecloth. It was patterns like this one that initially caught my eye in this stack of magazines.

This pattern, on the other hand, looks just a little scary! I wonder if it was cuter in real life than in the sketch? The write-up assures us that “Any youngster will be proud to wear a pair of these cute knitted mittens with a kitten the back.” Well, maybe so.workbasket2Quick! Cover your eyes, Mabel! It’s another girdle ad! This one promises to “reduce 3 inches off your waistline instantly.” Yep. Definitely gotta get me one of these. Especially since it also promises I will “feel like sixteen again!” Not that I remember an extreme tightness around my middle at sixteen. But I’m sure I need that “instant slenderizing figure control” by now.workbasket4Four and a half pages were devoted to an article by Mrs. Orin Register on “painting new faces on old things.” Here’s a picture of Mrs. Orin Register herself demonstrating her handicraft.workbasket5And here’s a picture of Mrs. Orin Register’s daughter. “Almost everyone has lots of toys that need painting.”workbasket6Another money-making opportunity is that of selling nylon hosiery. This housewife looks so startled to think that she could make $26 a week simply telling her “friends, neighbors, etc.” about nylons. But what I want to know is, why is this woman sitting like that? To show off her nylons? Or what? I don’t get it.workbasket7Also note the “Free Nylon Stocking” selling point there. “Stocking” singular. Whatcha gonna do with one stocking? Use it to demonstrate the quality of your product to to “friends, neighbors, etc.” supposedly, but if that’s all it’s for, how is that a selling point?

Here’s a product I would seriously be interested in. Imported Irish linen hemstitched handkerchief for putting edges on. Even if I couldn’t get them for 30 cents a piece, I wonder if they are still available anywhere today?workbasket8How convenient that the ad is on the same page as a pattern for a crocheted edge, as well as a tatted edge!

I want to try this pattern for sunflower potholders sometime. Wonder if I have thread in the right colors? I don’t think I do, but I like the pattern so I may just have to get some! [Update: I did try it! See how it turned out here.]workbasket9More pretty styles from the fall of 1950:workbasket10I’m still gasping for breath from my waist being squeezed in 3 inches, but looky here! I can do something about my “problem bosoms which have lost their attractiveness through wearing unscientific brassieres”! Who knew brassieres needed to be scientific? (Be sure to read the fine print!)workbasket12Mrs. Rena Porter demonstrates yet another idea for making money. (I wonder why she didn’t go by her husband’s name? Most of the ladies in this era did.) Mrs. Porter paints commemorative plates for special occasions.workbasket13Wouldn’t you just love to get such a lovely marriage plate for a wedding gift? Notice especially the tacky cupids on each side! ..::snort::..workbasket14 copyI want this dress! Seriously. I love gingham checks. Always have. I’d take one in each color: brown check with maize trim, black check with dusty pink trim, and green check with maize trim. Hmph! No red check? But red’s my favorite! Oh, well. Even with my new girdle and brassiere, I doubt I would look quite as svelte as this model.workbasket15Not to worry, though. Lane Bryant offers a catalog free to “stout” women. I wonder if I’d have to prove I was stout to get it free? ..::snicker::.. And look what they consider “stout”! Okay, yeah. Compared to the above model, this one is on the “stout” side, but still. I’m just sayin’.workbasket16Thank you for joining me for this somewhat irreverent visit with the 1950 housewife. If you missed earlier posts, I have also shared clippings from July 1950 and October 1950. Stayed tuned for more snippets coming soon!

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

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