Found Online, October 2018

Cover of Delineator magazine, June, 1914. The illustrator is Neysa McMein.

First, a new site for reading vintage magazines; next, a 1969 comic book about sewing classes for girls.

The Hathi Trust (working with Google) has been digitizing and posting vintage magazines, including Delineator, as soon as they fall out of copyright in the U.S.  The Hathi Trust is up to 1922 now. That’s the good news.

You can flip through the magazines (select the two page layout from the icons at the far right) until something catches your eye. You can download pages or more as Pdfs. Some pages are in color.

Niggling details: The quality of the scans is very variable, sometimes overexposed, sometimes with blurry text.

We can’t expect perfection on every page — I feel lucky the pages are there at all.

Bound copies of Delineator. The larger one is from 1920; the smaller format is from 1922. These are the bound magazines in my public library which I use for research.

Before 1921-22, Delineator was a large format magazine, 16 inches high, often with tiny, serif fonts that are hard to read even when I’m holding the original magazine in my hands, and even harder to photograph because the font is thin and low contrast.

I took this full page photo at a very high resolution from the March 1910 Delineator at my public library.This photo gives a fair idea of how hard to read the original is.

If you look at the same page on the Hathi Trust, at least you can magnify it greatly.

I sympathize with how challenging it is to get these resources online at all.

The Hathi Trust digitizes materials from the libraries of member universities. They are bound volumes, usually containing January through June or July through December, so they are cataloged as one book rather than six issues. You may need a little patience to find what you want, although the text of each volume is searchable, which is very convenient. In 1910, Delineator numbered all the pages in a volume sequentially, so that January began with page numbers in the single digits and June reached the 400s. That’s not hard to navigate.

By 1914, (I don’t have the intervening years yet) each issue began with page 1 — which means you have to search for February, March, April, etc., and the “go to page” function only works within one issue at a time — not the whole volume. Tip: just to the right of the “GO” button is an icon for “sections” of the volume. You can figure out when a new “section” begins — i.e., a new month.

Getting the right exposure for an entire page with images and text isn’t easy. Image from Hathi Trust and Google.

Two images of the same cape from Delineator, April 1920, from Hathi Trust and Google. I printed them, scanned them, and adjusted them.

I have successfully downloaded images from the Hathi trust site, printed them, scanned them and used them in this blog — and I now can search for patterns by number (the same pattern often appears more than once, illustrated in different views.) I used this search function for the capes I wrote about recently. I had only photographed the alternate view of cape 2319; I found the other views on Hathi Trust.

[EDIT 2/5/19: One shouldn’t look a gift online magazine source in the mouth, but I am finding that the color fashion pages have often been excised from the Delineator issues Google photographed,  sometimes without anyone noticing that the pages are missing. Exactly the same problem occurred years ago when many libraries replaced their bound periodicals with microfilm: the companies that photographed (and destroyed) the originals they worked from decided to describe a magazine with 90% of its original content to be “complete.” And librarians bought it — microfilms — and discarded magazines that could have supplied the missing content.  At least Hathi does sometimes photograph journals from more than one source. Nevertheless, I’m now prioritizing color pages from Delineator when I take photos for my own use.]

“How To” Lessons in Delineator:

Just in: Delineator ran a series of articles on dressmaking and millinery making. For example, in 1910, Delineator Vol. 75, page 241 (and following pages) illustrates and describes the steps for making a Spring hat — from the wire frame to the finished hat. Click here. (There are more milinery lessons in 1910.) A search of 1909 (Vol. 74) will turn up more hat-making instructions. Other issues simply describe the newest hats and show photographs of them…. Like these gravity defying hats from 1905, Vol. 66.

To find more, search for Delineator and the year (e.g. “Delineator 1907”;) then narrow the list by selecting “Journals” from the column at left.

I have been so absorbed in Delineator that I’ve just begun to see what other magazines are available.  Godey’s Lady Magazine for 1832 is there. Frank Leslie’s Ladies’ Magazine is there. Who knows what wonders you may find at Hathi Trust? I’ve added it to my sidebar list of Sites with Great Information,

Today’s second find is from a British site, The House of Mirelle, in Hull, England. It shares a glimpse of a comic book series aimed at teenaged girls in the sixties.

Bunty image from House of Mirelle article; image copyright D.C.Thompson. Please do not copy.

The 1969 Bunty Annual about Sewing Classes for Girls post will be nostalgic for some of us.

“The House of Mirelle was a high end fashion house that existed in the UK city of Hull between 1938 and 1978.” The website archives materials from these glory days of a thriving Hull city center.

Perfectionist sewing teachers probably caused a lot of tears over the years. San Francisco artist Dolores R. Gray has done a series of works using old sewing patterns and mannequins in remarkable ways. She told me there were uncut threads dangling from this one because, when she finished a dress she was really proud of, the only thing her teacher noticed was one uncut thread.

How perfect that the Bunty story was about a girl who really wanted to be an artist!


Filed under 1900s to 1920s, 1910s and WW I era, 1920s, Hats, Musings, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Resources for Costumers, World War I

10 responses to “Found Online, October 2018

  1. Your cover girl’s hat would be nothing without its green feather… Some argued that feathers fell from fashion once hats got smaller, but I see them everywhere, adding a bold accent and giving height – and, not least, cheering women up during the WWI years.

  2. Maria

    Thank you for for reminding me about ‘Bunty’ comic which was extraordinarily popular with British girls of my generation and younger. Although to some extent the stories reflected attitudes which now seem outdated, I think in many ways they did help us to be aspirational as they almost always featured young girls achieving their ambitions against the odds. One feature that I always enjoyed was the Bunty cut-out doll on the back page with tabbed clothes to dress her in.

    My mum bought me the first issue of Bunty, which had a free plastic bracelet inside, in 1958 when I was 7. A couple of years later Bunty’s sister comic ‘Judy’ started. As I had 4 younger sisters, they were both delivered to our house every week for many years, and we often had the Annuals for Christmas presents.

    As for sewing lessons, I went to a convent school where our dressmaking teacher was Sister Baptiste. On the whole I’m grateful to her as she did teach us well and was encouraging rather than nit-picking. However I still can’t quite forgive her for the times when she made us handsew crosses onto priests’ vestments. Even with a thimble, sewing two layers of stiff brocade fabric was agony for the fingers.

  3. Thanks so much for bringing this great resource to our attention!

  4. Cookie

    Just a thank you for the wonderful rabbit hole you posted. I know a lot of time and work goes into these posting, it’s appreciated.

  5. You’ve just mentioned one of my favourite websites! If you browse a bit further, you’ll find it also has scans of “Journal des Demoiselles” and “Toilettes” (a sewing pattern magazine from the 1910s) available to view. Among other things. (And if you right-click on a page you can save it as .jpg rather than as a .pdf.)

  6. seweverythingblog

    Thank you for posting this! I own an issue of The Delineator from 1895 – it’s well “browned” with age and very delicate. It’s about the size of National Geographic magazine. I would like to donate it to an organization or museum which will somehow restore it — or scan it for posterity. Any suggestions?

    • Since it is out of copyright, it may have been scanned an on the internet somewhere. Hathi Trust has some individual issues from 1895 (From Vols. 45 and 46) but may not have your issue. Maybe Google has scanned it — do a general search for the year and the month. If it’s not online, then try to contact Hathi or Google. When in doubt, ask a librarian :). Good luck.

      • Another thought: if you want to donate it, maybe the Fashion Institute (FIT) would like to have it in its research library? (But make a copy for yourself before you let it go….)

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