Tag Archives: World War I

100 Year Old Kodak Camera Ads from World War I

“The Parting Gift — A Vest Pocket Kodak.” Ad in Ladies’ Home Journal, August 1917.

We take small, portable cameras for granted. But one hundred years ago, Kodak was putting pocket sized cameras into the hands of people who never had them before — including the men and boys who volunteered to fight in World War I.

Kodak Vest Pocket camera ad, Ladies’ Home Journal, August 1917, p. 51. “It is monotony, not bullets, that our soldiers dread…. In the training camps and during the days of forced inaction there are going to be some tedious, home-sick days — days the Kodak can make more cheerful…. There’s room for a little Vest Pocket Kodak in every soldiers’ and sailor’s kit.”

When the United States entered the war in April of 1917, training camps were still being built — including Camp Fremont, in what is now Menlo Park, California. For teen-aged girls like my mother’s older sister and her friends, it was both a patriotic duty and a pleasure to meet homesick young men from all over the country. And, judging from the photos I inherited from my aunt, “the boys” did enjoy sending pictures of their daily activities to family and friends.

My aunt, in her school uniform, with Walter van Alyne. The back of the photo says, “aged 20 years,” and it was apparently mailed to her when Walter was “Somewhere in Fra …. chelles.” [writing not legible]

Here she is with Wentworth Prescott  Gann, in 1918:

Wentworth Prescott Gann and my aunt, 1918.

Pictures reassured soldiers’ families, and were also a pretext for corresponding with new friends. (“I’d love a copy of that photo with you….” or “Here’s a copy of that picture we took at the beach….”)

Wentworth Prescott Gann, posing with artillery and a friendly dog, 1918.

Three soldiers posing for a picture to send home — or to sweethearts. The one on the left is Gaston Popescul; “Columbus (?) GA”

Clarence Turpening, probably at Camp Fremont, 1918. Sitting on two garbage cans, he is the picture of military camp tedium.

Because Camp Fremont was still under construction in 1917,  many of the soldiers who trained there did not get sent overseas. However, some unfortunate members of the 8th Division were sent to Siberia after the Russian Revolution of 1917. They were on active duty for months after World War I came to an end.

This photo of a luckier group was made into a postcard — probably everyone in it sent a copy home. I believe it is a group of bakers, with my uncle Holt (the soldier my aunt eventually married) leaning against a post in the center. I’m sure a picture like this would reassure worried families that their menfolk were safe and well. And perhaps, a bit bored….

A group of Army bakers or cooks, military camp in U.S.A., World War I photo.

“Snap-shots from Home” enhance morale for soldiers in World War I. Kodak ad, Ladies’ Home Journal, September 1917, p. 91.

Text of “Snap-shots from Home” ad, Kodak, Sept. 1917. Ladies’ HOme Journal.

Even schoolgirls like my aunt took (and sometimes printed) their own photos.

This typical photo from 1917-1918 fits easily in my hand. It’s about three inches high. The soldier’s name is Philip Wilson.

I was always puzzled by how tiny (about 2″ by 3″) many of these old photos are.  Finally, I found a full page ad in the Ladies Home Journal that gave me a hint: to save money, many people used their contact prints — made directly from the negative — but never bought enlargements. (In my aunt’s case, she made her own duplicate contact prints for friends.)

[Not Actual Size] Top of a full-page ad for Kodak, showing Vest Pocket photos in two sizes. July 1917, LHJ, page 79.

The contact prints, made by putting the negative directly on the photo paper without using an enlarger, were actually about two by three inches. The paper used for contacts feels flimsier than normal photo prints.

Bottom of full-page Kodak Vest Pocket camera ad, July 1917, page 79. Not actual size. “You don’t carry a Vest Pocket Kodak, you wear it, like your watch.”

I was not able to photograph the magazine page at actual size, so I took a photo of the whole page and then made this “relative size” image of the contact print and the enlargement.

Relative size of a contact print and an enlargement, 1917. The small contact prints — the same size as the film — were meant to be used for selecting the enlargements you ordered, but people who couldn’t afford 15 cents per enlargement made do with the contact prints themselves. And duplicate contact-sized pictures could be made by amateurs who didn’t own an enlarger.

Different cameras used different sized film, so those little contact prints came in a range of sizes.  A roll of film for the Vest Pocket Kodak cost twenty cents in 1917 and made eight exposures.

Although most people on the home front, especially in the U.S.,  had no idea of the horrors of the First World War, a tone of sadness, or at least, of solemnity, affected even Kodak’s Christmas season advertising  in wartime.

“Kodak knows no dark days.” Top of a full -page ad for Kodak cameras, December 1917. Ladies Home Journal, p. 104.

The ad was referring to taking pictures indoors, but a reference to “its allies” in the text is a reminder of the war.

Text of a Kodak ad, Ladies’ Home Journal, December 1917, page 104.

“With its allies, the Kodak flash sheets and a Kodak flash sheet holder….” As in fashion writing, allusions to the war crept in everywhere, even when it wasn’t mentioned specifically.

And here, as our dessert, is that lovely pink silk dress in better detail:

A young woman poses in a party dress in this Kodak ad from 1917. Ladies’ Home Journal, Dec. 1917, p. 104. It’s not a full color ad, which would have been more expensive, but probably printed using just black and red ink.

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Musings, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Uniforms and Work Clothes, vintage photographs, World War I

Fringe Fashions, December 1918

Old copies of Delineator magazine always have surprises that catch my eye.

December fashions, Delineator, 1918, top of p. 64

December fashions, Delineator magazine, 1918, top of p. 64. Butterick patterns 1276, 1260, 1255, and 1243.

Parts of the December 1918 issue were probably ready to print before the Armistice was announced on November 11, and the magazine contains many references to World War I.

Butterick doll clothing for a soldier, 402, and a sailor, 403. Delineator, December 1918.

Butterick doll clothing: “boy doll’s military suit,” pattern 402, and “boy doll’s sailor suit,” 403. Delineator, December 1918. This woman’s “one-piece dress” pattern was available up to size 44.

text-patterns-1276-402-403-1918-dec-p-65-dec-1918-btm-text

But the “theme” of the month seems to be fringe. Here is the bottom of the same page:

Butterick patterns for women, December 1918. Two are fringed, and the gold dress is trimmed with black monkey fur. Delineator, p. 64.

Butterick patterns for women, 1283, 1294, and 1305. December 1918. Two are fringed, and the gold dress is trimmed with black monkey fur. Delineator, p. 64.

Pattern descriptions for Butterick 1283, 1294 and 1305, December 1918. Delineator.

Pattern descriptions for Butterick 1283, 1294 and 1305, December 1918. Delineator.

Fringe could be light-weight, like chenille, or made from heavier silk or cotton. I have encountered monkey fur coats in costume storage. [Eeeeeek. Just as unpleasant as having the paw fall off a vintage fox fur stole.]

More fashions with fringe appeared on page 63:

The blue dress is fringed; the other is trimmed with fur. Delineator, Dec. 1918,. p 63

The blue dress (1278) is trimmed with fringe; the other outfit (blouse 1259 and skirt 1105) is trimmed with fur and decorative buttons. Delineator, Dec. 1918, p 63. Two different muff patterns were illustrated, 1190 and 9517.

In addition to keeping your hands warm, a muff often had an interior pocket that functioned as a purse.

Two more fringed day dresses, Dec. 1918. Delineator, p 63.

Two more fringed day dresses, Dec. 1918. Delineator, p 63. Butterick 1253 and waist/blouse 1263 with skirt 9865. No. 1253 is illustrated in satin; waist 1263 is in velvet, worn over a satin skirt.

More fringe from December 1918:

Butterick patterns illustrated in Delineator. Dec. 1918, page 65.

Butterick patterns illustrated in Delineator. Dec. 1918, page 65. Fringe trims the center two.

Butterick patterns in Delineator, page 71, December 1918.

Fur or fringe trims these Butterick patterns in Delineator, page 71, December 1918.  Women’s dresses No. 1294, 1309, and 1285.

Butterick patterns, Delineator, Dec. 1918, p. 68.

Butterick patterns, Delineator, Dec. 1918, p. 68. The shape of the skirt is determined by the high-waisted, curve-flattening corset of the era.

Fringe hangs from the pockets of a skirt, Delineator, Dec. 1918, p. 68.

Fringe hangs from the pockets of a skirt, Delineator, Dec. 1918, p. 68. Butterick blouse 1306 with skirt 1226. Shirt-waist pattern 1279 with skirt of suit 1101.

In October, Butterick suggested a fringed wedding gown, pattern 1169, shown again in November in a dark, velvet version:

Left, wedding gown 1169, Butterick pattern from October 1918; right, the same pattern in velvet, worn for a formal occasion. (November, 1918.)

Left, wedding gown 1169, Butterick pattern from October 1918; right, the same pattern in velvet, worn for a formal daytime occasion. (November, 1918.)

If you weren’t ready to go wild with fringe, you could carry a subtle fringed handbag instead of a muff.

Winter coats from Butterick December 1918. The woman in the center carries a matching striped muff; the woman on the right carries a fringed handbag. Delineator, December 1918, p. 66.

Winter coats from Butterick December 1918. The woman in the center carries a striped muff (Butterick 1266) to match her coat; the woman on the right carries a fringed handbag (Butterick pattern 10720.) Delineator, December 1918, p. 66.

The coat on the right is a reminder that the “Barrel skirt” or “tonneau” was [to me, inexplicably] in fashion for a while.

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Accessory Patterns, bags, Hairstyles, handbags, Hats, Hosiery, Purses, Vintage patterns, Wedding Clothes, World War I

Cutting the Cost of Clothes, March 1917

In March, 1917, before America officially entered World War I, Delineator magazine began a series of articles on the advantages of making your own clothing. I find them interesting because the cost of making up the same pattern(s) in different fabrics is given.

"Cutting the Cost of Slothing," Delineator, pages 54 and 55, March 1917.

“Cutting the Cost of Clothes,” Delineator, pages 54 and 55, March 1917.

Second page of "Cutting the Cost of Clothes" article, Delineator, March 1917.

Second page of “Cutting the Cost of Clothes” article, Delineator, March 1917.

Digression:  Before I show the patterns and their budgets in detail, I can’t ignore that ad for Hump Hair Pins.

Ad for Hump Hair Pins, Delineator, March 1917.

Ad for Hump Hair Pins, Delineator, March 1917. “The Hump Hair Pin Locks the Locks” … “hours after your hair has been dressed.”

Not quite a bobby pin and not quite a traditional hairpin, the Hump Hair Pin seems to be designed for women who are bobbing their hair like Irene Castle, or at least wearing it shorter in front while pinning up the long hair in back.

Hump Hair Pin ad, Delineator, March 1917. "Short Ends never worry the woman who insists on Hump Hair Pins."

Hump Hair Pin ad, Delineator, March 1917. “Short Ends never worry the woman who insists on Hump Hair Pins.”

Cutting the Cost of Clothes, March 1917.

1917 mar p 54 cost of clothes caption

The article by Evelyn Chalmers, “Cutting the Cost of Clothes,” was the first in a series intended to be of “very practical helpfulness to women of average means.” Delineator aimed at the middle and upper-middle class woman; not everyone lived near a department store, but most towns had dressmakers who made clothes from patterns their customers selected. Not every woman who bought a Butterick pattern would sew it herself. However, Butterick Publishing Company had good reasons to stress the cost-saving potential of sewing patterns.

“I am going to show how you can cut the cost of clothes. . . . I am going to show, . . . for instance, how you can have a delightful little suit under fifteen dollars that you couldn’t buy for twenty-five. . . . I am going to help you choose styles that will serve as many purposes as possible so that you will always be correctly dressed without having to go to the expense of a very elaborate and varied wardrobe. It is a question of using your brain, your thrift and your industry in place of money.”– Eleanor Chalmers in Delineator

“The three [suits] I have chosen . . . are simple but not too severe, smart enough to answer all requirements  and yet so conservative that you can use them for traveling, shopping, etc. . . . The suits are smart. They are correct. They are young looking and becoming.”

Costs of Materials for Making Butterick Patterns 9039 and 9019 

“A smart little suit with pinch tucks:”

Butterick Jacket and Skirt, Delineator, March 1917, p. 54.

Butterick Jacket 9039 and Skirt 9019, Delineator, March 1917, p. 54.

Supplies for making this coat and skirt combination ranged from $7.21 to $11.43, depending on the version you made and the materials you chose. March 1917. Delineator.

Costs of making Coat 9039 and Skirt 9019, March 1917. Delineator.

Supplies for making this coat and skirt combination ranged from $7.21 to $11.03, depending on the version you made and the materials you chose.

I am assuming that “flannel” is wool flannel, but it is a facing, so perhaps not. Satin lining material varies from $0.80 to $1.00 per yard. I’m surprised to find that the coat is interlined with cambric (which I associate with handkerchiefs) which can cost either $0.09 or $0.12 per yard. As now, buttons could be cheap ($0.18 per dozen) or a bit fancier ($0.25 per dozen.) Chalmers suggested celluloid buttons.

Detail of jacket No. 9039.

Detail of jacket No. 9039.

Costs of Materials for Making Butterick 8980 and 9040

“A suit with splendid lines:”

Butterick coat pattern 8980 and skirt pattern 9040, March 1917. Delineator, p. 55.

Butterick coat pattern 8980 and skirt pattern 9040, March 1917. Delineator, p. 55.

The jacket has a rather interesting pocket and belt combination. High, and bizarre, hats were popular.

Costs for materials: four different versions of jacket 8980 and skirt 9040. Delineator, March 1917, p. 55.

Costs for materials: four different versions of jacket 8980 and skirt 9040. Delineator, March 1917, p. 55.

The jacket’s collar could be made of velveteen, at $0.75 per yard, or of velvet, at $1.00 to $1.25 per yard.

All three jackets are lined with satin, and interlined with cambric. “For your lining you can get a satin with a cotton back at the price I’ve quoted.”  This outfit’s price ranged from $7.20 to $11.20.

1917 mar p 54 Light Bright

Costs of Materials for Making Butterick 9041 and 9042

Butterick coat 9041 and skirt 9042, March 1917. Delineator, p. 55.

Butterick coat 9041 and skirt 9042, March 1917. Delineator, p. 55. “The new barrel silhouette.”

This is a typical “( “Six or seven inches from the floor is the length accepted by the best  houses here and abroad.”

1917 mar p 54 skirt in illust IIIYou can understand how the 1917 barrel skirt might have tempted women to let their figures spread a little, so that the slim lines of the 1920’s were a bit of a problem for the not-very-young. (See How to Look Thinner in the 1920’s;  Corsets and Corselettes.)

Material costs for four version s of Butterick 9041 and 1942. March 1917. Delineator. p. 55

Material costs for four versions of Butterick 9041 and 1942. March 1917. Delineator. p. 55

This suit (jacket and skirt) could be made as cheaply as $8.27 or from more expensive “serge, gabardine or check” for $13.45, assuming you made it yourself.

All of the patterns call for dress weights, cambric interlining, silk thread, cotton thread, and basting thread.

Chalmers suggested making a satin blouse (with a peplum) in the same color as your skirt, so that it could be worn as a “street dress” when the weather got warmer and you didn’t need a jacket.

Prices for Mail Order Clothing from Delineator Advertisements

The cost of making the suits shown in Eleanor Chalmers’ article do make her point:  “You can have a delightful little suit under fifteen dollars that you couldn’t buy for twenty-five”

In the same month, March 1917, advertisers in her magazine offered two piece suits, something like those above, for as much as $35.00.

Woman's suits from the Bella Hess catalog, Ad, Delineator, March 1917, p. 33.

Women’s suits from the Bella Hess catalog. Ad, Delineator, March 1917, p. 33. Suits, $25.00 and $18.98; Hats for $1.98 and $2.98.

Clothing from the Bedell dress catalog; ad in Delineator, March 1917.

Clothing from the Bedell dress catalog; ad in Delineator, March 1917. A silk dress for $16.98 and a velour coat for $12.98 .

Price range of women's clothing from Bedell catalog, 1917.

Price range of women’s clothing from Bedell catalog, 1917. Suits $8.75 to $35.00; skirts $1.00 to $10.00, Dresses $5.00 to $25.00.

An Easter Dress from the Philipsborn catalog, advertised in Delineator, March 1917.

An Easter Dress from the Philipsborn catalog, advertised in Delineator, March 1917. $4.98. Quite a bargain!

Cost of Living, March 1917

One kind of ad that appeared in Delineator over a long period — decades — was for nursing schools. To give you an idea of a desirable income for a woman:

"Be a Nurse -- Delineator, March 1917.

“Be a Nurse — Earn $15 to $25 per week.” Delineator, March 1917.

This Dodge convertible closed car cost $ 1135.00, F.O.B. Detroit.

Dodge closed car in ad, March 1917, Delineator.

Dodge closed car in ad, Delineator, March 1917.

 

 

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Hairstyles, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage patterns, World War I

Sewing Shirts for Soldiers: Women’s Work in the 1860’s and World War I

Derek Watson’s book Munby: Man of Two Worlds continues to be fascinating reading. Munby’s diaries record hundreds of conversations with Victorian working women.

The ghost ini the Looking Glass, cartoon by John Tenniel, Punch magazine, 1863. From Victorian Working Women

“The Ghost in the Looking Glass,” cartoon by John Tenniel, Punch magazine, 1863. From Victorian Working Women. A lady glances into the mirror and sees the starving milliner who made her ball gown.

In 1860, a “sewing machine hand” told Munby that she earned 16 shillings a week, “working from 8 to 8 with an hour for dinner” — “she keeps the machine going with her feet,” he noted.  (Munby, p. 84)

A milliner he met, who had a steady job making “shirts, collars, gloves, anything!” said she also worked as a charwoman (house cleaner) on Saturdays, because she could not “make my living by needlework.” She earned 9 or 10 shillings a week. (Munby, p. 46) [“Milliners” made clothing, not just hats.]

Another needlewoman worked at home, making men’s waistcoats for 12 1/2 shillings per week, from which she paid rent of 4 shillings per week.  (Munby, p. 82)

Arthur Munby took a lasting, charitable interest in a gravely disfigured woman named Harriet Langdon. Because her face was so difficult for people to look at — it resembled a “Death’s head”– she couldn’t find work. (The disease lupus vulgaris, or lupus tuberculosis, had completely destroyed her nose and one lip, and from the age of eight she “had lived as a leper.”) Munby befriended her, took her for medical treatment which halted the progress of the disease, and tried to find some employment by which she could support herself. Perhaps his only successful attempt to get her work was as a home seamstress for Mary Stanley’s “Repository for Work,” in York Street, London.

Mary Stanley and the Repository for Work

Man's shirt, machine stitched, Victorian era.

Man’s shirt with pleated front, machine stitched, Victorian era.

This passage from Munby’s diaries is dated Friday, 10th April, 1863:

“About noon I went to call by appointment on Miss Stanley, at her ‘Repository for Work’ in York Street Westminster. It is a mean house like the others near it. The door opened straight into a small narrow shop, in which there was barely room to stand:  for the floor was piled high with heaps of cotton shirts. Behind a counter, also full of shirts in progress, sat Miss Stanley, stitching away at a wristband, and two women who were doing the like.

Thirty Thousand Shirts for Soldiers, 1863

“She is that Honorable Miss Stanley, who was with Miss Nightingale in the Crimea:  and here she now sits, day by day, looking after the making, by poor needlewomen at their own homes, of some thirty thousand soldiers’ shirts per annum. A quiet self-devoted woman of forty or so: slight and worn, with traces of past beauty in her calm and ladylike and unpretending face. A woman worthy of deep respect, and of a certain desiderium too, when one looked at her busy hands — thin, uncaredfor, dignified by no wedding ring.

“She very kindly promised to give immediate work to Harriet Langdon, upon my undertaking for the safety of the materials: and added, that as Langdon was so disfigured, she might come for the work privately, & not with the crowd.” (Munby: Man of Two Worlds, p. 155.)

Man's shirt, machine made, Victorian era.

Man’s shirt, machine made, Victorian era. The initial is embroidered by hand.

The next day, Munby walked to Harriet’s house to tell her the good news — but it was qualified by the financial reality:

“And so, after a year’s effort, I am able to gladden this poor creature with the hope of earning — five shillings a week!”

There were jobs in London that paid even less; since Harriet was living with her sister, earning enough for her own food was an improvement in her whole family’s condition.

In May of 1864, Munby campaigned to have Harriet accepted as a pensioner of the Royal Hospital for Incurables, and was successful, “and so my two years’ effort on her behalf is ended, and this poor penniless object, this hideous unpresentable woman, is made for the rest of her life happy. Happy? Yes, for she is to have twenty pounds a year. . . .” [about 8 shillings per week.]

Munby continued to visit her, even after she moved out of London, bringing her masks, and false noses from France, although she never found one that satisfied her. He noticed, too, that almost everything she wore was a hand-me-down from his mother or sister, which Harriet remade to fit herself. Sadly, as Munby was the only man who took an interest in her, she developed a strong, probably romantic, attachment to him: “She would so gladly hear from or see me oftener: she disdains pity, yet says, ‘You neglect me — you don’t feel for my wretched lonely condition!’ and the tears run down.” It was a painful “scene” for both of them. [Munby: Man of Two Worlds, p. 237.]

A Living Wage in 1860’s London

It’s always difficult to calculate wages from other times, but Mrs. Beeton estimated that a household needed a minimum income of 150 pounds a year (in 1861) to afford even one servant/maid-of-all-work, who could expect to earn 9 to 14 pounds per year, in addition to her room and board. There were twenty shillings in a pound, so 13 pounds would be about 5 shillings per week, plus “board” (the master’s leftovers for meals,) and “room” (sleeping space on a cot in the kitchen or a bed an unheated attic.)

Munby, himself, in a civil service post, earned a salary of 120 pounds per year in 1860, and needed financial help from his father to live as a gentleman in London. His rent was 50 pounds per year. Munby couldn’t afford to quit his job and marry his servant/sweetheart, Hannah Cullwick. He would have lost both his job and his father’s support if he married a woman who was not “a lady.”  After a courtship of almost twenty years, they married, but the marriage was kept secret from his family until he died.

Another fascinating book with passages from the diaries of both Munby and Hannah Cullwick is Love and Dirt, by Diane Atkinson. Read a review by clicking here.

Sewing Shirts for Soldiers, First World War

Knitting for Soldiers, Delineator, Aug. 1917. p. 41

Knitting for the Navy, Delineator, Aug. 1917. p. 41. “Any one who wants to help the Navy win the war can join in this work.”

"Remember, if you begin to knit, your six best girlfriends will follow your lead." Delineator, Aug. 1917, p. 41

“Remember, if you begin to knit, your six best girl friends will follow your lead.” Delineator, Aug. 1917, p. 41

A Hospital shirt and robe for volunteers to sew, Red Cross article in Delineator, Dec. 1917. p. 51

A hospital shirt and a convalescent robe for volunteers to sew, Red Cross article in Delineator, Dec. 1917. p. 51. This article ran simultaneously in several women’s magazines.

Since the story of Harriet Langdon is so depressing, this tongue-twisting song about “Sewing Shirts for Soldiers” in World War I may cheer us up:

“Sister Susie’s sewing shirts for soldiers
Such skill at sewing shirts
Our shy young sister Susie shows!

Some soldiers send epistles,
Say they’d sooner sleep in thistles
Than the saucy, soft, short shirts for soldiers sister Susie sews.”

You can hear Al Jolson sing it (click here) or watch a video (with poor sound quality) showing vintage film footage of women volunteers sewing for the war effort, and convalescent soldiers sewing as part of their therapy. (Click here.) Perhaps for the sake of alliteration, the song includes a mention of Singer sewing machines.

I first heard the music hall song “Sister Susie” with many other WW I songs in Joan Littlewood’s innovative theatrical production, Oh, What a Lovely War! (1963)  A recording of the stage production exists; sadly, the movie version directed by Richard Attenborough doesn’t have the impact of Littlewood’s low-budget staged version.

POST SCRIPT, Nov. 3, 2015:  Thomas Hood wrote a poem about Victorian seamstresses sewing shirts by hand. If you’ve never read “The Song of the Shirt,” find it by clicking here. It begins:

With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat, in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread —
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
She sang the “Song of the Shirt.”

 

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Filed under 1860s -1870s fashions, A Costumers' Bookshelf, Costumes for the 19th century, Early Victorian fashions, Late Victorian fashions

Butterick Fashions for August, 1917

American women had been reading about the active wartime roles of women in France and Germany since 1914. Here, a few months after the U.S. entered the first World War, softly feminine (although thick-waisted) styles appear beside clothes that look like uniforms.

Fashions from Butterick's Delineator magazine, August 1917.  During World War I, pseudo-military uniforms were shown for women who wanted to wear them while volunteering for war-related charities.

Fashions from Butterick’s Delineator magazine, August 1917.

During World War I, patterns for pseudo-military uniforms appeared for women who wanted to wear them while volunteering for war-related charities. (The Red Cross and other agencies soon prescribed their own — official — uniforms, with strict regulations about wearing them. Click here.) I’ll show these dresses and their descriptions in detail later in this post; first, here is the second full color fashion page from this issue of Delineator:

Another page of fashions from Butterick's Delineator Magazine, August, 1917.

Another page of fashions from Butterick’s Delineator magazine, August, 1917.

Some of these outfits are one-piece dresses, but often what looks like a dress turns out to be a blouse (sometimes called a “waist”) pattern with a separate skirt pattern. That allowed a great deal of customization, and I always enjoy seeing illustrations of the same skirt with several tops, or vice versa.

Starting at top left of the first color plate:

Blouse pattern NO. 9311 with skirt pattern No. 9318. Butterick's Delineator, August 1917.

Blouse pattern No. 9311 with skirt pattern No. 9318. Butterick’s Delineator, August 1917.

Butterick's description of 9311 and 9318; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Butterick’s description of 9311 and 9318; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

“It has the popular wide collar and large pockets…. A very good design for misses [i.e., teens] as well as women.”

Left, blouse 9330 with skirt 9073; right, coat 9324 with skirt 9318. Butterick patterns, Delineator,Aug. 1917.

Left, in pink:  blouse 9330 with skirt 9073; right, coat 9324 with skirt 9318. Butterick patterns, Delineator,Aug. 1917.

Blouse 9330 with skirt 9073, Butterick patterns in Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Blouse 9330 with skirt 9073, Butterick patterns in Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick 9330 and 9073, Aug. 1917. Delineator.

Description of Butterick 9330 and 9073, Aug. 1917. Delineator.

What makes this a “Russian Blouse?” I have no idea. Research project for somebody….

Coat pattern 9324 with skirt 9318, Butterick patterns in Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Coat pattern 9324 with skirt 9318, Butterick patterns in Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick patterns 9324 adn 9318; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick patterns 9324 and 9318; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

” ‘Who goes there?’ The answer — a new suit with smart military cape and pockets receives a salute from Fashion. . . . The cape is removable. . . The suit is a splendid design for misses [i.e., ages 15 to 20] as well as women.” This same skirt, No. 9311, was also shown with the long, dotted blouse No. 9311.

Butterick blouse pattern 9311 with skirt 9318. 1917.

Butterick blouse pattern 9311 with skirt 9318. 1917.

Butterick patterns 9317 and 9320, Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Butterick patterns 9317 and 9320, Delineator, Aug. 1917. “The coat has the popular large collar, [No kidding!] with two new outline possibilities….”

Description of Butterick patterns 9317 and 9320; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick patterns 9317 and 9320; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

The pattern descriptions page included two more contrasting styles, a loose embroidered dress beside another version of the piped coat with military pockets and insignia:

Butterick dress 9326; coat 9324 with skirt 9309. Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Butterick dress 9326; coat 9324 with skirt 9309. Delineator, Aug. 1917.

This is the same military-influenced coat, No. 9324, that was shown above in a tan, caped version.

Description of Butterick coat 9324 and skirt 9309, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick coat 9324 and skirt 9309, Aug. 1917.

“It is a splendid model for the woman who wants something newer and more picturesque than the severely tailored suit.” [Top it with a Rough Riders hat?]

Description of dress 9326, Butterick's Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of dress 9326, Butterick’s Delineator, Aug. 1917. “The deep pouch pockets and long narrow sash-belt are popular parts of the one-piece look.”

The one-piece dress above, No. 9326, has big, triangular, embroidered pockets something like this one, shown in color:

Description for Butterick dress pattern 9335; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description for Butterick dress pattern 9335; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick dress 9335, Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick dress 9335, Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Dress patterns 9323 and 9331, Butterick. Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Dress patterns 9323 and 9331, Butterick. Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick pattern 9323; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick pattern 9323; Delineator, Aug. 1917. “The modern woman buckles on her armor . . . .”

Altenate views of Butterick 9323 and 9331, Aug. 1917.

Alternate views of Butterick 9323 and 9331, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick pattern 9331, Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick pattern 9331, Aug. 1917.

It’s interesting that the blue dress, No. 9323, is described as appealing “to the woman who does not care for the one-piece frocks.” But it is a one-piece frock, with several sleeve variations.  The checked dress, No. 9331, has a more complicated cut than you would think from the color illustration. This issue of Delineator had a separate article about gingham dresses.

Butterick pattern 9321, Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Butterick pattern 9321, Delineator, Aug. 1917.

This blue and tan dress is worn with an exaggerated military cap; Butterick also sold embroidery transfers for military insignia like the one on this dress’s sleeve.

Description of Butterick patern 9321 from August, 1917.

Description of Butterick patern 9321 from August, 1917.

“The attractive military lines . . .  military pockets and collar  . . . maintain the martial spirit. . . . It is pretty for a young girl. . . . Sizes 32 to 44 inches bust measure.”

Two more black and white illustrations appeared with the descriptions of the color images on page 43.

Both are waist and skirt combinations, and both outfits use the same skirt pattern, No. 9316. When the folds are buttoned together, as on the left, it is called an “envelope effect.”

Butterick dress patterns 9340 and 9316; Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Left:  Butterick dress patterns 9340 and 9316. Right:  waist 9350 and skirt 9316. Delineator, Aug. 1917.

Butterick pattern 9340 and 9316 on the left. Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick waist [blouse] pattern 9340 and skirt 9316, above on the left. Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick waist pattern 9360 with skirt 9316. Aug. 1917.

Description of Butterick waist pattern 9360 with skirt 9316, illustrated above on the right. Aug. 1917.

It’s possible that the Delineator magazine was especially militaristic, but this coat ad from the Ladies’ Home Journal also shows a military influence on women’s ready-to-wear:

Ad for Hamilton coats, Ladies' Home Journal, Oct. 1917.

Ad for Hamilton coats, Ladies’ Home Journal, Oct. 1917.

 

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage Accessories, Vintage patterns, Vintage Styles in Larger Sizes, World War I

Up Like Little Soldiers: Wilson Garter for Children, 1917

Ad for Wilson Garter, Ladies' Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Ad for Wilson Garter, Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

I want to share this advertisement for a couple of reasons. First, there may be a collector of vintage underthings who has one of these contraptions and will appreciate the identification.

The Wilson Garter for children and pregnant women. It supports the stockings from the shoulders instead of from the waist. LHJ ad, Sept. 1917.

The Wilson Garter for children and pregnant women. It supports the stockings from the shoulders instead of from the waist. LHJ ad, Sept. 1917.

Second, it is just one more example of the way America’s entrance into World War I, in April of 1917, permeated American popular culture.

Wilson Cord and Slide Garters

“Up Like Little Soldiers — That’s how the Cord & Slide Wilson Garter allows children to grow — trim, graceful — all ginger. No more little rounded, stooping shoulders, and no more torn hose tops.

“For Boys and Girls, 1 to 16 years. Shoulder style like picture, slips on over head, white or black, 25 cents. Give Age.

“For Women, same style. Fine for home, athletic or Maternity wear, 50 cents. Bust sizes.”

Digression:  I feel I should explain a bit;  we live in an era when many people have never worn stockings. (Pantyhose are more popular, if less erotic, than individual thigh-high stockings worn with garter belts.)

When I wore my first garter belt in eighth grade, I was puzzled by ads — like this page from a 1958 Sears catalog — that showed the garters [suspenders] being worn over full petticoats — which would have flattened the petticoat absurdly. I had no mother to ask about this; finally an older girl explained that you actually wore the petticoat on top of the garter belt, but advertisers couldn’t show a garter belt attached to stocking tops over a bare thigh in family magazines.

Garter belts from Sears catalog, Fall 1958.

Garter belts from Sears catalog, Fall 1958. My first garter belt looked like K (bottom center), not P (the black one.) Back then, normal 12 year old girls did not wear black lace undies. However, if you wore stockings when dressed up, you needed a garter belt.

“Pull Up Your Socks!”

It’s hard to conceive of a time when active little children wore stockings instead of socks.

Fashions for boys, Ladies' Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Fashions for boys, Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Nevertheless, these little boys are wearing boots with spat-like contrast uppers (or possibly spats! see far right), over stockings probably made of cotton lisle, although wool was a possibility.

Ad for Buster Brown Shoes for Boys or Girls, Delineator, October 1917.

Ad for Buster Brown Shoes “For Boys — for Girls,” Delineator, Oct. 1917.

A poor boy receives a basket of food from a boy who is better off. Both wear stockings. Robert A. Graef illustration, Delineator, Nov. 1924.

A poor boy receives a basket of food from a boy who is better off. Both wear long stockings. Robert A. Graef illustration, Delineator, Nov. 1924.

Because putting on his first pair of “long pants” was once a rite of passage for an adolescent boy, pre-adolescent boys wore knickers or short pants; these left their lower legs exposed all year round — so they sometimes wore long stockings.

Since neither little boys nor little girls have a waist significantly smaller than their hips, keeping trousers, shorts, and stockings from falling down was a problem.

Pictorial Review pattern 3386, for boys shorts that button on to the shirt.

Pictorial Review pattern 3386, for boys’ shorts that button on to the shirt. Note the sagging sock.

A solution popular in the 1920’s was to button the pants to the shirt, or to a sleeveless underbodice, in front and in back. This made it very difficult for small boys to go to the bathroom without help. (To read “Zippers Are Good for Your Children,” click here. )

Boys didn’t always wear stockings; some wore sensible socks, sometimes rolled over elastic garters, and little boys and girls kept warm by wearing stockings under leggings in the winter. [Like much fashion vocabulary which changes over time,  “leggings” now describes a completely different garment, i.e.,  women’s knit tights that stop at the ankle.]  Formerly, stiff (lined) wool or corduroy leggings were buttoned from below the anklebone to above the knee (you needed to use a buttonhook) and must have been a nightmare to put on squirming children.

Clothes for boys, Delineator, Nov. 1917. The smallest boys wear buttoned leggings.

Clothes for boys, Delineator, Nov. 1917. The smallest boys wear buttoned leggings. Butterick patterns.

Grown men wore long trousers which covered their garters:

Boston Garter ad for man's stocking garter; Delineator, Jan. 1917.

Boston Garter ad for man’s stocking suspender with “Velvet Grip;” Delineator, Jan. 1917.

Grown women suspended their stockings from their corsets:

La Camille Corset advertisement, April, 1917.

La Camille International Corset advertisement, Delineator, April, 1917. Look at those lovely clocked/embroidered stockings! For modesty’s sake, the model is drawn wearing frilly bloomers, which would have made it difficult to attach the suspender to the stocking! Here it is left dangling.

Corsets and stocking suspenders were also worn by some unlucky little girls:

Ad for girls' corsets; April 1917.

Ad for girls’ corsets; April 1917. Ferris Good Sense “Waist” for Girls and Misses.

The younger girl’s figure is still unformed, so her corset has shoulder straps to prevent the tension on her stockings from pulling it down. If it only attached to her stocking tops in front, this might produce the “stooped” look mentioned in the Wilson Garter ad.

Like Little Soldiers

Boy's patterns, Delineator, July 1917. Two of these children have sagging socks.

Children’s patterns, Butterick’s Delineator, July 1917. The long stockings of the boy on the left are falling down. Note the military insignias on their tunics.

There was a time when a parent, seeking to divert children from mischief, would simply yell, “Pull up your socks!”

However, the pugnacity of these two boys was part of a general trend to illustrate children as little warriors during World War  I.

Boy's pattern illustration, Delineator, Sept. 1917.

Boy’s Butterick pattern illustration, Delineator, Sept. 1917.  A few months earlier, boys were shown flying a kite, not leading a charge “over the top.”

Butterick pattern for a girl's military uniform, Sept. 1917. Delineator.

Butterick pattern for a girl’s military style “Service” uniform, Sept. 1917. Delineator.

Butterick pattern for boy's military uniform, Delineator, Sept. 1917.

Butterick pattern for boy’s military style outfit, complete with putteesDelineator, Sept. 1917.

Which brings us back to the Wilson Garter, which “allows children to grow . . . up like little soldiers.” By Jingo.

Ad for Wilson Garter, Ladies' Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Ad for Wilson Garter  for children, Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, 1920s, Children's Vintage styles, Corsets, Hosiery, Hosiery & Stockings, Maternity clothes, Menswear, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Shoes, Underthings, Uniforms and Work Clothes, Vintage patterns, World War I, Zippers

New Clothes from Old, World War I

Ladies' Home Journal Cover by M. Giles, September 1917.

Ladies’ Home Journal Cover by M. Giles, September 1917. Her dress, with its 1860-ish pagoda sleeves, evokes the Civil War.

When the United States entered World War I, the “women’s magazines” communicated many of the new restrictions on food and fabric use to families all over the country.

“This Is What the Englishwoman Did.” Ladies’ Home Journal, July 1917.

What the Englishwoman did was plunder her closet and convert out-of-fashion or worn-out clothing to new styles for herself and her family. She made children’s dresses from her old jackets (top left) and old petticoats (top right), put new, remade sleeves on old gowns, turned old suits into “new” dresses (center), and refurbished old hats.

Woman's Institute ad, Ladies' Home Journal, Nov. 1917.

Woman’s Institute ad, Ladies’ Home Journal, Nov. 1917. “This year women are urged to economize, but economy need not mean fewer clothes.” Woman’s Institute offered correspondence courses in sewing, etc.

Both Delineator (which targeted middle and upper middle class women) and Ladies’ Home Journal (which was aimed a little lower on the social scale) began runnning regular articles on how to convert old clothes to new; sometimes they even sold patterns intended to be used in this way.

Ladies' Home Journal pattern No. 9776 for boy's shirts made from worn out men's shirts. Aug. 1917.

Ladies’ Home Journal pattern No. 9776 for boy’s shirts made from worn out men’s shirts. Aug. 1917. “When a man’s shirt is perfectly good ‘all but,’ it may be made over into any one of these three garments pictured here.”

This blouse was made from an old evening dress:

How to use an old evening gown is solved by this dainty Georgette crepe waist made from the gown above.

You can see that the bands of trim from the evening gown, including ruffle, have been incorporated into the blouse. This may not be easy reading for Vintage Clothing Dealers; today, a lovely pre-war gown is more appreciated than a matronly blouse.

Dresses suitable for salvage, Ladies' Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

Dresses suitable for salvage, Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

” ‘ What shall I ever do with this old-fashioned eyelet embroidery gown? ‘ Combine it with that black satin dress you spilled acid on, select an up-to-date model and you will not believe your own eyes. Here the result is shown.”

Dress made from two old dresses, Sept. 1917. Ladies' Home Journal.

Dress made from two old dresses, Sept. 1917. Ladies’ Home Journal.

A reader of mystery novels might wonder why a woman wearing a black satin dress was handling acid . . . .

The dress below was made from an old dress and a long plaid skirt. The criss-cross belt was very fashionable in 1917.

Dress made from two old dresses, Sept. 1917. Ladies' Home Journal.

Dress made from an old skirt and dress, Sept. 1917. Ladies’ Home Journal. I’m not sure that “bite” out of the front showing an underskirt is a great idea….

When you ran out of old clothes, you could start on the curtains:

“Young girls fairly glow in fluffy things with ruffles, like this party frock made of dotted curtain mull.” Ladies’ Home Journal, Sept. 1917.

This young woman told a story of embarrassment solved by an ingenious remodel:

Remodelled coat, Sept. 1917. Ladies' Home Journal.

Remodeled coat, Sept. 1917. Ladies’ Home Journal. Illustration by Sheldon.

” ‘I cannot wear this old coat another season; everyone knows it by its plainness.’ A friend suggested a new collar, cuffs, pockets and sash of a self-toned material, all coarse-stitched with a heavy floss. Anyone would be proud to wear the coat after the ‘fixing.’ “

The result is much more stylish, indeed. coat remake

I had a chance to photograph a high-quality wool suit ( probably dated 1918) with similar “coarse-stitching” in silk floss; it’s a lovely detail.

“Coarse-stitching” on the pockets, belt, and center front opening of a vintage suit with labels from Hickson (New York & Boston)and E. E. Atkinson & Co., Minneapolis.

Thanks to B. Murray for the opportunity to photograph this suit.

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Filed under 1900s to 1920s, Children's Vintage styles, Old Advertisements & Popular Culture, Vintage Garments: The Real Thing, Woman's Institute, World War I