It’s kind of a long story, but what the heck — you’ve got some time to kill, right? I’ll valiantly try to keep it short.
A decade ago, plus or minus, my brother and I were back in Iowa, helping my mom as she attempted to continue living in her apartment. As part of the job, we went out to get her some new housewares. And on the way back to the apartment, we stopped at an estate sale.
We didn’t have a lot of time to browse, but we left offers on a few things — and I think I ended up with everything I bid on. The ones I remember were (1) a set of those "ladies’ luncheon" glass plate-and-cup sets from, say, the 50’s — you know, the kind that have a convenient little notch in which to place your cigarette — and (2) a big wooden box that was full of old newspapers and magazines.
The box itself was what I was after — it was ancient and beat-up ("distressed") and just generally cool-looking. I think I paid $5 for it.
The interesting-looking wooden box now holds yarn in the studio, but the original box o’ newspapers sat around our house just as it was for a long time, with DH asking, "What are you going to do with that?" once in a while. One day, I finally sifted through the pile. And I found a treasure trove.
Collier’s Weekly & the Saturday Evening Post from the early 1900’s (beginning "A Little Union Scout" by Joel Chandler Harris, 2/6/1904); Music News (around the 1920’s); a great little short-story magazine called "The Black Cat" from April 1901; and The Illustrated London News’ programme of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, in 1953, with 16 colour plates!
There’s also something called "The Aldine", from the 1870’s. And a collection of my hometown newspapers from 1945, with important WWII headlines: MEN LOCKED IN GREAT BATTLE ON OKINAWA ISLAND; REICH SURRENDERS; WAR IN ITALY VIRTUALLY OVER; SIMPLE RITES FOR ROOSEVELT. There’s even one with a picture of Mussolini hanging by his heels. You just don’t get that kind of thing on the front page nowadays.
The engravings in the Aldine, the advertisements for corsets in Collier’s, the articles about bread ("National Strength depends on proper diet; bread viewed as best source of human fuel") — it’s all fascinating.
I even found a review of "Pinocchio" from when it was a new movie. There were several color stills in the article, but I liked this one with his finger on fire the best.
Simply amazing stuff. And I have barely scratched the surface. You wouldn’t believe what I found today — it’s just completely the coolest.
Canadian Home Journals from the 1940’s — with knitting patterns.
I gotta try this one out — although I admit I can’t quite picture how this piece is supposed to work. Surely there’s going to have to be an opening for your head somewhere?
Maybe I can get it done in time for Valentine’s Day, when I’m certain to get breakfast in bed… and I’m pretty sure it will be fabulous in MOHAIR…