Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I've been Needled!

No, I wasn't taunted by anyone - just the opposite!

Last night the committee for our gallery walk (of which I am a member), Tour the Town, hosted a gathering for the artists and venues who are or would like to be participants.  It was a wonderful evening of mingling, meeting new friends, and strengthening our downtown.

During the festivities one of my newer friends, Mary Waters, handed me a little bag of treasures.  It wasn't until I got home that I discovered how true that word "treasure" describes my gift:

WOWIE!  This collection of needle cases is a veritable museum of early 20th century advertising!  I'm going to guess that the newest of this collection (the very sweet little girl on the Samoset needle case) is from the early Twenties.

Check out these "Broadway" needles and that gorgeous navy tissue-like paper with the gold filigree printing - gorgeous!  As you can see, one of the packets is still housed in half of a beautifully lithographed booklet.  Why don't people take the time to print like this anymore?

And how about this Dix and Rand's teeny little needle case?  The fact that there is even a snippet of label left is amazing!  And those stars!  You can tell how old this case is by the copy on the inside - first of all, even in a much larger space you never see that much copy anymore - people don't want to take the time to read it.  You can also tell by the fonts used that this is probably from the first decade of our previous century, as with the style of writing.  When's the last time you read the word "thereby" in an ad?  :D  In case you're wondering, the copy reads: "These needles are warranted to excel all other brands in finish and quality.  The eyes are beveled and gauged, thereby making sewing much easier".  Today, it would read something like: "Dix and Rand - the eyes have it."  (Get it?)  :D

Isn't this little Samoset Laundry premium cute?  This is a great set.  The little girl makes it wonderful but so does the back - this great advertisement for the Samoset Laundry Service!  The four-digit phone number kills me, as does the Native American mascot.  It also makes me laugh when I see proprietors' names on ads or premiums - even in our smallish burg of 40,000, no one really cares enough to see the owner's name on something - everyone doesn't know everyone anymore, even though it seems like it sometimes.

Last but not least is this H. Milward and Sons case, which is British.  I love the directness and stark quality of the little label!  Again, there's a lot of copy in a small space - today, no one would bother saying, "Buy 'Milward's' Needles, which are all Warranted Genuine in Size".  All of this advertising is before agencies told companies they had to make it "snappy"; these little ads are essentially salespeople yelling out in marketplaces!

I don't know how I'm going to use these yet, but I really have my eye (nyuk nyuk) on that navy tissue with the gold stars.  Look for it in a collage soon...  :D

Thank you again, Mary, for your generosity and thoughtfulness!  I love my new little needle treasures!  :D


  1. OMG, those are great! I'm so jealous! I actually despise sewing, but for some reason, I keep collecting sewing-related ephemera! I have big plans for several sewing collages. Hopefully someone who loves sewing will appreciate them!

  2. OMG, two!!! These are just lovely - I have lots of old needle cases but none as old as these - they are just lovely - you are onelucky gal to have friends who give you such treasures! J