before there was television

I'm sure you've heard of hope or wedding chests (also called glory boxes in the UK and Australia)—all the linens and household goods that girls were expected to have (and often make themselves) before they got married. I found this list of hope chest items in the January 1926 issue of Needlecraft Magazine and it makes me tired just reading it. Even though girls started on these items as soon as they were skilled enough at embroidery and sewing to do it, and there was no television, it's an exhaustive list of items.

"I found the following hope chest list very satisfactory for my own little home: Eight sheets, eight pairs of pillowcases, four sheet-shams, four comforts, two pairs of double blankets, three pairs of pillows, two white tablecloths, two dozen white napkins, two Japanese luncheon-cloths, two dozen napkins to match, one between-meal centerpiece, four miscellaneous centerpieces, two buffet-scarfs or sets, four dresser-scarfs or sets, two machine-scarfs, two library-scarfs, one centerpiece and piano scarf, five cushions, three dozen dish towels, eighteen each of hand-towels and washcloths, one dozen bath towels, six holders for kitchen use, laundry—bag, combing—jacket and kimono, one each, three envelope-chemises, four camisoles, six petticoats, silk and washable, five each of nightgowns, house-dresses and bungalow aprons, and six slip-on aprons. This list was intended for four rooms and sleeping-porch, and is ample. It may, of course, be taken from or added to as required, but in a general way is very good."—Mrs. M. L. K., California

Now, imagine having to wash and iron all these things without modern washing machines and electric steam irons. Yikes!


Vicki W said...

"Yikes" is right!

Cheryl said...

Just dropped by to say hello. Enjoyed reading your blog. I have started a hope chest for my daughter. I know that this is old fashion but who knows, she may need some of these things that I have for her someday. Thanks for sharing that with me. God Bless!

Baroness SeeMe said...

Imagine sewing clothes for yourself before you even know how big/small you're going to be when you grow up!