Yes it’s been a long time between posts…that’s what opening a vintage shop can do. Now that I’m open six days a week time to blog is rare! I thought, however, that I’d take ten minutes to share a few articles and ads from the December 1946 issue of the Australian Women’s Weekly, about the first real Christmas after the end of the war…..Merry Christmas everyone 💋Deb
Tag Archives: 1940s
I have mentioned in another post that my grandfather was in the Dutch Army Bicycle Corp during WWII. Today I finally dug out the photos that my grandmother left me some years ago and found the photos he had kept of those days.
Weren’t they so handsome?! My grandfather is the one standing with his arms stretched out and no hat!
You may also like a post on my other blog about Victorian Military Bicycle Uniforms
We hear a lot about ‘Make do and Mend’ during Wartime, especially when clothing rationing was in effect, but maybe you haven’t heard about sewing bees. Quilting Bees were popular in America in the early 1800’s, as a way for women to meet others and tackle large quilts that would be cumbersome by themselves. They provided socialization, friendship, wisdom and sharing of supplies and tools, and basically involved a group of women getting together and sewing.
The first mention I have found of a wartime Sewing Bee is in this article from December 1939 –Red Cross Sewing Bees see to become popular in Australia. Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) was probably the one who began to make Sewing Bees popular in England and Australia during the War, forming a Red Cross Sewing Bee for the women of the royal household at the palace each week from as early as November 1939. You can also watch a little video her Great Sewing Bee of 1939 here.
This article from the American Woman’s Weekly in March 1942 is a little different, as rationing is not really mentioned, and the ladies are sewing more for themselves than the troops, but it is interesting to ‘see’ these ladies in action at their sewing bee.
Sewing Bees are obviously meant to be a cooperative event. There is a recent British TV show called ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ which is a reality TV contest type show, which to me loses the point of sewing bees, but you can watch it here.
Have you joined a Sewing Bee or thought of doing so? Tips for joining an online sewing bee can be found here.
It’s the first week of Summer here in Australia, and my thoughts have turned to swimsuits. We have a few beaches nearby (which occasionally have crocodiles, sharks and stingers) and a pool (which is currently getting renovated) so we swim every day over Summer. Usually we even put on swimsuits, although the odd skinny dip is not unknown!
What style swimsuits would we have been wearing during the war? Let’s have a little look –
1942 – clothes ratioing kicks in in Australia, and ads for swimwear are almost non existent. Elastic used in commercial swimwear would have used rubber, which was needed for the war effort. To keep itself in the public mind Jantzen cleverly told women how to care for their swimsuits so they would last longer.
My eldest son came home from university in Melbourne yesterday, which was exciting, as it’s been nearly a year since he left for the big smoke with his (now ex) girlfriend. Not quite as exciting as playing with kangaroos on the beach ( which you can see on my Instagram feed), but pretty cool.
Our exciting Saturday night tradition is pizza and a movie. Homemade pizza of course, which my husband usually makes, and a family movie, that I get to pick. The pizza was good, although made with white flour (no doubt in retaliation for a week of national loaf) which I regretted afterwards. The movie had no ill effects, and starred two of my favourite 30s actors, Carole Lombard and James Stewart.
“Made for each other” is set in 1938 and 1939, in prewar New York, a city then of around 7 1/2 million. The newly married couple live with his mother, and apparently neither women can cook or clean and need a maid to help them, which to me is the best part of the story! Worth a watch, it does get a little teary at one point, but gives great insight to how confident much of the world was before the war. You can find it on YouTube here.
I think Lombard was the definitive actresses of the screwball comedy genre, and she ranks among the American Film Institute’s greatest female stars of classic Hollywood cinema.
Apparently, she was also nice.
In 1939 she married Clark Gable, a second marriage for her and a third for him. Who knows if it would have lasted. In a ‘Sliding doors” type story, after surviving a car crash so severe it required she undergo plastic surgery, Lombard died in an aircraft crash in Nevada, while returning from a War Bond tour with her mother, on 16 January 1942. She was 33.
Her other wonderful movies include My Man Godfrey (1936) and Mr and Mrs Smith (1941). Enjoy!
I am so grumpy with Blogger at present, and am again in WWII mode, that I have decided to resurrect this blog – I hope you’ll stay with me!
Being an avid watcher of shows about WWII, I am always interested to see that many people could identify an enemy plane by its silhouette, paint color and markings, and even sound. I suppose that after seeing enough of them, you would, but what about the first time – how did they recognise them?
They had help of course – propaganda posters and ads, and even articles in magazines, like this one from February 1942 in the Australian Women’s Weekly.
Of course the red dots, or rising suns, help a lot. I can just imagine little boys all over Australia and the US making models and painting them – and then probably pretending to shoot them down.
I have a kit for the boy somewhere, might have to dig it out!