SQUAT

I have done p-didley squat!  Zilch, zero, zip.  Summer has started heating up, the humidity has zapped my energy.  Usually I can muster through, and manage to find pleasure at the sewing machine.  This year I have slowed down.

I hope to have a day today.  I hope to atleast touch fabric.  Perhaps the sight and feel of cloth in my hands will revive the flatline rhythm in the sewing dept.

On a positive note, I have been working on some new recipes, 3 in particular.  I experimented, and my next meals made with the recipe will be tweaked a bit more, and then posted on my other blog, thecookbookproject.wordpress.com .

I have watched a quilt cam involving Bonnie Hunter this week.  She dropped a hint about the leader ender challenge which starts in july.  So I have been scavaging 5 inch squares, cutting up small pieces or strips of fabrics, and making them a little smaller.  Having a double duty project going at the side of the machine is great, amazing how fast you can get a second quilt top finished with the leader ender concept.

And yesterday while at lunch, I had an interesting conversation/revelation.  With vintage machines, prior to WWII, you had ornate decals covering the machine.  After the war, the amount of decals became a whole lot less.  This is my thought, but why did it happen like that.

Ultimately, wouldn’t the woman of the house decided which machine she wanted?  Did the decals show up better in the catalogs, making more sales?  Did the decals go away because the woman had more buying power after WWII?  Lots of women did earn income at this time and after.  Were machines of the day so decorated with decals to add something pretty and ornate to your surroundings in your house?  Were the decals fighting for sales more pre-WWII, vs. after?  Were the decorative sewing machines a sign of status?  And then after the war, everyone had a machine, so they became less stately?

I saw the sales slip for an old singer before the war that cost the owner more than 100 bucks.  Back then, that was A LOT of money.  Perhaps the decals offered more of an incentive to purchase under the revolving debt plan.  Depression era machines are to highly decorated.  Perhaps the only people who could afford to buy, were the wealthy.  I have no idea how to search for this infomation, or if it is even documented out there.

At the turn of the century, the industrial revolution was really just starting to mass produce.  Were the decals a way of enticing someone who handsewed to take the plunge and own one of those beautifully decorated machines?  I know of no elderly person of 100 years of age to ask.  My parents have only seen post war goods with their baby boomer eyes.

What I think is true, the buying power of the woman completely changed after the war.  They had jobs.  They had money, and the husband would be less involved with the decision, therefore the work of decals was not a money maker.  Most people had these devices in their households after the war.  Before the war, the people who used them or needed them on a regular basis would have one.  Perhaps the sale of the machine was a much harder sale before the war, but economies flourished after, and the fight for your piece of pie was easier.

For thought, here is my machine pre war:

domesticclean

Here is the post war machine of 1947:

featherweight2

And the machines of the 60s only have the badge…..nothing ornate.  Most all machines bought today only have the logo on the machine, no decoration.  Perhaps this would be a money maker for the companies to ake the machines more beautiful to the eye, like fabric, as beauty has the power.  Us sewist know all about beautiful fabrics and how they call to us.  If the nicer machines made in japan started revisiting decals from the past, there might be a resurgence of sales.

In reflection, post war machines were starting to be made in Japan, perhaps this is a clue.  If any of you can comment and add to this debate, I would love to hear your point of view.  Please comment below!

A point to ponder….in the meantime, have a great weekend!

2 thoughts on “SQUAT

  1. Way back when, things were made to last. Workers were craftsmen, not humanoids repetitively reproducing the exact widget over and over. Think about the beautiful workmanship in old fences, banisters, lamp posts, etc. Victorians demanded beauty in their items and since only the wealthy could afford new inventions, they were given pride of lace to display their wealth to others.

    WWII consumed everything. People donated metal to be melted, nylon stockings and other items to make who knows what for the war effort. Women did work and earn money for the first time in their lives, but when the war was over they had to abandon those jobs to returning men and resume homemaking.

    As far as women making decisions about purchases, I don’t believe that was possible until the 60s. Men had the jobs, controlled the purse strings and made all decisions. Women had dinner on the table and changed diapers.

    After the war, goods were in high demand so they started cranking out items as fast as they could. So products were streamlined. They were mass produced so craftsmanship went out the window too. And good old “planned obsolescence” became the new business planned. You see where it led.

    I think I’m pretty spot on, but historian I am not. lol. So this must be categorized as IMHO.

    Liked by 1 person

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