Sunday, May 17, 2009

Armchair Archaelogist

I always wanted to be an archaeologist in the grand style of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and dig up ancient cultures. Alas, I was born about 150 years too late and with too much of a love of air conditioning. However, I still love to seek out new worlds and new civilizations and boldly go where no man has gone before: vintage sewing patterns.

I've been archiving my collection in Silver Comic Book sleeves with acid free cardboard backers. $3.99 for 100 sleeves and $7.99 for the backboards. I've been labelling away and had a little trouble with a couple of patterns' dates. I knew from the styles that they were without a doubt from the 30s, but other than a decade, I couldn't get much farther. One was a Ladies' Home Journal pattern sold by Ed. Sarrazin of Fayetteville, TX at his general store and the other was a New York Pattern. Both LHJ and NY Patterns' information are hard to come by since not much detail is known about them.

However, both of these patterns had something in common... A strange little symbol of an eagle holding something and the initials "NRA". Now in modern parlance, NRA means the National Rifle Association. But in the 30s, notsomuch. In 1933, FDRs New Deal was supposed to help ease the effects of the Great Depression through the creation of numerous federal entities that would oversee different aspects of industry and commerce. There's a little blurb on this at History Matters. I'd say history is repeating itself right now...



But aside from current politics, the symbol intrigued me. I looked up the slogan "We Do Our Part" in Google and was led to Wikipedia's entry. Basically, that little emblem and slogan narrows down my patterns' ages to between July of 1933 and Spetember of 1935. That's less than a two year spread!

Once I'm done archiving these patterns, I'll be scanning them and fixing them to upload to the Vintage Patterns Wiki.

2 comments:

Trudy Callan said...

That's really cool.

www.sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com

Bessie B. said...

I have a few patterns with the NRA logo on them. They are quite a rarity! It really is fascinating researching and dating patterns, isn't it? :D