The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933
Care of Clothing - circa 1910
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA
Home Guide Disclaimer Copyright Articles  Joyce New
Joyce's Search Tip - November 2008
Do You Know that you can search just the articles on the site by using the Articles button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current What's New Page
Space HERE for your Family scrapbook housekeeping clippings. Just type it up and send in email or Word document. Be sure to say your name and state and who you got the antique clipping from. If you can date the clipping, even approximately, that will be nice, too. This page will be up to your initiative. 
In times past, just as now, many recipes and housekeeping ideas were copied from magazines and passed around among friends and family. They became part of the family's traditions in that way. These clippings are from the scrapbook of my Grandmother, Mildred Mudge [1895-1925] and were pasted in with a heading Care of Clothing. Her scrapbook also includes recipes, care of the sick, and stories of interest. I will present more of these and you are very welcome to submit items on the subject from scrapbooks you may have. Tell who saved them and the date as close as you can.
These items are included here to help us understand the lifestyle and duties of our predecessors. Your female ancestors, regardless of their individual talents and interests, were engaged in housekeeping. They did not have the career choices then that we have now, and they did not have the conveniences in food preparation and household functions that we take for granted. They had no dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, etc. They cooked on a wood stove. They did everything themselves with only their own "elbow grease" and tools far more primitive than those we use. Their household management duties were full time and more and left little time or energy for much else. They relied on magazines and newspapers and each other for recipes and tips on household matters. 

This scrapbook that my grandmother compiled serves as a recipe book and book of household tips. She made it herself from an old Agrucultural Manual. Clippings were pasted on pages, and some book pages were cut out to moderate the book's thickness. Nothing was wasted or discarded before its usefulness was fully exhausted. 

My grandmother died of a brain tumor when my father was just a very small child. It is only through the scrapbooks, letters and notebooks that Mildred left behind that I am able to know her and the world in which she lived. Had she lived in a different time and place, she would most certainly have been a writer. She had an active mind and a variety of interests.  She was systematic, methodical, an organizer. Some of the clippings in the scrapbooks have illustrations which she colored. I'll include a few here.

Tips for Care of Antique Clothing Items at

Joyce's Search Tip - January 2008
Do You Know that you can search just the articles on the site by using the Articles button in the Partitioned search engine at the bottom of the Current What's New Page? .
Care of Clothes.
We all know how soon the men's suits begin to lose their new look after a while.  Sometimes they are caught in a shower or perhaps are carelessly thrown across a chair and left to be discovered by the busy housewife, a  mass of unsightly wrinkles.  Now I think a farmer looks just as nice in a nicely pressed suit as his city brother and I will tell you how to press them to look new and stay so for a long time.  First brush carefully and clean or remove spots or shiny look with alcohol.  Lay the trousers in the original crease.  Dampen a clean white cloth and lay this over them and press with a hot iron until the cloth is quite dry; repeat this process on both sides of seams - that is, both sides of trouser legs.  Do coat sleeves and lapels same way and press back and front of coat very carefully, the crease being laid on seam under the arms.  Clothes carefully brushed and pressed wear twice longer and look ever so much better also.  --Amelia Reisacher, Montgomery, Co., Ill.

How Last Season's Clothes Can Be Made to Renew Their Youth
Though it is difficult to give general advice in the matter of economy in clothes, there are a number of timely hints that may save every one a bit of money here or there.  The last year's suit, for instance, need not be delegated to the charity bundle, no matter how shabby it may seem in the glare of the bright spring sunshine.  If it is shiny at the elbows or across the shoulders at the back, the nap can be restored by a gentle application of emery paper and a soft brush.  Spots can be removed with diluted ammonia and calcined magnesia, or, in the case of alpaca or mohair, pure white soap and lukewarm water will work wonders.  If the collars, pocket flaps and lapels are frayed at the edges, that may be covered with moiré of ottoman silk in a color to match the suit, or bordered with one of the new gallons with silver, gold and Persian designs.  If the buttons that are losing their cloth covering are replaced at the same time with bone or mother-of-pearl buttons, the jacket of the suit will look as good as new.  As for the skirt, if the hem is frayed it may be cut off and replaced with one of the same silk that is to refurbish the collar and cuffs.  A stitched belt of the same silk completes the costume.  If the lace or net yokes and cuffs of silk waists have a worn and ancient look about them, they may be veiled in chiffon most effectively.  In fact, whole waists of lace or all-over net that has done good service may still be retained in the wardrobe if covered with one of those chic little overblouses of chiffon or gauze made in the approved peasant style.  Such a bodice, worn with a messaline or a silk crepe skirt, makes a charming costume for afternoon and dressy wear.  Lingerie waists, or even tailored ones, that have become a little "overworn" around the neckband and at the cuffs may be made to serve many another day if these parts are cut off and the raw edges finished neatly with bias bands and Chanteeler frills.

This is the season for using old pieces of lace to garnish new frocks and old.   Chemisettes and cuffs, tunics, flounces, hats, everything may be touched up with a pretty bit of lace.  Though Chantilly is the prime favorite, none of the others may be said to be out of fashion, save perhaps the heavier Renaissance.  As for hats, if one does not wish to trust them to a hatter to clean and reblock (for they have a way of making them unrecognizable), one may well do it at home with the aid of a little oxalic acid, plain sugar water or gum Arabic.  The oxalic acid is for cleaning purposes.  Applied vigorously with a stiff brush, and then thoroughly rinsed with cold water, it will work wonders.  If the hat is to have a new shape, it should be dipped into hot water, which will make it soft and pliable.  It may then be moulded into any shape with deft hands, turned up or down, stretched or fluted, and laid out in the sun to dry and harden into its new form.  If a generous amount of sugar is put into the water, or a little gum Arabic, the stiffness of the hat will be insured.  Laces and nets may be stiffened in the same manner.  If one wishes to make a mushroom hat out of a straight or an upturned sailor - and this is a wonderful secret - the hat may be placed in a deep bowl or wash basin when wet and left there to dry.  When it is dry it will have assumed the proper bowl-like contour!  Velvet ribbon, if one has not a steamer attachment for the teakettle, may be refreshed by wetting it on the reverse side and drawing it quickly across the flat surface of a hot iron.  Velvet may be mirrored by being pressed on the right side and under a layer of tissue paper.  Silk ribbon should be pressed when only slightly moist.  If it is too damp the ironing will stiffen it.  Women who are clever with their paint brushes can freshen up flowers like the morning dew.  Last year's wreath or garland may serve another season beneath a cloud of tulle or net, or in a closely tied cluster in which the individual blossom does not show prominently.

Some Hints for Work Dresses
To the Editor of the Tribune Farmer.
Sir:  Perhaps some of your readers have not yet finished their spring sewing, and here are a few hints worth trying.  Tier aprons cut by a simple and reliable 10-cent pattern which is in only a few pieces and quickly put together are just the things for hot weather wear about your ironing, baking, etc.  I make mine with elbow sleeves and round or Dutch collar, and wear them without dresses or with odd wash skirts and no waists.  They are easier to launder than wrappers and much cooler and neater.  I am also making some pretty shirtwaists in colors to wear out some odd skirts with.  I shall make them with narrow neckbands having buttonholes worked in them for collar buttons, and I shall wear white collars - either standing or Dutch - with them.  They are so much prettier than white for common unless one has unlimited time for laundering.  When making house dresses, if an inch wide straight strip of the goods is stitched over the gathers at the waist line it is an easy matter to keep waist and skirt from parting company as they often do.  Sew a few buttons to the before mentioned strip, put corresponding buttonholes in the skirt band and the thing is done.  They need not be unbuttoned except when they are washed if the skirt opens at the side front, as is usually the case.  Wear a belt like the dress and finish the neck with a round turnover collar, and you will look as neat as the proverbial "new pin."

Wearing a Hip Pad.
It is unsightly to see an improperly adjusted pad worn beneath the skirts.  But many women to wear the small triple pad, and when gathered petticoats are placed over it, the skirt is lifted and bulges over the band, frequently destroying the good effect which can be produced with a flat pad.  The only proper manner to wear one is to place it beneath the corset, lacing it to the body.  Avoid gathered skirts unless very slender, and have all undergarments neatly arranged over the hips.

Wear Your Clothes Well.
Study to wear your clothes well.  The ability to wear clothes is the difference between women.  That is the reason why, sometimes, the girl who stands behind the counter in the dry goods store is more stylish in appearance in her inexpensive dress than many of her wealthy customers in their rich gowns.  The sales girls, not all of them but many of them, have learned the secret of a good appearance - that to wear one's clothes with dignity and becomingness is the real secret of being a good dresser.

Ladies Home Journal - May 1906 - Advertisements
From Joyce's Museum
Sewing Machine and Clothing Advertisements
Fabric [Yard Goods} Advertisements
Patterns by Category - These are from pages where several patterns are shown. I have selected one from each category. You can see this entire beautiful magazine, and others of the period,  at my museum.
For Girls 14 to 18 Description For Girls 18 to 20
Styles Suitable for Summer Clothing Summer Gowns for the Street
Tub Frocks for Little Girls
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 06 JAN 2008 
By Joyce M. Tice
Email: Joyce M. Tice


 See more graphics at
The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933