Saturday, August 06, 2016

Time Capsule: A Pressing Aid Reveals the Past

I remember making this pressing aid in 4-H, when I was 16. I used a couple of magazines, rolled tightly and secured with masking tape, and then covered the roll with a piece of heavy woolen fabric, several layers of cotton flannel, and a removable muslin cover. 

I've used this sleeve roll since 1969, about 47 years. It was in need of a new cover, and I do own other contraptions for pressing sleeves and other tight areas. I'd always fantasied about opening up and reading the magazines inside, so I did!

The end of the roll was already coming loose and the flannel was shredding.

The treasures revealed.

The layers of coverings.

                                                                    The masking tape.

I found two magazines inside: the Ladies Home Journal that I remembered putting in there, from November 1969, and a Saturday Evening Post from 1963. As I leafed through these magazines, I was struck by how little things had changed: we still buy many of the products advertised, like frozen fish sticks and Rice-A-Roni. However, much has changed in how we regard women, for which I am very grateful. I was also struck by the proportion of editorial (the articles and photos) as compared to advertisements. Nowadays, we get less to read and look at from magazines, and far more ads.

 The back page of most women's magazines advertised Breck shampoo, with a pastel  "Breck Girl"

Babies were big:

Cars were snazzy; televisions came in a fancy wooden cabinet; appliances were major purchases and were sold by a man in a suit:

Ironing, toddlers, and daytime television took up women's time. Whether or not a daughter could grow up to work as a "lady engineer" was controversial.

 Sweat came from "feelings," not exercise, and one could "reduce" by being lazy:

Women either spent lots of time at the beauty parlor under a hair dryer in rollers, or they slept overnight in rollers. Hot rollers were new, and you didn't have to sleep in them:

I am currently pressing my time capsule contents under a stack of heavy art books to help remove the curliness so I can continue to enjoy them in the months to come.