Monday, October 13, 2008

Making do in 1934

Here's one you really need to click for a larger view.

Magazines were BIG back then!

Magazine ad in the comic strip style, from Pictorial Review, August 1934, acknowledging higher prices for goods as a result of FDR's Recovery Program. Interesting use of "Okeh" instead of "Okay"!

Here's a full close-up of the magazine's advice centered at the page bottom:


Christy said...

This is great! I was amazed they used a size 16 as the example - is that the same size as today's 16?

Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

The '30's is a fashion decade i don't know much about. I've got a bunch of different 1920's catalogs and they use a whole different sizing system. Apparently during the 1930's the industry apparently began adopting the "8, 10, 12," etc., system we have now, but with values assigned to the numbers that have clearly changed a lot. A 16 then was probably about a 10 now but that's a guess -
this government pamphlet (You might want to skip it - it's a PDF and very tedious to wade through!) has tables in detail, and obviously completely voluntary. Early on, i'm sure garment makers figured out that if they called something by a smaller number, we'd go "Ahh! I'll take it!" more often. 8~) Works for me!

Catherine said...

Fabric for 95 cents a yard. Those were the days...

ronnie said...


Christy - I too widened my eyes at 16 being the example. Size 16 may well be the average person's size now, but acknowledging that in an ad would be verboten!

And thanks Ruth for the explanation of the NRA. The National Rifle Association guarding sweatshops, I could see; but doing away with them?

My mom made our clothes until around 1980, when cheap foreign imports made buying the fabric, pattern and trim more expensive than buying new - and that was before you calculated in your own labour. How times have changed. Now the sweatshops have simply been moved overseas.


Mike said...

In my last week at my now-previous paper, we ran an ad from 1933 in our Lookback feature in which a clothing store bragged not only about good prices for the consumer but good wages and fair treatment for its workers. And displayed the NRA eagle to show its solidarity with the move to rebuild the economy.

Ronnie said...

I wasn't very old and didn't understand a lot of what was going on, but I remember big flags flying at factories and businesses that were complying with the NRA. It was a very big deal. Consequently, it is the first thing I think of when I hear those initials. Much pleasanter association.