Saturday, 7 April 2018

A Wealth of Weldon's


I didn't expect to literally come home with an armful of Weldon's magazines dating from the 1920s on Thursday. Talk about surprise and impulse purchase!


One of Stroud's oldest independent secondhand bookshops is closing its doors for the final time after 40 years of serving the town's bookworms and ephemera aficionados. They're having a big closing down sale and amongst the plastic boxes of books lined up outside the shop were two big bags full of the magazines. I wasn't going to pass up this opportunity to add to my stitchery archive!

I brought about 35 magazines, with the earliest dating from February 1924 and the oldest, December 1929.


Covering the years 1924 through to 1929, they're proving to be fascinating to look through and many still have their original patterns - both used and untouched; some even factory folded.


Inside the magazines are black and white illustrations of the patterns featured...





...along with the usual adverts for female health and beauty, needlecraft supplies, food and household sundries.

  


There's even beauty tips. I particularly like this one on how to achieve Hollywood starlet hair; although the brand name featured doesn't sound very glamorous!


The thing I love about old magazines such as these is that you don't know what to expect hiding between the pages; handwritten notes, a postcard or perhaps a colourful scrap for an album. One of these magazines offered up an otherwise forgotten 'treasure', a printed paper bag from a long-gone gentleman's outfitters in Swindon. I looked up its former premises on Google Maps, only to find that its now a very nondescript building housing The Body Shop.


However, I did find online a photo showing S.B. Cole & Son in their heyday and they even had their own enamel advertising signs too...

Picture Source

Picture Source

One of the best things about these magazines are their gorgeous covers, so evocative of the 1920s and their fashions. 





Aren't they fab?

Its quite rare to discover a clutch of these inter-war magazines as many were recycled as part of the armaments drive in the Second World War. These were definitely a lucky find.



18 comments :

  1. I think the Knitting and Crochet Guild archive would be interested in your amazing find, especially if you were unable to keep them. Many of the clothes remind me of the clothes illustrated in the Milly-Molly-Mandy books.

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    1. Yes, I think they would PixieMum and I thought that they'd be useful for costume designers too.

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  2. That is such a shame about the bookshop closing down but what a fabulous find. Those magazines look in great condition and so nice that some still have the patterns in. I love the illustrations and the adverts are great. What a very stylish paper bag. I would have loved to visit that shop in its heyday. Do you think that you will use any of the pattens to make things? Xx

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    1. If Monkeychild was still young enough for me to dictate her choice of clothes, then I think I'd have made a couple of the drop-waisted dresses for summer. However, at 11 she's now succumbed to the rails of New Look! x

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  3. What a find - all that social history.

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    1. I know! Its just not about the patterns but the adverts too :-)

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  4. Amazing find, no wonder you bought them! One of my joys when working at the Bodleian was reading all the adverts in old copies of Country Life, we used to read them aloud in our best BBC accents.

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    1. Ha! That sounds like fun. I've a few from the late 1940s so will have to give that a go!

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  5. Amazing find, I have magazine envy!

    Julie xxxxx

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    1. I couldn't believe my eyes either! Monkeychild was totally puzzled as to my reaction when I saw them:"But they're just old magazines Mum!"....

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  6. What an incredible find. I love this era and the illustrations are just beautiful.
    Well done for saving them.

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    1. Thanks Textureknit, they're worth it just for the illustrations alone.

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  7. Wow!What an amazing find.Absolutely fascinating.What a piece of social history.I am so envious.

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  8. I agree, what a find! No wonder you couldn't pass the opportunity to buy. I join the others who are envious of your find.

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  9. They are absolutely fabulous, Liza! Even if I don't sew, they'd still have come home with me. The don't do magazine covers like that anymore, and I love the illustrations! They're like little time capsules, aren't they. And oh, those adverts would keep me occupied for hours. As for the little surprises, I once bought a paperback with a reduction voucher from a long-defunct shop in Antwerp. The voucher was valid until April 1950 ... xxx

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  10. I had serious envy when I saw you'd got those - you'll have to share more pictures and not leave us in suspense. How great that you were able to find out more about the outfitter from swindon.

    Heh to the shampoo - nearly a century later coconut oil is being touted as a beauty cure-all.

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  11. Goodness me, i bet you were in your element! the illustrations are divine but it's the adverts I love, some are hilarious! xxx

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  12. Oh wow! What a fantastic find, such a wealth of information and style inspiration! I particularly love the dress in the 5th picture with the embroidered neckline and detail down the skirt pleats.

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