Vintage Household Hints

Vintage Household Hints
Designed by
All Rights Reserved

clotheslinePART ONE: 1928 and 1929

I love vintage magazines, especially those from the 1920's through the 1940's. During that time period our country suffered through The Great Depression, Prohibition, and World War II, among other events.

The average wife and mother was responsible for feeding and caring for her family in a time when many men were searching for work, in the military or working away from home. Most of those women weren't in the spotlight or the social pages.

They were too busy figuring out how to stretch the little money they did have coming in, which often meant tending a garden, raising animals, cooking, sewing, baking, repairing clothing to last longer than it should, and making sure their children were educated, healthy and loved. During the war they had to add on other responsibilities to help their country and community. These women were resourceful and strong.

When I find cookbooks and magazines from those years I always keep that in mind as I read the articles and thumb through the recipes. I not only take away helpful advice, but it reminds me that my family can get through the tough times with a little ingenuity.

The tips below are from various 1928 and 1929 editions of Woman's World magazine. The page they come from is titled "The Postman's Whistle Page". 

When I read through tips, I always pass by advice to use chemicals now known to be unsafe. One example is a tip for removing paint stains by sponging the area with chloroform, which we now know is toxic and can cause death in very small amounts. It's horrifying to think it was once available for household use. 


Removing Small Grease Spots: Laundry starch or cornstarch will take the grease spots out of any light material. Rub the starch well into the material then brush out. 

Berry and Cherry Stains: Remove berry and cherry stains before article is washed in suds. Boiling water poured from a height will usually do it. 

Chewing gum: Gum may be removed with alcohol, as may fly-paper marks. 


To sharpen needles: Stitch a few inches through a piece of fine sandpaper and your blunted needle will be ready to use. 

Pockets that Don't Rip Off: When stitching pockets on children's clothes, begin in the middle of the pocket, stitch to the top on one side, then turn and stitch down again. Repeat for the other side, beginning again in the middle. (Note: This is also good for strengthening the pockets of hospital scrubs or other work clothing with pockets.)

Trimming for a Little Girl's Dress: From the scrap bag select pieces of fast-colored prints; small rose designs, baskets of flowers or some colorful figures will do. Cut tiny squares containing the desired figures, turn narrow hems all around, and baste on collar, cuffs and wherever else desired. Buttonholing or machine hemstitching may hold the squares in place. This simple decoration is quickly achieved and will delight the child. 

Matching Embroidery Floss: When embroidering, keep the numbers of the floss used, and when the article is finished, tie the numbers to the floss left over. By doing this, you can always use floss left over and at the same time be assured of matching, in case more is needed. 


Dependable Clothesline Prop: If the wire clothesline needs a prop under it, fasten a small round pole to the line by means of a wire staple, driven over the line and into the end of the pole. It can be moved along the line as needed, and will not blow down or slip. 

Cold Weather Laundry Help: If you take a flat bottle full of hot water with you to gather clothes which are frozen to the line, you can quickly thaw them off without damage to even the most fragile materials. You will not get cold fingers either.



About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


Seasonal Feature
Summer Harvest Tea

Before the cool weather sets in, enjoy the bounty of your herb, flower and vegetable gardens by giving a Summer Harvest Tea Party. Plan your theme around the garden, invite friends and family. Don't make it a formal affair, but rather a way to celebrate everyone's gardens and share produce, flowers, seeds and advice.

Read More…
Home & Garden

Harvesting and Using Summer Squash

Summer squash is one of my favorite vegetables. I love the yellow summer squash in particular. They should be harvested while still tender, when they have a "glossy" appearance and are still small. You will most likely need to harvest daily once they start to appear.

Read More…
antibiotics online canadian drugs antibiotics antibiotics from canada