I was lucky enough to come across a number of early 1900s and 1930s Home Notes magazines recently. Loathe as I am to part with them, I know they’ll just end up sitting wrapped up in cellophane in my vintage knitting/magazine collection, so I’ve loaded them up onto the site. Of course, that couldn’t just be the end of it … I sat browsing through them and realised the descriptions were getting longer and longer as I got lost in these fascinating snapshots of a complicated era, so my explorations have ended up here instead.
Home Notes was a women’s magazine including fashion features, stories, recipes, advice and knitting patterns … there’s not a lot of information out there, but from what I can gather it possibly ran from the early 1890s – 1960s, hitting its readership peak in the 1950s.
I’m presently lost in the April 1935 edition – the magazine flaunts its debs and celebs like the the 1930s depression had never happened and it’s an odd mixture of ‘ladies, know your place’ and female pioneering spirit. An advert for Ovaltine is endorsed by the actress Ida Lupino, who went on to be the only woman director in Hollywood in the ’40s. An article by Dorothy Crosbie is entitled ‘I Don’t Envy Today’s Debs’ with the byline ‘Miss Modern’s struggle for a good time is too much like hard work‘, and concludes ‘Now Miss 1935. I want you to look at yourself and take stock of your assets. Are you pretty, smart, well-groomed, intelligent and socially presentable? Yes? Well then, why in the world is it necessary for you to indulge in this breath-taking pursuit of anything male?‘ (more…)