COLLECTING: needle packs

NEEDLE PACKS: More from the archives.

For all you fans of needle packs, sewing ephemera, mid century ephemera, women's history, historians of sewing and needlle arts, graphic design lovers ...have I named all the fan categories for mid twentieth century needle packs? Of course not. Why do you love needle packs? Enlighten me.

Meanwhile here are some more delicious images from the Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections.

Needle pack coal easel drop signed 1000
Unusual needlepack in the shape of a coal bin. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections.

 

Needle pack home guard custom color paint easel s Liza Cowan Ephemera collections
A gift from Gambles Home guard Custom Matched Colors, diecut in the shape of a paint can. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections.


Needle pack united states ship liza cowan ephemera collections
United States, Ocean liner. The popular travel theme.


Needle pack lucky lucky new york paris Liza oan Ephemera collectioan
Lucky Lucky New York-Paris. Needle book, Lucky That's all. Liza Cowan Ephemera collections.


Needle pack one world Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections
One World.  World's best needle book. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections.

 

Needle pack bulldog  children running with dog liza Cown ephemera collections
Bulldog Needle Book. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections.

 

Needlepack pigo needle book Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections
Pigo Needle Book. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections

 

Needle pack army navy Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections
The army an Navy Needle Book. Liza Cowan Ephemera Collections

 




NEEDLE BOOKS FROM J. MEGAN MAYS

J. Megan Mays is one of my favorite customers at Pine Street Art Works. She gets what I'm doing -  and shares my passion for ephemera. Last week she brought in a disc of scans from her collection of vintage needle books so I could share them with you. Yay Megan, thanks so much for spreading the love of mid century needle book graphics.

The first three are just graphically stunning and simple. They are unusual for the genre because they do not feature people. I've never seen another one like this homage to sewing accessories.

Needlebook, sewing illustration, pin cushion, sewing tape measure, scissors, pins  

Needle book. Collection of J. Megan Mays. Made in USA.

Needlebook Ideal Laundry (house) from J. Megan Mays 

Needle book -Ideal Laundry. Collection of J. Megan Mays

Needlebook, Woolworth, needle illustration, thread, needles in sunrise

Woolworth Needle Book - Collection of J. Megan Mays. Made in Western Germany.


Typical for needle books is the travel theme because a needle and thread can be so handy on a journey. Railway, airplane, ships, even rockets are common themes for travel in needle land. This family seems on a mythical trip through the Alps.

Needlebook, family travel by train, family 1940's, rail travel, needle case, mother father duaghter in train

The Silvertown, needle case. Collection of J. Megan Mays

Here is the same family in a different, probably earlier guise. You often see the same graphic worked and reworked by different artists and factories.

needle book, maple brand, family looks at mountains, train travel, child pointing 

Maple Brand Needle Book. Collection of J. Megan Mays

This family of four is traveling by air. Or maybe they are welcoming Daddy home after an arduous journey by propeller plane. Gone are the days when we dressed up to travel.

needle book, family with airplane, travel, 1940's, airplane, lady in gloves, father hugs children

Reliance Needle Book. Collection of J. Megan Mays. Made in Japan.

This couple is off to the stars on their own private rocket.

Needlebook, atomic, ride a rocket, man woman ride rocket ship, travel to outer space 1940's 

Atomic Gold Eye Needle Book. Collection of J. Megan Mays. Made in Japan.

Meanwhile, back home, we revisit the theme of women and children sewing. Or, in this case, Mom is sewing and the kids are fighting.

Needlebook, mother sewing, kids fighting, huge sewing needle 

My Own needle book, Collection of J. Megan Mays. Made in Japan

And here we are back to one of the endless variations of a group of women sewing and embroidering.

Needlebook, lovely lady, three women sew, embroider, sewing circle, needle and thread 

Lovely Lady Needle Book, Collection of J. Megan Mays. Made in Japan

So, thanks to Megan for letting me use her collection and I hope you enjoyed it.


INTERVIEW WITH LIZA COWAN AT THE BLOG "EPHEMERA"

diamond dyes, easter, trade card, chromolithograph,  Ephemera is one of my favorite blogs. The impressario (host/blogster)  Marty Weil interviewed me recently and the post went up today. Check it out, and keep it bookmarked because there's always something fascinating going on there for all of you ephemera lovers. 

Here's a snippet:

"One of the ways I use ephemera differently than many people is that I work a lot with details. I love to see what happens when a small portion of the item is isolated and enlarged, so you will often see details on my blog and in the reprints. My photography is often about small abstracted details of larger objects, so it's not a big stretch to see how I come to love the abstracted details of printed images. "


NEEDLE WOMEN ON VINTAGE NEEDLE PACKS

If you've been reading this blog, or if you scroll down the  ephemera pages, you know that I've been collecting needle books for a while. I'm still actively collecting but I thought I'd try to make some order out of the jumble. Of course, there are many ways these can be combined, but here I'm sorting them into categories of women, and women with children. Other needle packs feature travel, space age technologies, or just down and out advertising.

 I've posted most of these images before so you can scroll through the Ephemera or Needle pack categories if you want to see larger images.

Needlepack groups of women blog
Needle books from Pine Street Art Works Ephemera Collection.

These feature groups of women. I have more, and some featuring solitary women, and I'll bring 'em to you soon.


And here's a brand new one. New to me, old to the world, that is. I find it particularly charming.

Superior needle
Superior Needles, collection PSAW. Made in Japan.

Superior needle face detail
Superior Needle, collection PSAW, detail


Superior needle detail 2
Superior Needle, collection PSAW, detail

NEEDLE WOMEN GREETING CARDS FROM PSAW

Paw card broadway needle detail happy birthday 

Superior Needle - (detail) greeting card. Happy Birthday


 

  

 


MORE VINTAGE NEEDLE BOOKS

It's been a while since I posted any new images of needle books. Needle books are one of my many collecting obsessions. They are beautiful, full of social history, and relatively inexpensive.

Air traveller needlebook
Air Traveller Needle Book. Made in Occupied Japan, which dates it from between 1945 and 1952

There are several major themes for needle books. One is travel, which makes sense because a sewing kit is a hand travel item. Needle books contained only needles, no thread or scissors or anything. But still.

Fashion quality needle
Fashion Quality Needles. PSAW ephemera collections. Made in Japan.

This follows another major themes: women sewing. A subset of that is women sewing with their children. Girls, actually. This is one of the mother child. Child is probably sewing for dolly.

One hundred needles
One Hundred Needles. PSAW ephemera collections. Made in Japan



LITHO DETAILS

Yesterday I posted a couple of details from Jello recipe books. I'm enamored of the way the details of the lithography breaks down into dot patterns. Here are some more.


Jello girl what 6 famous detail Jello Booklet, detail.
You can see that someone wrote over the "W" with pencil. People leave mysterious traces of themselves.


Jello girl red detail blog Jello recipe booklet, detail


Jello a door hand detail Jello Recipe booklet, detail


Jello telephone detail
Jello Recipe Booklet, detail


Jello and hand detail blog
Jello Recipe Booklet, detail


Jello house jello built detail blog Jello Recipe Booklet, detail


Jello girl gv Jello recipe booklet, detail



Jello hands and letters Jello Recipe Booklet, detail



Marbled jello Jello Recipe Booklet, detail




Spanish jello detail blog Jello Recipe booklet, detail




Sew and stitch detail blog Needle pack, detail. made in Japan.




Sweetheart needle detail Needle pack, detail. made in Japan.



Needle detail head
Needle Pack, detail. made in Japan



Needle face close
Needle Pack, detail



Needle girl face detail
Needle Pack, detail. made in Japan.



Broadway needle face
Needle Pack, detail. made in japan



Broadway needle kitten close
Needle Pack, detail, made in Japan



Happy home needle book detail blog Needle pack, detail


Rolling chairs-women detail blogAtlantic City Rolling Chair Postcard, detail



Rolling chairs-detail blog Atlantic City Rolling Chair Postcard, detail




Corset-secret-open detail blog Corset trade card, detail



Diamond dyes detail blogDiamond Dyes Trade Card, detail



Eureka health corset detail blog Corset trade card, detail


NEEDLE PACKS, PART 2

It's still snowing here in Burlington, Vermont. There was about a foot of the stuff in my driveway this morning. Although I'm not home sewing, I bet plenty of Vermonters are. So here is part two of the needle pack saga.

Sew_and_stitch_2_blog 

PSAW ephemera collections. Made in Japan


I'm thinking that these could illustrate a rather amusing story. Here, we've gone from a sewing circle to a sewing duet.

Needle_sew_and_stitch_blog

PSAW ephemera collections. Made in Japan

This one is almost identical, and yet not quite.

Sew_and_stitch_blog 

PSAW ephemera collections. Made in Japan.


It seems that there is always one gal sewing while the other one kibbitzes.

Sweetheart_needle_2_blog 

PSAW ephemera Collections. Made in Japan.


And then we move along to the ones that show solo sewers.

Sweetheart_needle_4_blog_2

PSAW ephemera collections. Made in Japan


And this lovely quilter. I've got more coming, and an assortment of place and product packs to show you as well. Someday soon.


NEEDLE PACKS

I guess it's a good time for another adventure in collecting. The snow is flying here in Burlington, Vermont,  and winter is always a good time to knit or sew. Or collect. Here are some great images from my collections of vintage needle packs. These were all printed in Japan probably in the 1950's. The earlier ones say "printed in occupied Japan" placing them between 1945 and 1952"

Happy_home_needle_blog

PSAW ephemera collections. Made in Japan.

Because home sewing is so gendered in this culture, women and children provide a major theme for needle packs. Sewing is also clearly a group activity, enjoyed, so it would seem, by all ages.

Needle_traveler_blog_2

PSAW ephemera collections. Made in Japan.

Often the same configuration is done with different clothing, hairstyles and illustration styles.

Sewing_susan_blog_2

PSAW ephemera collections. Made in Japan.

Sewing Susan must have been a popular packet,because they are the easiest to find.

Sweetheart_needle_3_blog

PSAW ephemera collections. Made in Japan.

The little girl in this packet is relegated to a tiny portion of the lower left hand corner as the Sweethearts become the more important actors.

Needle_sewing_circle_blog

PSAW ephemera collections. Made in Japan.

In a slightly different version they become a sewing circle

Broadway_needle_blog

PSAW ephemera collections. Made in Japan.

Sometimes the children are replaced with kittens playing with the yarn. Many needle packets didn't feature  people, but exploited themes of place or product.