What Every Woman Wants To Know: Every-Woman’s Encylopedia

A friend of mine who used to have an antique store gave us boxes of old magazines for the Op Shop. He says they are not worth the bother of selling online as they have loose and missing pages and other faults but that we might still get something for them.

As Naomi and I love old stuff and I knew that we were running short of storage space at the shop I volunteered to have them at home and sort them out. Several boxes went back to the shop last weekend but there are odds and ends that got missed and I thought I’d share a couple of them today.

Two magazines circa 1911

These are two old copies of Every-Woman’s Encyclopedia which were on sale in installments. I could not find a date on them but it seems that King George V was on the British throne and there is no mention of WWI. I found a reference to 1911 in one of them so I’m going to say I think they are from that year or maybe early 1912. I found no reference to the Titanic in either and that was big news that year.

The magazines cover all sorts of subjects, there are recipes, tips on home nursing, childcare, fashion, and sewing as well as articles about prominent women.

Some helpful advice from a nurse.
Recipe pages.

Here are some interesting bits.

The Women’s Law Book

This chapter covers juvenile law and talks about such things as Parental Discipline, Juvenile Smoking, Intoxicating Liquor to mention a few. There is also a couple of pages about the law as it is applied to servants covering such things as Employer Liability, Workers Compensation, Burglary and “When the Master is Liable”.

An article about marriage

“Marriage”  by “Madge” (Mrs. Humphrey) includes helpful advice for husbands and wives about gift giving;

To bring home to an already overcrowded household a pair of vases which are “two things more to dust” is not the way to arouse rapturous sentiment in the bosom of one’s wife.

To buy cigars, socks, waistcoats or even ties for one’s husband puts him under a feeling of obligation, while, very often he execrates  the”vile taste”, of the wife as he considers it, with the best intentions , trodden on his tenderest sartorial feelings.

The article tells us that “it is very bad for any husband for his wife to fetch and carry for him in a servile way.” and that “Men are very careless, as a rule, about their own clothes.”

There is even a handy pull out first aid guide for the reader to hang on the wall.

A handy pull out chart.

It’s a fascinating glimpse into the world that our grandmother’s and great grandmother’s lived in.  My maternal grandmother was a young wife just before WWI so I can easily imagine her reading this perhaps with her older sisters in 1911.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge : Books or Paper

I’ve gone with vintage items from around the house for this challenge of “Books or Paper” The small tins are actually items Mum bought herself while shopping during the seventies. There is still mustard in the Keens tin. I love the old graphics and designs on these old items. Thinking about the street directory how do people get on with them today? I noticed you can still buy one even though most choose to use a GPS device. Who uses airmail paper these days. It’s all email now or text messages. No one actually writes anything on paper anymore to send by snail mail. Another lost art which is sad. I used to get quite excited about getting a letter from a friend. The tickets are all from concerts that I attended with either Vanda or my cousin Della. They were such good times too. Tickets are not usually made like this anymore and all look the same. I love the paper Xmas bell. It is quite fragile and made of very thin tissue like paper. The post cards are some of the ones I have collected over the years.

Old Magazines

A friend of mine, knowing that Naomi and I love old stuff, gave me a heap of old magazines recently. Most are women’s magazines, a few really old ones from the 1940’s or earlier and some from the 50’s. There are also some from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s which don’t feel such a long time ago to me. A few are old copies of Life and some that many Australians will remember Pix and the Australasian Post. I spent an afternoon sorting these out from the old craft and gardening magazines which are probably headed for the Op Shop and of course I could not resist reading a bit here and there.

The Australasian Post and Pix magazines were more general interest magazines and featured a lot of bikini girls.

It is fascinating to see the old advertisements in magazines, what people bought and how it was marketed. In the really old ones you see ads for  strange sounding health remedies and cigarette ads that promote them as healthy. In the Australian ones there are ads for products and stores now long gone except in my memory.

Ads showing cigarettes as Christmas gifts.
GE Reflector Toaster
Mum had a toaster just like this.

I also enjoy reading the letters from readers especially the “Agony Aunts”. I always did like to read those when I was young. In the teenage section of an Australian Women’s Weekly from the sixties there is a discussion about whether it is appropriate for parents to accompany their children to job interviews. A student writes about how she has made a plan to save money to buy things she wants. Another reader tells how she met pop star Normie Rowe.

Readers letters.

A mother writes about the difficulties of getting her children to help around the house and what can be done about it.

An article about getting children to help around the house.

The other thing that I enjoy about old magazines are the beautiful graphics. Although there are photographs of course there was a lot more artwork and a lot of it is very nice.

Two magazines printed in the years that Naomi and I were born.

I have to confess I even read the fiction.

These are just a few samples from half a dozen  magazines I grabbed out of  the box. I may do another post later showing some of the older ones and other bits and pieces that I found interesting.