Now that I know what I’m looking for, I do seem to be stumbling across old issues of The Farmer’s Wife with startling frequency. And I’m enjoying it immensely. I found this stack of seven recently.
How much fun is this? All of them follow the same basic format – a few serialized stories, some tips for the home maker, and lots of ads. Not really that much different from Woman’s Day or Family Circle, modernly.
This issue, from October, 1935, has a cover with a woman dressed in the latest fashion. Like most issues, inside you’ll find a few pages of sketches of new fashions along with instructions to send away for the mail-order patterns for them. There are, likewise, mail order quilt patterns and other crafts advertised. There are no actual patterns to be found, unlike some of the issues from the 1920’s, where full knitting patterns or such are found in the pages. This is the issue that contains the letter, “Earn Before Spending,” that accompanies the Susannah block in the Farmer’s Wife 1930’s book.
Most of each issue is black and white, with only a couple color pages. The covers, in particular, are glorious works of vintage art. Here are some more.
I note that intermittently, there is a background pattern behind the artwork, as in this issue from November, 1934.
This one is a little later, and the typeface is more Art Deco. It contains the letter “I’ve changed my mind,” that is paired with the Peony block.
This one is the only one in my meager collection with artwork that goes edge to edge on the front cover.
This cover has a bit more of a Rockwellian feel to me. And contains the tag line, “More than a Million Copies a Month” – which speaks to the popularity of it.
This might be my favorite. I love the mischievous smile on our painted cover girl.
And, of course, I love the little baby on this cover, bottle and all.
You’ll note that not every issue I came across HAS a block/letter from it in the book. That’s not a surprise, when you think that there were 120 issues published in the 1930’s, and only 99 blocks in the book. Plus, sometimes you’ll find more than one letter/block come from a single issue. Still, I love them all and I’ll leave you with a few more goodies from the interior pages.
Here, for instance, are some of the letters from one issue. Notice, too, that the letter writers got paid, if their letter was printed!
I may have to try making this cake. Caramel Cake sounds like it would be a big hit today, too!
OK, I’m off to go try to get a bit more caught up on my Farmer’s Wife 1930’s quilt AND finish quilting Dog Gone Cute. Wish me luck!