Monday, October 10, 2011

Vintage Goodness (Badness?)

My dear friend Shayna (my sheet supplier!) came to visit over the weekend. We had tons of fun doing things that no one else I know is into -- going to look at antique malls, marveling over the prices and objects (only $1295 for a giant taxidermied eland head!), checking out fabric stores, and ooohing and aahing over the latest Anthro catalogs and BHLDN dresses. Not only did we have a rollicking good time, she also brought over some goodies! A few weeks ago she went to the Oak Glen schoolhouse, where she got me copies of the rules for schoolteachers in an era so vintage, it was a little horrifying. Having taught at some very conservative private schools myself, I found these rules both funny and awful and unfortunately, slightly familiar. Check it out (click on the images for larger versions):
So, pretty much the only hobby teachers are allowed is reading. I would've been a good teacher in 1872, aside from the getting married part.

This is around when Laura Ingalls Wilder would've taught! Interesting that being a suffragette was grounds for immediate dismissal.

How is it that the rules seem harsher in 1915 than in the late 1800s? I totally would have been fired, considering that while I was teaching, I not only got married, but kept company with men, wasn't home before 8 p.m., traveled all over without ever informing the board, rode in all kinds of automobiles with males not related to me, dressed in bright colors sans petticoats, and definitely showed my calves! But! I will say that I have never dyed my hair nor loitered in a downtown ice cream store. I am so glad that those days are over and gone! I think sometimes vintage enthusiasts can get carried away and forget that the Days When Ladies Dressed were also the Days When Ladies Had No Freedom. I understand, of course, that the attire rules were based on the standards at the time and had I lived then, I wouldn't have dreamed of exposing my ankles, much less calves, but I do remember chafing a bit when I first started teaching and was gently reprimanded for the tightness of my jeans at a school sporting day. Also, I was told once that the chevron pattern on my skirt might be distracting for kids with ADHD. 

Anyway. Besides outdated rules and vintage bedsheets, Shayna has also gifted me with such gems as this book:
I just about died laughing when I first saw this. I think it'd be an excellent candidate for this type of book clock.

I can definitely believe that this is the only book of its kind in any language! Note that the author also wrote the Complete Guide to Bust Culture.

I'm pretty sure this book dedication means "To my most hairy friend." Whatever, it was 1938 and people were all depressed. What's a little hair on top of not having a job and having to wait in line for bread?

This whole foreword reads like a joke...did you know that superfluous hair has been a source of suffering and humiliation since the dawn of civilization???
At least the last page offers some good old-fashioned common sense: don't allow your hairiness to cause morbid mental or emotional states; don't overdo it; don't take desperate chances lest you end up even uglier than before.

I just thought these were all hilarious. Back to regularly scheduled sewing soon.

1 comment:

  1. OMG!!!!
    I think I'll make a book clock. Wish I had one of your memorable books!


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