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Saturday, August 9, 2008

We Found Some Workbaskets!

"The first issue of Workbasket Magazine was published October 1935. A husband and wife team; John and Clara Tillotson dreamed up a small 8-page needlework service bulletin in their home on the kitchen table. Each issue described step-by-step directions for making lovely needlework. When the Tillotson first began looking for subscribers, they turned to a list of 5,000 names they had used for another selling idea. Each woman was sent a postcard invitation to join "Aunt Ellen's Needlework Club." This was the beginning of a direct mail business for magazine subscriptions that grew into the largest operation of its kind at that time. From 1935 to 1947 the Workbasket paid its own way and made a profit too, charging $1.00 for 12 issues per year before it's pages were opened to advertisers. Naturally the 8-page Workbasket soon outgrew the house where it originated. The young company, Modern Handcraft, moved into larger business quarters. Several more moves were made. In 1966 the publication moved to 4251 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, Missouri. This new, more modern building encompassed the editorial, circulation and fulfillment departments that served the over 2,000,000 readers of the three publications Modern Handcraft published: The Workbasket, Workbench and Flower and Garden. In order to serve the 1½ million Workbasket readers quicker service, IBM computers were installed."*

* Editorial. "New Home for The Workbasket." Workbasket January 1966: 2

Today, Tom and I found some copies of this magazine at the thrift shop. There were like 10 of them in a plastic bag, on the side of a bag of ribbon. I took a peek and thought, well I can't sew or do needlework, but I may be able to use these for some mixed media art. I figured there had to be something special I could find in magazine from the 50's.

When we got home I started dipping into them. And what fun. Old how to's, recipes, advertisements...all written in a simple, sweet fashion.

We started googling these magazines and now have some of the background. It was quite a magazine with a really long life span. And now we have 10 to enjoy....for 4 bucks!

I love finding an old treasure and making it ours. With it comes history. A lesson. A story.

Thrift stores aren't just places where people bring their old stuff. It's where people bring things they no longer need...but someone else might adore.

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