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Story from a reader
From The Collectors Newsletter #512 -- April 2007 (04-05-2007)

Reading Dorothy's lines about the old time apron has brought back many memories. I remember all those uses and more - including holding the carded wool for spinning, carrying the seed potatoes up the rows for planting, rubbing down a newborn - be it foal or lamb and many more. The thing being of course that all these aprons had something in common - their size. As time has past and needs have changed the apron has shrunk along with it's uses. If you find aprons now they tend to be tiny fancy things - more decoration then use, because the old aprons where usually made by the wearer. Sacking for garden/field work. Calico for rough work/housework/cooking. maybe cotton for cooking when companies due and of course the fancy worked ones for best (when companies arrived). Some made lovingly with Patchwork or stitching, some with pockets or bibs, some without. Each morning when she would get up a fresh apron to start the day. No fancy washing machines - but boiled up in the copper and hung on the line to bleach in the sun. Just as it was a sign of growing up that a girl was given her "first grown-up" apron to mark the fact that she to be treated as an equal in the kitchen/house. Along with the apron came responsibilities. But the home is not the only place where the apron is no longer important - do not forget that once a part of every nurses uniform was the freshly starched white apron - a badge of honor which commanded respect for the training and dedication of so many tireless women. To some it was a mark of servitude, to others a mark of pride. Either way you look at it - times sure have changed. Trish - New Zealand


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