Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"100 Crazy Patchwork Stitches"

“100 Crazy Patchwork Stitches”
During the height of the crazy quilt rage, trade cards and stitch guides merged into one. On July 1st, 1884 the most iconic one – used to advertise the Singer Sewing Machine – was patented. That is not to say that it was made for Singer – in fact the original card had a darling little girl in the center, with the patent date in the front and ‘100 Crazy Patchwork Stitches’ on the back.

The card had areas for printing a message in the lower right front of the card and in the center of the stitch guide on the back. Singer’s trade card eliminated the Pat’d July 1st, 1884 on the front of the card and changed the smiling little girl in the center to an image of their latest sewing machine model. The stitch guide on the back was altered to incorporate a larger area for ad messaging. In most cases, the patent date of 1884 is printed on the back.

Row 1 Images:
1-2) Girl in Center: Compliments if George Copeland, Franklin, N.Y. (same message front and back) [I have another one from R. & J. Gilchrist, Boston. Ribbons by the pound, and embroidery silks for Crazy Patchwork];
3) Sewing Machine: Front: Latest and Best (by machine) and Have you seen the new Improved Family Singer Sewing Machine? (bottom area);
4) Back: The “Improved Family” Singer Sewing Machine, Is very light running, has a high arm, and makes the finest stitch of any machine ever built. Call at our office. No trouble to show them. The Singer Man’f’g Co., 180 Summit St. Toledo. (Patented 1884 in tiny print at bottom.)

Row 2 Images - Other Crazy Patchwork Images on Trade Cards:
1) Girl No. 38 – Holding a Fan: he Popular Sterling Piano, 179 & 181 Wabash Avenue.
2) Girl No. 38 – Blue Hair Ribbon: Blank [I added my info.] These two images are very similar – there are at least four different girls in this set. Are there any more?
3) The 20 piece Crazy Quilt, USM Paper Mill Budget, Paper & Envelopes of Superior Quality, Assorted Colors & Tints, U.S. Mail, Series No. 617

Row 3 Images:
1-2) Crazy Stitches No. 4 (pg 84), Crazy Stitches No. 2 (pg 82) from Art Needlework, Knitting, Crocheting and Embroidery by The Brainerd & Armstrong Co. (1885)[There are 4 pages of Crazy Stitches in this book – the other two are mostly motifs. It is not known at this time if these were the ones included with the silk packages.]
3) 100 Crazy Stitches from the front inside cover of Diagrams of Quilt Sofa and Pin Cushion Patterns, 10th Revised Edition, Ladies Art Co., St Louis, Mo. [VERY CLEAR that LAC borrowed from B&A]

Two other well known companies used ‘100 Crazy Stitches’ in their ads from 1884 until 1902. Silk thread manufacturer Brainerd & Armstrong Co. was advertising by September 1884 and was still using the term in 1895. The Ladies Art Company had ads in 1900-1902 offering the stitches in their catalogs. By 1913, they still included ‘crazy stitches’ in their ads, but dropped the 100. Check out the text in their ad – quite interesting.

It is interesting to note, that from 1884 to 1887 Brainerd & Armstrong sold 1 ounce of embroidery silk for 40 cents, but by 1889, the same amount of silk was ‘half price’ but still 40 cents! Designs for 100 styles of Crazy Stitches were enclosed in each package sold.

Brainerd & Armstrong Co.
Ad Text from Folio, October 1885, Page 143:
Crazy Quilts and Patchwork. About 10 different colors of embroidery silk, making an ounce package, will be sent by mail on receipt of 40 cents in postal note or stamps. Also one dozen beautiful applique figures, assorted styles, for 50 cents. One hundred different designs for crazy stitches will be sent with every box of embroidery silk.

Ad Text from Good Housekeeping, Vol. 2, May 1 1886, page iv:
To embroider crazy quilts – get Brainerd & Armstrong’s factory ends, call Waste Embroidery. 40 cents will buy one ounce, which would cost One Dollar in Skeins. All good silk and beautiful colors. Designs for 100 styles of Crazy Stitches enclosed in each package.

Ad Text from Science, Vol. 19m, 1892, page 56:
Waste Embroidery Silks. Factory Ends at half price; one ounce in a box. All good silk and good colors. Sent by mail on receipt of 40 cents; 100 crazy stitches in each package.

Brainerd & Armstrong Co. List of Ads:
Report of annual convention By Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Vermont, Sept 1884, page 101;
The Current, Vol. 4, August 1885, page 430;
Folio, Oct 1885, page 143;
Good Housekeeping, Vol. 2, May 1 1886, page iv;
The Churchman, Vol. 53, Jun 26, 1886, page 733;
The Commencement Annual By University of Michigan, June 1886, page 88;
The Chautauquan, Vol. 7, 1887;
The Century: A Popular Quarterly, Vol. 31, April 1886, page 993

Says 1/2 price – but still 40 cents.....
The Old & New Testament student, Volume 9, Dec 1889, page 398;
The Atlantic Monthly, 1890, page 288;
The Chautauquan, Vol. 10, March 1890, page 787;
The Illustrated American, August 29, 1892, page 97;
Science, Vol 19, 1892, pages 56, 98, 112;
The Outlook, Vol 50, 1894, page 731;
St. Andrew’s Cross, Vol. 10, 1895, Feb. 1896, Page 147

Brainerd & Armstrong Co. or The Brainerd & Armstrong Spool Silk Co.Philadelphia, PA; New York, NY; New London, Conn.; Boston, Mass.

Ladies Art Co. List of Ads:
Quilt Patterns Sofa and Pin Cushion Designs (400 designs)
Home and Flowers: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine to the Home Beautiful, Nov 1900, Vol. 9, page 27;
Home Needlework Magazine, 1901, Vol. 3, page 94

Quilt Patterns Sofa and Pin Cushion Designs (420 Designs)
Home and Flowers: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine to the Home Beautiful, Dec 1901, page 63;
The Delineator, 1902, pages 635, 819 and 1095

Ad Text from Home & Flowers, Vol. 9, 1900:
Quilt Patterns Sofa and Pin Cushion Designs
Every quilter should have our book of 400 Designs, containing the prettiest, queerest, most grotesque, scarcest patterns, from old log cabin to stars and puzzle designs, unique, beautiful, including 100 crazy stitches, set post paid for 10c. Ladies’ Art Co., Dept 19R, St. Louis, Mo.

Ad Text from Hints: The Entertainment Magazine, Vol. XVI, No. 2, Oct. 1913, Page 3:
Quilt Patterns. Every quilter should have our book of 450 designs, containing the prettiest, queerest, scarcest, most grotesque patterns, from old log cabin to stars and puzzle designs; also crazy stitches & Cat.All postp’d for six 2c stamps (or silver dime) 3 for 25c. Ladies’ Art Co., Block 129, St. Louis, Mo.

450 designs by 1913 – mentions Crazy Stitches but not the ‘100’ in front. On the back cover of the 1922 version of the LAC catalog, only Crazy Stitches is printed and there are fewer than 50 stitches and motifs.

More information regarding the Ladies Art Co. can be found at http://ladiesartcompany.com


ezrablu said...

This is awesome! Thanks!

Journeys With Janis said...

A wonderful article. Thanks.