Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The History of Aprons

I don't know if our kids know what a thin apron is…

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect

the dress underneath, because she only had a

few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses

And they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing

steaming hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on

occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying

eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched

eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent

over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.

After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the Fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was

surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the

porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was

time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something

that will replace that 'old-time apron that served so many purposes.

REMEMBER: Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the

window sill to cool. Her Granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

This nice piece about aprons was passed along to me by Theresa Mustard, who will be one of the dealers at Bluebird's Vintage Market on May 1st. Theresa and her husband Jack have owned antique shops in Crane for many years, but now are focused on shows and travel in their RV. She has fabulous costume jewelry, lots of Shawnee and other vintage pottery, and what I call girly things (hats, gloves, vanity items), Plus probably a whole lot more we'll see at the Market! She always has some surprises!
In addition to Theresa and Jack's great vintage finds, we'll have apron expert extraordinaire Debbie Sanders from Republic, and incidently she's a fellow classmate from Republic High. You may have seen a feature in the Springfield News-Leader recently on Debbie's aprons, which are sold at Minden Place Antiques in Republic.
And a final ramble on the apron subject! My daughter Natalie has inherited her Grandma Nita's 'good cook' gene will be on hand at the Market with a mini tea-room featuring some of our family's favorite home made treats: Granny Bridges' chocolate cake is one you might want to sample, plus a whole lot more so save some room....
And I won't be surprised to see my daughter wearing.....an APRON!


  1. Thanks for coming by my blog today and signing on as a follower! I think I have a piece of bluebird china! There is a picture of it on my blog a few posts back. I have it for sale in my booth. I was just drawn to it because of the sweet little bluebirds, but I knew nothing about it. Can you provide me with some info about it? Thanks!


  2. So nice to meet you here Polly! I have been a bluebird china collector since college days. Homer Laughlin made a LOT of it and there is a Schiffer book on published on the topic. Jo Cunningham who has written extensively about HL china has a couple of my pieces shown in one of her books. I date it to the 1920s-30s but I have seen ads for it in early 1900s catalogs. That sweet chubby bluebird with the apple blossoms has become my favorite image. Is there a mark on the bottom of your piece? Sometimes you can tell the year it was made by that. I saw the piece shown on your blog and hope you find more!

  3. Hi Teresa, just love this post on aprons and all the sweet nostalgic ideas they bring. Both of my Grammas wore aprons every day. I think it is such a sweet tradition. I saw the aprons at the store, they were absolutely darling! I need to find out which booths are yours at SC and STD. I'm really having fun with the larger space, so glad you found it! I'm planning on being at your Bluebird Market, I'll need exact directions I'm easily lost otherwise!! Oh, and I can't wait for Relics to open, I so want it to be wonderful!

  4. Thanks Debra! I sent you the directions and I'll post them here closer to the event.

  5. Loved this post. It's so true -- I kept thinking about all those germs on the apron. Jan

  6. I love aprons always remember my grandmother wearing them.My mother does as well.I dont own one,lol.I think I will just have to get one this year....maybe for the holidays.Great post!