Saturday, January 5, 2008

The History of Aprons

(I don't know who to credit the text to but I received it in an email from my sister-in-law, Bertha Mae Sutliff. Photo courtesy of General Foods Cookbook, 1959, Random House.)

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing 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 carr ying 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 beenshelled, 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 may purposes!

Several of my online friends have aprons on their websites right now so I thought this would be the perfect chance to showcase their work and/or products. Why don't you take a look and see what you can find?

Britta's Tea Parties
Cherry Blossom Cottage
Katie-Bug's Cottage
Preserve Cottage
Shabby in Pink Boutique
Sweet Necessi-Tea's
Treasured Heirlooms
Grandma G's


Sweet Necessi-Teas said...

Thank you so much for the mention in your column about aprons! My best seller is a copy of my grandmother's 1920-style apron that she received as a wedding present. I cannot remember ever seeing her without one over her dress...

Pink Hugs, Karen

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

Ah, aprons are a wonderful thing...and now we can get them in wonderful patters and embellishments.
I got one for Christmas from one of the shops on your list...I love it and it makes me feel sooo pretty.
thanks for the memories.


Sharon said...

I love the "story of aprons"~ wow~ who knew they were so useful. Unfortunately I don't own an apron ~ but then I don't cook. LOLOL~S

Roxie said...

I love this post Debbie, thanks for sharing the history of the apron. I never knew all that stuff. I have a couple of aprons, but for display only, I hate getting the pretty ones dirty. But now, why would I want to buy an ugly one just to use, I'd want the one I wear to be pretty too. What a dilemma. LOL

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie- That is so interesting. They are also great just as decoration. Thank you for the mention.

Connie from Big Bear Lake California said...

Nice Blog!! It makes me remember my Grandmother. It seems like she was always wearing an apron!! I enjoyed my visit. Hope you can stop by for a visit soon. Connie

Bhavana said...

i positively love my aprons. thanks for this beautiful post

Grandma G said...

Debbie.....I have read that article about aprons before....very interesting! There is a website called Apron Chronicles: A Patchwork of American Recollections at: It's worth taking a look at!!
I also have some vintage aprons available on my website: come for a visit!!
My Grammie, like so many, was never without her apron! Thanks for the memories!!
Grandma G's

Cherub Kisses Boutique said...

hi debbie,
i've visited u the past few days now just to listen to your music selections ;o)
i especially have fallen in love with eva cassidy!! have never even heard of her before hearing her song on your playlist.
what a beautiful voice... her cd's should be arriving in my mailbox any day now ;o)
ps. love the history of the aprons something else i adore ;o)