1930s Pattern Books for Home Goods

As I sorted through the 1930s pattern books from the Awesome Auction Haul, I found three books of patterns for home goods.

The first two are table settings books from 1937, published by The Spool Cotton Company.  That was the J. & P. Coats Company, and all of the patterns recommend Coats Mercerized Crochet cotton, or Clarks’ O.N.T. thread. (The two companies merged in 1952.)

New Table Settings, 1937.

They have a nice mix of projects.  You could choose everything from a simple tray mat of linen with small crocheted corner motifs, to fancy doily sets, to banquet-size tablecloths that required 68 balls of yarn.

Tray mat pattern from 1937.

One that caught my eye was this “Square-A-Day” pattern, because yes, I have one of these!  Although the blocks in mine are smaller.  The one in the book was supposed to contain 15 blocks and finish at 70″ x 110″; mine has 20 blocks but is only 44″ by 55″.

Square-A-Day tablecloth pattern from 1937.

My tablecloth of the Square-a-Day type.

Close up of the crocheted squares.


The third book, of afghan patterns, was published for Minerva Yarns in 1939.

Minerva afghan book from 1939.

These are the type where you would crochet strips in afghan stitch, then stitch those panels together into a blanket, and then go back and embroider designs on.  And yes, I have one of those!

Grape afghan, made by my great-grandmother.

Detail of the grape pompoms and cross stitch.

The first afghan in the book is called “Martha Washington Colonial Sampler.”  The design commemorates George Washington’s first inauguration, 150 years previous.

1939 sampler afghan.

Apparently continuing in that vein, many of the pages have pictures of “early American” rooms, but the afghans are not in them, and it is never explained where the pictures were taken, or why they are included.

Random Early American room with requisite spinning wheel.

I love the sailing imagery on the afghan, but why are completely different blankets shown on these beds?

There are also little cartoons scattered throughout the book:

Cartoon from the 1939 afghan book.

The cover afghan with the ducks is called “Patchogue,” and the description says, “Men are not above pulling an afghan over their legs of a chill evening, and your men folks will not consider this he-man outdoor scene a bit sissy.  This Patchogue afghan is ideal for a dressing room, a seashore cottage, or a camp in the woods.”

How exhausting, to have to evaluate the imagery on a blanket before deciding it is safe to use it!

So that is the end of the patterns from the 1930s ( at least the ones with publication dates).  The 1940s were a busy decade for the original owners of this collection, Minnie and Olive, so I will be looking into those soon!