A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

History: Nellie Maxwell and Syndicated Feature "The Kitchen Cabinet," 1920

The latest in 1920's women's fashion appeared in Nellie Maxwell's The Kitchen Cabinet, a nationally syndicated feature found in The Matawan Journal. For example, in her article "Fabrics to Fit Summer Time", which appeared on page 7 of the 27 May 1920 edition, Ms Maxwell praised the then-current trend in summer dresses to use lace bodices and simple skirts instead of previous years' designs that applied velvet and other heavy materials that were uncomfortable to wear in the heat of summer.

The feature contained advertisements targeted at women, including
  • Lydia E Pinkham's Vegetable Compound, a remedy for fainting spells caused by The Change of Life.
  • Bell-ans for Indigestion - 6 Bell-ans, Hot Water, Sure Relief
  • Stove Repair Corporation, sales and service, Newark, NJ
  • Fletcher's Castoria, that famous old remedy for infants and children.
And the ladies had to endure a series of what someone apparently thought were humorous pieces for women, like this brief exchange labeled Film Fun:
  • "I see you advertise for a ticket seller and ask that ladies weighing more than 200 pounds.kindly do not apply."
  • "Yes."
  • "Isn't that discrimination?"
  • "No; merely common sense. Any lady shaping up larger than that could not get into my glass cage."
Sarasota History Alive has a 1913 edition of The Kitchen Cabinet with recipes.

The Fulton History website has an image of page 8 of the 28 Nov 1930 edition of The Cold Springs Recorder. It provides this background information on Ms Maxwell.

For two years Miss Maxwell was engaged in domestic science extension work for the state agricultural colleges of Iowa and Nebraska. In that work she was called upon to give wives advice on how to plan their household work so they could do it more easily and satisfactorily than it had been done before.
Then Miss Maxwell became a lecturer, and demonstrator at the numerous institutes which are held under the auspices of the University of Wisconsin. She has been a frequent contributor on household subjects to the publications of the university, and with her co-worker she prepared the Women's Bulletin for Wisconsin women, ten thousand copies of which are distributed annually.


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