Depression Era Thriftiness

After Mom’s book came out, a feature in USA Today commented on her memories of feedsack dresses. I’d seen the reporter’s query in HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and put her in touch with Mom. After a phone interview, this was the article published in October 2009.

An article in USA Today by Laura Vanderkam, Grandma's Greener Than You Are.

An article in USA Today by Laura Vandercamp, Grandma’s Greener Than You Are.

It resonated with people, resulting in blog posts like this one by Lisa in Oklahoma.

Here’s the section about Gail (2nd paragraph in the article shown in the clipping above).

Then I read 85-year-old Gail Lee Martin’s recent memoir, My Flint Hills Childhood. During the Great Depression, she reports, companies began selling feed and flour in colorful sacks, knowing full well that cash strapped customers would turn the material into children’s clothes. In her Kansas town “we traded sacks with our neighbors and relatives until we had the required yardage” for dresses, she writes.

Hers was far from the only family reusing what was possible — not because recycling was hip but because the family lacked the means to do anything else. Nonetheless, the result was the same: a lower impact lifestyle than most of us buying organic pajamas can fathom.

Read more about feedsack dresses.

cousins 1937

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2 thoughts on “Depression Era Thriftiness

  1. This citation must have made you feel very proud of your Mom’s accomplishments. My parents were kids during the Depression and I think it colored the way they lived for the rest of their lives, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: L is for Liking the Book | Discovering Mom

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