Edwardian Bathing Beauty Tobacco Silks

I  was all ready to write about 1940s snowflake sweaters (the bitter cold has an effect…) when I spotted these little lovelies at Dandelion Vintage.  These little scraps of silk, which measure around 2″ X 3″,  came as free premiums in tobacco or cigarette packs.   There were lots of different themes, such as flags and flowers and colleges, and the tobacco companies hoped that consumers would collect the entire set of a theme.

People did collect them, and quilters often incorporated them into their work.  For some reason it seems that many of them ended up in crazy quilts –  those quilts that just developed willy-nilly as the fabric scraps became available.

These are so beautiful, and I’ve been very tempted to collect them.  As pretty collectibles, they make a nice display.  What they are not good for, however, is learning about fashion history.  These are probably from the first ten years of the 20th century, when bathing suits were still worn below the knees.  In reality, the necklines were often quite high, and the more modest bather even added inserts to raise a V-neckline!  And in the silks, the ladies are shown with the popular figure silhouette of the day, which would make a corset necessary.  While I’m sure some women, especially in fashionable bathing spots, were still wearing a corset when bathing, most photos from this era showing ordinary women show that the wearing of corsets at the beach was a thing of the past.

I suppose that the illustrations were spiced up a bit as the main users of tobacco at the time were male!

Photos courtesy and copyright of Dandelion Vintage at etsy.


Filed under Collecting, Summer Sports

6 responses to “Edwardian Bathing Beauty Tobacco Silks

  1. K2

    I love the Atlantic City one. Very sporty and with such pretty colors. I wonder what is on the other end of that rope?


  2. I’d love to find a crazy quilt with pretty tobacco premiums like these stitched into it!

    I hope we’ll still get to see your 1940’s snowflake sweaters sometime…


  3. KeLLy Ann

    You find some of the BEST stuff!
    These are great…I get a kick out of the man smoking the cigs and then giving the “pin up” to the wife to sew with.


  4. Susan, it is supposed to snow again tomorrow, so don’t be surprised if the sweater post makes an appearance!

    K2, I would suppose a little boat, but surely we can be more imaginative than that!

    KeLLy Ann, I think these things just find me!


  5. K2

    I think the Atlantic City babe has her husband/boyfriend on the other end of the rope. He wanted to stay home and watch the game instead of going to the beach! LOL


  6. Pingback: Picks of the Week: What Collectors Are Buzzing About | Collectors Weekly

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