Keds Hand-book for Girls, 1923

Sometimes I wonder how things like this little booklet survive.  Published in 1923, the girl who originally owned it would now be in her hundreds.  Was it put in a box, stored in an attic for people to find at an estate sale?  And why was such a trivial bit of paper not thrown out years ago?

I should be glad that many people have a tendency to save things.  If we all threw out everything that was not of use then a lot of our history would simply be lost.  Of course 91 years ago children did not have the massive amounts of things that children have today.  Even a little booklet, given free with the purchase of a pair of shoes, might be treasured.

The booklet is 48 pages of miscellaneous information, plus one page of advertising the sponsor’s goods.  The styles shown are interesting because of the variety of Keds available for girls.  I love the cross-strap Mary-Janes, and picture them in red canvas.  And the third pair down is identical to a style that was made for boys.  It’s good to know that they were also made for girls.

There is no rhyme or reason to the choice of entries in the booklet.  These pages have games alongside chores and recipes.

I had no idea that 161 “girls” died in World War I.

The tiny illustrations on the cover show girls doing activities from the booklet.  It looks like Keds are good for reading and cooking as well as for tennis and canoeing.



Filed under Shoes

10 responses to “Keds Hand-book for Girls, 1923

  1. What a treasure your old booklet is. I found an old book years ago titled “Miss Manners” and it was much like your Keds Book. Thanks for sharing you treasure. Happy New Year Everyone.


  2. “I had no idea that 161 “girls” died in World War I.”

    We still say “our boys” when referring to the many men that go over to places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Actually, any uniformed group is typically “boys” (ie, boys in blue = policemen). So saying “girls” for the women that go over as well is normal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Archives call publications like these “ephemera,” which captures their fleeting quality. Your posts about these little trade booklets are some of my very favorites!


  4. This book seems like a keeper to me–especially if I were a girl at the time. I also love how some of the first ‘cross over’ items of apparel for women were men’s styled shoes, practical and fashionable at the same time. Have a great New Year with lots of good finds to come!


  5. I love the illustrations in this booklet especially the woman knitting on a porch by the sea. I collect booklets “announcing” releases of other books that used to be slipped into the eaves of books when they were sold. They are dear little things too. Twice a year I attend a Papermania in New Haven, CT and paw through dozens of dusty boxes looking for this kind of thing. Lizzie, thank you for your marvelous and fascinating blog.


  6. What a fantastic find! I did not know Keds were around in 1923 – and some of the styles look positively modern. Thanks for sharing with us.


  7. Jo

    Looking at the Index–it really is an eclectic assortment of topics. I like the complete randomness of the articles; “How to Wash a Dog” followed by a recipe for peanut brittle! What a little treasure.


  8. Sonya

    I have a Keds Handbook for Girls from 1924, would you like it?


  9. Thanks so much, but I already have one. Kind offer!


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