Friday, May 23, 2014

Sweetheart & Mother Pillows 1917-1945 by Patricia Lynne Grace Cummings

Sweetheart & Mother Pillows 1917-1946 by Patricia Cummings contains nearly 250 color photographs of vintage pillow covers dating back to 1913. Made of rayon and acetate, the covers could be purchased for as little as one dollar in the 1930’s by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, comparable to about fifteen dollars in today’s marketplace.

Now, E-bay prices range from ninety-nine cents to more than a hundred dollars depending on condition. Cummings emphasizes condition as the primary factor to consider when buying or selling a vintage pillow cover, even more important than the age of the piece. She gives the reader valuable information on caring for these unique textiles in a chapter on “Care and Storage of Pillow Covers.”

The sale of sweetheart pillow covers reached its’ zenith during World War I and again in 1941-1945. If you would like to see a piece of local history, fifteen pillow covers from the WWII era are on display at the MEO Central Library. Here is an example of a pillow for mom in the library's collection: 

Cummings’ book is a one-of-a-kind resource for anyone interested in learning about military history through contemporary artifacts.

Interested in the history of Fort Story? Check out Fort Story and Cape Henry  by Fielding Lewis Tyler at the Virginia Beach Public Library.

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