the old knitting books and pamphlets I brought home to sort. I have put the duplicates to one side and, as far as possible, put the others into some sort of order. In doing so I came across some more interesting things, interesting even if you have no interest in knitting.
There are several copies of small booklets with the title "What to make for baby - Designs and Instructions in Knitting or Crochet by E.G.J.A.". The price is 1/6. The E.G.J.A turns out to be a "Mrs Ella Allan" who lived in Southey Street, Elwood, Victoria.
The "Mrs" is interesting in itself. So is the "Ella". Was she a widow - or a feminist? There is a list of "Mrs Ella Allan's Publications" too - among them "Dainty Adornment for Tiny Tots", "Desirable Designs" and "Her clothes as she grows". I can't help wondering what they looked like, especially the "Dainty Adornments".
There are a number of copies of something called "The Lady's World Fancy Work Book, Containing Knitting, Crochet and Embroidery". No 24 carries an advertisement for "Robinson's Groats" on the back. The wording reads,
"Babyhood at its best is seen in the thousands of healthy, vigorous, bright and merry children brought up on Robinson's "Patent" Groats. The nurseries ring with their happy laughter, and it is a pleasure to see their smiling, gleeful, chubby faces. Robinson's "Patent" Groats is rich in body-building elements and is most easily digested."
Hmm....with all of that they will never have needed "Dr J Collis Browne's Chlorodyne the best remedy for Coughs, Colds, Asthma, Bronchitis (which apparently) cuts short attacks of Spasms, Hysteria and Palpitations (and which was) the Only Palliative to Neuralgia, Gout, Rheumatism..." I wonder why they stopped making a remedy which did so much good?
I showed these to the Senior Cat. He laughed. He can remember being made to take cod liver oil and milk of magnesia but his breakfast porridge oats was made the old-fashioned Scots way. He was "spoilt" with milk - but no sugar.
I suspect it was just as good as the "groats".