Busy Hands from the 1950s – Making TV and Radio Scarfs


I found this delightful little pamphlet at an antique store and thought it was a hoot! I wondered what the grandkids would say if they called to see what I was doing and my response was “making a television scarf.” They probably would ask to talk to Papa right away, just to see if I was “off my meds.”

But this booklet does prove that this was a valid pastime years ago. The crocheted doily was actually made popular way back in the Victorian era. They were used to protect dressers and table tops, and the back of upholstered furniture too. Men would put a ‘pomade’ gel on their hair and when they rested their head on a chair or a sofa, it would often leave a stain. It was also considered to be an elegant practice, a skill many young ladies had to learn. They would keep their creations in their “hope chests” until after marriage.

The cover of this booklet shows all sorts of ways you could use your scarfs.  It features one on top of your console television, table tops, under your radio and even adorning the top of your refrigerator. Kids of today would stare in wonderment if I suggested putting a scarf on their TV. For one thing, they all have those flat-screens and there is no place to rest a crocheted doily. And to make one for their radios—well, that’s another issue. The kids all have the little iPods and such, small hand-held music-machines, not like the well-made wooden radios of yesteryear.  But years ago, they were the rage. They showed that mom or grandma worked hard to make things look ‘fancy.’ Even the tops of the fridge!

I am not skilled at handwork at all, and can’t help but be grateful that I do not have to make one of these crocheted doilies for my son-in-law’s 60″ widescreen!



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