News-Antique.com - Jul 29,2009 - It seems the principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it also served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven. It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning potatoes out of their ears. From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven. When company came, the apron was an ideal hiding place for a shy child. When the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in the apron. It could carry vegetables from the garden. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In the fall, apples and walnuts took the place of the peas. When company came, it was often used to give the furniture a quick dusting. When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and we knew it was time to come in for dinner or supper. It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace the apron that had so many loving uses. Here or a few facts I found out about the history of the apron.
Origin: The English word "apron" came from "naperon," the old French word for napkin or small tablecloth.
-Twelfth Century: Guess who wore aprons first? Men, as hygienic, protective wear.
-Fourteenth Century: Dark-colored aprons started to be worn tied at the waist.
-Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: Colors denoted the trade of the wearer. English barbers wore a checked pattern; butchers and porters, green; and masons, white.
-Seventeenth Century: Romantic notions began to blossom. Your beau is thinking of you if the apron becomes untied and drops off.
-Eighteenth Century: The pinafore apron was "pinned" to clothing.
-Nineteenth Century: Cooks began turning the apron only once before washing. Any more, and the stains aren't hidden.
-1900-1920: Long aprons cover and protect clothing.
-1920: Straight-line aprons are the style.
-1930: Beautiful prints with bright sashes, along with crocheted aprons, make an appearance.
-1940: Printed half-aprons tied around the waist, and aprons made of handkerchiefs, are popular.
-1950: Full-skirted plastic aprons, and ones with cross-stitch designs, gain U.S. popularity.
-1960: Half-aprons with attached hand towels are sure-fire hits, along with aprons sewn with plastic hoops or valance material.
-1970 to present: Barbecue, anyone? Grilling is a popular design or theme for modern-day aprons.
At Mama’s Treasures we specialize in kitchen collectibles of the 1940s through the 1980s. I am especially fond of vintage aprons. We’re proud of the quality aprons
we carry and would like you to come and browse our selection. If nothing else, they’re sure to bring back a memory or two. Right now prices have been reduced 15%-40% on over 600 items in the store. So why not take