Sunday, January 17, 2021
1977 Issue of the Workbasket magazine, a vintage craft and homemaking magazine.
Issue Overview Old Ads

It’s 2018! And 1953! AND 1977!! The January Issues are here!

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I cannot even believe it is 2018. My son is old enough now to realize how quickly time goes and is often commenting on it. 2017 was a good year all in all, but every year has its ups and downs. I was super sick last year for New Years, some weird virus, but other than that 2017 was one of the healthiest years of my life. How was your 2017? Are you excited for 2018? Any big events this year for you?

Total truth here: I was so gearing up for 2018 that I almost forgot to actually get the January issue ready! I was after midnight on New Years Day when I realized I had picked it, had started at least one project, but never photographed it and typed it up! So don’t let your goals for 2018, and looking to the future, cause you to mess up the present like I almost did.

So an interesting situation happened this month. I accidentally chose two magazine issues. I chose one some time ago, featuring a poncho, got all excited, shared the picture of the poncho, and then it disappeared. I picked a January issue, got it all set up, took my photos, took my notes, and then realized “Wait! Wasn’t there a poncho?! Where did it come from?” Well, it came from the January issue I already picked! SO here I was all set up for two different issues! I couldn’t decide what to do, and in the end, literally moments ago, I finally decided to feature both! You’re getting a twofer! 2018 is already looking up!


Some Highlights: A friend might like this tidbit, WBRE TV channel 28 in Wilkes-Barre Scranton, PA (NBC) had their first broadcast this year! On January first I might add! Several other stations started this year as well, including one in Ohio and one in Washington. Also on TV this year was the first coast-to-coast inauguration, it was Dwight D Eisenhower. Meanwhile, in the UK they had Vans who were going around and detecting people using unlicensed TVs! TV Guide also debuted this year! Besides TV News (and there was a LOT this year) the Polio Vaccine was discovered by Joseph Salk, it was tested and became available in 1955. Albert Einstein was doing his thing and released the revised unified field theory. Just don’t ask me what it was! Mickey Mantle hit an amazing home run in DC, 565′. Ernest Hemingway won the Pulitzer for “The Old Man and the Sea.” Queen Elizabeth had her coronation and knighted Winston Churchill.  The average yearly wage was $4,000 and people were buying this issue on newsstands. (Or subscribing for $1.50 a year)


A magazine issue from 1953, it has seen better days. -- My Workbasket

As you can see, my issue has seen better days. I have no idea what the cover was, though I could possibly track down a picture online. I’m actually carrying my issue around in a Ziploc to keep it tidy and not destroy it further. The main reason I decided to go ahead and feature both issues is that this one has some amazing ads, but most of the projects (while beautiful) are not the type I’d actually make, or complete in a month.



Two fun ads from 1953-- My WorkbasketA 1953 ad for the Magic Stitcher-- My WorkbasketAn ad for Stout Apparel from 1953 -- My WorkbasketHere are some of the amazing ads, and I actually have some of these products in my stash and hope to feature them this month! Notice the description of the Toilet Tankettes. It opened my eyes as to why people use them, but also, notice the types available.

Some fun ads from 1953-- My WorkbasketAn ad for a Ukulele in a 1953 magazine-- My WorkbasketToilet Tankettes Ad from 1953

















Here are three of the main projects this month, beautiful, but unlikely I’ll actually make them, at least not right now. The one picture is a portion of a full-sized tablecloth. There are a few projects from this issue I am working on though.

Three projects from a 1953 magazine. Beautiful Threadwork-- My Workbasket


The biggest difference between these two issues, besides the year, is the features. Where 1953 had very detailed projects and lots of amazing ads, this issue has lots of projects and fewer entertaining ads. I’ll get to that in a second though, let’s talk about the year 1977!!

Average income is WAY up compared to 1953. Now the average yearly income is $15,000. Of course, thanks to inflation everything else is up too. The cost of a gallon of gas tripled compared to 1953. I wonder if that is why there was looting during the big New York City  Blackout that year? The blackout lasted 25 hours! Also this year the Atari was released and the first Apple II computers went on sale. Elvis Presley died (supposedly, if you’re the conspiracy type.) Star Wars premiered, as did Saturday Night Fever. Jimmy Carter was elected. (Peanut themed crafts were popular around this time!) Jubilee celebrations were taking place to celebrate the 25th year of Queen Elizabeth’s reign!

1977 Issue of the Workbasket magazine, a vintage craft and homemaking magazine.

There are a LOT of great crafts in this issue, and there are some fun ads.

Funny Ad from 1977-- My Workbasket 1977 Tomato Ad-- My Wrokbasket A blunt ad from 1977-- My Workbasket An ad for a craft gadget from 1977-- My WorkbasketAds got a lot blunter in the 70s! They also started to feature more gadgets than the 53 issue. In 1953 the ads were for dresses, socks, nylons, and a few fun items. It’s kind of neat to see the two years side by side.








There are some great crafts this issue and I’m hoping to feature several. If you didn’t see it already here is the poncho! I can’t believe it took over a year of writing this website before I got to a granny square poncho!

A bold colored granny square poncho from 1977. -- My Workbasket

What are your thoughts on these two issues!?!? Any big memories or events happen to you either of these years? I’d love to hear from you about them!

Happy New Year! I can’t wait to keep bringing you fun crafts and magazines for another year!


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