What’s Up Wednesday: The Rundown

What's up Wednesday is a bit of a crap shoot: favorites; what I'm doing/working on; where things on this blog are headed. I reserve the right to change my mind (on anything) at anytime.

This week, I'm going to focus on:
The Workbasket and Home Arts magazine-January 1978

Two (2) of the four (4) Tasty Tuesday recipes are posted. The Banana Dessert is the current favorite. But I am looking forward to the next one A Butterscotch Torte. But the last one, Cottage Cheese Crumb Cake, is reminding me of some of a cheesecake my yiayia used to make (and that my dad really like). It seems fitting that that one will be at the end of the month near my birthday.


I'm working on the Fisherman Scarf and Beret. It is slow coming — I don't really know why. But this project could be the next show on Slow Television and I haven't even started the beret part. You can check my progress over on Instagram.

I’m gonna learn how to do this!

On Friday I'm going to a local shop to purchase tattering supplies and (hopefully) to learn how to make the Sixteen Point Tatted Doily. Perhaps this is not the project to start learning with, but what can I say…I'm an over-achiever or I'm delusional…it's a questionable.

And the one I'm most excited about right now and have been thinking about since I decided to start The Workbasket Art and Home Magazine, January 1978 project: the ads! There are a large number of ads in this magazine and it kinda makes me surprised and happy. I know, from working in the publishing field, ads are very important.

I took some time last week to look at all the ads in the January issue. They are quite interesting, most are for catalogs and/or buying gardening seeds. And I assume most of the advertised companies have long since dissolved or merged with others.
I was excited to see that at least ONE I still see/hear ads for the Beltone. You know, the hearing ad people!

After all my marinating about what to do with ads, this is what I decided. For this months magazine, I will choose five (5) ads to look into and do a little experiment with.

The five ads I chose all have a 'call to action': send some money and get something. And that's exactly what I am doing. I am going to send in the required amount plus a copy of the ad and see what happens.

I wrote three checks and taped one dime to send out—spending a total of $2.95 (plus postage) all in the name of this curious experiment.

This experiment is 100% curiosity. I'm curious to see:
• Do any of these companies still exist? (see below)
• Will they send everything back with a nice rejection letter? (A likely outcome)
• Will the envelope just be returned to sender because the post office can't figure out where to send it? (Highly likely)
• Will they send me the requested item? (Highly unlikely)

Companies I chose for this experiment:

Gurney Seed & Nursery Company: Yankston, South Dakota
Active, but under new ownership
• There was a reboot, under a slightly different name and still in Yankston, SD
• I wonder if my mail will end up in South Dakota or at the new place (about 110 miles southeast of me in Indiana);
• I hope it ends up in South Dakota.
Cost: 10¢ which I wrote a check

Henry Field Seed & Nursery Company: Shenandoah, Iowa
Official site—Still an active business
• Under new ownership and ALSO about 110 southeast of me
• A bit of history and more
Cost: Taped a dime to the ad

Finger Fit: Royal Oak, Michigan
Official site—I thought that this one was still a viable company, I believe my mother-in-law has one of these for her ring
• They have no history on their site and I can’t find any after a very short search. They have changed locations to St. Clair Shores, but they are still in Michigan.
Cost: Free

R.H. Shumway Seedsman: Rockford, Illinois
Official site
• It has changed hands over the years. It is presently headquartered in Wisconsin—history and more
• A 1916 seed catalog
Cost: Most expensive—a check for $1.75

Taylor Bedding Company: Taylor, Texas
This Facebook page came up, but the web address listed goes nowhere;
This postcard, from the Taylor library;
• A bit of history;
• Page 77 of this school yearbook;
• I found some hits for Morning Glory batting products, but not anything fruitful;
Cost: $1 check

I am truly fascinated by how many of these companies are still in business! I am not completely curious how many of these companies might get back to me. Most have changed hands.
So we’ll see!

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