My 1930’s Penimaid Rick Rack

Yesterday I was going through a box of rickrack that people have given me over the years thinking I might use it somewhere on my Owl Woman when I saw the deep orange/yellow.  Drawn to the color, I pulled it out and really saw it for the first time.

It was different from the others I had which were wrapped in plastic and clearly not as old.  When I turned it over there was a price tag on the back.  It cost 8 cents.

At first I thought it might be from the 1950’s but when I saw the price tag, it seemed to me it had to be older.  I mean the last time I bought something for two cents,  it was a single piece of candy in the early 1970s.

So I looked online and up popped a newspaper ad for JC Penny with sewing notions that cost 8 cents each.  It was from 1930.

My mother was born in 1929.  When I look at the RickRack I picture my mother, who will be 92 this year,  as a baby in a tenement somewhere in The Bronx.  I try to imagine my grandmother holding her, but I can only see her as an older woman, the grandmother I knew.

The label is faded and torn, but the RickRack itself is still an intensely rich color.

A part of me doesn’t want to use it, wants to keep it just as it is.  But I know I will use it if it’s what I need for a piece of my art.    It would seem almost magical to me to think that this Rick Rack survived for 91 years to be used by me.

I don’t believe in fate, but this does make me wonder.

7 thoughts on “My 1930’s Penimaid Rick Rack

  1. Your recent essay about the “next nest” and then this one today, have been lovely to read; very comforting in a way. Completely different topics but so prosaic. Your theme on the rick rack is like a thread connecting us through time. Magical indeed.

  2. When I’ve found stuff that old it made me feel kinda like a “time traveler”.
    Especially cool when it belonged to someone I knew.
    Great stuff.

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