Spinning Stories

The Papers of Ethel Robson by cqualmann

I’ve been looking at the papers of Ethel Robson, a domestic science mistress, dated 1911. They include laundry demonstration notes such as “Handkerchiefs must be steeped separately from other articles; and salt must be added to the water – 1 tablespoon to 1 quart of water: mucous is soluble in salt solution”.

She also includes line drawings, such as this one (which I have copied) entitled ‘Methods of pegging out handkerchiefs and sheets’


“to peg up, stand back to the wind, and peg the strongest part”

She also documents “General rules for folding undergarments” which are:

1. Show as much of the trimming as possible

2. Arrange the fullness in pleats

3. Press the pleats flatly


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[…] with some of the texts from the women’s library about laundry work – especially the instructions for washing and ironing handkerchiefs, and combining these with some of the decorative patterns from the Suffragette souvenir printed […]

Pingback by Developing ideas for the Flash Company show « Spinning Stories

[…] My contribution is inspired by ongoing research at The Women’s Library, drawing on text, type and imagery from the scrapbooks of Ruth Homan (1890s) and the notebooks of Ethel Robson (1910s). […]

Pingback by ‘Flash Company’ exhibition at Cecil Sharp House « Spinning Stories

[…] tests and trials on Kleenex paper tissues with the Flash Company show in mind, using some of the laundry instruction texts and some of the decorative patterns from the Women’s Library. #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } […]

Pingback by Laser cutting paper handkerchiefs « Spinning Stories

[…] Laundry Instructions First trials of laser cutting and etching onto cloth handkerchiefs, using the patterns and texts from the Women’s Library again, with the Flash Company exhibition in mind. #gallery-1 { […]

Pingback by Laser cutting cloth handkerchiefs « Spinning Stories

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