Friday, April 12, 2013

Melbourne in 1910

The other day, I found this in my Facebook feed. Fifteen minutes of silent movie era cuteness as a cinematographer films the streets and sights of early 20th century Melbourne :)

Some of the streets and buildings looked very familiar, even without their 21st century garnish of billboards. Some of the street scenes had me mourning the loss of lovely old buildings and their replacement by very large concrete blocks (reflective glass facades optional). The 'bustling streets' look practically deserted by today's standards, but trams seemed to be more frequent. I noticed several shots of gentlemen industriously sweeping the road, and was everlastingly grateful that horses in Melbourne now have to wear a large leather bag across their hindquarters! Most of the smartly dressed passers-by would have had their clothes made at home - some may have been 'flash' enough to afford the services of a professional tailor or seamstress.

I wonder how many of the shops would have stocked wool and yarn, and how many of the passing ladies would have had some crochet or a partly knitted sock stashed in their handbags in case they had some idle time while they waited for a train at "busy Richmond station"? I think the short answer would be - most. If you needed clothing in 1910, by default you made it yourself - and that meant lots of knitting, crocheting, tatting and sewing, which in turn would have meant lots of Local Yarn Stores (LYSs).

I'm eternally grateful for Progress (which has spared me from a relatively short life, with a Pin Shower as the highlight), but I can't help but think that shops filled with cheap, Asian-made T-shirts are a poor substitute for lots and lots of wool shops!!

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