1914 Buster Brown’s Darnless Socks Advertisement

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, May 3, 1914: Was going to a sale this afternoon but changed my mind and went someplace else. Am waiting on my thimble (Ma has it). Want to mend some holes in my socks.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (August, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (August, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma- You need some Buster Brown Darnless Socks!


Hmm . . . This is a really odd diary entry. May 3, 1914 was a Sunday.

The previous day (Saturday), Grandma wrote, “Ditto.”

Did she actually write both of entries at a later date—and get confused about which day was the Sunday? . . . though that doesn’t exactly make sense, since she seems to be writing in the moment.

25 Responses

  1. Ha, this is great. I remember when I first learned the term ‘darning socks’ and bringing down a pair of my athletic socks and asking her to darn my socks…she thought that was pretty funny. Even to this day I will joke around with her about that :-)

    Also, most people I know from my hometown owned a pair of Buster Brown’s. Wish you a good weekend.

  2. No holes for 4 months. Where were these socks when I needed them?

  3. Interesting that Grandma would write that she went “someplace else”…why do you not give us details, Grandma????

    • It is an odd way of describing her activities. You’d think that she’d have focused the diary entry on what she did–rather than on what she didn’t do. :)

  4. How well I remember Buster Brown!!!

  5. I remember my mother darning socks. Wow. She had a little wooden form that she stuffed in the heel of the sock and then she mended away. Talk about a lost art!

  6. I believe I have had Buster Brown shoes long ago.

  7. I love a gal who sews with a thimble–I am most devoted to mine (although I’ve never darned anything in my life).

    • I occasionally darned socks when I was in college and when I was first married. My memory is that it was kind of fun to use the darning thread to weave new cloth to fill the hole. (Knowing your interest in weaving, I thought that you’d appreciate this description. :) )

  8. Imagine waiting for a thimble to darn socks! We have come a long way.

  9. darnless for 4 months or a free pair! Sounds like a good deal, no?
    Diana xo

    • Great advertising copy! I bet they sold a lot of socks with those words :) . . .I guess that good ad writers have been around for a long time.

  10. I love the old ads that you post :)

  11. Darnless sox! Believe it or not, early in my marriage my husband used to save his sox for my mother to darn when she came to visit. She liked having something to do that only she could do

    • What a fun memory! Your story reminds me of how my father-in-law always liked to have something to do when he came to visit us. Across the years, he painted our deck several times.

  12. Darning socks seems like a big pain!

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