Weldon’s Practical Bent Iron Work
In an era when newspapers are more often read through a Facebook feed on tablets and smartphones, it is hard to imagine a need for a bent-iron-work newspaper rack constructed from gridiron. The always resourceful Victorians were adept “Do It Yourselfers” way before that phrase was coined.
From Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 11, Bent Iron Work, First Series:
Nos. 17, 18, and 19.—NEWSPAPER RACK.
“This very original rack for holding newspapers and magazines is contrived merely out of one of the roughly made gridirons such as are sold at many oilshops for a penny each. They were trimmed up lately with wool and ribbon, and appeared at many a fashionable bazaar as newspaper racks. A far more durable way of converting them into these articles calls for the assistance of bent iron work. One of the gridirons, as sold in shops, is shown in No. 19. The first thing to be done is to pull forward the two inner loops of the gridiron to form the rack, and while the task of putting on the scrolls is in progress, it is well to bend them out as far as they will go without permanently injuring the shape.”
Injure the gridiron’s shape? One might be cautioned to not injure themselves! Just envision all of those buff Victorian women bending iron to beautify their homes. I just wish they had included an illustration of the rack adorned with “wool and ribbon.”
Learn more about Weldon’s in PieceWork’s January/February 2011 issue.
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