Dating simplicity sewing patterns ratings of online dating sites
If you don’t have a nice clear mailing date in the postmark, like this… But, thanks to their mailing envelopes and the hard work and enthusiasm of philatelists (that’s postal boffins, to you and I) we can narrow down the dating possibilities quite a bit.
Which is something my hairdresser did for me for most of my teenage years.
This is a Lilly catalog illustration without a date.
The patterns shown above show similar silhouette shapes and handkerchief head scarfs that were often part of Lilly's ensembles.
Pricing for third class really didn’t change that often, which makes it difficult to date precisely by the amount of postage on the envelope. If you’ve ever purchased a meter from a major manufacturer, you’ll know they are pretty serious about serial numbers and accurate records which is unsurprising considering a postage meter essentially prints money.
The bulk of ephemera and enclosures I’ve found stuffed in pattern envelopes have been from mail order patterns.From October 1, 1932 (until it was superseded in 1949) anything sent third class bulk rate had to have the phrase Sec. If you find their information useful, I’m sure they’d appreciate a quick note of thanks. I know there is some information floating around the vintage pattern community concerning dating Pitney Bowes meters, but I’d exercise caution in assuming a meter was created by a Pitney Bowes machine. Mail order patterns were commonly mailed third class. The identifying phrase for bulk mail changed on December 21, 1954 from Section whatever of the Postal Laws and Regulations to simply “Bulk Rate” Up until 1952, the minimum per piece of third class bulk mail was 1 cent. Bulk mailings were priced by the pound but this minimum stipulation helps us date any piece of third class bulk mail marked 1c to before 1952. First class was intended for letters and postcards, second class for newspapers and magazines, fourth class for parcels and third class for advertising circulars (the ever-unpopular junk mail) and “miscellaneous items” – basically anything that didn’t fit in first or second class but wasn’t a parcel. This coincided with an increase in the bulk mailing rate from 12c per pound to 14c per pound, but as the minimum price per piece remained at 1c this little titbit of information isn’t of much practical use to us. Theoretically, it should be possible to date a pattern by identifying the postal meter that printed the postage.