These domestic kitchen bags were donated to the National Wool Museum by Lila Gore. Lila donated Children’s Clothing (RGE 8324) to the museum in 2022 and at her time of donating, inquired as to whether the museum would also be interested in these bags she had been collecting. Lila said there was no reason as to why she was saving the bags, other than she liked the art works and thought they were too good to end up in landfill. She had thought perhaps she would make something out of the bags, or perhaps give the bags to a friend to make something. When Lila was donating the Children’s Clothing to the museum, she thought that the National Wool Museum would be the perfect home for the bags.
Domestic kitchen bags such as these date from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century. They were used at home, usually by women, containing household items which would not spoil, such as flour, sugar, animal feed, seeds, and other commodities. In modern times a trip to the supermarket is a daily chore, in the past however, these trips happened far less often, with big sacks such as these a large reason why.
In the rural US and Canada, Feed sack dresses and Flour sack dresses, were an iconic part of rural life from the 1920s through the Great Depression, World War II, and post-World War II years. Australia also reused these sacks, typically for making wagga style blankets, but re-use for clothing was not unusual.
Calico oat bag with graphic blue and yellow image and text on front. Image shows head and shoulders of person resting on forearms surrounded by flora. Back of bag shows blue and white image of a cube with text and star graphics.
Inscriptions & markings
Front: HARPER'S \ STAR \ AVENA \ BRAND \ ROLLED OATS \ ??INCORPOR?? ??STORIA?? \ ????? \ AUSTRALIA
Back: THE \ SILVER STAR \ RICE \ STARCH \ ROBERT HARPERS AND CO LIMITED \ AUSTRALIA \ THE \ BEST \ IN \ THE \ WORLD \ WONT \ STICK \ TO THE \ IRON \