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Civil War Soldier's Sewing Kit "Housewife" with buttons


Product Description

This is another great piece being offered, it is a Civil War soldier’s “Housewife” roll-up sewing kit. It measures 3 3/4 inches long x 1 3/4 inches when rolled up. Unrolled it is about 13 inches. It is made with a cloth exterior with pincushion on one end which would hold straight pins.

Inside are two crude pockets. Inside the pockets are four period bone buttons and two small cuff-size Eagle buttons with an “I” in the center for Infantry. There is also a complete package of needles, dated “1863”. A worn and tattered ribbon ties the piece together when not in use.

Most Civil War soldiers owned just one set of clothing, which was quick to wear out during long marches and bitter fighting. As you can imagine, mending clothes was a must for soldiers. Therefore, most Civil War soldiers carried a “housewife”, or sewing kit. They contained the items necessary to darn socks, replace buttons, or fix a whole in a jacket. This it is well-worn and actually looks like its been through the war, but I really think this adds to its character.

Some were made for soldiers by wives, mothers, daughters, and friends. Other commercial examples were sold by the camp sutlers. They are always on display in Civil War museums, such as Gettysburg and the Museum of the Confederacy (see pictures). Also, in my book “The Civil War Soldier – His Personal Items”, I show examples and go into more detail about these essential sewing kits.

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$7.50 (Fixed shipping cost)