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Full text of "Labels for blankets : a radio dialogue between Miss Ruth Van Deman, Bureau of Home Economics, and Mr. Wallace Kadderly, Office of Information, broadcast Thursday, February 3, 1938, in the Department of Agriculture period of the National Farm and Home Program, by the National Broadcasting Company and a network of 93 associate radio stations"

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HOUSEHOLD CALENDAR 
La.'bels for Blankets 



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I - FEB1 2 1938 

IT. S. DepsirtmenS of Agriculture 



A radio dialogue ,betV;reeri Miss Ruth .Va,n Daman, Bureau of Home Economics, 
and Mr. Wallace Kadderly, Office of Information, broadcast Thursday, Eetruary 3, 
1938, in the Department of Agriculture period, National Farm and Home Hour, 'by 
the National Broadcasting Company and a netv/ork of 93 associated radio stations. 



MR. KADDERLY : 

Here's Ruth Van Doman, your home economics reporter, just hack this 
morning, from a conference in Nov; York, where she tells me questions of 
particular interest to consumers were, discussed. 

Ruth, who did you say called, this conference? 

MISS VAN DEM AN ; 

The Consumer- Setailer Relations Council. 

MR. KADDERLY ; 

That's a new organization to me. 

MISS VAN DEMAN : 

It still is to lots of people. 

MR. KADDERLY : 

Then I'm not the only one. 

MISS VAN DEMM : 

Oh my, no. This council has only heen meeting about a year. 

MR. KADDERLY : 

What's the idea of it? 

MISS VAN DEMAN : 

To give consumers and trade groups a chance to get together and talk 
over ways and means of improving "buying and selling. 

MR. KADDERLY ; 

Buying and selling - that's an old, old gajiie. 

MISS V A N DEMAN : 

But this is a new slant on the old game. As somehody up at the con- 
ference remarked, there have "been more changes in the rules on the selling 
side especially in the last 50 years than in the preceding 5,000 years. 

MR. KADDERLY : 

The whole thing's much less direct and personal these days. 
MISS VAN DEMAN : 

That's it, exactly. Nowadays, when you go to huy a shirt, Vfellace, I 

(over) 



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think you pro"ba"bly look for a printed label atout size and whether the fahric 
is color fast 

MR. KADDERL Y: 

And shrink -proof . So the shirt won't "be too small after it's washed the 
first time. 

MISS VAN DEIM : 

Learned your lesson on that. 

MR. KADDERLY : 

You bet I have . . ■ . 

MISS YM DEMAI^ : 

And for all that you and the storekeeper take the word of the manufacturer 
who prohahly has his factory a thousand miles from the store where you're ■bu;^'ing 
the shirt. 

MR. KADDERLY : 

Sure. He's the fcllcv/ who knows. 

MISS VAI^ DEMAN ; 

Of course he is. But if anything goes wrong with the shirt you take it 
back to the store. 

MR. KADDERLY : 

But too often I called it just too had - and took my loss. So now unless 
a shirt has a good label that tells about quality, I don't buy it. I look for 
one that has. 

MISS VAIT DEM AIT : 

You should have been at this conference in New York. Informr,tive labels 
on consumer goods v/erc one of the main things on the agenda. 

MR. KADDERLY : 

My nickel's v/orth wouldn't have mattered. 

MISS VAIT DEMAI'T : 

You're mistaken. It would. The retailer and the manufacturer want to 
know what the consumer wants to Icnow about the goods he buys. That's the first 
step toward v/orking out good labels. 

MR. KADD:^ PLY: 

V/oll , I should think the research you home economics people are doing 
v/ould help. 

MISS VAN DEM AIT : 

Oh yes, there has to be good laboratory research behind labels that give 
real facts. 

MR. KADDERLY : 

^Ind those guides you've put out to help in buying sheets, and blankets, 

and 



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MISS VAN DEMM : 

Turkish tov/els^ yes. An.d' women's coats and dresses. Oh yes, Miss 
O'Brien suggested labels for all those classes of goods. 

MR. KADDEELY : ' ' •' 

Tell us about the 'one on blankets. They're a timely topic right now - 
almost as timely as onions last week. 

MISS VAN DBMAN : 

Almost. Well, for all these labels there was a general pattern that 
covered: what the article's made of, how it's made, what it will do, and how 
to care for it. 

MR. KADDEELY ; 

ViOiat an engineer might call performance, composition, construction, and 
upkeep . ... 

MISS VAN DEM AN ; 

Exactly, And if you v/ere the household engineer trying to decide which 
blankets to buy to keep the family warm on a February night, I think first thing 
you'd want to know is what they wore made of. 

MR. KADDERLY ; 

Sure. I'd look fcr a tag that said all-wool. 

MISS VAI^ DEMAU : 

Yes, but you might find some that said "Part-wool not less than 25 per- 
cent." 

MR. KADDERLY : 

V/hat would that mean? 

MISS VAN DEMAU : 

It might moan a cotton core yarn. 

MR. KA3DERLY : 

A cotton core yarn? 

MISS VAN DEMAIT ; 

Yes. C-o-r-e, like the core in an apple. A fine cotton yarn v/ith the 
wool fibers twisted around it to give strength to the blanket fabric. The wool 
fibers on the outside of the yarn are brushed up to make the fluffy nap that 
gives a blanket warmth. 

MR. KADDERLY :' 

That sounds all right. 

MISS VAN DEMAI^ : 

Certainly it is, so long as you know v/hat you're getting. If you pay 
an all-wool price you want all wool. 

MR. KADDERLY : 

Is there any trade agreement about marketing blankets with their fiber 
content? 



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MISS YA}1 DWJM : 

A purely vol\intary" one, A'bout five years ago a group of manufacturers 
got together ajid worked out v/ith the National Bureau of Standards a so-called 
Commercial Standard. The firms that adopted that, agreed to follow certain 
rules \vhenever they laheled their "blankets all-wool and part-wool. But if you 
or I wanted to manufacture "blankets and sell them -under the name of Kadderly, or 
"Van Deman, or some fancy "brand name, and say nothing a'bout wool, or cotton, or 
whatever we made them of, we could still do that. 

MR. KADDEHLY : 

I understand. The way things stand nov/, som.e "olankcts are la"beled and 
some are not. 

MISS IM DEMAN : 

That's right. But this ideal lal^el they were talking a"bout at this 
conference would give the exact percentage of wool, or cotton, or other fibers 
in the "blanket, and in the "binding. By the way, the "binding is importajit. It 
sometimes fades or wears out long "before the blanket docs. 

MR. KADDBBLY : 

But it's fairly easy to rojilace , 

MISS VAl^T PEMAI'T : 

Yes, "but that talvcs time and new material. Margaret Kays, who's done 
our ly,"boratory tests, thinks if you have to economize on "blankets fancy 'oindings 
are the "best place to do it. She'd put the money into getting a good warm 
"blanket fa"bric, and take a "blanket stitch finish on the ends, the way the hotels 
and hospitals do. They don't go in for fancy "bindings very often, "but of course 
they insist on good firm stitching. 

MR. KADDERLY : 

"Very practical point. 

MISS VAN DEMAN : 

And size is another one. Most "blankets nov/ are marked v/ith the length 
and width, "but you need to chock that with the size of the "beds you're going to 
use them on. 

MR. KADDERLY : 

And the length of the people who ' re going to sleep under them. 
MISS VAN DEMAN : 

Yos, nothing harder on a tall person than a short blanket on a cold night. 
MR. KADDERLY : 

Especially if he happens to be a guest in a strange house. 
MISS Viai DEMAI^ ; 

And left his overcoat downstairs. V/cll, a good general rule is to take 
the length and thickness of the mattress, plus 6 inches for tuck-in -at the foot, 
plus a few inches more for take-up by the body and shrinkage when the- blanket 
is washed. 



MR. KADDERLY ; 

V/hich makes the standard length about v;hat? 



MISS VAN MM : 

84 inches. Some are made 90. 



MR. KADDEELY : 

I heard one man say he'd never iDeen so comfortable as since his wife 
"bought one of the 90 inch "blankets. 

MISS VAN DEMAH : ■ ' 

Eort"unately , blanket sizes have been standardized in the last 10 years, 
so you don't have to bother with the odd shapes there used to be. But there's 
still the question of weight and warmth., 

MR. KAJDERLY : 

Vi/hat is the answer on that? 

MISS VAN DEMAN : 

We don ' t have the final word yet. But this- ideal label would call for 
V7eight per square yard - which would be a .help in comparing two all-wool blankets 
say. If they wore made the same way, the one with more wool in it would pro'bably 
be warmer. 

MR. KADDERLY : 

But I've slept "under very heavy blankets that were stiff as boards and 
not warm at all. 

MISS VAN DEMAN ; 

Yes. It depends partly on how much nap there is to hold in air. This 
ideal label would give warmth in terms of heat transmission. 

MR. KABDBRLY : 

An index of insulating value. 

MISS VAN DEMAN : 

That's the real way to measure hov; wp^rm a blanket can be. And this label 
would carry a line about color fastness to light, and washing, and dry cleaning. 

MR. KADDERLY : 

The old red and black plaids certainly held their color. 
MISS VAN DEMAI'T : 

There's no reason why wool shouldn't hold its color forever and amen. 
MR. KADDERLY : 

No reason at all. It tak:es dye more easily than any other textile fiber. 
MISS VAN DEMAN : 

Just about. Of course colored blankets have their waves of style like 
everything else. Just now the trend seems to be away from the pastel shades 
toward the deeper tones. And I've noticed blankets in tans, and browns, and 
gold color. 



MR. KADDERLY : 

Very serviceable. 



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MISS VAIT DEMM ; 

Very. And. "back to our label once more. Everybody at this conference 
thought that every label on a blanket ought to carry some directions about 
cleaning - whether it's v/ashable or should be dry cleaned. And if it's v/ash- 
able, some cautions about doing it in lukewarm water, neutral soap, and drying 
in v/arm air. 

MR. KADDEBLY : 

Yes. I heard your talk about washing woolens a few weeks ago. 
MISS VAI^ DEMAN : 

Well, that about finishes up the blanket label. You'll have to come 
over to our laboratory some day, Wallace, and see Miss Kays running the heat 
transmission tests. 

MR. KADDEELY ; 

I'd like to do that. And thank you, Ruth, for coming back from the 
conference in New York in time to give us this interesting report. V/e'll be 
looking for you again next Thursday.