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Friday, February 16, 2018

Alice Brooks Designs Catalogs

Household Arts by Alice Brooks, mail order patterns, first appeared in newspapers in November, 1933.

The syndicated series was first published in Rochester, New York and slowly spread over the next 13 years to appear in most major newspapers around the United States.    Pattern advertisements appeared several times a week.

I was not, however, until summer of 1944, that catalog offers began appearing at the bottom of every pattern advertisement.   The concept here being, when you ordered the pattern, you would send an extra amount to receive the catalog.   As an added promotion, each catalog typically featured several free patterns as well.

The first issue (as dated by some newspaper ads) was 1945. This is the catalog offered from summer of 1944 on, and remained the only catalog until November of 1945, when the 1946 issue was released. 

The catalogs were filled with many of 'the most popular' patterns of the previous time period, along with a brief description.   One could select the desired patterns, and then send their order to their local newspaper who ran the daily ads.

A catalog was issued for each consecutive year until 1965.   (There may be more catalogs issued under the name of Needlecraft Services after this date.   I've not yet delved in that time period).

I collect these books and, once scanned and photo processed, place them in Facebook albums for your general viewing pleasure and reference points.  The catalogs are great fun, giving us a snapshot of fashions for the time. The catalogs currently available are :

1945194719521953, 19541956

I have a couple more that I'll be adding soon.   AND, should you have any of these catalogs that you are willing to share online, I'd love to hear from you.

 Thanks for dropping by,


  1. Hello , I appreciate this information. I just found some original Alice Brooks designs in original envelopes postage is 1cent. Different designs including a map of the USA but with people and animals . Any thoughts? Thank you!

  2. What a wonderful find! I've seen a number with animals, but not the United States. I'd be more than happy to try and help with your question, but I'm not sure what it is. Let me know the pattern numbers and I can help identify age. Or, if you are wanting to sell, let's take it offline to my email at

  3. I have just found a newspaper ad for a bedspread pattern #6118. Not sure what year it was from. I found it in some of my grandma’s stuff. It’s one of the ads that say send 10 cents in stamps or coin. Any info would be fantastic!!

    1. This particular pattern number was marketed in 1939 and is a quite lovely medallion. I do not have this number in the shop. However, these patterns were periodically released under different numbers. In these case, Alice Brooks 6732 and Alice Brooks 7707.