My friend, Barbara Schubach sent me this history. I've rewritten it in poetry as I think it's touching.
THE AGE OF THE APRON.
Remember the apron, ladies? Oh well, probably not!
I expect it's just in the past for you and you just don't care a jot!
It's strange how things drop out of favour when the fashions change!
We just don't heed their passing until they're out of range.
'Whatever happened to so-and-so?' we may idly think,
But we never notice the decline when they're merely on the brink.
'I haven't seen an apron for years and years and years!'
That's what they say, when questioned, but they don't shed any tears.
I don't possess an apron, but their heyday I recall,
In my Mother's kitchen, where one hung on the wall.
Why did women wear aprons? They wore them, as they toiled,
To stop the 'good' dress underneath getting splashed and soiled.
Their wardrobes were so limited and precious. Furthermore
Washing, drying, ironing....each one was a heavy chore.
There were no such things as oven-mitts, so the apron held the pot
Fresh out of the oven and dangerously hot.
It was great for drying babies' tears, and even wiping faces,
Cleaning away the jammy stains and other meal-time traces.
An apron helped with egg-collection, even carrying chicks,
Several fluffy little ones, maybe five or six.
They'd be carried into the kitchen if they all hatched-out together,
To cheep and cheep in a straw-filled box away from chilly weather.
The apron wiped away the sweat when bending near the fire,
Or when the summer sun beat down causing mothers to perspire.
An apron could always shelter a shy and flustered child,
For it was quite voluminous and very amply styled.
If visitors were expected the apron got rid of dust
As mother wiped it around the house in time for arrivals......just!
A 'multi-purpose garment' was the apron, in a way.
It's rather sad to think the apron seems to have had its day
A special lady in an apron here: