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Benton County, Iowa
User Contributed Stories From Benton County's Past
Page Last Updated: Monday, 16-Apr-2012 14:21:26 CDT
contributed by  Jon Kime

During America’s Great Depression of the 1930's, Iowa’s farmers tried to be as frugal and resourceful as they could. They regularly made use of everything. One common practice was to make underwear out of old cotton flour sacks or feed sacks. Of course the brand logos remained on the newly created undergarments. There were many widely circulated jokes during the era about this practice. One went like this: A farmer’s wife was doing the laundry. She washed her daughters underwear and hung them on the line to dry. There for everyone to see, were the farmers daughters underwear with the name brand across the seat “Mother’s Pride”.

My family had their own version of this joke. My Great Grandmother's Aunt, Mary Gingery,was always hopeful her daughter, Lide Gingery, would meet the right man and get married. During the Depression years, the Gingery’s were living in Shellsburg. When Mary hung the wash out to dry, there for all to see were Lide’s homemade underwear which said “Full a Pep” across the seat. This story was repeated many times over the years by my Grandmother, Her sister and brother.

Note: "Lide" was the nick name for "Lydia"


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