Milk Jug Cover, God Bless Our Brave Boys; 1914-1918; 2007.35

From

Port Macquarie Museum

Name/Title

Milk Jug Cover, God Bless Our Brave Boys

About this object

This white cotton milk jug cover in filet crochet has two crowns, two eight-pointed crosses and the patriotic words ‘GOD BLESS OUR BRAVE BOYS’ crocheted in the centre. The narrow crochet border has clear, blue and red glass beads stitched around it alternatively. The beads served as decoration and as weights to keep the jug cover in place. The jug cover has been hand made.

Filet crochet was a popular domestic craft before and during World War 1. Embroidery and crochet work provided a creative outlet for some women, a restful leisure activity for others and an affordable way to decorate the family home. At this time, the focus for most women was on the home and its decoration was important to them.

Milk jug covers like this one were among the many decorative and functional items for the home made by women. Other items included tray cloths, tea-cosies, tablecloths and cushion covers. They also made crochet lace collars and cuffs. During the War, patriotic and military themes were popular with images and slogans like the one on this jug cover commonly used. Patterns were published in popular ladies magazines and newspaper supplements.

Sometimes items were made and sold at fetes and funding raising events for the war effort. The Port Macquarie community held many such fund raising events during the course of the War. Many local women joined the Australian Red Cross and used their needlework skills to sew garments and comforts for soldiers and items for fetes.

This milk jug cover also illustrates women’s attempts at countering the impact of flies and insects on domestic life and hygiene, particularly before household refrigeration. Milk jug covers were used out of necessity to keep flies out of milk containers and were used at every meal. Simple milk jug covers were often made of net and it is more likely that this crocheted one was used for entertaining. Milk jug covers were used in all Australian homes well into the 20th century.

Whilst the provenance of this milk jug cover has been lost, it remains a tangible link to women’s efforts on the home front during World War 1 and illustrates how women displayed their patriotism and support for the war through their needlework skills and in their own homes.

Debbie Sommers
31 December 2016

Date Made

1914-1918

Medium and Materials

Cotton, glass

Inscription and Marks

Worked into jug cover '[crown] GOD [crown]/BLESS OUR/BRAVE/[cross] BOYS [cross]

Measurements

180mm L, 155mm W

Subject and Association Keywords

Wars

Credit Line

Donor: E Fisher

Object Type

Jug covers

Object number

2007.35

Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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