Friday, March 25, 2016

Volume 26, Number 2 of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) Chain Link newsleter, dated Summer 2016 contains my article on The National Crochet Contest 1937 - 1958. In that article I promised more pictures to be published here.

First are five pictures from the crochet booklet: Prize Winning Crochet Designs National Crochet Contest - 1937, from the very first annual contest.  (For those of you following the National Crochet Month {NatCroMo} blog tour and who plan to participate in my giveaway on 31 March, I will be offering a couple of these booklets.) You see here the cover with an inset of the "National Queen of Crochet," Mrs. Frank E. Hayward.  That is followed by a picture of Mrs. Hayward holding her winning blanket.

Next you see a page with details of the first contest & depicting the showroom with the contest entries, followed by a page listing all the winners and depicting Mrs. Hayward demonstrating crochet tips.

The back cover lists the details for the upcoming 1938 Second Annual National Crochet Contest.  And here is a press-release photograph of Mrs. Hayward receiving her winning citation.
Next are both sides of a postcard given to a state or county fair blue-ribbon-winner, authorizing the recipient to enter the National contest.  Apparently, the blue-ribbon-winner who got this card decided not to enter the National contest.

Here's a press release picture of John Miller, identified as a California lumberjack (what could be more manly?), the winner of the Men's Division of the 3rd National Crochet Contest, being congratulated by Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., a contest patroness.  Despite having competed in a much smaller field of 15 male contestants, out of a total of over 2,300 entries, newspaper articles gave more attention to Mr. Miller and his lovely bedspread than they did to the National Champion, Mrs. E. N. Noble of Minneapolis.  However, I did find a comment that Mrs. Roosevelt declared Mrs Noble's banquet cloth to be "the most remarkable piece of crochet she had ever seen."  Unfortunately I have yet to find a photo of that banquet cloth.

Mrs. Adolph E. Burkhardt of Poland, OH, fared better.  Here is a press release photo of her with her entry (hard to see but looks like it might be Irish Crochet in the center).  She was the Grand Champion in the 1940 4th Annual National Crochet Contest of 350,000 contestants, then sponsored by the National Needlecraft Bureau.  Harry Troxell of Cleveland, OH, won the Men's Division.  His 23rd Psalm bedspread was prominently displayed in back of Mrs. Burkhardt and Mr. Troxell in a newspaper article I found.

In 1949, Mrs. Thomas L. Nightingale of Sacramento, CA, won the Crocheting Championship for the third time, previously having won the title in 1938 & 1942 with relatively little press recognition.  Mrs. Thomas won her rewards with size 150 thread filet crochet creations.  After this win, contest rules were changed so that prior year's winners were no longer eligible for future entries.   I wonder how many more contests the 71-year-old, Mrs. Nightingale would have won had the rules not been changed.

Industrial Foreman, George Link of Bunker Hill, IL, won the 1951 Men's Division of the National Crochet Contest.  The press reported simply that "The Grand Championship reward at the contest went to a woman."

In 1952 the title of the contest was changed to the Nationwide Crochet Contest.  Here is a poster advertising the 1953 contest.

Here's a press release photograph of Mail Carrier Anthony White of Portland, OR, winner of the Men's Division of the 1954 Nationwide Crochet Contest.  The trend of highlighting interesting Men's Division winners more than the Champions continued through the last contest in 1957.


  1. Wow...really that a lumberjack was in the contest...looks like some beautiful work...not a bad prize of winning $500 & a trip to New York....enjoyed the article...Thank You :)

  2. Thanks for the wonderful post. I came across a newspaper clipping of the 1952 Nationwide Crochet Contest and was browsing for more info.