The Jolly Book of Fun Craft

Faggot Fun PartyI collect etiquette books, so if you ever need to know what kind of gloves to wear to an afternoon wedding in 1851 or the proper way to say goodbye to a guest in 1907, come to me. One of the prizes in my collection is The Jolly Book of Funcraft by Patten Beard in 1918. It is a book of ideas for parties and the table of contents includes such things as:

  • The Party Made From Almost Nothing At All
  • The Thanksgiving Fun Making
  • Carrot Fun
  • A Plasticine Party
  • The Faggot Party

Oh yes, my dears. What could be more fun, than a Faggot Fun Party.


The thing that makes me laugh most, is the stunning poem at the end and the way it shows just exactly how much words have changed.

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7 Responses

  1. bluesaffron

    That article is a scream! (as they used to say)

    Aren’t vintage books and magazines addictive. I hunt for them everywhere. My favorites are knitting patterns and unpolitically correct children’s stories with 2 colour illustrations. The language was so much richer then and I think they had more fun. Some of the sayings make my sides ache from laughing.

    One of the favorite from my collection is a copy of Gilcrafts Book of Games from 1928, with activities for the Scouts to play indoors or out in the woods.

    It is stressed in the introduction that if these games overshadow other Scouting, then they become a menace.

    Some of the titles are –

    Up Jenkins, Stink Trail, Old Spotty Face, Night Attack, Jack’s Alive, Bang the Bear, Dying Pigs, Who are you A’Shoving?, Egg If I Moo?, Throwing Things, Toilet Tig, Badger Pulling, False Alarm, Skin the Snake, Pandemonium and Sudden Accidents.

    Hours of merry making to be had by all.

  2. Dan

    Dear Wopsie,

    Listening to you read this has me in TEARS, Mary! I think I started losing it somewhere around “Carrot Fun.”

  3. RFLong

    Marvelous Mary!

    I have two elderly aunts who still think the world is like this, but then, my family is a little different.

    One of my favorite possesions is “Starlight Stories told to bright eyes and listening ears” by Fanny LaBlanche (I SWEAR!) c. 1890 and dedicated to ‘Fritz’, ‘Mitzi’ and ‘Little-Fanny’ (again, I SWEAR!).

    Books are fun. Old books are the best fun of all. The only problem is cleaning them.



  4. David Loftus


    Have you ever encountered Mark Twain’s unfinished — more accurately, barely begun — spoof on etiquette books of his time? It’s usually collected in _Letters From the Earth_. There’s a hilarious section about “How to Address a Lady at a Fire,” and the bit about calling cards has its moments, too. I read some of this at my “Story Time for Grownups” a year and a half ago.