Commonplace books were ways of keeping knowledge or compiling information on a particular subject. Today, we might consider a Pinterest page a commonplace book. The use of commonplace books dates back to the dawn of books. Printing books also made it more accessible for people. Many scientists and writers have used them over the years to keep track of common knowledge.
The below example of a crochet pattern common place book. It’s believed that it dates from about 1915 to the 1950’s. It is made from a old legal book with a strong binding. However, it’s been used so much over the years, the spine has fallen off and is taped together. The tape has also disintegrated over the years. However, the remaining binding and signatures appear to be in good health. It is from a private family collection.
Inside the front cover are some cutouts from advertisements, the creator’s picture and other personal papers.
There are patterns for various crochet patterns. There appear to be hundreds of patterns. According to the family, the family home was filled with doilies, embellished pillows and other crocheted items. Not only was this a wish list, it was a working commonplace book.
There are also hints of other items that she was interested in. This newspaper was also included. It is frail, so I didn’t open it up to see what was saved.