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K-State Today

January 8, 2015



Marla Day to address impact WWII had on fashion in connection with Flint Hills Discovery Center exhibit

By Jane P. Marshall

The College of Human Ecology will be taking a look into the past as part of an exhibit at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan called "Flint Hills Forces II: Our Town, Our Fort, Our University 1917-1963."

On Thursday, Jan. 8, Marla Day, senior curator of the K-State Historic Costume and Textile Museum, will present "Ration to Fashion" at 7 p.m. Day will address the impact World War II clothing regulations and rationing had on fashions.

The cost of a pair of new leather shoes was Stamp 17 in War Ration Book 1. Each member of family got one stamp a year. A new pair of nylon hose was out of the question. During World War II, clothing materials were rationed. Hosiery companies developed mending kits to repair nylon, silk and cotton lisle stockings. Pattern companies and women's magazines advised how to remake men's suits into children's clothing. Babies were swaddled in flour sack gowns and in quilts pieced from leftovers.

A second lecture from the College of Human Ecology will detail the personal side of the era that saw two world wars and the Great Depression.

Jane P. Marshall, college communications director, will present "Hard Times at the Table" at 7 p.m. Jan. 29. She will discuss wartime food rationing, wartime food and special problems that demanded special solutions in kitchens during the Great Depression.

Marshall teaches Food Writing for the hospitality management and dietetics department and is the author of "Teatime to Tailgates: 150 Years at the K-State Table."

Reservations are not required.

The "Forces II" exhibit examines the intertwined history of Manhattan, Fort Riley and Kansas State University as they grew and changed over the decades. It explores the experiences and events such as soldiers training for trench warfare during World War I, the opulence of the Roaring Twenties at the new Wareham Hotel, the trying times of the Great Depression, a World War II forward observer's Jeep and supplies and family life around the television in a 1950s Manhattan living room.

The exhibit was collaborative efforts by the apparel, textiles, and interior design department in the College of Human Ecology; the Morse Department of Special Collections at Hale Library; the Riley County Historical Society and Museum; the U.S. Cavalry Museum, Fort Riley; and the Conservation Division, DPW, Fort Riley.

The exhibit closes Feb. 1.