Teenage Mary Fitch
(Javascript Slideshow- 6 photographs of Mary E Fitch)



(Photograph of Edwin Oberlin Fitch, Mary's husband)

MAGAZINE ARTICLES OF MARY FITCH

(incomplete)

  • MODERN PRISCILLA
    • "Netted Doily"
      ISSUE: February 1911(Vol. 24:12)
    • "Handkerchief Bag(crochet)"
      ISSUE: July 1913 (Vol. 27:5)
    • "Crocheted Waist Set and Hatpin"
      ISSUE: August 1913 (Vol. 27:6)
    • "New Stock and Jabot"
      ISSUE: October 1913 (Vol. 27:8)
    • "Crocheted Pincushions"
      ISSUE: November 1913 (Vol. 27:9)
    • "Crocheted Things Any Girl Will Like"
      ISSUE: December 1913 (Vol. 27:10)
    • "New Crocheted Accessories"
      ISSUE: April 1914 (Vol. 28:2)
    • "Crochet Luncheon Set"
      ISSUE: July 1914 (Vol. 28:5)
    • ""
      ISSUE: (Vol. )

MARY ELIZA MORRIS FITCH

Here are the booklets I know of from Mary Fitch's self-published series(scroll down to bottom of page - Leigh). She published during the 1910's and -20's, and was primarily a crochet Designer, but often included tatting patterns in her popular crochet books. She published during a time period where there was a lot of competition from other great designers like Anna Wuerfel Brown, Adeline Cordet, Emma Farnes, Sophie LaCroix, Virginia Snow, Anna Valeire and, of course, the great Anne Orr.

ADDENDUM:
The always amazing Becky Clark decided to take one of my obsessions seriously and combine it with one of her own - genealogy! She went hunting for biographic information on what I think of as the 1910s Gang - a large group of fiber artists who first started publishing in the 1910s. She found a lot of fascinating information, including the realization that some of these lauded designers from that time period published under a pen name - and that some of them were men! She also discovered Sharon Heim, the great grandaughter of Mary Eliza Fitch. Sharon has been collecting information and photos on her lauded great grandmother, and agreed to share it all with us!

Sharon's article on her Great Grandmother, Mary Eliza Morris Fitch:
Mary Eliza Fitch, (nee Morris), was born in Boston, MA. Her father was from Lunnberg, Nova Scotia and her mother was from Marblehead, MA. Her father’s family had been in Nova Scotia since 1749. Her family lived in Boston, but spent the summer months in Marblehead.

In 1881, She married Canadian citizen, Edwin Oberlin Fitch, from the Wolfville, Nova Scotia area
(see photo of him to left under the slideshow -Leigh). His family had lived in Nova Scotia for 150 years, he being the 1st to immigrate to the US after all that time.

After she was married, Mary Eliza began her own business as a publisher of needlework patterns. She became known as one of the best needlework designers of her era, creating some of the most elegant patterns of the Gilded Age. Beginning in 1914, her series of instructional books of crochet and tatting patterns were sold through the W.T. Woolworth and Company's mail-order catalogs.

In 1917 she patented a measuring rule and manufactured her own line of crochet hooks with her initials 'MEF' embossed on their ivory handles. Her pattern collections were lovely and often the instructions were easier to follow than most others from that era. She designed a large assortment of delicate patterns for the fashionable lady of the Edwardian Era, which included sweaters, tea jackets, wraps, scarves, evening bags, bodice appliqués and simple edgings for linens, table centerpieces, and runners.

Mary was very artistic and expressed her talent not only in her needlework but she was a fine portrait artist, as well. She painted the oil portrait of her oldest son, Edwin Oberlin Fitch, Jr. when he was 8 years old. She also enjoyed porcelain painting on china.

Mary Fitch was so successful that after her husband's death in 1919, she traveled around the world three times and lived in Paris, France for several years.

In 1940, she moved from her home in Brookline, MA to live with her daughter-in-law in Asheville, NC and she passed away in 1942.

Sharon describes her great grandmother as the "4'11" Dynamo." It sounds apt, considering just how many patterns(and their samples to photograph) she produced in a relatively short period of time!

FURTHER ADDENDUM:
Becky Clark was also able to add: Mary’s father was a brush manufacturer, but in 1872, lost his business to the Great Fire of Boston. Mary was the fourth child of five and had four brothers. (maybe this has something to do with the dynamo -Becky) Three sons were born to Mary and Edwin, one in 1882 and twins in 1884, one of whom died of diphtheria at age 10. Mary’s 16 books were published during the six-year period 1914-1919 after her sons were grown.

Mary Fitch also published some patterns in the pages of "Modern Priscilla", a women's magazine that had an extremely wide circulation that published between the years March 1887 to June 1930. I have here only a partial listing of those articles(see magazine article listings to left of this note -Leigh), but will continue to add to the list as I fill in more of my run of this title and get them catalogued. - Leigh

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BOOK BIBLIOGRAPHY ENTRIES

(REVIEW buttons will take you to pop-up pages of the individual books)

Series No. 1: Filet Crochet and How To Use It, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1914,1919reprint) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 30(1st),15(1919) pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;
Iva Rose Reproductions has a lovely restored 1st editon of this book...

Series No. 2: Filet Crochet with Instructions, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1915) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 23 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;

Series No. 3: Filet Crochet With Instructions, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1915,1917) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 30(1915),15(1917) pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;

Series No. 4: Crocheted Yokes and Tatting, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1915) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 17 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;
My copy is a reprint(it advertises several of the series printed after the first printing of this number)...

Series No. 5: Manual of Crocheting, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1915) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 32 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;
My copy of this issue is missing its back cover...

Series No. 6: Tatting, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1916) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 23 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;
My copy advertises Series No. 7 on the back cover, so it may be a 2nd printing...This is the beginning of the Woolworth/Woolco ads, and Mary Fitch's books started being offered through their catalogs!

Series No. 7: Filet Crochet with Instructions, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1917) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 25 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;

Series No. 8: Crochet and Tatting Yokes and Collars, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1917) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 23 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;
Mine may be a 2nd printing - Iva Rose Reproductions lists their copy as having 26 pages...

Series No. 9: BAGS- Crochet and Tatting, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1917) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 25 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;

Series No. 10: Filet Crochet with Instructions, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1917) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 22 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;

Series No. 11: Gifts Crochet & Tatting, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1917)
Notes: ?? pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;

Series No. 12: Filet Crochet with Instructions, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1917) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 22 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;
includes some tatting patterns...

Series No. 13: Crocheted & Tatted Yokes & Neckwear, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1918) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 23 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;

Series No. 14: Embroidered Patchwork Applique, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1918)
Notes: 15 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;

Series No. 15: Latest Yokes, Collars & Cuff Sets in Filet Crochet and Tatting, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1919) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 21 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;

Series No. 16: The Newest Knitted and Filet Crocheted Sweaters, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1919) Book Review Popup Window
Notes: 19 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;

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EMBROIDERY SERIES BIBLIOGRAPHY ENTRIES

(REVIEW buttons will take you to pop-up pages of the individual books)

Cross Stitch Designs, Series No. I, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1915)
Notes: 8? pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;

Cross Stitch Designs, Series No. II, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1915)
Notes: 8? pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Mary E. Fitch, Brookline, MA; ISBN: None;

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RADCLIFFE SERIES BIBLIOGRAPHY ENTRIES

(REVIEW buttons will take you to pop-up pages of the individual books)

Radcliffe Series No. 1: Filet Crochet and Cross Stitch With Instruction, by Mary E. Fitch (TPB:1915)
Notes: 36 pages; Country: USA; Publisher: Unknown; ISBN: None;
Iva Rose Reproductions has this one available, but she does not know if there were any others as suggested by the word "Series" on the cover...

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