This 1969 calendar towel is a lovely, homey autumn scene, the quotes the famous line from the poem "The House by the Side of the Road" by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911). It is in excellent condition with NO rips or tears, NO loose stitches and NO stains. It is a one-owner item, I got it new and it has been packed away ever since. Perfect for a retro kitchen !
Signed RDB in the lower right corner: Richard Batchelder was an artist at the Kay Dee Hand Prints Company, one of the very earliest makers of vintage calendar towels. He specialized in rural country scenes, notably covered bridges and country dwellings, working for Kay Dee for many years.
SIZE is approximately 17 inches wide by 28 inches long. In the industry, this fabric is known as "crash linen." It is lint free, highly absorbent and very durable despite its loose weave and slightly rough feel.
We can tell this is almost certainly a Vermont homestead from the trees - obviously maple trees with their upright branches -- mountain background and stone wall, not to mention the style of the house.
These sentimental old towels are back on the collectibles scene after some years of disinterest. They were invented and first produced by the Stevens Linen company. In 1953, executives realized that their towel production would be threatened by the invention of automatic dishwashers that were increasingly appearing in homes and began looking for other ways to successfully market towels, and someone suggested printing calendars on them. Stevens did just that, in 1954 releasing the very first calendar towel. They were soon copied by other companies, such as Kay Dee, which purchased fabric from Stevens.
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