It began with a pin and earring set made by sewing hundreds of tiny beads and sequins to covered buttons.
That was in October, 1947. It was the first kit sent out by the
Month's Fad Club, which would later become the Fad of the Month Club.
Like all the later kits, it probably had a name, very likely one that
was clever or punning. But, alas, I don't know what that name
was. Or any of the names of the early kits, up through January,
1950, at least not for certain. I can guess, from later clues.
The Month's Fad / Fad of the Month Club were run by the "National
Handcraft Institute," of Des Moines, Iowa. Many years later it
was bought by CBS, and run out of Terre Haute, Indiana, where the
Columbia Record Club was based. Then, sometime in the early
1980's, it went away, leaving behind memories and crafts, some made,
some still sitting patiently in their boxes, in attics and basements
and closets and cartons all over the country.
I've been collecting the kits for over ten years now, and there are
still gaps in my collection and my knowledge. So, please, stroll
through Memory Lane (which is not to be confused with Memory Laners, a
kit from 1971) and take a look at the kits. And if you have any
information about the kits I don't know, please let me know; or if you
have any questions, please ask.
How the Club worked
When a member joined the Fad of the Month Club, she (it
was usually a she, though likely there were male members, too) would
receive a box or an envelope in the mail each month. Inside
would be everything (or almost everything) needed to make the month's
fad. Some called for common household items like cellophane tape
or a brown paper bag or thread or even a dab of lipstick; but sometimes
even the needle and thread would be provided.
Each kit (or at least the ones from 1950 on) came with a
"Three-Star Order Form," which could be used to re-order the same kit,
or to order a matching kit, or to order an unrelated kit appropriate
for the season, shown in an accompanying flyer. Little catalogues
came out, at first sporadically and then annually. So the monthly
kit was just a start, and if you remember a kit that is not listed
here, that may be why.
Members got thank-you gifts for paying for a number of kits in
advance. Unless the membership was canceled, C.O.D. packages were
sent after the advance payment was used up.
Thank you gifts were also given for the recruitment of new members.
These gifts might be older monthly kits, or they might be something extra like a note pad or a seam ripper.
Twice, the Club issued little gold-colored pins to members who certified that they had completed a certain number of kits.