Alternative Name(s): Swan Bills

Small packet of Sarbon brand Swan Bills No. 4 size hooks and eyes, containing 36 pieces, made in England, circa 1920. These were made from 'superior extra quality' steel wire. They were thought to have been purchased for use by the donor's mother.

'Swan Bills' were traditionally used in dressmaking to fasten clothing, and were often used in women's corsets. Fairchild's Dictionary of Fashion (1988) notes that hooks and eyes were used extensively for shirtwaists and dresses with back closings during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They have been largely supplanted by zippers.

Physical Description

Small box of 36 hooks and eyes used for dressmaking. White box with brown graphic and text on all sides. Two threads of red cotton tied around box with a single 'Swan Bill' tied to the cotton at the top. Donated along with another identical box.

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