The Little Golden Book of Words

golden book of words cover

Brain Pickings, a website which curates interesting books and info, recently featured a children’s book: The Little Golden Book of Words, first published in 1948.

It’s no longer available, unless you can find an old copy on eBay or a similar site.

But it’s precious.

It is beautifully designed and written and drawn, first of all. Here’s the “things to do” page, very straightforward:

 golden words things to do

Then it becomes a little more distant from the present. Here’s how to tell the time of day:

 golden words times of day

Hmm. Maybe a little rural.

Best of all: here are the days of the week.

 golden words week

Can you imagine explaining this to a modern child? And here’s a better question: do you, the reader, understand what these drawings mean?

There was a time when these were universally understood. Monday was washday, Tuesday ironing day, et cetera. And, best of all, Sunday we all trooped off to church. (And that looks like a very Protestant group to me, somehow.)

It all seems very quaint now. The assumptions we made! And the ideas we had!

It makes you wonder: what assumptions are we making right now, that will seem silly and irrelevant fifty or sixty years from now?

Time will tell.

About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

2 Responses to The Little Golden Book of Words

  1. starproms says:

    Well I’m afraid I’m still doing those things, except scrubbing the floor. I use a mop! I don’t have a mangle, but my mum did – until a bit of it flew off and nearly killed her.
    Very interesting lookings today, thank you.

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