Sewing kits were a surprisingly
versatile tool for soldiers in the field
At fleet school they said, ‘If we wanted you to have a wife, we’d issue you with one,’” recalls navy veteran Jim Ross. “And then they did.”
In his six months at Canadian Forces Base Cornwallis in Nova Scotia in 1958, Ross became intimately familiar with his housewife—a sewing kit with everything he needed to keep his uniform shipshape.
“We had to sew our names on everything we were issued with,” said Ross, who lives near Charlottetown. “That was a big thing. It took up so much time because we had so much kit…summer uniforms, winter uniforms, shorts and underwear and everything. Hats.”
That navy-blue housewife, with his name and service number neatly embroidered in red on the outside flap, now resides in...