We’ve been continuing to go through some of my grandmother’s things. She really never could bring herself to throw out a lot or to believe that things wouldn’t remain good on a shelf forever.


This one was a surprise to me. I thought that cotton balls had been part of medical kits for as long as cotton had been or at least since the turn of the 20th century, but I just discovered that isn’t right. That cotton used to come in one big lump and you broke off pieces as needed according to my mother. This was still in the back of my grandmother’s medical cabinet.

Does anybody else remember this?

UPDATE: Since Nancy mentioned one of these in her comment, I decided to add this link to the post:


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Sarah Uthoff - Trundlebed Tales

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+, LinkedIn , SlideShare, and . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

One thought on “Cotton”

  1. Yep, when I was growing up in the 60s we always had the cotton roll in the medicine chest. And the roll of gauze! And merthiolate (sp?). I remember having skinned knees with a bright red coating of merthiolate, applied with a big wad of cotton torn from the roll!


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