Image of Percy Kent Bag ad for Alice in Wonderland feed sack prints, circa 1951.
The ad features three different prints available in the Alice in Wonderland series.
Clockwise from upper right: Garden of Live Flowers, Mad Tea Party and March of the Cards.
Image courtesy Matt Crandall.
Movies Represented in Quilt Fabric
by Marian Ann J. Montgomery, Ph.D.
Curator of Clothing and Textiles, Museum of Texas Tech University
Licensing of Disney products around their movies began in 1929 when Mickey Mouse was first featured on a children’s writing tablet. It is thought that the merchandizing around the Disney movies kept the studio afloat during the Great Depression (1929-1939).
When Alice in Wonderland opened on July 28, 1951, Disney entered into an agreement with the Percy Kent Company to place their images on feed sack bags. The Percy Kent Bag Company was the first firm to put prints onto feed sack fabrics in 1937. To edge out the competition, increase consumer demand and improve sales, the company hired the well-known New York fabric designer A. Charles Barton to be the company’s design director.
As one of the top firms in 1951, Percy Kent Bag Company entered into a licensing agreement with Disney. Three different designs were printed on either a white, yellow, blue, pink, green or purple background. The ad above, from the Percy Kent Bag Company, documents the series.
March of the Cards from the Nickols Feed Sack collection TTU-H2015-053-238, with a white background.
The Alice in Wonderland fabrics were definitely available in Texas and Oklahoma because the Merit company ran an ad showing the prints. The Merit company had mills in Oklahoma City, Muskogee and Sayre, Oklahoma as well as Amarillo, Texas. The Alice in Wonderland prints also ran on Rodkey’s Best Flour bags.
March of the Cards with yellow background, Gift of Matt Crandall, TTU-H2019-083-002.
Painting the Roses Red on green background. You can see the licensing information along the right-hand selvage. Gift of Matt Crandall, TTU-H2019-083-001.
In the 1950s Davy Crockett was a hero to many children who watched the Disney television programs. A quilt recently offered to the museum in the Grecian Square pattern included Crockett fabric.
Learn more about Feedsacks:
Cotton & Thrift: Feed Sacks and The Fabric of American Households by Marian Ann J. Montgomery
Feed Sacks by Linzee Kull McCray.