The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven. It was wonderful for drying children’s tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks and sometimes half hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven. When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids! And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron, and from the garden it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that old time apron that served so many purposes.
source: Wilson Historical Society Newsletter, Vol 37, No. 6 www.wilsonnewyork.com/hist_society.html