PREVIOUS: The History of The Saturday Club: 1880-1920
1920 to 1950
- The United States joined the Allies in 1917 and the hospitality of the Club was extended to 25 marines from the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Canteen lunches were held to raise money for the servicemen. The Junior Saturday Club produced a vaudeville show for the benefit of French orphans.
- The Clubhouse was closed in February 1918 due to a coal shortage; reopening in April. A ‘War Kitchen’ was established for one week at the request of the government.
- During the influenza epidemic, the clubhouse was filled with cots, turning it into a hospital due to the overcrowded hospital conditions.
- ‘Play Days’ were established: The Black and White Luncheon, Alice in Wonderland Luncheon, Submarine Luncheon.
- The Drama Department of the late 20s was so active that it eventually dissolved affiliation with the Club and became known as “The Footlighters” theatre.
- A 7-year Braille Department program produced 12 books of 70 volumes.
The 50th birthday celebration was held on March 31, 1936. Club members gave a brief history in the form of a tableaux. Guests included State and County officers, chief among who was the State President, Mrs. John M. Phillips, who gave an inspirational talk on what women can really do when they’re united.
- The club worked closely with the schools and sponsored a series of first aid classes at the Clubhouse in conjunction with the Mothers Association of Radnor Township.
- Following Pearl Harbor, the Red Cross Unit of the Club became active. The Clubhouse was set up and staffed as a ten bed emergency hospital. This was the only Women’s Club hospital in the county. A total of 17,000 surgical dressings were made by members of the Club and turned over to the Red Cross.
- A Defense Desk was set up where $13,123.70 worth of defense bonds and stamps were sold. 37 enlisted men from Camp Dix were entertained for dinner and dancing at the Clubhouse.
- The Literature Committee established the Book Group. 55 members loaned books for a circulating library and met once a month to discuss current literature.
- A member flower shower provided great competition for the ‘Sweepstake Cup’ and a highlight of the spring season was the annual tour of members’ gardens.
- The Camp and Hospital Committee raised funds to furnish the Neuropathic Lounge at the Valley Forge Hospital, prepared Christmas stockings for men too ill to go home for the holidays, supplied entertainment for the men, filled sea chests and packed 69 cartons of tinned foods to be sent to the overseas servicemen.
The members worked hard to maintain the Clubhouse so it would continue to follow the objection set down by our founders: ‘To create an organized center of thought and action’ and a place ‘to keep abreast of all educational and progressive movement of the times.’
The Club continued to be the center of community interest. It was used for Church services, Girl Scout meetings, the Radnor High School senior banquet and the basement was rented for a Nursery School.
- Thriving committees at the time included The Garden Committee, the Radio and Motion Picture committee, the Legislative Committee and the Peace Committee.
- In 1950, the Philanthropic committee awarded a total of $857.53.