This is definately an artifact of the times. It implies a lot about a woman's available time in the kitchen, and her priorities.
"At very little cost you can equip yourself with a big sifter, a blending fork or pastry blender, measuring cups for both liquid and dry ingredients, a spatula for leveling dry measurements, a pastry board or cloth, and a well-made rolling pin that spins at a touch, stockinet-covered if desired, a pastry wheel for cutting fluted strips, and cookie cutters for gay cutouts for pie tops. With these, any kind of pastry is easy to make..."
Whew! 15 years behind the rolling pin, and I've never once desired a stockinet covered rolling pin. But I have to admire the mind that thought this paragraph was an appealing way to begin a book for easy-as-pie cooking.
"To help avoid weeping meringues:" Don't whip egg whites until frothy and dab under your eyes. Or, don't take your meringues to see "Bambi."
the_october is definately in favor of the Party Tarts on page 59. Unfortunately, it's basically just a bowl-shaped ice cream cone. But that's better than the recipe for Sherried Prune Tarts, which sounds like my elderly aunt Ruth visiting after a few too many pints of Port, and absconding with the waiter.