Hot off the Press—A Hundred Years Ago Returns!

SherylA new version of A Hundred Year Ago that focuses more on the foods and slower-paced lifestyle of the early 1900s will be rolled out later this week. I plan to do posts about twice a week.

Over the past few months, I’ve discovered that even when I’m not blogging, I still enjoy making hundred-year-old recipes that use seasonal, local foods. I also continue to be fascinated by the simpler way of life a hundred years ago.

And, I discovered how much I missed the blogging community. I met so many wonderful people during the four years that I did A Hundred Years Ago.

I finally realized that A Hundred Years Ago could continue without the diary. . . dah. . . I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to figure that out.

Over the next few days, I plan to update the look of A Hundred Years Ago. There probably will be moments when this blog looks very strange as I make the transition to a new template. Keep your fingers crossed that it goes smoothly.

See you soon!

Since all of Grandma’s diary entries have been posted, this blog has ended; but you’re invited to linger for a minute or two to explore the site. You may enjoy reading (or rereading) some of the posts.

I’d like to thank my family, friends, and the blogging community for your support and assistance. It’s been a wonderful four years. You’re awesome.

Final Diary Entry

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, December 29, 1914: This diary is surely doomed to be a failure and I am terribly tired of writing in it. Christmas has come and gone and I am just the same except a little older. Got some nice presents of which none were misfits. Ma and Ruth seemed to be pleased with the presented I gave them, so then I am satisfied.

Took down the tree today. We never keep our tree long, because there isn’t much to trim it with.

The Conclusion

Good-bye old year, good-bye. Tis now Dec. 29, but I am really ready to say good-bye. I haven’t much faith in myself nor has this friend with me, so it is best that we should part.

Adieu

Helen(a) and Raymond Swartz and their descedants at the Swartz Reunion, White Deer Park, circa 1964
Helen(a) and Raymond Swartz and their descendants at the Swartz Reunion, White Deer Park, circa 1964

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Good grief, Grandma. . . I hate to disagree on the very last day of the diary, but you are wrong. The diary has done some wonderful things–both for you and for me.

Get your confidence back quickly. You’re going to need it. I looked into my crystal ball and know that you have a long, magnificent life ahead of you with a fantastic husband, and wonderful children and grandchildren.

Adieu for now—I’ll catch up with you when our paths cross again. Go live the rest of your life. You’ll be awesome.

Grandma’s Fruit Bowl

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, December 28, 1914: <<no entry>>

DSC09704

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Sigh. . . No diary entry again. I know that the end of the diary is near, and I am relishing these last few days of A Hundred Years Ago.

As the diary winds down and we send Grandma off to live the rest of her life—and me off to a new blogging project,–I’ve been thinking about some of the mementos of Grandma’s that I’ll continue to see on a daily basis.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Grandma passed shortly after I got married; and, when the grandchildren were given an opportunity to select items they would like to have from her house, I selected practical items that I needed. One item I selected was Grandma’s ironing board.

Another item I chose was her fruit bowl. It has sat on my kitchen counter, generally filed with a bunch of bananas (or a few pears or plums), for more than 30 years. I’ve lived in several different homes across that time period, but the fruit bowl on the kitchen counter has been a constant.

The fruit bowl is so functional (yet beautiful)—and I seldom even think about its history—but it’s kind of nice that items that once were Grandma’s are part of my home. The past and the present all somehow merge.

Grandma at my Wedding

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, December 27, 1914: <<no entry>>

DSC09680crop
my grandfather on the other side of the family, Grandma, me, my husband

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, today I’d like share another photo of Grandma and me. This one was taken at my wedding.

Playing with the Christmas Doll

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, December 26, 1914: <<no entry>>

Dolls waiting for turn to wash-up at sink
Source: Ladies Home Journal (January, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share some suggestions in the January, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal that addresses an age-old problem on the day after Christmas. What do you do when the children don’t play with the toys that Santa brought them?

Well, Ladies Home Journal had some fun suggestions for creating scenarios that would make it more interesting to play with dolls:

Playing with the Christmas Doll

With a new doll at Christmastime little girls are made the happiest of happy little beings, since the newcomer frequently adds one more to the collection of other years, and now there is quite a family for the little mother to train.

dolls in a classroomWhat fun it would be to have a school in a corner, if only someone at home will provide a few tables and benches which might easily be fashioned from boxes.

1914-01-29 c“Let’s play ball” is suggested by the wee mites in the picture.

Hundred-year-old Necco Wafers Advertisement

19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, December 25, 1914: << no entry>>

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1914)
Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1914)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’ll share a 1914, Christmas-themed advertisement for Necco Wafers.

It’s always fun to come across an ad in an old magazine for a product that still available. I did a little research on Necco wafers and was stunned to discover that they’ve been around for 167 years. According to Wikipedia:

Necco Wafers date back to 1847. Oliver Chase, an English immigrant, invented a lozenge cutting machine with which he produced the wafers. At the time of the Civil War, these were called “hub wafers” and were carried by Union soldiers. In 1901, Chase and Company merged with two other companies to incorporate the New England Confectionery Company. By 1912 the wafers were being advertised as “Necco Wafers”, a name they still carry today.

During World War II the United States government ordered Necco to produce its wafers for soldiers overseas. As a result of this action, Necco saw its sales of the wafers peak. Upon returning home, many former soldiers became faithful customers who continued to buy the wafers.