Went Shopping: Bought Toothbrush and Stockings

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

Saturday, September 30, 1911: Went to Watsontown this morning. Had to get a toothbrush and some stockings. Had to husk some corn this afternoon. It was my first attempt, so you see the piles of corn wouldn’t span out so rapidly. In addition to this I got stung by a bumble bee. How it did swell my thumb. Gee whiz!

Source: Ladies Home Journal (August 1911)

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

A hundred years ago people in rural areas generally did not have electricity; many did not have telephones, and there were outhouses instead of bathrooms. Cars were a rarity; and it was a huge process to do laundry.

Yet, surprisingly—at least to me—you could go into a store and buy a toothbrush and stockings in 1911.  Until I read this entry, I never thought about whether people had toothbrushes a hundred years ago, but I don’t think that I would have guessed that these consumer goods were commercially available.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

It’s only late September. I’m surprised that the corn was dry enough to husk.

There must have been more insects a hundred years ago. This is the third time since June that Grandma has mentioned a bee sting (see June 21 and July 8).

3 Responses

  1. She was just so ‘sweet’ – the bees loved her! ;-)

  2. I’m thinking that this is an implicit observation of global warming. In 1911, winter would have come sooner…

    • Scattered throughout the diary are entries which either explicitly or implicitly provide clues about the weather in 1911. I can’t see any consistent pattern–though in general it seems like 1911 was a very warm year in the eastern US. But, I keep reminding myself that the weather in one locale doesn’t really tell much about the weather nationally or globally.

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