17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Monday, April 15, 1912: I didn’t study hardly any at all this evening. I did have a very bad streak of laziness.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Since Grandma didn’t have much to say a hundred years ago today, I’m going to go off on a tangent.
Many families were larger in 1912 than they are today. I came across the following Letter to the Editor in the April 1912 issue of Good Housekeeping that is very illuminating regarding the discussion about family size and family planning a hundred years ago:
How Many Children?
Mr. Editor—While I have never suffered from ill-health, particularly, nor was it impossible financially to have children when we were first married, yet I think parents should be in such circumstances they can bring up children without feeling that they are a burden. Plenty there are who try to take care of three or four children, sometimes more, and do their own housekeeping, and I say, it’s an injustice to the children. One or the other suffers, usually the children.
It was several years before we were able to have a child, and three years later, when I had fully regained my strength, I had another. That is all we feel we can properly educate and support. Those who preach that each family should have four children are, to my mind, very wrong. Have a dozen if you can bring them up respectably—and if as poor as church mice, none.
New York A.M.