Sweaters a Hundred Years Ago

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

Sunday, September 1, 1912:

What can be said of September,

Is very much I think,

But the thinking part is not with me now

Because my efforts so readily sink.

Went to Sunday School this morning. Took a slide on a bank coming out. Fortunately didn’t get myself very muddy. It’s raining now.

I have one cracker jack of a cold. Got the worst part of it yesterday going to the picnic without a coat. Hope it doesn’t last long.

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

Sounds like a miserable day with miserable weather—and a miserable cold.

Instead of wearing a coat during the cool fall season, I wonder if Grandma ever thought about getting one of the stylish sweaters shown in the September, 1912 issue of Ladies Home Journal:

The Autumn Sweaters

With the approach of autumn the new sweaters play a prominent part in the array of apparel for outdoor wear.

A very new idea for a coat sweater is the tailored model in ivory white (Number One), with cloth collar and cuffs embroidered in worsteds. This is very modish and is not intended for a general knockabout. The cap is of white cloth also, finished with an embroidered band.

The white sweater with the striped collar and cuffs (Number Two) suggests an appropriate style for outdoor sports.

12 Responses

  1. okay I wanted to say more than I…………
    I bought a beautiful coat sweater – a cafe brown with ruffles–last fall and felt so guilty about how much I spent I did not wear the sweater until last spring
    this fall I will bring it out proudly and wear it so no money was wasted –silly me

  2. In my Mom’s later years, she knit me three sweaters that are exactly like the sweater on the right. They are double yarn sweaters so are much like jackets and both spring and fall I use them like jackets. Of couse in the muggy weather sweaters can become prickly so they are best for those cool to downright chilly clear days and evenings.

    • I thought that they looked more like coats than sweaters–but hadn’t realized that sweaters could be double knit, and that that was why they looked different from most modern sweaters.

  3. PS I never button them all the way up the way it’s pictured here, though.

    • I hadn’t thought about it until you mentioned it, but you’re right , people seldom button sweaters all the way to the top any more. (I often don’t button my sweaters at all and just let them hang open). I guess this is another example of how styles (or the way we wear fashions) has changed.

  4. This is one of the longest entries I’ve read by Helena…she expresses her self well in poetry!

    • I find it amazing how systematic she was doing the poetry. It was always the first day of the month–and something related to the month. Since she seemed to enjoy poetry, I always wonder why she never included any on other days or other topics.

  5. I was just saying I needed a sweater a minute ago. One of those would be nice.

  6. [...] is the second cold that Grandma had during Fall, 1912.  On September 1, 1912 she wrote: I have one cracker jack of a cold. . . . [...]

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