Pink Eye

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

Tuesday, December 10, 1912:  I’ve got the pink eye now. It’s in both eyes. I look a good bit like a fright. Can’t see very well at present. Oh dear, I wonder when I’ll get over my terrible diseases.

eye.bath

Eye bath

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

Good grief!  PINK EYE!  Grandma was sick so much during Fall, 1912—and I was really hoping she was getting over the cold that she’s complained about on and off ever since November 28. Now this . .

Here’s a remedy for sore eyes in a hundred –year-old book called The Compendium of Everyday Wants:

The following is a soothing lotion to be applied with an eye bath several times a day. One grain borax, one ounce camphor water.

21 Responses

  1. my goodness, such a lot of health problems! I wonder how they treated pink eye and it’s so contagious!

  2. The borax sounds a little scary!

  3. I work in eye care, so I really like this. :-).

  4. I love the eye bath! Where did you find it?

  5. Sheryl,
    Congrats! I have awarded you a Liebster. Go to my blog to get the info http://www.youwhoineverknew.wordpress.com Congrats again!
    Kassie (Mom)

  6. My, what a wonderful blog! My great-great-grandmother kept a diary and I have been thinking of a way to write a post about her. I know she would have been on Facebook or have written a blog!

    What you have done is a very creative way to share her diary. I must follow yours to find out more about her.

  7. I find myself pulling for your grandma and hoping she finds good health soon. Maybe she needed more Vitamin C?

  8. I have a new appreciation for what they must have had to do to battle colds back then. I’ve bought all kinds of stuff over the past few days…it’s a crap shoot. Half of it has had no effect at all. The borax eye bath sounds daunting.

  9. She is sure having a difficult year. and by the way…congratulations on the award, you do have a sweet blog! :D

  10. I have a clear glass eye bath from the 1930′s belonging to my oldest brother (25 years older than me) and I also have one made of milk glass. I remember being asked to go to the store for a bag of borax for an elderly lady to bathe her eye.

  11. [...] Wesner was a friend of Grandma and her sister Ruth. Was it really a good idea for Tweet to visit?  The previous day , Grandma wrote in her diary that she had pink [...]

  12. Most of my family, from my parents back, grew up in rural Kentucky. In fact, the your banner photo could be the house of my Aunt and Uncle. I was too young and don’t really know much about my family’s life back then, but your blog helps to give me a good idea. The blog concept is great and very well done.

  13. [...] glad that you’re finally getting over the pink eye. Stay [...]

  14. [...] brother is right—he probably caught the pink eye from Grandma . She wrote that she had pink eye on December 10—and that it was getting better on December [...]

  15. we used to bath our eyes in a solution of boric acid and water when we had a problem. But never pink eye to my knowledge. Mostly styes.

  16. [...] no fun to be sick during the holidays.  Pink eye was going through the family. Grandma had it on December 10 and their brother Jimmie had it on December [...]

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