Getting a New Fingernail!

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

Monday, February 17, 1913: I have discovered the fact that I am getting a new nail on my once sore thumb.

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

Source: Wikipedia

I bet Grandma was looking forward to when her thumb nail would look  like this. (Source: Wikipedia)

Whew! Grandma must have really injured her thumb back in December, if it’s taken two months for her to know whether she’d get a new nail.

This was the third time that Grandma mentioned the injured thumb in the diary. (If she hurt it as badly as it sounds, I’m almost surprised how few times she wrote about it.)

Here’s a recap of the previous entries:

December 16, 1912

Our dearest Ruth left for Sunbury this morning and my heart is rather sad. We killed some pigs and I took a slice off the end of my thumb. Oh sad the day, for I don’t care anything about having a sore thumb.

January 20, 1913

I have a sore thumb although I do not think it is as bad as it was several days ago.

15 Responses

  1. I found an article on the National Institute of Health website that says that it takes about three months for a new nail to grow. Looks like she if right on track.

  2. My hubby had a finger injury several months ago, and he just lost his nail a couple of weeks ago. Painful!
    You’re right: you would think Grandma would have mentioned it in her diary more often, although I think her generation didn’t “complain” as much as we do!

  3. It seems that Grandma had little choice but to remain stoic – probably what the doctor ordered (if they even called in a dr.) when she “sliced” her thumb. The good old days seem romantic now, but were not always so. Wonder if she got a tetanus shot.

  4. sad to hear about the pigs, altho i know it was a way of life back then…

  5. Pretty certain it was more dangerous and painful to have a sore thumb back then! And she was undoubtedly way more active and doing more physically risky things than most of us would be doing today (university students excepted!).

    • As badly as she hurt her finger, it does seem as if she must have been doing something fairly dangerous. I’m glad that most equipment and tools today are designed in ways that generally make them relatively safe to use. .

  6. Yes, it sucks having a nail that isn’t easily filed and cared for. It makes it hard to do anything when a digit is injured.

  7. Your comment makes me wonder if the injured thumb was on the hand she wrote with–or if it was on the other hand.

  8. My daughter sliced her fingernail off a few months ago. It’s grown back. She was cooking. I think it’s still possible to injure your fingernail if you are using sharp knives or you could smash it in a car door.

    Pigs are still being killed. When I lived in rural Mississippi many people killed their own pigs and then had someone professionally cut them up.

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