Got Proofs of Graduation Photos

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

Monday, May 5, 1913:  Got my proofs this morning. In one I look rather mad. Cleaned a closet this afternoon. Expect to get some more of it tomorrow.

helen_muffly2a

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

It didn’t take Grandma long to get the proofs. Her graduation pictures were taken on May 1.

I love the pensive expression on Grandma’s face on the picture she selected. I wonder if she was pleased with this photo. . . and, what she looked like in the picture where she looked rather mad.

I hope that you don’t mind that I’ve posted Grandma’s graduation photo several times—but it seemed like it was such an important part of today’s diary entry and I didn’t want to make you dig through old posts to find it.

30 Responses

  1. It is a great picture, so it is nice to see it again. Also to hear her reaction to the proofs :-). I have a picture of my Grandma that I have used several times. I think it might be her Graduation picture.

    http://bramanswanderings.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/remembering-grandma/

  2. I wonder what she considered ‘rather mad’?

  3. how awesome to have this and she’s holding her scroll too. I always think the sceneries are interesting in the old studio pictures too.

    • I also noticed the backdrop and props that the photographer used. I was surprised how it was set up to mimic a school room.

  4. She is beautiful. I see in her eyes a very simple person with a pure, kind heart. I bit shy but full of courage. I see a similar look from my grandparents and relatives old pictures. It’s funny cause now, our generation is a total contrast when it comes to images. All smiling and and so far from serious.

    • I wonder if people had different opinions about what was an attractive facial expression on a photo back then than what they do now.

  5. As I’ve said before, I think it’s great that you have this photo to post along with all the entries about Grandma’s graduation!
    I think it’s odd that they had closets…in our area, at that time, houses didn’t have closets, because homeowners were taxed according to how many rooms they had. A closet was considered a room, so most people just used wardrobes for their clothes. (The house I grew up in had no closets!)

    • You’re right–lots of large closets is a relatively new phenomenon. I never heard about the way the taxes were structured affecting the number of closets before–but they might have done that in Pennsylvania, too.

      I can remember having metal wardrobes when I was a child–and I think that before that they often hung clothes on hooks. Maybe the Muffly family had a couple small closets. The farm house that I grew up in did have a few very small built-in closets. They flanked the chimney that once had been used with a wood/coal stove.

  6. A lovely photo!

  7. Gee, I loved hearing that they got proofs in those days. I never even thought of that before. It’s just like senior pix today.

    • It always surprises me how little some things have changed over the past hundred years–and how much other things have changed.

      • I feel the same way. There are things like that that surprise me so much. I felt that way reading through my grandmother’s graduation scrapbook, too. But then look how much has changed since we were kids!

  8. Don’t you just love digging into old treasures and imagining?

    • I do. . I have a wonderful time looking at old artifacts and doing research to help figure out what it might have been like back then.

  9. I love the photo and to think of her looking at the proofs one hundred years ago…

    • I can just picture her thinking about what she liked. . . and disliked about each proof–as she tried to decide which pose to select.

  10. Having proofs then surprised me, too.

  11. I am happy to see the photo again. It was an important day in her life, at a time when not everyone graduated from high school.

  12. What a lovely photo!

  13. I’m glad you put the photo in the posting. I think your Grandmother looks very pretty here. At last I can see the dress she wrote about in earlier entries.

  14. I love the old photos and could look again and again. So, no,I don’t mind a bit. Your grandma was beautiful and so elegant in her graduation dress.

  15. No, I love it, LOL! :-D :-P

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