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 thoughts on “Got Proofs of Graduation Photos

  1. 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.

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

  2. 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!)

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

    1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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