Halloween Place Cards

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

Thursday, October 30, 1913: Everything is almost ready for the party and I am anticipating the fun we will have.

Halloween place card 2

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

I’m almost as excited as Grandma about the Halloween party she and her sister Ruth were planning.

Were there still a few final touches that needed to be completed? . . . like making place cards?

A hundred years ago, place cards were often made to ensure that just the right people sat next to each other.  The October, 1913 issue of Ladies Home Journal included several sample place cards.

Halloween place card 3

Halloween place card 1

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15 Responses

  1. These place cards are fun.

  2. It’s wonderful to see Grandma so excited! This party sounds like just what she needed to lift her out of her doldrums.
    Those place cards are adorable – wouldn’t it be wonderful to find some like those in an antique shop????

  3. Catching up on the fun! So great seeing (hearing?) Helena so animated! Interesting that there are no black cats in the silhouettes…I’d never seen a dog associated withHalloween before this. Wonder what her costume will be?

    • hmm. . Now that you mention it, I can’t remember seeing any pictures of black cats in either McCalls or Ladies Home Journal. I wonder if they became associated with Halloween more recently.

  4. getting closer ….

  5. Love those cards…
    Wouldn’t your grandmother be tickled that we’re all excited about her party, a century after it happened? :)

  6. I love how people took time for details themselves back in the day! It took a little extra time to have homemade things…maybe, although they worked hard, they had more extra time that we do these days…

  7. How interesting! I just finished reading a book about the history of Halloween, and it gave some background on what was happening a century ago in the northeastern US. There are so many different practices associated with this holiday.

    • The book sounds really interesting. Based on my very limited knowledge I have a sense that tricks were a more important part of trick or treat back then. One thing that surprised me about party plans in the magazine articles from a hundred years ago was the suggestion that someone dressed as a witch could tell fortunes or make incantations.

  8. Yes, I am sure that the seating plan is important :)

  9. What a great line for a fortune telling shtick: You’d shudder if I told you all I know….

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