1913 Jewelry Advertisements

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

Thursday, December 18, 1913:  Kept house again and was this time so unfortunate as to burn the coffee. Ma was in town shopping. Wonder what she got for me. All that I know is that it came from a jeweler’s.

Source: Holmes Company Advertisement in November, 1913 issue of Ladies Home Journal

Source: Holmes Company Advertisement in November, 1913 issue of Ladies Home Journal

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

Guessing is so much fun. . .

What gift did her mother buy her?. . . a pink cameo pendant? . . . a monogrammed scarf pin? . . . a watch?

Which jeweler did Grandma’s mother go to?. . . maybe Fielder’s  in the nearby town of Milton?

Source: Milton Evening Standard (May 27, 1913)

Source: Milton Evening Standard (May 27, 1913)

Recent photo of South Front Street, Milton

Recent photo of South Front Street, Milton

Burning the Coffee

Until I read this diary entry, I never heard of anyone burning coffee. What is burned coffee? And, what might have happened that caused it to burn?

35 Responses

  1. I remember coffee being made by putting the coffee grounds into boiling water and boiling for a time. I remember reunions and church picnics when it was done this way, and then a raw eggs and the shell was stirred into it to ‘settle the grounds’ before serving. I suppose if one left it on the stove too long it could burn. … A few minutes later… I just left this and Googled ‘how to make coffee 1913′ and found this: http://clickamericana.com/topics/food-drink/how-to-make-good-coffee-1913

  2. I have burnt coffee! Let the coffee pot boil dry; not that pleasant but not as bad as burnt milk. And I have burnt coffee beans :(. I wonder what a lingerie clasp is.

  3. Burnt coffee means it simply is brewed and left on the heat too long. After about 20 minutes on the burner of a coffee maker, or in Helena’s case, the stove, it starts to taste burnt. Many places such as gas stations leave the coffee on a hot plate too long and it tastes terrible! I find that Dunkin’Donuts coffee tastes like this most of the time when purchased at their shops! Perhaps some people are so used to it that they eventually decide that is the way coffee is supposed to taste? I don’t care for it, but to each their own.

    Lingerie clasps are little pins or clips used to keep shoulder straps from slipping. In this era, women’s corsets were morphing into a shape closer to what we think of as a long-line bra, and frequently had straps. Corset covers were morphing into more of a “camisole” style and often had narrow straps, too. The clasps or pins held the straps together and could be used to attach straps to the bodice of the dress, too. I have a few in my antique clothing collection. They are usually about 3/4″ long and only about 1/4″ wide. Often they are gold-colored or brass, sometimes pewter or steel, but often have some kind of basic design etched in them. I have one with mother of pearl, and another set with tiny crystals. They are darling!

    • Thanks for the wonderful information. You’re right, coffee at some gas stations is AWFUL! I’d never thought of it as burned, but it makes sense that coffee that has been brewed too long might be called burned.

      It’s incredibly annoying when bra straps slip down my shoulders.Lingerie clasps sound like a really useful piece of jewelry. I’m going to have to see if I can find any of them the next time that I’m at a flea market or antique shop that sells old jewelry.

      • @Sheryl: I’ve heard (and from personal experience found it true) that bra straps that slip all the time actually have more to do with wearing the wrong size. None of us stay the same size forever, even without weight changes, and the band size is often too small or too large. They are so inconsistently made, too, that I find I might need different sizes even when buying the same style from the same manufacturer. At different points in my cycle it changes which bras are more comfortable and which will do the job better! It is helpful to get measured once in a while. I changed bra sizes 4 times (with almost no weight change) between my late 20s and my late 30s and I’ve never even had children!

        A good trick I was taught by a bra fitter is that when you buy the bra, it should fit perfectly at the loosest band closure so that you can tighten it as the band stretches out over several months. (Guess who has spent a lot of time struggling with this? My straps used to be a constant problem!)
        For the record, if you find lingerie pins and want to try them, don’t pay more than a dollar per pin unless you find a perfectly-matched set that you love. Usually they are missing their mates….and they are so tiny that you need to be especially dexterous to use them.

        • Thanks for the info and suggestions. I don’t stand real straight and had always blamed my problems with bra straps slipping on my sloping shoulders.

  4. Do you have any of your grandma’s old jewelry? It would be interesting to see photographs of you do. How about any photographs of your grandma wearing a piece of jewelry.

  5. Love the old photo of the jewelry. WOW! That diamond ring was expensive for that day in age!

  6. Thast ‘clickamericana’ link’s interesting. At that period ‘good’ coffee was made in England this way too. Has anyone tried this egg method? It sounds too disgusting, but it was clearly prevalent at the time.

  7. I think I need one of those lingerie clasps. Don’t you just hate it when you have a strap diving off your shoulder all day long!

    • I think that I need them, too. Yes, it’s awful when a bra strap keeps slipping off my shoulder. I’ve thrown many an otherwise good bra out because of this problem.

  8. Oh no! Burned coffee. We just got home from our road trip. This morning, we looked forward to having our own brew of coffee. Burned would be bad. Not here, tho. We use a French press.

  9. I have (don’t use it anymore) an old coffee pot (perculator?) it is metal, has a stand with a filter that you can pull out. You fill it half with water and put it on an open fire or a burner on the stove. As the water boils, it perculates up the stand (hollow in the middle) and drips out the top into the coffee filter. I’ve burned coffee in it over spills the grinds into the pot! haha hope that all made sense!

  10. My favorite jewelry pieces are the cameos. I hope she tells us what she gets for Christmas :)

  11. I would imagine that before coffee makers, in fact before percolators, that it was easy to burn coffee. pretty sure I would have burned it ;). This jewelry is a trip to the past for me because it reminds me of the kind of jewelry I was given that belonged to my family. Thank you for your jogs to my memory!

  12. Oooh–jewelry! i remember that I loved getting jewelry at that age.

  13. I can only imagine her excitement over the possibility of receiving jewelry for Christmas.

  14. I remember burned coffee from childhood (and from the pot that was left on the coffee maker too long … phew!) love the photo of Milton

  15. I am guessing that it was a watch. The diamond ring advertised sounded pricey even for now. But 12 teaspoons for a $1 is a deal. I love old catalogues.

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