Grip Weather: 1914 Shoe Store Advertisement

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

Monday, March 30, 1914:  Went to Watsontown this afternoon. Ma’s on the sick list. I was to get some medicine.

Source: Milton Evening Standard (March 27, 1914)

Source: Milton Evening Standard (March 27, 1914)

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

Did Grandma’s mother have the grip? With all of the wet and gloomy March weather, maybe her feet got wet, and she caught the grip. She should have gone to Marsh’s Shoe Store in nearby Milton and bought some new shoes that would have kept her feet dry.

17 Responses

  1. I have never heard the term the grip before Sheryl.

  2. Isn’t it funny how folks used to believe that getting wet would make you sick? I’ve heard grip before as a sickness, but thought it was spelled “grippe”, and I thought it referred to a stomach ailment. Guess not!

    • According to the Free Online Dictionary it is the same thing as influenza:

      Influenza: An acute contagious viral infection characterized by inflammation of the respiratory tract and by fever, chills, muscular pain, and prostration. Also called grippe.

      And, I think that you had the correct spelling. Maybe the author of the ad didn’t know how to spell it.

  3. So interesting, and I like the old advertisements…like a view into another time/world. Never heard of ‘the grip’ but now I have, so much to learn :-)

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the old advertisement. I have a lot of fun doing this blog, and it’s always wonderful to hear when someone particularly enjoys a post.

  4. I love how they all took care of each other. <3

  5. Seems Helena’s weather was much like ours – “getting sick” weather they say. I remember buying new white shoes in April for Easter. What a thrill that was!

    • Thanks for reminding me of white shoes. I also remember how special it was to go shopping for new white church shoes each spring. (Of course, I’d outgrown my white shoes from the previous year.)

  6. The only time I ever heard of the grip was a line in “Adelaide’s Lament” in the play “Guys and Dolls”! I hope Ma is feeling better tomorrow!

    • Your comment sent me searching for Adelaide’s Lament.

      For other readers, you can find it at:

      http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/a/actors_broadway/guys_and_dolls_adelaides_lament.html

      And here are the part of the lyrics which mention the grippe.

      A person can develop La Grippe.
      When they get on that train to Niagra, she can hear the churchbells chime.
      The compartment is air conditioned and the mood sublime.
      Then they get off at Saratoga for the fourteenth time,
      A person can develop La Grippe, La Grippe, La post-nasal drip,
      With the wheezes, and the sneezes, and the sinuses really a pip!
      From a lack of community property and a feeling she’s getting to old,

  7. I hope the grip doesn’t last long.

  8. Now there’s an old word – grip. Yes, I remember it, but it’s been a long time since I heard it.

    • I don’t think I’ve heard it since I was a kid–though I think my father was the person who used to say that he had the grippe, so maybe he continued to use the word in later life, but I really can’t remember it. I think that he modernized his terminology and started calling it the flu.

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