1914 Kodak Advertisement in Farm Magazine

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

Tuesday, April 28, 1914: Was going for trailing arbutus this afternoon, but the other girls didn’t have time to go, so it’s postponed til tomorrow. Developed my plates. The negatives are spotted some, where they got touched.

Source:  Kimball's Dairy Farmer Magazine (June 1, 1914)

Source: Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (June 1, 1914)

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

Yeah Grandma! I’m glad that you’re still taking photos and developing them. This is the first time you’ve mentioned photography in months. What a fun hobby!—though it sounds difficult to get perfect photos.

What did you take photos of? . . . friends? . . . family? . . . or perhaps you convinced your parents to buy your film and supplies by saying that you’d take photos to help keep an accurate record of the farm operations.

28 Responses

  1. Sheryl does your family have any old photos that may have been taken by your Grandmother?

  2. How I wish my farming ancestors had followed Kodak’s advice!

  3. I am wondering the same as sueslaght. Do you have any of the pictures?

    • Most have been lost to time. I only have a copy of one. But you’ll have to wait to see it. It really nicely illustrates on the the “big events’ in the diary, and I’m saving it until then.

  4. Oh the old Kodak ad! What a beauty.

  5. Yes, add me to your readers who had the same thought as Sue. Wouldn’t that be wonderful???

  6. Photography has sure come a long way. Those first consumer cameras were an amazing advance. People could get snapshots of their lives. Now we take billions of them.

    • Film was expensive back then–and developing it was complicated if people did it themselves, or expensive if someone else did it. Each photo was special back then.

  7. It must have been exciting to have a camera back then.

    • I agree! Grandma’s interest in taking and developing pictures makes me think that she must have enjoyed learning how to use new technology.

  8. Hopefully someone in your family has a photo or a negative from Grandma. Wouldn’t that be grand?

  9. This whole thing fascinates me–she must’ve had a darkroom, somehow, and other equipment?

    • I also find it fascinating. I think that I have a vague memory (though I can’t remember for sure) that my father once told me that his mother (Grandma) occasionally developed pictures while standing on the landing at the top of the basement stairs. It sounds like a very cramped spot for a temporary darkroom, but I suppose that it was dark there. I wonder if she set up a darkroom in a similar spot in the house she lived in when she was a teen.

  10. I am so spoiled! I just take a photo, pop the SD card into my computer, and edit. I’m so impressed by folks who shoot film, especially back in your grandmother’s day!

  11. For some reason I just love this ad. What a great idea, too!

  12. Enjoyed the camera info but am still wondering what the ‘going for trailing arbutus’ reference means?

  13. Sheryl:
    What a profoundly interesting this whole journey must be for you, eh? (Can you tell I’m Canadian? (Eh?)

  14. […] guessing that Grandma and some of her friends picked lots of training arbutus. Two days prior to this entry she […]

  15. Hard to imagine that after such an immense legacy, Kodak filed for bankruptcy. Made me so sad. They just totally missed the boat to digital.

  16. […] 1914 Kodak Advertisement in Farm Magazine […]

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