The Role of Librarians

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

Tuesday, October 27, 1914:  << no entry>>

 

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

I found this interesting opinion piece about the role of librarians in the November, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal. Since Grandma again didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought you might enjoy it.

Do We Have the Best Man or Woman?

Fifty of every one hundred persons who go to public libraries ask, according to librarians: “What is a good book for me to read?” In other words the choice of reading is, in this large percentage, left to the discretionary direction of the man or woman behind the public,-library desk. Very few persons, it is said, ask for a definite book.

Accepting this condition as a fact, the responsibility of the librarian is great, but the responsibility of the community in selecting the librarian is even greater.

In other words, communities should think a little more carefully of the fitness of those whom they place in charge of the public libraries, and of those who are already there. Are they the best that can be secured to direct the reading of the community?

I also found it interesting that both men and women were librarians a hundred years ago. It was one of few jobs that were not gender specific back then.

1914 Jokes

cartoon 1

Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

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

Monday, October 26, 1914: << no entry>>

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought you might enjoy some jokes that were in the October, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

She Knew From Experience

“What is conscience”” asked the Sunday school teacher.

There was a dead silence from the class.

“Oh, you know, “She said encouragingly. “What is it that tells us when we do wrong?”

“I know,” said the littlest girl in the class. “It’s Grandma.”

He Started Something

“Now,” said the farmer to the new hand from the city, “I want you to clean up the pigsty and the stable and the henhouse and all the other houses of the stock.”

The new hand worked vigorously for a couple of days. Then he appeared before his employer with both eyes nearly closed, his mouth swollen, and red lumps all over his face and neck and hands.

“Gimme my money,” he said,  “I’m a-goin to quit.”

“What’s the matter?” said the farmer.

I don’t know what’s the matter,” said the victim, “but it happened when I started to clean the beehive.”

Picking Them Out

The Governor of a Southern State came in to his office with a friend one morning to find a number of men waiting in the anteroom. Pausing an instant he told a story that was a decided “chestnut.”

When they got inside the private office the friend said: “That was a horrible one you sprung on those fellows.”

“I know it,” chuckled the Governor, “but did you notice the ones that laughed?”

“Well, I noticed that three or four did.”

“Those, said the Governor, “are the fellows who won’t get in to see me. They are the ones who have favors to ask.”

He Did It

“If any man here,” shouted the temperance speaker, “can name an honest business that has been helped by the saloon I will spend the rest of my life working for the liquor people.”

A man in the audience arose. “I consider my business honest,” he said, and it has been helped by the saloon.”

“What is your business?” yelled the orator.

“I, sir,” responded the man, “am an undertaker.”

Profiting by a Lesson

Young Tommy returned from school in tears and nursing a black eye.

“Betcher I’ll pay Billy Bobbs off for this in the morning,” he wailed to his mother.

“No, no,” she said, “You must return good for evil. I’ll make you a nice jam tart and you must take it to Billy and say, ‘Mother says I must return good for evil, so here’s a tart for you.”

Tommy demurred, but finally consented. The next evening he returned in a worse plight and sobbed, “I gave Billy the tart and told him what you said. “ ‘N then he blacked my other eye and say to send him another tart tomorrow.”

Sanitation and the Prevention of Epidemics

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

Sunday, October 24, 1914: << no entry>>

Public Health Expert, Dr. Manton Carrick (Source: Ladies Home Journal, September, 1914)

Public Health Expert, Dr. Manton Carrick (Source: Ladies Home Journal, September, 1914)

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

Sometimes I’m amazed how a hundred-year-old  article can seem uncannily similar to current news stories. Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m going to go off on a tangent.

Texas had a meningitis epidemic in 1912—and the state was trying to figure out how to prevent future epidemics. Here’s some quotes from an article in the September, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal:

The Man Who is Cleaning Up Texas

Down in Dallas, Texas lives Doctor Manton M. Carrick, a man who studies medicine to learn to live. All about him in that great open country of the Southwest people were dying of tuberculosis, meningitis, and other equally preventable diseases.

Two years ago Texas was panic-stricken at the spread of a meningitis epidemic that for some time baffled the most frantic efforts of all the medical authorities. Dying out as it had begun, without any apparent cause or reason, the epidemic left the people aghast at the destruction wrought and anxious for a remedy for the future. “How shall we prevent the recurrence of this dread disease?” was the universal question.

Into this dubious crisis there came the suggestion that a cleaner Texas would mean a healthier Texas.

To the supervision of this war for sanitation was appointed Dr. Carrick. Dr. Carrick’s method of procedure was always simple and straightforward.

Arriving at a town, and depositing his baggage at the hotel, he wasted no time in preliminaries, but went straight out to his work. Parks, streets and alleys; water-supply and drainage systems; garbage disposal; general appearance of homes, condition of vacant lots; ventilation, sanitation and evidences of care taken of public buildings; toilet and lighting facilities in schools, prevalence of flies, mosquitoes and vermin; methods of storekeepers and butchers—none of these escaped his searching eye.

With his pad and pencil he tabulated the relative condition of every town that he visited, and when he could escape the importunities of the townspeople for a lecture on public health, was off to the next city. In every town he judged the points of the town—to use his own words—“as the points of a hog, a steer or a chicken would be judged.”

At first the visits of the Doctor were looked upon with some distrust and dismay by the town authorities. Bat as news of the campaign spread and the citizens of the towns learned that Doctor Carrick’s errand was on of helpfulness, the dormant spirit of civic pride became, thoroughly aroused and the towns set to work with a will.

Dr. Carrick and Texas have indeed “made good health contagious.”

Farm Dogs

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

Friday, October 23, 1914: << no entry>>

Jimmie Muffly, circa 1913

Jimmie Muffly, circa 1913

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

Grandma—

What happened today? There MUST have been something worth writing about.

For example, I don’t think you’ve ever mentioned your family’s dog in the diary. Yet you obviously had one—and, based on the picture of your brother Jimmie with a dog, he looks like he was a fine one.

Did he ever get into trouble? Did you ever play with him? Did he herd cows? Was he allowed in the house? What did he eat?

. . . And I guess I have a very basic question: Was the dog a “he” or a “she.”

I’m not sure what type of dog the Muffly’s had, but here’s a short piece about how collies make wonderful farm dogs that appeared in the October, 1914 issue of Farm Journal:

Collies

We shall favor no particular breed of dogs, but we present here a portrait of a collie.

Collies are the ideal dogs for the farm. They are gentle and affectionate, make fine pets for the children and are possessed of a rare amount of intelligence.

A collie can be trained so that if he is told to watch something he will do it for hours at a time and if told to “get the cows” will do so. They are better cattle drivers than humans. While a cow may have at times very determined ideas about what she is going to do and what not, a collie can be just as persistently determined that she agree to his way of thinking.

But a badly trained collie, or one not trained at all, may prove to be a great nuisance to have about.

Need a Woman Over Ffity Feel Old?

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

Wednesday, October 22, 1914: << no entry>>

women over fifity

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

Another silent day. . . But I came across an editorial about women over fifty that resonated with me (probably because I’m a woman over fifty), and I thought you might also enjoy it. Here are some excerpts:

Need a Woman Over Fifty Feel Old?

An Editorial by Jane Addams

One of the most remarkable changes in the lives of women in this country has been the postponement of old age.

Chiefly because they had nothing else to do, our grandmothers, after their children had been reared and safely launched into homes of their own, expected to give their remaining years to a general oversight of the households of their sons and daughters. A vigorous woman, accustomed to the cares of a large household in which her word was law, when deprived of an absorbing occupation could not all at once reduce herself to a negligible quantity, and the traditional “mother-in-law” was quite as much the victim of circumstances as were the cherished family upon whom her unused energies were expended.

Happily there is another type of woman. The Woman’s Club movement has been a great factor in developing the powers of women who are over fifty years old. Many of them learned to write papers, to address audiences, to preside over meetings, to organize committees for the first time after they had passed that age. The women’s clubs also gave to thousands of women their first sense of responsibility in regard to public education and civic reform.

It was largely through the efforts of these club women that kindergarten, manual training, and domestic science were introduced in the public-school system of America.

These same elderly women who, in their youth, had been sheltered from any knowledge of crime and the ways of criminals, and who would have considered it most unladylike even to refer to a disreputable woman, were often responsible for securing matrons in the police stations, teachers in the jails, the establishment of juvenile courts and the abolition of vice districts.

One woman of sixty whom I know is most widely useful in many church activities, not only in the local circles of her denomination but also as the president of a State organization.

A woman over fifty years old is the executive head of a national organization which has for years urged and secured better conditions for working women and children, both through legislation and voluntary efforts. She has moved from one difficult piece of social organization to another until probably no one else in the Unites States is more conversant with the conditions of working women and children, and the laws which have been enacted on their behalf.

That weariness and dullness, which inhere in both domestic and social affairs when they are carried on by men alone, will no longer be a necessary attribute of public life when such gracious and gray-haired women become a part of it, and when new social movements, in which men as well as women are concerned, naturally utilize woman’s experience and ability.

Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

Hundred-Year-Old Shrunken Apple Head Witch Craft

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

Wednesday, October 21, 1914: << no entry>>apple head witch

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share how I made a shrunken apple-head witch.

The October, 1913 issue of Ladies Home Journal had an article with suggestions for Halloween parties. It included the following picture.

1913-10-103.e

Unfortunately the magazine didn’t provide directions for making the apple head witch, and instead said that if you wanted directions for making the “novelties” shown that you should send a stamped self-addressed envelope to the Entertainment Editor—so I was on my own when it came to interpreting the picture.

Here’s how I made the apple head witch:

First I made the shrunken apple head face. To make it I followed the directions in a wonderful YouTube video on how to carve apple heads. It also showed how to dry them in the oven.

I used a popsicle stick and nail that I taped together to create the skeleton. I stuck the sharp end of the nail into the base of the dried apple, and the popsicle stick into a potato.

DSC09551

I then made the outfit using felt and staples. I didn’t like the way it looked when the potato based stuck out beneath the clothes—so I made the dress longer than in the old picture.

I used a part of a cotton ball to make the witch’s hair, and made the hat out of black construction paper.

The hat didn’t want to stay in place when I put it on the witch, so I broke a tooth pick in half and inserted it into the top of the head. I then placed the hat over the tooth pick.

Last year I made the carrot bogeyman that is in the old Ladies Home Journal picture. Click on the link to see that post.

dsc08349-crop

October Diary Entries, 1911 – 1913

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

Wednesday, October 20, 1914: << no entry>>DSC06518

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought that it might be fun to take a look back at what she wrote in previous years on three dates in October. In 1911 and 1912 she was a high school student. She was at  home working on the farm in 1913.

 1911

Wednesday, October 18, 1911: Grandma and Aunt Alice were here today, but I didn’t get to see them because they had gone when I got home from school. We had a review in Latin today. An easy examination it was.

<<< I’m still amazed that Grandma studied Latin in school–and that she sometimes found it easy!  >>>

Thursday, October 19, 1911: That’s all.

<<< Even back in the days when Grandma was a student, some days were boring. >>>

Friday, October 20, 1911: Got out of school early this afternoon. I gathered some walnuts after I got home. Mollie gave me a kick in the back while milking another cow this evening. I’ve named Ruth’s twin calves, one Brutus and the other Caesar, but I can’t tell which is which.

<<<Ouch! A kick in the back had to hurt.  . . I can see that what Grandma was learning in Latin was carrying over to her home life.>>>

1912

Friday, October 18, 1912:  These days are beginning to be so much agreeable.

<<< Why were the days more agreeable? >>>

Saturday, October 19, 1912:  Had to pick taters this afternoon. Thought perhaps I’d get out of it because it rained last night, but didn’t get out of it any way.

<<< In 1914, the potato harvest was a little earlier–Grandma mentioned gathering potatoes on  October 2.. Was the weather different in 1914? >>>

Sunday, October 20, 1912:  Went to Sunday School this afternoon. Mrs. Besse was here when I came home, but didn’t seem to make a very long stay of it.

<<< Besse was Grandma’s married sister. She lived in the nearby town of Wastsontown. In the early years of the diary she and her husband Curt often visited on Sundays. I wonder why Besse didn’t visit as often in 1914 as she once did. >>>

1913

Saturday, October 18, 1913:  At last my job is finished. I call it about 600 bushels more or less. This will add some to my spending money.

<<< Grandma was husking corn. Maybe, in 1914, she’s again busy husking corn (and making money) and too tired to write .  . >>>

Sunday, October 19, 1913:  Went to Sunday School this afternoon. Then it commenced to rain, but got home alright after all.

<<< Sounds similar to many Sunday posts scattered throughout the diary.>>>

Monday, October 20 – Friday, October 24, 1913:  It’s been so rainy and dreary this week that I begin to feel awful grouchy. I certainly am under the weather these days. Any way October never was a favorite month of mine. I don’t have much to write about for her.

<<< Interesting. . . I’d forgotten that Grandma also lumped a number of days together in the diary in 1913. October sounds like it was  a rough month in 1913. I hope it’s going better in 1914. >>>

 

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