Hundred-year-old Interior Decorating “Rules”

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

Thursday, October 8, 1914: <no entry>

Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’ll share some “rules” there were  in the October, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal about how to decorate rooms:

There are certain general rules that govern the furnishing of every room in the house, whether it be living-room, dining-room, or bedroom that is under consideration.

  1. Beginning with the floor, see that the covering for this is of a slightly darker color than that selected for walls.
  1. The colors used for your wall, of course, depend upon the amount of light admitted to the room and also upon the exposure. For a south light, which is in itself warm, choose cool colors, light greens and blues; on the other hand, for a north light select warm colors like tones of yellow and red.
  1. Do not use a decidedly figured paper in the same room that you used figured draperies. Figured draperies should be used only with plain paper.
  1. When your paper is figured, be careful not to put too many small pictures on your walls or the effect will be spotty.

 

100-year-old Bicycle Advertisement

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

Wednesday, October 7, 1914: <<no entry>>

1914-04-107 a

Source: Ladies Home Journal (April, 1914)

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

Sigh . . another day with no diary entry.. . but while we’re waiting for Grandma to pick up her pen, I thought that you might enjoy this hundred-year-old bicycle ad.

Tea Tables a Hundred Years Ago

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

Tuesday, October 6, 1914: <<no entry>>

1914-07-21 a

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought that you might enjoy seeing some pictures in the July, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal of  set tea tables.

Afternoon tea is now such a well-established custom that many people would as soon think of going without their luncheon as of omitting their tea.

Having afternoon teas is a pretty custom, for they mean informal gatherings of friends, and hospitality that is easy to show.1914-07-21 b

In fact an afternoon tea is one of the simplest and most delightful ways of entertaining a few persons, and they should be few, for the charm is lost when there is a crowd.

The table may be made beautiful. Every dainty touch adds so much to its attractiveness, and such a table is an expression of the taste and individuality of a thoughtful hostess.

1914-07-21 d

1914-07-21 e

An aside—Does anyone set tea tables anymore?

Restoring the Wild Turkey Population

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

Monday, October 5, 1914:  <<no entry>>

Source: Milton Evening Standard (September 21, 1914)

Source: Milton Evening Standard (September 21, 1914)

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

Since Grandma’s diary is not helping me come up with a topic for today’s post, I’m going to go off on another tangent–

Yesterday, I shared an article from 1914 which indicated (much to my surprise) that women could get hunting licenses a hundred years ago. Today, I’m sharing another 1914 article from the Milton (PA) Evening Standard that also touched on hunting—and the effects of over-hunting in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

It’s good to know that the wild turkey population was increasing, and that the state of Pennsylvania had passed laws which supported wildlife restoration—but it’s somewhat alarming that turkeys apparently were endangered in Pennsylvania and other states in the early 1900s. According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency:

1840—Wild turkey “virtually eliminated” from New York

1881— Wild turkey gone from Wisconsin

1900— Wild turkey gone from Iowa

1900—Wild turkey “nearly silenced “ in Georgia

1900— Wild turkey gone from North Carolina

1910— Wild turkey gone from 2/3s of Virginia

1920 —18 of 39 state had lost their wild turkey population

An aside—I saw several turkeys on my way into work on Friday. Thank goodness the people who lived a hundred years ago worked to restore the wild turkey population so that we can enjoy them now.

Turkey

Women and Hunting Licenses a Hundred Years Ago

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

Sunday, October 4, 1914: <<no entry>>

Source: Milton Evening Standard (October 1, 1914)

Source: Milton Evening Standard (October 1, 1914)

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

Yesterday, I wrote about the suffragettes’ booth at the Milton Fair. Since Grandma again didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m still thinking about gender issues. Sometimes I’m amazed by the things that women could and couldn’t do a hundred years ago. Women couldn’t vote, but they could hunt—go figure.

Suffragettes’ Booth at Fair

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

Saturday, October 3, 1914: <<no entry>>

Source: Milton Evening Standard (October 1, 1914)

Source: Milton Evening Standard (October 1, 1914)

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

Is Grandma still remembering all the fun that she had at the Milton Fair earlier in the week? When she was at the fair, did she stop by the suffragettes’ booth?

I love how the women’s suffrage question was framed — Motherhood  has become a public function; therefore women need to be allowed to vote.

P.S. There’s a new Friday Update on my author website, Sheryl Lazarus. com.  This week I’m thinking about the nuts and bolts involved in developing a new blog that tells the story of my Great-Aunt Marion who was in the Women’s Army Corps (WACs).

Harvesting and Storing Potatoes a Hundred Years ago

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

Thursday, October 2, 1914:  Picked taters this afternoon.

Late Potato Varieties a Hundred Years Ago--Source: Vegetable Gardening (1914)

Late Potato Varieties -Source: Vegetable Gardening (1914)

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

Grandma-

I guess it’s back to reality today. I hope that you’re at least thinking about all the fun you had yesterday at the Milton Fair while you’re stooping to gather potatoes. It sounds like tiring, back-breaking work.

—-

Here’s what a hundred-year-old book said about harvesting and storing potatoes:

There is a great difference in the keeping qualities of varieties; as a rule the early kinds are hard to keep from sprouting in the latter part of the winter, and the late kinds keep the best.

Early potatoes are generally dug as soon as they are big enough for cooking; for winter use it is very desirable to have the tubers well ripened; if not ripe the skin will peel off when handled, and they do not look good.

When potatoes are high in price it may pay to dig them by hand, for which purpose tined garden forks are desirable. When potatoes are cheap they can be plowed out; though when plowed out some tubers will get covered up; most of these may be brought to the surface by the use of a straight tooth harrow.

Early Potato Varieties

Early Potato Varieties

If the tubers are keeping well in the ground, it is a good plan to delay the digging until the cool weather of autumn, when they may be carried directly from the field to the cellar. If they are rotting in the ground or are “scabby,” they should be dug at once, and if the cellar is cool they may be put at once into it, otherwise it is a good plan to pit them in the field until cool weather comes.

Pitting in mild weather is done by putting the tubers into heaps and covering them with straw or hay and a few inches of loam. The straw should be allowed to stick out along the top of the heap for ventilation, so as to allow the moisture to pass off.

In the colder weather of late autumn, the covering, of course, should be heavier, and when potatoes have ceased to sweat there is no need of ventilation. In milder sections, potatoes are stored through the winter in such pits, but it is impracticable farther north.

If kept in the cellar the bins are improved by having slatted floors and sides, so that there may be some circulation of air through them to prevent heating at the bottom. The bins should not be large nor more than five feet deep.

Vegetable Gardening (1914) by Samuel B. Green

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