Dangerously Humid: 3 Die in NYC

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

Thursday, July 16 – Friday, July 17, 1914:  Am having a hot time of it.

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

This is the second day of a two-day diary entry. New York City is about 125 miles east of McEwensville. Here’s what the New York Times had to say about the weather there on July 17, 1914.

Source: New York Times (July 18, 1914)

Source: New York Times (July 18, 1914)

The weather sounds oppressive—and dangerous. My favorite line in the article is:

There is a light southerly breeze at the Battery, but it as warm as if it had blown over the Sudan desert at Wadi Halfi. . .

Somehow high humidity and desert breezes don’t seem like they belong in the same sentence. . . but whatever. . . It’s a very graphic description. :)

Do Canning on a Cool Day

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

Thursday, July 16 – Friday, July 17, 1914:  Am having a hot time of it.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (August, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (August, 1914)

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

This is probably a stretch—but could the Muffly’s be canning fruits or vegetables? . . . maybe cherries? . . . or green beans? Canning is a very hot job.

According to the August, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal:

Canning is the process of putting up fruits or vegetables in air-tight jars either with or without sugar. Preserving is the preparation of fruits with sufficient sugar to keep without fermentation whether air-tight or not. If possible do the canning on cool days. . .

Maybe the produce was at its peak . . . and they just couldn’t wait for a cool day like the magazine recommended.

Wednesday Chores

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

Wednesday, July 15, 1914:  Wednesday—Perhaps a little different from other days.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Grandma. . .HOW is Wednesday different from other days? Did your family have specific chores for each day of the week?

Washing clothes on Monday. .

Did you do the mending on Wednesdays? Different lists have different chores for Wednesday, but the most frequently mentioned one seems to be mending. I’ve also seen lists where the ironing is listed as the Wednesday chore.

Sufficient Rainfall: Crops Making Promising Progress

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

Tuesday, July 14, 1914:  It’s raining some these days. One can even tire of the rain for a time.

DSC04615

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

Grandma—

I understand! I tire of rain very quickly, too. But rain is good.

It looks like Pennsylvania (and most of the rest of the country) is getting enough rain, and the crops are doing well. I bet that your father is happy.

Source: Wall Street Journal (July 15, 1914)

Source: Wall Street Journal (July 15, 1914)

 

Firewood (Cordwood) Math Problems

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

Monday, July 13, 1914:  I remember now what I did today, which wasn’t anything unusual.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Grandma—You remembered. . . so please tell us. . . WHAT did you do?

Did you work in the fields? . . . weed the garden? . . . can green beans? . . . stack fire wood for next winter? (Oh, never mind. . . Maybe this is the wrong time of year for stacking wood.)

—-

Several days ago a reader commented that he’d enjoy a post about stacking firewood. Well, here goes-

I haven’t seen any old articles about how to stack firewood, but I have seen cordwood problems in a hundred-year-old arithmetic book:

Cordwood

Cordwood is 4 ft. long.

A cord of wood is a pile 8 ft. long and 4 ft. high.

A cord of stove wood is a pile of wood 8 ft. long, 4 ft. high, and of any length that will fit a stove.

Rule: To find the number of cords of wood in a pile, multiply the length of the pile by the height in feet and divide by 32.

Problems

1. How many cords of wood are there in a pile 18 ft. long and 4 ft. high?

2. At $6 per cord, what is the value of a pile of oak cordwood 40 ft. long and 6 ft. high?

3. Which is cheaper for a man living in town: to buy stove wood 16 in. long at $3 per cord, or to pay $6 per cord for cordwood and give a man $2 to saw and split it into stove wood?

4. How many cords of wood 16 in. long can be placed cross-wise in a wagon bed 10 ft. long, 3 ft. wide, and 14 in. deep?

5. Make an estimate of the number of cords of wood in the fallen trees that are wasting on your father’s farm. What is the value of this wood at $2 per cord?

Rural Arithmetic (1913) by John E. Calfee

You may also enjoy these previous posts with other hundred-year-old math problems:

Hundred-Year-Old Rural Math Problems

Unusual, Odd, and Strange Math Problems

More Unusual, Odd, and Strange Math Problems

Old Math Problems

Cube Root Word Problems

1911 Algebra Problems: The Lusitania and Molasses

Old-Fashioned Black Raspberry Cobbler Recipe

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

Sunday, July 12, 1914:  Went to Sunday school this afternoon. Besse and Curt were out this evening.

Black Raspberry Cobbler

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

Grandma’s sister Besse and her husband Curt lived in nearby Watsontown, and probably came out to the farm on a pleasant summer evening. Did the family sit on the porch and chat about everything—and nothing?

I bet they ate some dessert while they chatted . . . probably something made with fresh fruit.

My black raspberries are ripe, so maybe they had something with black raspberries. . . maybe Black Raspberry Cobbler.

Black Raspberry Cobbler

1 quart (4cups) black raspberries

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450° F. Combine sugar and 2 tablespoons flour, and mix with the raspberries. Put into a 2 quart dish. In a separate bowl combine 1 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives. Add all the milk at once, and stir with a fork until the dough clings together. Pat pieces the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and place on top of fruit mixture. When all of the dough is used, most of the top of the fruit will be covered, but there should be gaps here and there so the steam can escape. Bake for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 325 ° F and continue cooking until berries are hot and bubbly, and the crust is lightly browned. Serve warm.

 

Acme Dress Form Advertisement

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

Friday, July 10 – Saturday, July 11, 1914:  Forgot the particulars of these days.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (February, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (February, 1914)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write any specific for this date, I’ll share an advertisement that I found for Acme Dress Forms. I knew a few people who had dress forms when I was a kid. Does anyone have them anymore?

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