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. >>>

 

Should There be Streets and Avenues in the Suburbs?

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

Monday, October 19, 1914: << no entry>>

Picture source: Wikimedia Commons

Picture source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Sigh. . . Grandma didn’t again write anything a hundred years ago today; but I came across a fun opinion piece in the August, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal that I thought you might enjoy. Apparently suburbs were a relatively new concept back then, and some of the basics were still being figured out—like how to name the roads.

“Avenues” in the Suburbs

Can anyone give a good reason why we persist in creating “streets” and “avenues” in our new suburbs when what we are really creating are “Ways,” “Roads.” and “Lanes,” and should so name them.

We say when we move out to the suburbs that we do so because we want “to get out of the city,” and then we deliberately drag the nomenclature of the city with us. A “street” is essentially a word that we associate with a city thoroughfare: It is, in fact, according to a dictionary definition, “a public highway with buildings on one or both sides, in a city.”

An “avenue” is, according to dictionary authority, “a wide or principal street: a broad thoroughfare.” Now try to imagine any of the so-called “avenues” in our suburbs as “side or principal streets,” or “broad thoroughfares.” Perhaps you live on such an avenue: a “Maple Avenue,” say, a city block or two long and twenty feet wide! Would it not more truly reflect its real character and its surroundings had it been called “Mapleway,” or “Maple Road”? And, above all, should we not be using our language a little more correctly?

One progressive little community is taking hold of this erroneous nomenclature and has changed “Home Avenue” to “Homeway”: a one-block “Maple Avenue” has become what it is: “Mapleway,” bordered with maple trees, and “Chestnut Avenue” has become “Chestnut Lane.”

Why not be right instead of wrong in the use of the language, particularly when it is just as easy to be right?

Whew, the author got really carried away with the quotation marks. I got tired of typing them every time an “avenue”, “street,” or other “road” was mentioned.

Before and After Houses

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

Sunday, October 18, 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 that you might enjoy some before and after pictures of houses in the August, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

House 12Bright yellow, walls, a black roof and a bright green porch roof was the riotous color scheme of the house above.

House 11Very slight alteration produced this summer home. All the flimsy filigree work was removed and the second-story porch with dignified white columns was added. Paint of a lovely ivory tine was chosen for the exterior walls.

 

Home  8As originally build this house presented an exterior about as plain and homely as one could find.

Home 9The second picture, however, shows how successfully the present owner has transformed it –and at very little expense. The roof was carried down to form the porch roof of an outdoor living-room. Colonial yellow paint and vines gave the finishing touches.

 

House 7This house is not really ugly, but certainly it is unattractive.

House 8Removing the roof, porch, and bay-window left a good foundation for the new house. The sun room at the left and the porte-cochere at the right give a breadth which tends to overcome the high stilted look it previously had. Repointing the stone work and the new roof complete the transformation.

 

Royal Easy Chair Advertisement

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

Saturday, October 19, 1914:

Source: Ladies Home Journal (April, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (April, 1914)

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

Grandma did so much hard physical labor on the farm. Did she ever have time to sit down and put her feet up?

I hope that she had a Royal Easy Chair (though my gut feeling is that the Muffly’s didn’t own any easy chairs).

An aside: If you interested in reading my preliminary ideas, based on readers comments, about how to celebrate the end of Grandma’s diary in late December, there’s a new Friday Update on my author website, Sheryl Lazarus.com. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to look at this site–when it get’s closer to the end of the year, I’ll bring the ideas over to A Hundred Years Ago.

October, 1914 Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine Cover

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

Friday, October 16, 1914: << no entry>>

Kimball's Dairy Farmer Magazine October 1, 1914

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 seeing the cover of the October 1, 1914 issue of Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine.

The orange cover design with the picture of a woman (with lipstick ?) and two cows doesn’t quite work for me—but it may have been considered progressive at the time.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,062 other followers