1914 Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum Advertisement

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

Monday, August 24 – Thursday, August 27, 1914:  For lack of something to write.

1914 Wrigley's Spearmint Gum Advertisement

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

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

This is the last of four days that Grandma combined into one entry. Since she didn’t write much, I thought that you might enjoy this hundred-year-old advertisement for Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum.

Crab Apple Muffins Recipe

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

Monday, August 24 – Thursday, August 27, 1914:  For lack of something to write.

crab apple muffins

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

This is the third of four days that Grandma combined into one entry. Since Grandma didn’t give me much to go on today, I’m going to share an old recipe for Crab Apple Muffins.

A hundred years ago farm family meals in August were generally based on foods which were in season. I wonder whether Grandma’s family had a crab apple tree.

Crab apples are ripe here. A crab apple recipe that I especially enjoy is Crab Apple Muffins. The chopped crab apples give the muffins a wonderful, flavorful, tart zest.

Crab Apple Muffins

2 eggs

2/3 cup butter, melted

2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 1/4 cups flour

2 cups chopped crab apples *

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine eggs, melted butter, vanilla, white sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl. Stir in baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Add flour, and stir until combined. Add the cropped crab apples. Grease muffin tins, and then fill each muffin cup approximately 2/3 full with batter. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Makes approximately 24 muffins.

*Core crab apples before chopping, but do not peel.

A Camp for the Family

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

Monday, August 24 – Thursday, August 27, 1914:  For lack of something to write.

DSC09256 c

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything specific a hundred years ago today–and I’m focused on enjoying the last few days of summer—I thought you might enjoy some photos from a hundred-year-old issue of Ladies Home Journal showing an example of how some families enjoyed a summer vacation at a “camp.”

A Camp for the Family

This family camp, situated on an island in Lake Ontario, successfully carried on for some years past has brought happiness to all families privileged to join it, and its beneficial effects in promoting the harmony of home life are observable throughout the year.

Ladies Home Journal (June, 1914)

swimming 1914

chatting at camp

1914 woman with fish

woman camping

Hundred-year-old Toiletry Bags

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

Monday, August 24 – Thursday, August 27, 1914:  For lack of something to write.

1914 Toiletry bag

Source: Ladies Home Journal (June, 1914)

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

Good grief, Grandma! Please tell us what you are thinking and doing! We so enjoyed what you wrote about your vacation; and now that we know how well you can write, it seems even more disappointing than it used to when you say nothing happened.

Since Grandma didn’t write anything specific for this date, I thought that you might enjoy seeing several hundred –year-old toiletry bags that people could get patterns for from Ladies Home Journal. (Maybe Grandma made one before she went on her trip.)

When You Travel This Summer

Whether you are going on a long or a short trip you will want those little aids to comfort and beauty that are so handy at home. Descriptions of these useful articles, which may be easily made at home, and other helpful suggestions for the comfort and convenience of the summer traveler, will be mailed, upon request, for five cents. Write to the Needlework Editors, The Ladies Home Journal, Independence Square, Philadelphia.

Ladies Home Journal (June, 1914)

1914 toiletry bag

1914 Toiletry bag

Had to Get Up Early for a Sunday

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

Sunday, August 23, 1914:  Had to get up pretty early this morning. I usually get up late on Sunday morning. Went to Sunday School this afternoon.

Kimball's Dairy Farmer Magazine (March 1, 1914)

Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (March 1, 1914)

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

The trip to Niagara Falls is over, and it’s back to reality. I’m a little confused by this entry.

I have the impression that Grandma and her sister Ruth generally milked several cows each morning. Cows need to be milked at approximately the same time each day—so why did Grandma need to get up earlier than usual this morning?

Here’s my guess, but others may have other more plausible scenarios—

Maybe Grandma and Ruth’s parents gave them “Sunday mornings off” and milked the cows for the sisters so they could sleep in. However, their parents probably did all of their chores (including milking the cows twice a day) while the girls were on the trip. So maybe it was now payback time, and Grandma and Ruth lost their usual Sunday morning off.

What do you think? Does this seem like it is a possible scenario?

Have a Thinner Pocketbook

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

Saturday, August 22, 1914: A cousin came on the train this afternoon. Am recovering from the effects of my trip through the worst one is a thinner pocketbook. It will take it quite awhile to get it fattened up, so as not to look quite so hollow.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

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

Grandma arrived home from her trip to Niagara Falls, Toronto, Buffalo, and Watkins Glen the previous evening. In that diary entry, she wrote:

. . . I don’t believe I spent more than $20, coming out better than I expected. . .

Vacations can be hard on pocketbooks—though the previous day she seemed pleased how little she spent during the trip; but apparently it was enough to continue to worry her.

According to an online inflation calculator, a dollar in 1914 would be worth about $23.81 today. So in today’s dollars Grandma spent about $475—which doesn’t seem too bad for a 5-day trip, but maybe was a lot for a 19-year-old.

I wonder how Grandma planned to replenish her pocketbook. In the past, she earned money by picking strawberries. For example, on July 1, 1912 she wrote:

Stopped picking strawberries today. All my earnings, about $4.00 in all, I still have and expect to keep until I spend them.

It would take a lot of strawberry picking to “fatten” her pocketbook—and, of course, strawberry season was over for the year.

. . . Or maybe she hoped that her cow Mollie would have another bull calf she could sell. For example, on December 27, 1912 she wrote:

Sold Mollie’s calf today. It wasn’t a very big one and I rather feared my fortune would be pretty small, but after all it weighed one hundred and forty-four lbs. Received a neat sum of $11.56.

Cows typically have calves about once a year, so maybe the pocketbook will be partially replenished before too long.

Hmm. . . on second thought, given Grandma’s situation on the farm, $20 was a lot to spend on a vacation.

Watkins Glen and Then Home

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

Friday, August 21, 1914: We breakfasted about seven this morning, after which we started out on our tour through the glen. I was so disappointed that I could not get any pictures. The day was so gloomy. They wouldn’t have been good, so I just had to swallow it. The glen proved to be almost as wonderful as Niagara Falls. We climbed stairs after stairs, and still seemed to be no nearer the top.

When we got part way through, it commenced to rain, but still we kept on for we were determined to see the place. At one spot the water rushes down over the passageway. We ran past this and managed not to get wet. This place is called Rainbow Falls for when the sun shines they say it forms a rainbow. How I wish I could have seen it, but the sun kept himself hid that morning. I am afraid my hat is well nigh ruined from the wetting it got, and Ruthie’s also.

We arrived at the station and still had about fifteen minutes to wait for the train. It stopped raining towards noon, and when we reached Williamsport it was as bright as it would be. I believe I was really glad to get home. Nothing had run away during our absence. I don’t believe I spent more than $20, coming out better than I expected. I will always have the memory of this trip, and the fact that it was enjoyed.

watkins glen rainbow falls 1916

Old postcard showing Rainbow Falls at Watkins Glen

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

What an awesome trip! I can’t add anything to Grandma’s wonderful descriptions, so I’m not going to even try. :)

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