Got a Chocolate Pig

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

Thursday, March 19, 1914:  Ruth and I went to a party up at town tonight. We played at progressive cards. I was the only one who didn’t progress. My skill was awarded by getting the ‘booby’ prize. It was a chocolate pig with a red ribbon round its neck.

Picture Source: Compartes

Picture Source: Compartes

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

Booby prizes are no fun!

Amazingly, I found an adorable chocolate pig with a red bow on the Compartes website.

Maybe I should have a card party (probably pinochle because that’s the card game that I’m best at)—and give a chocolate pig as the booby prize to the worst player. . . .oh, never mind. . . dumb idea. . . I think whoever got it, would get mad at me.

Brenlin Window Shades Advertisement

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

Wednesday, March 18, 1914:  Nothing really worth writing about.

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 much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share an ad for Brenlin Window Shades that was in the October,1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

I always hated that kind of shade—and have bad memories of pulling too hard on them, and they would unwind and be difficult to fix—but I guess that they once were the new thing.

Time and Place Where Wrote Diary Entries

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

Tuesday, March 17, 1914:  Throat is about well.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (June, 1914)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (June, 1914)

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

Yeah—only 6 days after her tonsillectomy and Grandma is feeling almost as good as new.

Where was Grandma sitting when she wrote this entry? And, what time of day did she write it?  I have a vivid imagination, and like to picture Grandma doing her daily activities, but I’ve never really been able to get a good sense of when and where she typically wrote entries.

Did the write them:

  • At the kitchen table?
  • While  sitting on a chair or lying on a couch  in the living room?
  • At a desk?
  • While sitting in bed just before she went to sleep? (I don’t really think that she wrote them in bed, since she shared a bedroom—and probably a double bed –with her sister Ruth during the winter months.)

Poor Performance at School and Tonsillitis

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

Monday, March 16, 1914:  Nothing much doing. 

Building that once housed the McEwensville School.

Building that once housed the McEwensville School.

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

You’re probably sick of posts about tonsils and tonsillitis by now, but I have to share just  one more amazing thing that I discovered: people back then believed there was a relationship between tonsillitis and poor performance at school.

This is what a book published in 1914 called Adenoids and Kindred Perils of School Life by D.T. Atkinson, M.D. said:

Children with adenoids rest badly at night. They breathe through the mouth and snore heavily. Their physical discomfort causes their sleep to be disturbed by dreams and nightmares and it is not unusual for them to spend the night in tossing about in bed.

They awaken in the morning unrested and remain tired and peevish during the day. At school they are backward, absent-minded and forgetful. There is often an inability to fix the attention, and as a rule they make poor grades in their classes.

Nearly every observant teacher can now pick out these children in the school room, guided only by their general appearance and their lack of application.

Cascarets Advertisement

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

Sunday, March 15, 1914:  Was so put out this morning. Pa said I wasn’t to go to Sunday School. I was anticipating some of the kind. I stayed at home and took a physic. Boo hoo. Carrie came over to see me.

cascarets-9=15-1911.cropAdvertisement in Grandma’s local newspaper,  the Milton Evening Standard (September 15, 1911)

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

Grandma-

I agree—boo hoo. Sometimes life isn’t fair.

Your dad should let you go to Sunday School. Your tonsillectomy was 5 days ago, and there’s a guy you like who goes to your church, and you’re looking really slender because you haven’t been eating much.  You need to be there!

What’s wrong? Why do you need a physic (laxative)? This is the second time in less than a week that you’ve taken one. Did you take Cascarets? I read that it could cure a lot of different problems.

Carrie Stout was a friend of Grandma’s.

How Much Did Oranges Cost a Hundred Years Ago?

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

Saturday, March 14, 1914:  Do get some good things to eat these days. It was oranges for this day. I had callers this afternoon.

oranges

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

Grandma’s still recuperating from her tonsillectomy on March 11. Who came to visit? . . . someone special? . . . and did he or she bring the oranges?

Oranges were considered a special treat in Pennsylvania a hundred years ago since it was expensive to ship them in from the South, but they weren’t as costly as I might have guessed.  According to the Morristown (New Jersey) Daily Record, you could buy a dozen oranges for 25¢ in 1913.

Of course there’s been lots of inflation since then. An online inflation calculator says that a 1913 dollar is now worth $23.81, so in current dollars you could buy a dozen oranges for $5.95 back then. That’s a little more than what oranges generally cost today, but not much.

—-

If you are interested in looking at how prices have changed across the years, you might enjoy a website that the Morris County Library  in New Jersey has which lists prices for lots of items for each decade between 1903 and 2013.

Lost 6 Pounds

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

Friday, March 13, 1914:  Weighed myself this morning. I had lost six pounds. My tummy is flat you can bet. Ate solid food for supper.

DSC02317

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

Grandma—

Wow, 6 pounds is a lot to lose since your tonsillectomy two days ago. I guess that there can be some unexpected positive benefits from having surgery.

Will you be able to keep it off now that you are eating solid food?

Here are several previous posts about weight and dieting:

Are You Obese?  1911 and 2011

1911 Weight Loss Tip: Fletcherize Your Food

One Hundred Year Advice on How to Avoid Overeating

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