1913 Books That Have Stood the Test of Time

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

Wednesday, September 10, 1913:  Didn’t feel the best the morning. Commenced reading a book.

o.pioneers

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

What book was Grandma reading?

Goodreads lists two hundred books published in 1913 that are still in widely read. They probably were not the most popular books at the time, but rather they are the books that have endured –and whose message apparently continues to resonate a hundred years later.

Fifteen books on the list that I recognized the title or author are listed below:

1. O Pioneers by Willa Cather

2. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

3. The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton

4. Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt

5. The Tale of Pigling Bland by Beatrix Potter

6. The Bobbsey Twins’ Mystery at School (Bobbsey Twins #4) by Laure Lee Hope

7. Chance by Joseph Conrad

8. Desert Gold by Zane Grey

9.  The Adventure of the Dying Detective by Arthur Conan Doyle

10. The Inland Voyage and Travels with a Donkey by Robert Louis Stevenson

11. The Story of My Boyhood and Youth by John Muir

12. Little Wars by H. G. Wells

13. The Night Born by Jack London

14. The War Correspondence of Leon Trotsky: The Balkan Wars 1912-1913 by Leon Trotsky

15. La Follette’s Autobiography: A Personal Narrative of Political Experiences by Robert M. La Follette

You may also enjoy similar posts that I did for books published in 1911 and 1912:

1912 Books That Have Stood the Test of Time

1911 Books That Have Stood the Test of Time

How to Make Four Hats Out of One

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

Monday, September 8, 1913:  Nothing very much.

1913-09-76.a

The hat of black velours, showing its simple original shape with a band of black grosgrain ribbon one inch wide. (Ladies Home Journal: September, 1913)

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

Sounds like a slow day on the Muffly farm. After all of the work the previous week when the threshers were there, Grandma probably was ready for a more relaxing day.

Did she browse through the September, 1913 issue of Ladies Home Journal?  If she did, she would have learned how to make four hats out of one. The article said that it was an “economical way to good dressing.”

The plain band need not be taken off for any of these trimmings, as the others cover it completely, and are applied with milliners’ pins.

1913-09-76.b

The first illustration shows a drapery and long soft bow of Oriental ribbon, which is six-inches wide. Two yards are required to make it.

1913-09-76.c

The second illustration, showing the Continental shape, the trimming is of white moiré ribbon, plaited, and made on a canvas foundation. Three yards of ribbon six inches wide is required to make it. The band measures three inches wide and the cockade six inches high, and three across, widening to five inches at the top.

1913-09-76.d

A little more dressy touch is given in the third trimming, which shows a crushed band of soft silk ribbon of a deep orange color. The feather fantasy at the side is of the same color, shaded and tipped with coque. This is held in place by two small plaited bows of the ribbon. One yard and a half of ribbon about seven or eight inches wide will be required for this trimming. The bow measures four inches across and two inches wide.

A Ride in an Automobile!

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

Went to Sunday School this morning. Dear old Margaret came along home with me to spend the day. Tweetie came home with Ruth. Got Ruth to take a picture of Margaret and me. The first one she spoiled and in the next one Peggy moved, so I don’t know yet how my pictures are going to pan out.

I just want to add that I was so fortunate this morning as to get an automobile ride.

1913 Ford Model T Runabout (Photo source: Wikimedia Commons)

1913 Ford Model T Runabout (Photo source: Wikimedia Commons)

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

What an awesome day! Today our roads are so jam-packed with cars that it almost boggles my mind that riding in an automobile was super-special a hundred years ago.

If I squint a little, I can almost see three giggling teens trying to stand still while Grandma’s sister Ruth took the pictures.

And, I can almost see Grandma trying not to show her frustration when Ruth ruined the first picture. (I bet she didn’t hide her annoyance very well).

Margaret (Peggy) may refer to either Margaret G. or Margaret Bryson. Both were friends of Grandma’s. Tweetie was a nickname of Helen Wesner.

1913 Kodak Film Tank Advertisement

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

Tuesday, August 26, 1913:  Ruthie and I commenced on this pictures this afternoon. We made a negative. This evening we went to a party up at Bryson’s. There were so many there and lots that I didn’t know.

1913 Kodak Film Tank Advertisement

THE KODAK GIRL AT HOME

Every step in film development becomes simple, easy, understandable with a

KODAK FILM TANK

No dark-room, no tediously acquired skill—and better results than were possible by the old methods. It’s an important link the the Kodak system of “Photography with the bother left out.”

The Experience is in the Tank.

In our little booklet, “Tank Development,”  free at your dealer or in the mail.

EASTMAN KODAK CO., 365 State Street, Rochester, N.Y.

Source: Farm Journal (August, 1913)

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

Wow, Grandma and her sister Ruth apparently developed their own pictures. Grandma brought a camera earlier in the summer and took her first pictures on August 13:

Today we had our S.S. picnic up at the creek. Not all that were invited came, but still I guess we had a good time. I initiated by camera by taking two pictures.

In this era of digital photography—when it’s easy to take and then view hundreds (or thousands) of photos it’s hard to image how much knowledge and skill was required to get a few pictures back then.

Blanche and Margaret Bryson were friends of Grandma and Ruth. The Bryson’s lived on a farm north of McEwensville. And, I think that Grandma visited Margaret the previous Sunday—on August 24.   I wonder if Grandma helped plan the party.

What does “many” mean? How many people were at the party—15? . . .25? . . . 50?

Who was at the party? Any “interesting” guys?

DSC07868Recent photo of the home where the Bryson family lived a hundred years ago. In my imagination, I picture young men and women playing croquet in the yard, and drinking lemonade on the porch (and maybe flirting just a little bit).

1913 Advertisement for Hydrox Cookies and Other Sunshine Biscuits

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

Friday, August 22, 1913:  Nothing much doing.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1913)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1913)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share a hundred-year-old advertisement for Hydrox cookies and other biscuits made by Sunshine.

Hydrox cookies bring back warm fuzzy memories, and I was disappointed to discover that they are no longer made.

According to Wikipedia they were first made in 1908 by the Sunshine Company. For some unknown reason the cookie’s name was derived  from the atomic elements that make up  water: hydrogen and oxygen.

Sunshine  was sold to Keebler and later Kellogg.  Hydrox cookies were discontinued in 2009.

1913 Kodak Vest Camera

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

Wednesday, August 13, 1913:  Today we had our S.S. picnic up at the creek. Not all that were invited came, but still I guess we had a good time. I initiated by camera by taking two pictures.

Kodak Vest Camera

1913 Kodak Vest CameraSource: Ladies Home Journal (July, 1913)

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

The picnic sounds like fun—even if the group was small. Did Grandma gather everyone together to take a group shot?

Grandma ordered her camera from a catalog and got it on July 7:

Went into Watsontown this afternoon to see if my camera was there, nor was I mistaken. It was in a big box. I carried it home any way. Wonder if anyone one laughed at me. Perhaps I did look funny.

I’m amazed that it took her more than a month to actually use it. Why?

Cherry Stoners and Apple Parers a Hundred Years Ago

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

Tuesday, August 5, 1913: What would you write, when you had nothing to write about?

cherry stonerWith the cherry stoner the fruit is stoned by the pressure of two steel fingers worked by a handle. The cherries are fed automatically two at a time as long as the hopper is kept filled, and the operation separates the fruit and the stone into different receptacles.

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

Hmm . . . that’s a dilemma for me sometimes, too. What do I write about, when I have nothing to write about?

Well, sometimes I browse through old magazines and see if I get any ideas . . .

I found a fun article in May, 1913 issue Ladies Home Journal that presented some of the newest canning tools and gadgets. Maybe Grandma spent the day canning fruits or vegetables.

An apple parer, corer and slicer pares, cores and slices the fruit, and then, pushing off the apple is ready to repeat the operation. It can be used to pare without coring and slicing.

apple parer

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