Christmas Wreaths a Hundred Years Ago

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

Thursday, December 17, 1914: <<no entry>>

evergreen wreath

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1914)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, and to get into the holiday spirit, I thought you might enjoy seeing what Christmas wreaths looked like a hundred years ago.

Christmas greenery including a wreathThe wreath on the wall above the sideboard is decorated with tinsel, and a bright Christmas ball hangs at the bottom.

Wreath with ornaments Pretty wreaths are made by tying small sprigs to circular wire or wood frames.

wreath with red ribbons and bellsCrimson ribbon bows make a most effective contrast with the green sprays.

Ladies Home Journal (December, 1914)

1914 Dromedary Dates Advertisement

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

Saturday, December 12, 1914: <<no entry>>

Source: National Food Magazine (December, 1914)

Source: National Food Magazine (December, 1914)

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 a 1914 advertisement for Dromedary Dates.

I was not only amazed that the brand has been around for so long, but also by how “packaged’ it looks with the packet of dates in the larger box.

Hmmm. . . I’m getting hungry for Date Bars. Maybe I’ll have to look for an old recipe and make some for the Bake-a-thon. :)

The Christmas Gift that Saves Work

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

Wednesday, December 9, 1914: Went to Milton this afternoon on a shopping trip. Took my camera down and had the film changed. Bought some Xmas presents and had a time getting them home.

hundred-year-old kitchen gadgets

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1914)

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

Welcome back, Grandma-

Tell us, PLEASE. What did you buy? Maybe some of the latest kitchen and cleaning gadgets for your mother? They might be awkward to carry.

Milton’s at least four miles from your home. You didn’t walk the whole way did you? . . . Did you take the trolley from Milton to Watsontown, and then walk the last mile and a half or so?

old egg beater and potato masher

grapefruit and orange knife

flour sieve


1914 None Such Mincemeat Advertisement

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

Tuesday, December 8, 1914: <<no entry>>

1914 None Such Mincemeat Advertisement

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1914)

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

As Grandma’s Bake-a-thon progresses, I thought that you might be looking for some old-time ingredients. According to this hundred-year-old advertisement, mincemeat is wonderful in fruit cake, pudding, and cookies–and, of course,  it makes fantastic pies.

Twenty Reasons to Buy a 1915 Chalmers “Light Six” Automobile

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

Thursday, December 3, 1914: Autoed over (in my dreams) and took several pictures of Ruthie’s school. Do hope they will be good this time.Chalmers 3

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


It sounds like fun to take pictures at your sister Ruth’s school.

In your dreams, what kind of a car did you auto over in? Maybe a Chalmers Light Six—According to the advertisements, it is as “safe and easy as an electric for a women to drive” (see number 6 below), but ever so much cooler.

Twenty Reasons for Buying a 1915 Chalmers “Light Six”

  1. It is a manufactured—not an assembled car. Built completely in the Chalmers shops by Chalmers trained workmen under rigid Chalmers inspections.

  2. Supremely good looking. Streamlined body, clean running boards, oval fenders, fine finish, and attractive colors. Pronounced by experts “the best looking car on the market.”

  3. Easy riding. Long wheelbased-126 inches. Long flexible springs, main leaf of Vanadium steel. Rear springs underslung.

  4. Medium weight. Lighter than most fours selling at the same or greater price; heavier than any of the so-called “light sixes.” Scientifically tested for a four-fold margin of safety, yet light enough to be economical; no flimsiness—no unnecessary weight.

  5. Weight perfectly distributed, hence no tire destroying sidesway. Concentric torque tube and perfect spring suspension make car hold well to any road.

  6. Non-stallable motor. Chalmers-Entz electric starter won’t let motor stop. Greatest element of motor safety ever introduced. Makes car safe and easy as an electric for a woman to drive.

  7. Left-hand drive, center-control, entrance or exit from either side of car. Starter and ignition switch, electric light control, carburetor adjustment, gasoline and oil gauges, speedometer, on cowl board of dash. Motor and all lubrication points accessible.

  8. Big power; small motor. Chalmers built. Even the castings made in Chalmers foundries. Small bore, extra-long stroke (3 ½” bore by 5 ½” stroke) develops unusual power. Very large Tungsten steel valves. Will not warp or pit, so no power is wasted. T-head design gives the smoothness of the turbine—the flexibility of steam.

  9. Practically unnecessary to shift gears: widest range of speeds on high. Such flexibility possible only in a “six” and rare even among “sixes.”

  10. Absence of vibration. All moving parts of motor perfectly balanced. Long stroke, six cylinder motor gives steady pull and sweet running. No intermittent power strokes pounding ceaselessly at bearings, cylinder walls, and gears. Upkeep expense reduced to minimum.

  11. All valve mechanism fully enclosed. Large oval cams open and shut with velvet smoothness. Perfect lubrication eliminates noise of operation.

  12. Simplest design of any “six.” Single unit ignition. Honeycomb radiator, cooling without complicated pump. Elimination of many moving parts cuts down weight and expense.

  13. A safe car. Frame of heavy, channel section pressed steel. Drop forged steering connections. Heavy artillery type wheels. Brakes 25 times as powerful in proportion to weight as those on a locomotive. Chalmers built axles of highest quality, heat-treated steel.

  14. Large bearings, positive lubrication, heat-treated gears, highest quality of materials insure least wear and minimum upkeep expense.

  15. Generously large. A “Light Six” but not a “little six.” Seats wide and deep. Ample leg room, both front and rear. Doors exceptionally wide. Luxurious upholstery.

  16. 1915 refinements. The “Master Light Six” is a year ahead in design. All moving parts enclosed. Transmission gears interlocking. Doors hung on invisible hinges. Doors flush fitting without moldings. Running boards clear. Gasoline tank can be filled without disturbing passengers.

  17. Fully equipped. Mohair top, quick acting curtains, rain vision windshield; five demountable rims; tire carrier at rear; electric lighting system with Chalmers combination headlights; speedometer, electric horn, license brackets, full set of tools, tire repair outfit.

  18. Faster selling “Six.” The “Light Six” is the most popular car ever built by the Chalmers Company. In April we shipped 1568 cars, an average of 60 cars per day. In this one month alone the public paid $3,000,000 for Chalmers “Sixes.” Buy the car the motor-wise have decided is best.

  19. Because it’s a Chalmers. This means that back of the Master “Light Six” stands one of the largest and strongest manufacturing companies in the United States. It means that the dealer you buy it from stands back of the car to see that you get satisfaction and full value.

  20. Price $1800: Experts say the Chalmers “light Six” is the greatest value ever offered at $1800. But mere figures can’t express the real worth of much a car to you and your family. Ask your wife if this isn’t the kind of car she wants. Ask her if it won’t be worth many times its price in health and recreation for the whole family. Take her with you to see the Master “Light Six”—together you will decide such beauty and value were never before offered at $1800.

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

Making Handkerchiefs for Xmas Gifts

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

Wednesday, December 2, 1914: Am making handkerchiefs for Xmas presents. They are to be real nice and fancy, with edging of my own makings on them.

tatted handkerchief

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


The handkerchiefs sound lovely. Do they have a tatted edging? Tatting is so delicate and beautiful. I have vague memories that your married sister Besse showed you how to tat last summer:

Besse was trying to teach me tatting today. Am awful stupid about it, but still I persist in trying to make the stuff. It takes some patience.

June 11, 1914


Carried a Sassy Goose Home from Town

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

Thursday, November 26, 1914: Thanksgiving. Have been having quite a long vacation. We had a Thanksgiving dinner for one thing. My taster was lacking due to a cold and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I might have. Carried a sassy goose down from town last Monday. The remains are in the pantry awaiting further digestion for the morrow. Wonder if that goose will keep me awake tonight.

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

Happy Thanksgiving, Grandma—

You carried a sassy (live?) goose home from town?

How the heck did you do that? A goose must weigh at least 10 or 12 pounds—and a cage would make it even heavier.

I’m not sure where you got it, but you live a mile and a half or so from both McEwensville and Watsontown. That’s a long walk.

And, then I suppose you had to help butcher it –and then cook it. And, you probably also had to make some other foods for the big meal—maybe mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pies. . . .

Whew, I’m tired just thinking about all you needed to do to prepare for Thanksgiving.

I hope that you feel better soon, and that your “taster” is back by tomorrow. After all your hard work you deserve to enjoy at least some of the goose’s “remains.”


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