Farmer Delivering Milk Hit by Trolley Car

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

Tuesday, November 24, 1914: <<no entry>>

Source: Milton (PA) Evening Standard (November 23, 1914)

Source: Milton (PA) Evening Standard (November 23, 1914)

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

Sometimes when Grandma didn’t write anything, I wish that she’d told us mundane things– like what her family discussed over the dinner table that day.

Maybe a hundred-years-ago today,the Muffly’s were talking about the recent accident in the nearby town of Watsontown.

What excitement! Thank goodness the accident wasn’t any worse than it was.

Hundred-Year-Old Fashion Color Chart

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

Sunday, November 22, 1914: <<no entry>>

color guide f

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

What was Grandma doing a hundred years ago today? I wonder if Grandma ever worried about fashion —and which colors were her best colors.

When I was young,Color Me Beautiful was very popular—and I worried about whether I was a Fall or a Summer.

A few days ago I was surprised to discover that the color concept has been around for a long time, and that there were color charts a hundred years ago.

According to an article in the November, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal:

Choosing the most becoming colors is often a difficult task, and while no hard and fast rules can be given for such a selection there are some suggestions which will help to find the right ones. Each woman can find her type, and then take the suggested colors and try them for herself. Do not forget that your personal preference in this matter cannot be taken into consideration for more often than not your favorite color is not a becoming one.

Each season brings a new and fashionable color, and please let me warn you that it will detract from your appearance if you select it for this reason. Make sure that it is becoming first, keeping in mind that good taste, not money, makes the well-dressed woman.

Color guide g1

Color guide h1

Color guide i1

Color guide j1

Color guide k1

Hundred-year-old Advice for Teaching Caricature Drawing

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

Saturday, November 21, 1914: <<no entry>>

Caricature 3a

Source: School Arts 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 some pictures and quotes from an article about how to draw caricatures that appeared in a hundred-year-old magazine for art teachers.

Caricature will furnish a legitimate outlet for the energy that creates disorder in the school. The study of humorous drawing develops the ability to make jokes. The teaching of caricature does not necessarily result directly in successful jokes in the classroom; it bears its best fruit in the increased skill and appreciation of the pupils. In this respect the teaching of caricature does not differ from any other lesson.

Source: School Arts Magazine (December, 1914)Youthful caricaturists need to be taught that kindness should be their guide in making a selection of the qualities which they exaggerate,  and that the best sense of humor is that which we call good humor.

Clever boys especially are inclined to be cruel in their attempts at jokes; they need training to see that deformity, ignorance, and misfortune are pitiful rather than funny, that a joke must be considered from the point of view of the person joked as well as from that of the joker, that the greatest of strength lies in its gentleness.

Teach a child what is really funny and he will scorn to perpetrate, or even to tolerate, laughter at what is not. So through, the study of humor the teacher can make his worst enemy serve as his best friend.

School Arts Magazine (December, 1914)

Grandma’s Ironing Board

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

Thursday, November 19, 1914: <<no entry>>

Grandma's iron board

My Grandma’s  iron board

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m going to go off on a tangent—

Sometimes I’m surprised how thoughts of Grandma pop into my head at the least expected times.

Last week-end my husband and I had friends over for dinner. It was almost time for them to arrive and I still hadn’t set the table.

I pulled some cloth napkins out of a drawer-and thought with dismay—“Dang it, I’m going to have to iron them.”

Annoyed, I dragged my heavy ironing board out of the closet—and suddenly thought—”Did Grandma also dislike lugging this hefty ironing board around?”

This makes perfect sense because I have Grandma’s ironing board.

DSC09631She passed many years ago. It was shortly after I got married, and I needed an ironing board. So when the grandchildren were given an opportunity to select items they would like from her house—one of the things I chose was the ironing board.

I’ve used the ironing board for more than 35 years. It’s probably 60 or 70 years old (and probably could easily last another 60 or 70 years).  I replaced the ironing board cover once a few years ago—but that’s it. It might be heavy, but it is also darn sturdy.


Cows Escaped and Went to Neighbor’s Farm

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

Wednesday, November 18, 1914:  Today passed as other days. A few flakes flew this morning. Wish the snow would get down to business, for then I wouldn’t have to look after the cows. Today they went off to a neighbors and I had to walk after them.

Source: Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (August 1, 1911)

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

Hmm—apparently the cows were still out in the pasture, but after it snows they will be confined to the barn. During past summers Grandma mentioned several times that she needed to watch the cows. For example, on August 26, 1911, she wrote:

Everything seemed to have gone wrong today. Hard to tell what the cause really is. I have to watch the cows, and I don’t like it but school will soon start and then that task will be ended.

And, on May 18, 1912 she wrote:

What a doleful calamity. I had to watch the cows this morning, I mean this afternoon. I’m afraid that this is only the beginning. They got into the wheat for me.

This is the first time Grandma mentioned watching cows in the Fall in the diary—and I think that it’s the first time that she mentioned it in 1914.

I remain clueless as to why the cows needed to be watched. It still seems like they should have been securely contained in a field fenced with barbed wire, but obviously they weren’t (or if there was a fence it wasn’t strong enough).

A Sound Sleep is Dreamless

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

Friday, November 13, 1914:  Am awfully sleepy at present, so good-night.


Source: Wikipedia

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

Goodnight Grandma—

Have a sweet and dreamless sleep.

According to a hundred-year-old book:

A sound sleep is dreamless. Dreams require a certain expenditure of nerve force and mental energy, so that dreamless sleep is the most restful. Disagreeable dreams and nightmares are generally associated with indigestion and biliousness, which also occasion a general restlessness.

Personal Hygiene and Physical Training for Women (1911) by Anna M. Galbraith

Went Shopping and Got a Boucle Coat (and More)

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

Thursday, November 12, 1914:  Mother and I went shopping. She’s doing more than I did of course. I got a coat, which is a blue and black boucle, a dress, gloves, and other things of lesser importance. I had a suit case full of stuff and then some more. Ma had her share, too. Fortunately we got a ride part way home.

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

boucle coatI found this purple and black boucle coat on ebay. The era’s wrong (this is a 1950’s coat), and the color isn’t quite blue; but it can give you an idea of what Grandma’s coat looked like. I bet she looked awesome.


What a fun day! Nothing cheers a woman up like clothes shopping—especially when her mother pays for the clothes.


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