Took Black Velvet Up to Town

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

Monday, September 28, 1914: One week and some days later. Looks as if my pen had been on a vacation. To tell the truth I am getting tired on writing in this. Nothing nice and sentimental to jot down. Took my black velvet up town to have the trimmings re-arranged.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1913)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (October, 1913)

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

Grandma—

We’re glad your pen is back from its vacation. But do tell, why does your black velvet (dress?) need the trimmings rearranged? Is there a special event coming up? . . . Is there a special guy?

Squash Varieties a Hundred Years Ago

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

Sunday, September 27, 1914: <<no entry>>

Source: Vegetable Gardening (1910) by Samuel B. Green

Picture Source: Vegetable Gardening (1914) by Samuel B. Green

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

Sigh. .. Another day with no diary entry. so here’s a trivia question:

Question: Did Grandma’s family eat butternut squash? . . . zucchini?

Answer: no

I found a picture of squash varieties in a hundred-year-old book on vegetable gardening—and was surprised that it did not include either butternut or zucchini squash.

I then did a little research and was amazed to discover that neither butternut nor zucchini was available in the US a hundred years ago.

The Silvia International website states:

Butternut squash, also known in some countries as the butternut pumpkin, is the most popular of the winter squash, and was originally developed in Massachusetts in the 1940s.

Photo source: Wikipedia

Photo source: Wikipedia

According to Wikipedia:

The first records of zucchini in the United States date to the early 1920s. It was almost certainly brought over by Italian immigrants and probably was first cultivated in the United States in California.

Photo source: Wikipedia

Photo source: Wikipedia

Attractive Ways to Curtain Door Windows

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

Friday, September 25, 1914: <<no entry>>

1914-10-104 aGlass doors are now very popular for the inside of the house. A good curtain treatment for these doors when they go from the dining room into the living room is shown here. A thin silk or net is often stretched from rods top and bottom to break the view while the dining table is being set. This treatment adds a charm and an interest to the doors.

Ladies Home Journal (October, 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 seeing some examples from 1914 of how to attractively curtain windows on doors.

1914-10-104 b

A simple and pleasing treatment for the inside of a Colonial doorway is shown. Either scrim, net, or thin muslin may be used. Both the door curtains and the side-window curtains are stretched from brass rods at the top and bottom. This arrangement keeps the curtains in place. The fanlight above the door is also treated in an attractive way. The best method of arranging this is to have a heavy wire frame made to fit the semi-circular window. The material can then be easily attached to it and the wire frame adjusted to the window.

Ladies Home Journal (October, 1914)

Drought in Central Pennsylvania in 1914

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

Wednesday, September 23, 1914: <<no entry>>

Milton Evening Standard 9 21 14

Source: Milton Evening Standard (September 21, 1914)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share an article from Grandma’s local paper, the Milton Evening Standard.

Apparently there was a drought in central Pennsylvania during September, 1914—and the nearby town of Milton was concerned about a potential water shortage. I wonder how the well on the Muffly farm was holding up during the dry weather.

World War I in the News on September 22, 1914

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

Tuesday, September 22, 1914: <<no entry>>

Source: Milton Evening Standard (September 22, 1914)

Source: Milton Evening Standard (September 22, 1914)

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

Grandma has not mentioned World War I in the diary. How aware was she of the War? The Milton Evening Standard, her local newspaper, had regular stories about it. Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I thought that you might enjoy reading what the paper said on September 22, 1914 about the War.

Hundred-year-old Clipper Lawn Mower Advertisement

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

Monday, September 21, 1914: <<no entry>>

Source: Kimball's Dairy Farmer Magazine (March 15, 1914)

Source: Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (March 15, 1914)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write anything a hundred years ago today, I’m sharing an advertisement for the Clipper Lawn Mower.

I have lots of crab grass and dandelions in my yard—and I haven’t been able to successfully get rid of them. I definitely need a Clipper. . . wonder where I can find one.

“How I Knew When the Right Man Came Along”

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

Saturday, September 19, 1914: <<no entry>>

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

Source: McCalls (November, 1913)

I often use material from hundred-year-old issues of Ladies Home Journal. I was surprised to discover this “pot boiler” ad for Ladies Home Journal in the November, 1913 issue of McCall’s. Of course, I had to immediately find one of the article it referred to.

Why didn’t Grandma write anything a hundred years ago today? Back in July there was a diary entry or two which suggested that Grandma liked a guy. I keep wanting to think that she was having too much fun to have time to write in the diary—but who knows—maybe she was just working hard on the farm.

But, here are some quotes from an article in Ladies Home Journal that Grandma might have found useful if she had a beau.

How I Knew When the Right Man Came Along

. . . The following year I went away to college and during my Senior year I met a young physician, an alumnus of a nearby university, who had established a practice in the college town. He possessed the qualities I had so long for: education culture, self-possession, decision in every move. But, strangely enough I seemed to shrink from his physical presence. I tried to argue that it was but a natural modesty, but it set me thinking. Could I trust him? Was he clean? Were his eyes honest. Why did these thoughts come to me over and over? What was wrong? I called myself foolish and tried to reason them away-without success.

At last I determined to do what I should advise any girl to do whom there comes one moment’s questioning of a man’s morality. I went to a friend, an older physician, and hard though it was, asked him to tell me plainly if he knew anything about Doctor Powell that would cause him to withhold his consent to his own daughter’s marriage with him. The kindly talk that he gave me will live forever in my memory.

Doctor Powell and I were never engaged. It were better for me to have lived on bread and water than to have risked my mental and physical happiness with the attractive physician. . .

My disappointment at college had shown me the futility of romantic love. Now I had the opportunity to marry either my dashing attorney or the somewhat prosaic friend that I had known so long. Would marriage with either of them be what it should be? I determined to be in no hurry to make this momentous decision, and meantime to become as well acquainted as possible with both of my suitors.

I began to observe my married friends and to analyze the cause of their happiness or unhappiness. I soon decided that there was just one general rule that seemed to prevail throughout, and this was that an abiding respect and a deep unity of tastes and interests were to be found in every marriage worthy of the name.

Another thing was to be considered, something which in my girlhood I would never have allowed myself to think about, and that was the question of the children I might have. If I had not seen the necessity of putting aside for my own sake all petty considerations and all fleeting ambitions, the duty laid upon me of securing the best possible heritage for those whose lives I would be responsible for would surely have compelled me to do so. . .

Ladies Home Journal (December 1913)

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