Hundred-Year-Old Women’s Suits

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

Thursday, September 17, 1914: After a lapse of nine days I decided that it is time to write in my diary.

Went to town this afternoon to oblige Ruthie dear. Her suit need pressing (souvenir of our trip) so I walked it in.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (June, 1912)

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

Grandma– I’m confused. There been a sentence or two written most of the past nine days. Do you mean that you went back and wrote entries for all of those days at one time? . . .Your memory must be pretty good.

And, this thing about wearing suits on the trip to Niagara Falls. . .  It’s nice that you took your sister Ruth’s suit into the town to get pressed (at the dry cleaners?); but it seems ridiculous that you wore suits while on vacation.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1913)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (September, 1912)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (September, 1912)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (September, 1912)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (September, 1912)

Cow Had Fourth Male Calf

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

Wednesday, September 16, 1914: Born to Mollie, a son, and he’s a big one. While Mollie is very proud of him, I am still prouder, for he belongs to me. This is the fourth calf of Mollie’s family. The others are dead. Snapped a picture of Ruth’s school this morning.

Kimball's Dairy Farmer Magazine (June 15, 1911)

Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (June 15, 1911)

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

Mollie was Grandma’s cow. I think that her parents gave each child a cow. When the cow had a male calf, the child got the money from the sale; when it was a female, their personal herd grew.

This was the fourth year in a row that Mollie had a male calf.

On November 20, 1913, Grandma wrote:

My Mollie’s calf over which I have been rejoicing for the past week or two on account of his bigness was sold this afternoon. He weighed 164 pounds. I had figured out a week or so ago that he would just have to weigh at least 145 pounds. Haven’t I something to be thankful for?

On December 27, 1912, Grandma wrote:

 Sold Mollie’s calf today. It wasn’t a very big one and I rather feared my fortune would be pretty small, but after all it weighed one hundred and forty-four lbs. Received a neat sum of $11.56. . .

And, on August 21, 1911, she wrote:

. . . I have decided to name Mollie’s calf Wobbly as he is rather weak in his legs, but he’ll get stronger bye and bye.

It’s surprising that Mollie’s had no female calves. I’m a little foggy on how you calculate the probability, but I think that there is only a 1 out of 16 chance of this occurring.

Climbed Tree to Harvest Grapes

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

Tuesday, September 15, 1914:  Climbed an old apple tree after grapes, and got well scratched up.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Grandma—

It sounds like harvesting grapes is challenging and dangerous work. At least you didn’t fall out of the tree.

Old-fashioned grape vines were much larger than more modern ones. I suppose that the apple tree served as a trellis for the grape vine—and that the grapes were Concord grapes or another similar variety with seeds and slip skins.

Canning Peaches

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

Monday, September 14, 1914: Did the washing this morning, while mother canned peaches. I helped eat some, too.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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

Here are the directions in a hundred-old-cookbook for canning peaches:

Canned Peaches

4 pounds peaches

2 pounds sugar

1 pint water

Pare peaches and cook in sugar and water, either whole or in halves, until tender. Arrange in jars, fill with syrup, and seal.

Pears, pineapples, and plums are canned in the same way as peaches.

Lowney’s Cook Book (1907)

I hope that Grandma’s mother was already very knowledgeable about canning because this recipe does not give me anywhere near enough information to even begin trying to can peaches.

 

A Little More About “Tweet”

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

Sunday, September 13, 1914: Went to Sunday School this morning. Was up at Tweet’s this afternoon, and went to church this evening.

Wesner's Dairy Milk Bottle

Wesner’s Dairy Milk Bottle (Photo Source: Worthpoint)

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

Tweet was the nickname of Helen Wesner. She was a friend of Grandma’s who was occasionally mentioned in the diary. Based on the diary, and other sources, here’s what I know about her:

Helen was three years older than Grandma. Helen never married—and worked on her family’s farm and in their small dairy processing plant that produced bottled milk. She died in 1976 at the age of 84.

Anyone with the nickname of Tweet had to have been a fun person. Here are two previous diary entries that mentioned Tweet or the Wesner’s.

On December 6, 1913 Grandma wrote:

The whole family was invited out for dinner today. We all went except Pa. It was up at Tweet’s place. We had something that I always had a curiosity to know what they tasted like. It was waffles.

And, on January 3, 1914, Grandma wrote:

Made a call this afternoon, so that the time wouldn’t be so tedious. I’m wishing and longing for a sleigh ride, now that there is sleighing.

Ruth and I went up to Wesner’s this evening. There were some other girls there too. Renewed my acquaintance with a former school mate whom I hadn’t seen for over three years I guess, until I saw her on Christmas eve. Had a good time.

Household Hints and Tips from Ladies Home Journal Readers

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

Friday, September 11, 1914: Nothing doing.

DSC09294

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

Since Grandma didn’t’ write anything of substance a hundred years ago today, I’ll share some hundred-year-old household hints and tips from the April, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal.  The hints were published in a column called “What Other Women Have Found Out.” It’s basically an old-time version of Hints from Heloise.

The Ladies Home Journal Readers’ Exchange encouraged readers to submit helpful hints; and, according to the magazine “a crisp dollar bill is paid for any idea accepted.”

What Other Women Have Found Out

When Making Muffins or Cakes in muffin-pans or rings, if there is not enough of the mixture for all of the pans you may prevent the empty ones from burning by filling them with water.

M.G.M.

When Straining Soup set a coarse strainer inside a fine one and pour the liquid through both; thus you will avoid clogging the fine one with pieces of meat and broken bones.

E.T.P.

burlap bag b

Play Aprons for Children may be made most satisfactorily of burlap. An ordinary feed-bag will do. Fold the material at the shoulders and cut a kimono slip apron having a square neck large enough to permit of dropping the apron over the child’s head. Do not seam it, but bind it all around with some bright-colored material and fasten under the arms with large buttons and loops. These kinds of apron require little washing, as the coarseness of the material prevents the dirt from sticking to it. Such aprons will protect the children when playing in the sand or dirt, or making mud pies.

Ohio

Use a Fork in Mixing Pie Crust and in mixing baking-powder biscuit, if you wish both to be praised for their lightness.

N.H.

Children’s Collections, however dear to them, are often a great bother to the mother. She dislikes to destroy what the child has taken so much trouble to get together, yet there are few houses big enough to hold all that a child can accumulate. One good mother, who had nearly exhausted all the places she had for storing treasures committed to her care, has two deep drawers made under the framework of an old-fashioned high lounge. These deep drawers the children have in which to keep their collections and no one ever interferes with the contents of them. The house has been much neater and the children are proud of having a special place for their possessions.

N.S.

Ladies Home Journal (April, 1914)

Almost Half the Pictures Were “No Good”

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

Wednesday, September 9, 1914: The last of my pictures came today. Of the seven that were taken while we were at the Falls, three were no good.

old folding  Brownie camera

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

Poor Grandma– It sounds like a near disaster if 3 of the 7 pictures were “no good.” Maybe the mist (or the lighting) at Niagara Falls affected the pictures.

Even though it hasn’t been all that long since I had a camera that used film, it seems like a vague memory. Some things have changed for the better!

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