Mailed Some Packages

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

Wednesday, April 16, 1914: Went up to town this afternoon to mail some parcel post packages. Oh dear me, and it cost eleven cents. Called on a friend and quite a sociable chat. Went to a lecture this evening in Watsontown.

Old postcard, circa 1914

Old postcard, circa 1914

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

Seriously Grandma. . . You’re annoyed that it costs 11¢ to mail a package? . . .

Hmmm. . Now that I’m re-reading your diary entry, I almost think that you mailed several packages for 11¢. . . sound like a bargain to me.

A hundred years ago parcel post was the cool new thing. According to Wikipedia parcel post begin in the US in 1913.

You may also enjoy several previous posts that I did on parcel post:

Parcel Post Began in 1913

Getting Eggs and Butter in the Mail

Backyard Fences a Hundred Years Ago

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

Wednesday, April 15, 1914: Nothing much doing today.

1914-03-44-aThe picture above shows the simplest variation of an old fence. The boxed in posts are finished with a square board with a ball placed on top of each one for decoration.

Ladies Home Journal (March, 1914)

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

Now that spring is here, I’m taking stock of my yard. It needs work. . . a fence might be nice.

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share some backyard fencing suggestions from the March, 1914 issue of Ladies Home Journal.

1914-03-44-bThis is a good fence if the view beyond is particularly pleasing. and does not, therefore, need to be shut off.

1914-03-44-dIn the fence above the monotony is broken by connecting two fence posts with a trellis on which a pretty hardy shrub can be trained.

1914-03-44-cSome of us possess yards in which plants will not grow. The fence above is a happy solution. Gay boxes of flowers are placed between the posts and ivy or other vines on top.

Tiny Hat with Wired Frill

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

Tuesday, April 14, 1914: Was housekeeper today. Mother and Ruthie went on a shopping tour. Oh my, they did bring the things home. Ruth got a hat of the latest creation, trimmed and bowed for the family’s spectations.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1913)

Source: Ladies Home Journal (March, 1913)

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

Maybe Ruth’s hat had a “wired frill”

. . . Interesting that  Grandma’s sister Ruth bought a new hat after Easter. Easter, 1914 was two days prior to this entry. Maybe the hat was on sale.

Spectations?? Is this another archaic word?

Broke a “Relic”

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

Monday, April 13, 1914: Blue Monday. Yes it was. I broke one of Ma’s relics, and things got bluer yet. Made me feel real miserable.

vase

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

Grandma-

Ouch. . . it’s no fun to break a family “relic.”

Was Ma really mad? . . . and then what happened then that made things even bluer?

Arbutus Still Not Blooming

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

Sunday, April 12, 1914: Went to Sunday School this morning. A whole gang of us went for arbutus this afternoon. Didn’t get any though, for it’s just in bud. We had quite a walk in the bargain.

DSC02316

 Maybe the “gang” walked at this same spot a hundred years ago today. These woods and fields are across the road from the house where the Muffly’s lived.

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

Grandma—names please. . . Who went with you? How many people? . . . all girls? . . . or were there some guys, too? . . .

What did you talk about? Did you joke and tease each other?

This was Easter Sunday. Two days prior to this entry you mentioned Easter hats, but when Easter actually arrived you didn’t mention it.  Why?

—-

The previous Sunday (April 5) Grandma, her sister Ruth, and their friend Carrie Stout also searched for trailing arbutus:

We went for arbutus this afternoon, but only managed to find the buds. It is late this spring.

1914 must have been a late spring—just like 2014 has been a late spring.

Trailing Arbutus

Trailing Arbutus

A Pleasant Spring Evening

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

Thursday, April 9, 1914:  Ruth and I have returned home after escorting Carrie back from where she came from. It’s awful nice out. The moon light makes it almost as light as evening.

moonlight

Source: Wikipedia

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

A moonlit walk on a pleasant spring evening. . . What a lovely way to end the day!

Carrie Stout was a friend of Grandma and her sister Ruth who lived on a nearby farm.

Something doesn’t seem worded quite right with this diary entry. Grandma wrote that it was “almost as light as evening”–though she must have meant the daylight hours.

 

Popular Sheet Music a Hundred Years Ago

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

Wednesday, April 8, 1914: Nothing much. Don’t seem to have so much to do. My music lesson is easy for one thing.

Picture Source: Wikipedia

Picture Source: Wikipedia

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

What songs was Grandma learning how to play? Maybe she had sheet music for some popular songs.

Sheet music published between 1911 and 1914 that I recognized included:

1911

  • Alexander’s Ragtime Band
  • I Want a Girl (Just Like the Girl that Married Dear Old Dad)

1912

  • When Irish Eyes are Smiling

1913

  • Peg O My Heart

1914

  • By the Beautiful Sea
  • When You Wore A Rose and I Wore a Big Red Tulip

You can find the lyrics and recordings for these songs (and many more) on the Public Domain Music.org site, as well as on YouTube.

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