Tacky Old-Fashioned Match Holders

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

Friday, December 15, 1911:Our entertainment is over at last. That dialogue went off alright. I didn’t forget any of my part although I was rather doubtful about it. As I rather expected before hand, we all received a Christmas present from Jake. It was a post card with his picture on it. Last year he gave girls little china dishes with Japanese on them and the boys match holders containing matches.

Maybe the boys got a  China Bald Head Match Holder or a China Scratch Me Match Holder the previous year. Ugh–Somehow giving match holders just don’t work for me.

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

A hundred years ago today was the last day of School for Grandma before the Christmas break. Winter breaks apparently were longer back then than they are now.

It sounds like the students had fun doing the dialogue—Grandma had been working at learning her part since the 5th.

I can’t imagine a teacher giving students match holders today. I wonder why the boys needed them—to light stoves or candles? . . . or perhaps some of them smoked.

4 thoughts on “Tacky Old-Fashioned Match Holders

  1. My grandmother Sigford’s most prized possession was her Elocution Book from when she was sent away to school at the state capital. I was allowed as a young girl to look at the book (with grandma’s supervision). i remember that there were a number of dialogues, tho at the time, the dialogues looked like stories to me.

  2. That’s really interesting. I’ve wondered a lot about what the dialogues were like and where the teacher found them. I’ve been searching for books that might contain dialogues at the library and at flea markets–but haven’t found anything. Maybe I should try searching on the word “elocution”.

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