17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, July 23, 1912: Did the ironing this morning. I’ve decided at last to get through with a book I brought home from school last spring. I studied at it some this evening. By studying twenty-five pages a day I’ll be though it by the time school starts.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
What could the book have been about? It doesn’t sound like light reading, but rather something serious . . . more like a textbook.
I found a hundred-year- old geography book, and was surprised to discover that even back then people were really worried about the environment and the deforestation of the US.
In fact, millions of acres of the uplands in the United States, now denuded of timber would best serve the uses of man if permanently reforested. Already the proportion of forested area in the United States has fallen almost as low as in Germany (Fig. 9).
Commercial Geography (1910) by Edward Van Dyke Robinson
This made we wonder if more or less of the land in the US is forested today than it was a hundred years ago.
According to the US Forest Service about 33% of the land in the US was covered by trees in both 1912 and 2012.