17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Thursday, July 25, 1912: Spent nearly all afternoon in getting an embroidery pattern reversed so as to have the whole design. It’s finished now and stamped on the material.
For several evenings I’ve seen a balloon go up, but tonight I saw only the gas.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Help!! I don’t understand this diary entry—and am hoping that some of you can help me make sense of it.
How do you reverse an embroidery pattern and then stamp it on cloth? I can remember using an iron to transfer the patterns to cloth when I was child—but I have no idea how Grandma reversed the pattern and then stamped it.
Was Grandma referring to a hot air balloon?
Hot air balloons were popular attractions at fairs and festivals in the early 20th century. Steve Shook has a wonderful picture of hot air balloons at a festival in Valparaiso, Indiana that was taken around 1910.
But what did she mean when she said that she only saw the gas?