18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, September 20, 1913: I picked and picked at the potatoes today till there weren’t any more to pick and then I stopped. My hands presented quite a spectacle by the time I was through from being so badly stained. I don’t care though, Pa gave me a dollar.
Did Grandma rub her hands with tomatoes or tomato juice to try to remove the stains? (Picture Source: Simply Recipes)
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Work and more backbreaking work. . . at least the potatoes were all harvested (and Grandma was a dollar richer).
Here’s some advice in a hundred-year-old book about how to remove stains from hands.
To remove stains, dip the hands into a dish of strong tea, rub well with a nailbrush, and rinse in tepid waters. Ripe tomatoes, also the juice of a lemon, will remove stains from the hands.
Housekeeper’s Handy Book (1913) by Lucia Millet Baxter
You may also enjoy reading a previous post on Harvesting Potatoes.