1914 Wilson Dress-hooks Picture Title Contest

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

Wednesday, February 25, 1914:  Something like yesterday.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (May, 1914)
Source: Ladies Home Journal (May, 1914)

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

It was a slow week. This was the third day in a row that Grandma didn’t write much.

Maybe Grandma had time to enter a contest that was in Ladies Home Journal.

The Wilson Dress-hooks contest gave a $100 cash prize for the best title of 8 words or less for this picture.

The contest rules say:

Why tolerate such embarrassment as shown in the above picture?  For the last five years increasing numbers of women  have been exclaiming, “At last I have found a fastening that simply can not be sprung open nor come unfastened!”


1. Write your title (8 words or less) –the shorter the better. Below it your name and address–nothing more. Only one title accepted per person.

2.  Count Wilson Dress-hooks as two words only. You may use or omit them in your title.

3. Contest closes June 1, 1914.

4. Questions cannot be answered.


27 thoughts on “1914 Wilson Dress-hooks Picture Title Contest

    1. Personally I tend to prefer buttons and zippers. It always surprises me when I realize that zippers weren’t commonly used until the 1920’s and 30’s.

  1. I wonder if Grandma ever worried that someone might read her journal? Is it possible that might have something to do with her minimalist entries?
    (and yes! Hooks are so much better than snaps or buttons)

  2. Eight words is a serious word count restriction. How about: “She’d have used Wilson dress-hooks, but Rupert’s downstairs!” Hmm – perhaps a bit risqué for the times…

    1. The diary entries sometimes seem like they were written very cautiously. I also think that she may have worried that someone (probably either her mother or sister Ruth) might read the entries.

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