19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, April 18, 1914: Went to a social this evening up at town. Parcel post packages were sold at an auction. I bought a package, which, when unwrapped disclosed a handkerchief. That wasn’t a misfit, but there were some that were more. Who ever heard of a man wearing a sun bonnet or an apron? Well that’s what some of them got.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Wow, occasionally I just tingle, when a post pulls together like this one did. I never would have guessed that I’d find a newspaper story about this diary entry—
Several weeks ago, I was browsing through old Milton Evening Standard microfilms at the library looking for interesting stories and advertisements that I could use on days when Grandma didn’t write much—and suddenly this column jumped out at me. Grandma attended the party described in the paper!
Parcel post in the US began in 1913—and apparently it was such a cool thing that people had fundraisers with White Elephant sales—but with a twist. Instead of bringing the wrapped items to the party, they mailed them via parcel post.
Two days before this entry, Grandma mailed several packages that apparently were sold at the party:
Went up to town this afternoon to mail some parcel post packages. Oh dear me, and it cost eleven cents . . .