19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, November 3, 1914: <<no entry>>
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
I found a fun description of how to care for hands and mails in a hundred-year-old book. Since Grandma didn’t write anything, I thought you might enjoy reading some quotes from the book.
Care and Treatment of the Hands
Of all the members of the body, next to the face, the hands have the most expression, and serve as an index of character and refinement.
Not only should the most scrupulous attention be given to having clean hands and nails, but every precaution should be taken to keep the skin soft and the nails carefully manicured. This is quite possible for the housewife, simply by wearing rubber gloves while she does her work. It preserves the fine sense of touch in the fingers, which aids in sewing and embroidery at the same time that it adds much to the beauty of the hands.
Chapped Hands: An aid in the prevention of the skin of the hands from becoming rough and chapped, and the best means of curing them if this has occurred, is by the use of a good cold cream at night, just before retiring.
The cold cream should be rubbed into the skin, especially about the finger-nails, and then talcum powder be dusted over. This forms a thick covering for the hands, the talcum powder prevents the cream from being rubbed off on the bed-clothes, and, on getting up in the morning, the skin will be found to be soft. Only in case the hands are very badly chapped should old kid gloves be worn at night.
Finger Nails: There is a natural tendency for the dirt to accumulate on the under surface of the nail, between it and the finger. This is not only unsightly, but it is often the cause of actual danger, as this forms a lodgment for the germs of disease. We must be impressed with the necessity of more careful oversight being given to the hands that prepare food.
For the same reason, it is self-evident that the hands should always be washed immediately before going to the table, and cleaning the nails is always a finishing touch in the washing of the hands.
For the purpose of cleansing the nails, an orange stick or nail-file should be used, After the use of the nail-file, the nail-brush should be used.
Personal Hygiene and Physical Training for Women (1911) by Anna M. Galbraith