1916 Jello Advertisement

Source: American Cookery (October, 1916)
Source: American Cookery (October, 1916)

They sure knew how to package Jell-O a hundred years ago. The “Safety Bag” would keep it “as pure and sweet” as the day it was made for years.

I checked the “best used by” date on a package of Jell-O in my cupboard. The date was November 16, 2014.  Time flies, and I don’t remember when I bought it, but I don’t think that it was real long ago.  In any case, I discarded the package . . .  sigh . . . I wish that modern Jell-O would keep for years like the old-time Jell-O in its Safety Bag.

1913 Kodak Film Tank Advertisement

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

Tuesday, August 26, 1913:  Ruthie and I commenced on this pictures this afternoon. We made a negative. This evening we went to a party up at Bryson’s. There were so many there and lots that I didn’t know.

1913 Kodak Film Tank Advertisement


Every step in film development becomes simple, easy, understandable with a


No dark-room, no tediously acquired skill—and better results than were possible by the old methods. It’s an important link the the Kodak system of “Photography with the bother left out.”

The Experience is in the Tank.

In our little booklet, “Tank Development,”  free at your dealer or in the mail.

EASTMAN KODAK CO., 365 State Street, Rochester, N.Y.

Source: Farm Journal (August, 1913)

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

Wow, Grandma and her sister Ruth apparently developed their own pictures. Grandma brought a camera earlier in the summer and took her first pictures on August 13:

Today we had our S.S. picnic up at the creek. Not all that were invited came, but still I guess we had a good time. I initiated by camera by taking two pictures.

In this era of digital photography—when it’s easy to take and then view hundreds (or thousands) of photos it’s hard to image how much knowledge and skill was required to get a few pictures back then.

Blanche and Margaret Bryson were friends of Grandma and Ruth. The Bryson’s lived on a farm north of McEwensville. And, I think that Grandma visited Margaret the previous Sunday—on August 24.   I wonder if Grandma helped plan the party.

What does “many” mean? How many people were at the party—15? . . .25? . . . 50?

Who was at the party? Any “interesting” guys?

DSC07868Recent photo of the home where the Bryson family lived a hundred years ago. In my imagination, I picture young men and women playing croquet in the yard, and drinking lemonade on the porch (and maybe flirting just a little bit).

Old Hydrox Cookies and Other Sunshine Biscuits Advertisement

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

Friday, August 22, 1913:  Nothing much doing.

Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1913)
Source: Ladies Home Journal (December, 1913)

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

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share a hundred-year-old advertisement for Hydrox cookies and other biscuits made by Sunshine.

Hydrox cookies bring back warm fuzzy memories, and I was disappointed to discover that they are no longer made.

According to Wikipedia they were first made in 1908 by the Sunshine Company. For some unknown reason the cookie’s name was derived  from the atomic elements that make up  water: hydrogen and oxygen.

Sunshine  was sold to Keebler and later Kellogg.  Hydrox cookies were discontinued in 2009.

1913 L.L. Olds Seed Company Advertisement

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

Saturday, May 31, 1913:  What I did today was far from being romantic. I had to help plant taters this afternoon.

potato 1

25 Years’

Potato Experience

For a quarter of a century I have made a specialty of growing and handling Choice Seed Potatoes, testing all the leading varieties, retaining and improving the best. This year’s list is the cream.

My 26th Annual Seed Book

should be in the hands of every progressive farmer and gardener. It contains 54 pages crowded full of valuable information. The best in Seed Potatoes, Field and Garden Seeds of all kinds. Write postal today.

L.L. OLDS, President

L.L. Olds Seed Co., Drawer C, Madison, Wis.

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

Grandma did you dream about doing romantic things?  Hmm. . .  I guess that’s for another day.  In the meantime, the farm work needed to be done.

I’m not sure whether the Muffly’s raised potatoes to sell . . or if they just raised them for family use. Either way, they would have planted lots of potatoes. A hundred years ago potatoes were one of the main staples that people ate during the long winter months.

Previous posts about potatoes include:

Planting Potatoes

Harvesting Potatoes

Old-fashioned Fried Potatoes

Old-fashioned Potato Cakes

Lysol Advertising, 1913 and 2013

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

Wednesday, May 14, 1913:  Nothing much doing, but the doing of rubbing, scrubbing, etc.

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

The previous day Grandma wrote that she hoped to finish washing the kitchen ceiling “by tomorrow.”  Hopefully she finished washing the kitchen ceiling and moved on to other tasks.

Did Grandma use Lysol? It’s amazing that it’s been around for more than 100 years.

1913-03-43.cThe Way to get Real Lysol is to buy it in one of these three packages—never in bulk

By merely insisting on these original sealed bottles, you are sure of getting the real antiseptic and germicide, Lysol, itself.

Your physician will tell you it is important to get real Lysol, because imitations sold as Lysol and for Lysol, but which are not Lysol, may be crudely made, uncertain and unsafe in action, even positively dangerous—you can’t tell. But you can tell this—Only Lysol itself has the unique antiseptic, disinfectant and germicidal quality that have made it the standard product for over 20 years.

Three Sizes

25¢, 50¢, $.100

Sold by druggists everywhere

Look for Signature of LEHN & FINK on the Label

The value of the genuine Lysol is proved by its use as an antiseptic and disinfectant in practically every hospital in America. Nothing so completely destroys disease-germs, prevents infections, removes odors and makes the whole house sweet and clean. Your druggist has Lysol in original bottles (with full directions) which protect you against substitution and make Lysol’s use easy and convenient.

Write for Interesting Lysol Booklet

Full of helpful hints and listing the many uses of Lysol in the home.



Manufacturing Chemists

103 William Street, New York

The small words in the logo underneath Lysol say “better than carbolic acid.”

2013 Lysol Website

I compared the information on the current Lysol website with the hundred-year-old ad. Some of the ad lingo is similar—and some different. The  website headlines say:

Lysol—kills 99.9% of bacteria

Introducing Healthing

Cleaning is hoping you’re killing germs, Healthing is knowing it. Stop just CLEANING. Start HEALTHING.


1912 Advertisement for Dr. Denton Footed Pajamas

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

Monday, October 7, 1912:  Am in a dilemma as to what to write.

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

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share an old advertisement for Dr. Denton Footed Pajamas that I found in the September, 1912 issue of Ladies Home Journal:

Hundred Year Old Dr. Denton AdProtect Your Little Ones at Night with the Improved Dr. Denton Sleeping Garments

and secure unbroken sleep for yourself.

The Dr. Denton Garments cover body, feet and hands. Feet are part of the Garment. Hands are covered by cuffs that turn down and close with draw-string. Made from our Elastic, Knit, Mixed Cotton and Wool Fabric, specially devised to give most healthful sleep. The knit fabric carries off perspiration, maintaining even warmth if bed covers are thrown off. Prevent cold which often leads to pneumonia and other dangerous ailments. Made in eleven Sizes for children up to ten years old. Prices, 50¢ to $1.10, according to size and style.

Soft and Durable.     Do Not Shrink.

Write for booklet giving Dr. Mary Wood Allen’s practical ideas on “Healthful Sleep for Children.” Be sure you get genuine Dr. Denton Garments. Our trade mark, shown above, is attached to each garment. If you cannot get them of your dealer, write us and we will see that you are supplied.

Dr. Denton Sleeping Garment Mills

500 Dean Street, Centreville, Michigan

Did Grandma’s 7-year-old brother Jimmie wore Dr. Denton Sleeping Garments?

Reo Car Ad: How Long Does it Take to Drive From New York to San Francisco?

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

Wednesday, July 17, 1912:  About the same as yesterday.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later

Sounds like another boring summer day. I’ve been posting Grandma’s diary entries for more than a year and a half now. In that time period she’s never gone more than a few miles from her home.

Grandma went  to Milton (which was about 5 miles from her home); to Turbotville (which was about 4 miles); to Montandon (which was about 8 miles); to Ottawa –Limestone Township, Montour County (about 8 miles). She also regularly went to McEwensville and Watsontown—both of which were about a mile from the Muffly farm.

Did Grandma ever dream of seeing the world?

Reo Car Advertisement
Source: Farm Journal (April 1911)



Top and Merger Automatic Windshield extra

New York to San Francisco

10 days 15 hours 13 minutes

steady going and not a wrench touched to the Reo engine.

That’s your answer to every question you can ask about the Reo.

The Reo must have speed and power, to keep going like that over bad roads and hard climbs found in the Great American Desert and the Rocky Mountains.

The Reo must have strength, to stand the constant and tough strain.

The Reo must be reliable. A car that stands a test like that, and then breaks the record from New York to Los Angeles, and then hill-climbing record up Mount Hamilton, and then the record from Topeka to Kansas City, and still is in perfect condition—that is the perfect proof of reliability.

Comfort?  Prove it yourself.  Get the nearest Reo dealer to take you for a ride.

Send for the catalogue and “Reo and the Farmer.”  Plain facts.

R M Owen & Co.  General Sales Agent for Reo Motor Company.

You can do it with a Reo.

Whew—10 days 15 hours 13 minutes sounds brutal.

According to Mapquest, today you can get on Interstate Route 80 in New York City and end up in San Francisco 1 day 19 hours and 48 minutes later (assuming you drive straight through).