Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Father, Daughter, Swimming Hole

In the swimsuit is my grandfather, W. C. Robert Meinzen. Beside him is his son-in-law, my fully-dressed father, Lee Doyle.

What a swimsuit! I usually think of younger men wearing this style but by all appearances, Grampa seems comfortable and confident. On the other hand, I'm not quite sure how to read my father's expression. Dubious, perhaps? I think this photo was taken in the early 1940's.

Grampa grew up in Steubenville, Ohio, which borders the Ohio River. We understand that Grampa swam in the river when he was a youth. My brief research into swimsuits suggests this one may have been a 1920's-1930's style. He probably didn't have the opportunity to swim often enough to warrant buying a new suit every year or two.

I don't know where this photo was taken but I suspect it was somewhere near Lake Milton in Mahoning County, Ohio. That seems to have been the usual destination for swimming about the time this photograph was taken.

The next photo is of my mom, Audrey (Meinzen) Doyle, daughter of W. C. Robert Meinzen, above. It was taken when she was perhaps 12 or 14, between 1927 and 1929. I don't know the location of this photo either but it looks like a small, rock-rimmed pool. Safe. Mom never learned to swim and claimed she didn't enjoy being in the water. But to a child/youth on a hot summer day in the 1920's, what could have been better than a dip in a pool, large or small - or even just sitting on the side kicking your feet?

Which brings me to the last image, below. I apologize for the quality of the photograph but I couldn't resist posting it with these other two. This snapshot undoubtedly includes my mother and/or her sisters and either Meinzen or Bickerstaff cousins.

I can almost feel the hot sun and cool water. The photographer captured the action at that split second when the water droplets sprayed the air, just before they fell onto the other bathers; captured the little "Dutch Girl" imp in the center when she was just about to bounce down and thrust her hands into the water to splash the others. I love this photo. It speaks to me of the exuberance, the joy, the delight of summer play in the swimming "hole."

In this photo the spray of water seems to be coming from opposite the photographer. When I enlarge it I think I can just see the outline of an adult behind the splashing water. Can you? Someone was teasing these swimmers. And then the little girl second from the left is pointing to the Dutch Girl imp as if to say, "Watch out! She's going to splash you too!"

Ah, the joys of cold water on a hot summer day! Happy water play to you!



This post is being submitted to The Fourth Annual Swimsuit Edition! of the Carnival of Genealogy hosted by Jasia of Creative Gene. Thank you, Jasia! And thank you, footnoteMaven, for the delightful poster.

It was previously published as a Sepia Saturday post.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Gratefully Remembering and Honoring

Memorial Day is almost over and yet I find I can't let it go by without a commemorative post.

My gratitude continues for those brave soldiers from so many generations who have sacrificed - and continue to sacrifice - to allow those of us who live in the United States to live in freedom. Their sacrifices of comfort, time, knowledge, courage, mental health, and sometimes their very lives, remind me that freedom isn't free.

With gratitude I say to all soldiers of the United States, both past and present, Thank you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Spam Comments

Thanks to Kristen at My Cleages And Reeds I just learned that subscribers to comments from posts get not only the honest comments but also get the spam comments. This happens only if the blogger publishing the post doesn't have comment moderation with captcha or blogger approval.

To unsubscribe to comments, blogger tells me,
"You can unsubscribe from comments by email at any time; just click the unsubscribe link in the comment emails you receive.

"Or, alternatively, you can click the 'Unsubscribe' link on the blog's comment page. Then, just as when you subscribed to comments by email, you'll be taken to a confirmation page where you can confirm your unsubscription."

I'm sorry if any of you have been getting spam because you subscribed to comments from one of my posts. I like not having to moderate comments and I think it's easier for commenters not to have to type in a captcha, but if several of you tell me that you're having problems, I'll put the captcha back on. Maybe blogger will figure out a way for us not to get the spam comments....

Thanks for your patience.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Recommend...

... Unbroken. A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. If you have an ancestor who served in the Army Air Corps in World War II; who served in any branch of the military in World War II; or who was a POW in Japan during World War II you may really appreciate reading it. It is an exceptional, and exceptionally written, book.

As I read, I began to love Louis Zamperini despite his incorrigible and unruly youthful behavior. I cheered him on as he ran out of unruliness and into the 1936 Olympics. I read with interest as he became a bombardier in the Army Air Force during World War II, and then with concern as he and two other soldiers were the only survivors of their downed bomber in the Pacific Ocean. It is an amazing author who can hold a reader's interesting through 50 pages when describing 40 days stranded on the ocean in two rafts. Not only did her words hold my interest: I could hardly put the book down. The events of Louie's life and Hillenbrand's telling of them, in combination, make the book so compelling and readable. Because Hillenbrand did such in depth interviews with so many people, I began to understand the experiences of the soldiers from their perspective instead of just as an observer.

I won't tell the rest of Louie's story, but leave it for you to discover yourself. While I would not wish to have had an ancestor - or anyone else, for that matter - live through the life Louie and so many other soldiers lived, I am amazed at them, admire them, and thank those World War II soldiers.

With Laura Hillenbrand I say, "...I wish to remember the millions of Allied servicemen and prisoners of war who lived the story of the Second World War. Many of these men never came home; many others returned bearing emotional and physical scars that would stay with them for the rest of their lives. I come away from [reading] this book with the deepest appreciation for what these men endured, and what they sacrificed, for the good of humanity."

If you read it, I hope you appreciate it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Searching for Emma - a FamilySearch Video

For me, searching for and learning about the life of an ancestor is wholly interesting and worthwhile. I hope you enjoy this brief video of another woman's search for her great-grandmother.

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Brother's Birthday

I love this photo of my brother. He looks the imp, the scamp, the boy ready to jump into play. He also has just a hint of defiance in his expression. He's sitting beside our mom and at the time this photo was taken he was most certainly an only child. As an only we hope he was the apple of his mother's eye. There is little doubt, however, that he was not spoiled. It just wasn't in Mom to spoil us children!

He's my big brother, older by about 11 years. I think I took for granted the time he spent with me when I was a child but looking back, it's one of those things I cherish. He always made me feel special and loved.

He's celebrating his birthday today and I'm wishing him the happiest of birthdays.

Happy Birthday, Bob! I love you.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Elvira Bartley Gerner - Certificate of Death

When I first began searching for information about Elvira, I assumed she died in Butler County, Pennsylvania, because I understood that she'd lived there most of her life. I requested a death certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Vital Records, in New Castle, Pennsylvania, and received a "No-Record Certification" certificate. It was useless because it stated only the information I'd sent with my request.

You can't imagine my surprise when, some years later, I found an Ohio death certificate for her. Not long after that I was able to correspond with two of her grandchildren who both remembered that she'd lived with their families during the last years of her life. It seems that Elvira's sons and daughters took turns caring for her.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
STATE OF OHIO
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
CERTIFICATE OF DEATH
1 PLACE OF DEATH County Mahoning...
File No. 11328...
City of Struthers
2 FULL NAME Mrs. Elvira Gerner
(a) Residence. No. 561 - 4th St

PERSONAL AND STATISTICAL PARTICULARS
3. SEX Female
4. COLOR White
5. SINGLE, MARRIED... Widow
6. DATE OF BIRTH (month, day, and year) May 12, 1854
7. AGE (years) 88 Months 8 Days 21
8. Trade, profession... at Home....
12. BIRTHPLACE (city or town) Bruin (State or country) Pa
13. Father NAME Dickson Bartley
14. Father BIRTHPLACE (city or town) Pa
15. Mother MAIDEN NAME Rebecca Smith
16. Mother BIRTHPLACE Pa
17. The Signature of INFORMANT Mrs. Fred Holland
and (address) Struthers
18. BURIAL, CREMATION, OR REMOVAL Place Bruin, Pa. Date Feb. 6, 1943
19. FUNERAL FIRM Davidson Funeral Home
19a. BURIED BY [illegible]
Address Struthers, Ohio
19b. EMBALMER [illegible]
20. FILED 2-4-1943 [signature] Angela M. Walsh Registrar

MEDICAL CERTIFICATE OF DEATH
21. DATE OF DEATH (month, day, and year) Feb. 3, 1943
22. I HEREBY CERTIFY, That I attended deceased from Jan., 1937, to Feb, 1943, I last saw her alive on Feb. 3, 1943, death is said to have occurred on the date stated above at 9.45 P. m.
The PRINCIPLE CAUSE OF DEATH and related causes of importance in order of onset were as follows: Senility
CONTRIBUTORY CAUSES of importance not related to principle cause: Arteriosclerosis....
23....
24.... (Signed) Leo [illegible], M. D.
Date Feb. 5, 1943 Address 3031 Market St
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mrs. Fred Gerner Dies Following Long Illness - an obituary

After posting Elvira Bartley Gerner's birthday, I realized that I hadn't posted her death certificate or any of her obituaries. Today I'm rectifying part of that lack by posting one of her obituaries.

Similar obituaries for Elvira were published in three different newspapers:
The Butler Eagle, Friday, February 5, 1943, page 2, a Butler County, Pennsylvania newspaper and
The Struthers [Ohio] Journal, Thursday, February 11, 1943, page 5, column 7, and the one below in The Youngstown Vindicator.

Correction to the information below: "Dickson" should be "Dixon."
Additional information about her children:
Bessie Leota was Mrs. Fred Holland. Lana Ellen was Mrs. W. [William] H. Snair. Mrs. Charles Fletcher was Della Virginia. Mary Alma was Mrs. Alma Kitch, divorced from Frank/Francis Kitch at the time of Elvira's death. Mabel Lodenia was Mrs. Merle Double. Brendice Kathryn was Mrs. Ray Davis. and A. F. Gerner was Alonzo.
___________________________________________________________________

This obituary comes from The Youngstown [Ohio] Vindicator, Thursday, February 4, 1943, page 11, column 5.

Mrs. Fred Gerner Dies Following Long Illness

Mrs. Elvira Gerner, aged 88, mother of 16 children, 10 of whom are still living, died at 9:45 p.m. Wednesday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Fred Holland, 561 Fourth St., Struthers. She had been in ill health several months.

A daughter of the late Dickson and Rebecca Smith Bartley, Mrs. Gerner was born May 12, 1854, in Bruin, Pa., where she lived until six years ago when she moved to Struthers. She was a member of the Methodist Church of Bruin. July 24, 1872, Mrs. Gerner married Fred Gerner who died 17 years ago.

Besides her daughter Mrs. Holland, Mrs. Gerner leaves five daughters, Mrs. W. H. Snair of Steubenville, Mrs. Charles Fletcher of Bruin, Pa., Mrs. Alma Kitch of Struthers, Mrs. Merle Double of Youngstown and Mrs. Ray Davis of Louisville, O.; four sons, A. F. Gerner of Karns City, Pa., John of New Middletown, Warren of Petersburg, Pa., and Paul of Bruin, Pa.; 39 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren, and two sisters, Mrs. LaVina Steele of Bruin, Pa., and Mrs. Charles Steele of Noble, Ill.

Funeral services will be held at 7 p. m. Thursday at the Davidson Funeral Home in Struthers. The body will be taken to Bruin, Pa., for funeral services and burial Saturday.
___________________________________________________________________

Elvira is buried in Bear Creek Cemetery, near Petrolia in Butler County, Pennsylvania.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Girl Friends

Perhaps this photograph of my mother, Audrey Meinzen Doyle; her sister, Geraldine Meinzen; and a friend, Ruth Seifert, was taken around graduation time in the spring of 1933. My mom would have been 18 in June of that year and Jeree would have been 15 or 16.

Because I don't remember my mom as an affectionate person, it's fun to see her encircling arms around the other two young women.

In her later years, my mother went through her photographs and wrote names and dates on them in blue ball point pen. Sometimes she wrote on the borders, other times, like this, she wrote on the person. I don't know if I'd rather have photographs with people whose names I don't know or photographs with names written in blue ink! I guess, considering that we can scan, electronically edit/repair, and save the photographs, having the names is better than no names.

My mom spelled her sister's name "Jerry" instead "Jeree." Perhaps Aunt Jeree's name evolved over time from her birth name, Geraldine, to Jerry and finally to Jeree. I always knew her as "Aunt Jeree." I think her pose is very sweet.

Visit Sepia Saturday to view others' posts of old photographs.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blueberry Cheesecake - a Favorite Family Recipe

Blueberry Cheesecake is delicious any time of the year but it is especially delicious during the warmer months because it's stored in the freezer and served frozen or just slightly thawed.

This recipe came to us from our dear Aunt Tressa Doyle Wilson. Several families were at her home for a picnic one summer when she served it. We fell in love with it. My sister asked for the recipe and Aunt Tressa willingly shared it.

Not long after that my sister noticed that a local newspaper, The Niles Daily Times, was accepting recipes for a recipe contest and book they were compiling and submitted it. My memory tells me that it won a prize of $10.00 and that she sent half the money to Aunt Tressa. My sister doesn't remember that it won a prize. I hope to narrow the date of publication of the recipe book and see if I can find the recipe. (I hope The Times will be available online soon for easy searching!)

If you make this, I hope you enjoy it!

Blueberry Cheesecake
Mix together:
10 graham cracker rectangles, pressed into crumbs
1/4 cup butter melted
1/4 cup sugar
Press into an 8" x 8" baking pan.

Beat together until smooth and creamy:
2 eggs
1 8-ounce package cream cheese [You can substitute Neufchatel for a lower fat version.]
1/2 cup sugar
Pour over the crumb mixture. Bake in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes or until set but not too brown. Let cool.

Pour 1 can blueberry pie filling over the the cheesecake.

Top with whipped topping and freeze.

Enjoy!

Additional note: My sister noted that the addition of 1 tsp. lemon juice in the blueberry filling will improve the flavor. I've never tried it but I'm sure she's right. She also pointed out that this is a convenient recipe to make a day or more before it's needed (unless someone enjoys a piece, or two, before the day it's to be served).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dear Elvira

The daughter of Dixon and Rebecca Smith Bartley, Elvira Bartley was born May 12, 1854, in Butler County, Pennsylvania. She married Fred K. Gerner and had 16 children including my grandmother, Beulah Mae Gerner Doyle. After her husband died in 1926, Elvira lived with her daughters on a rotating basis. One of her grandsons remembers that she enjoyed spending time reading the Bible and singing hymns. Elvira passed away on February 3, 1943, at the age of 88.

I'm wishing Gramma Elvira a happy, happy birthday today! I hope she is surrounded by family and friends.

You can read a brief biographical post about Elvira at A Kind and Generous Woman and see a timeline of her life at Elvira Bartley Gerner - Her Years from Birth to Burial.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Thos. Smith in Index to Butler County Wills, 1800-1971

My search for Thomas Smith of Butler County, Penna., continues. I ordered a Family History Library (FHL) microfilm, "Index to wills R-S 1800-1971." It arrived at my local Family History Center (FHC) last week and I went to look at it on Saturday morning.

There is one most likely candidate, one whose will closely coordinates with the Thomas Smith whose gravestone is in Mount Varnum Cemetery, Washington Township, Butler County. He is recorded as "Thos Smith," and wrote or filed his will on October 3, 1862. His will is File #S251 in Will Book Vol. D, page 169.

I ordered the microfilm which contains Thomas Smith's will. It could arrive as early as next week. I hope the will names Rebecca Smith Bartley as Thomas' daughter and/or her husband Dixon Bartley as Thomas' son-in-law. If either is named and relationship given, this would give me a sure connection between Rebecca and Thomas. If it doesn't, I'll need to search other sources.

"Thos B. Smith" of Parker Township is also listed. He may (or may not) be the son of Thomas Smith. Thomas B. filed his will in June, 1909. I don't yet see a need to search for his will but may in the future.

The FHC has three microfilm readers, one of which has a printer. Unfortunately, the printer no longer works. I knew several years ago that the printer would eventually die and that it was too old to be repaired. With that possibility in mind, I took my camera with me. The image is not as clear as I hoped for but clear enough to read what I need. I'm not sure how well it will photograph a full page will.

If you'd like to see a larger view of the image, click on it and a larger version will appear on the screen. Click on it again and it will enlarge even more. When you're finished viewing it, click the back arrow at the top of your browser and you'll come back to this post.

If you'd like to follow along with my search for Thomas Smith, click on the post titles below which are listed in chronological order according to my search efforts. The link you click will open in a new browser window. When you're finished reading close the window and continue reading here.

Searching for Thomas Smith, Sr.
The Search for Thomas Smith Continues - 1850 and 1860 Census Records
Neighbors of Thomas Smith, 1850. Neighbors of Henry Smith, 1860
Thomas Smith and 1858 Property Map of Parker Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania
T. Smith - Mount Varnum Cemetery, Washington Township, Butler County, Penna

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Recommend...

...Bold Spirit. Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America, by Linda Lawrence Hunt, if you'd like to read an example of how to place your ancestor in his or her contemporary environment. Hunt is not one of Helga's descendants but a researcher who dug deep to find as much as she could about Helga's family situation; about her walk from Spokane, Washington, to New York City in 1896; and about the cultural, religious, economic, and environmental times in which she lived. We also learn about people she met and how they influenced contemporary times and possibly Helga herself.

Helga's story was almost lost because of the feelings of her family members and community about her journey. In one of the last chapters, Hunt reflects on reasons why family stories are silenced and thereby lost. She gives several possibilities.

Breaking the code. The codes are values such as "mothers belong at home;" "fathers are the breadwinners;" etc. When someone goes against the code of the community or the family, others often choose to silence the story or event that took place.

Underestimating Worth. Others place little value on the experience or story, not only for how it affected the individual who experienced it but also how it could benefit others in the future.

Not Comprehending the Experience. When others can't quite understand or imagine an experience, it can be silenced. There's not a common ground for the retelling and sharing of the experience.

Sealing the Shame. Perceptions of improper behavior or incompetence can cause stories to be silenced, especially by the person who experienced the event.

Keeping the Peace. Sometimes it's just easier to be silent than to speak about an experience that will cause emotional turmoil to oneself or to other family members. Sometimes keeping peace in a family can be more important than sharing an experience.

Avoiding the Anger. Another's anger won't be voiced if the story isn't shared.

Sometimes we don't know about - and may never know about - stories in the lives of our ancestors for any of the reasons above. Sometimes there's a stray thread that, if grasped and followed, will lead us to more detail. In the instance of Helga, whose story was silenced for all of the above reasons, the smallest thread led to a deeper understanding and an interesting story which had been lost to her grandchildren and was found because of two newspaper articles. The story was then researched by Linda Hunt. Fortunately for all of us, Helga's story was chronicled in American newspapers and Hunt has made her story available to all of us.

Granted, most of us don't have family members who have done something so well-recorded in newspapers but we can use this book as an example of how to learn about the social, moral, and economic times in which our ancestors lived.

I especially like these thoughts from Linda Hunt.
The gathering and sharing of the rag-rug remnants of our family's lives gives a gift to the next generation, a community of memory in a highly mobile world. Through developing written and oral histories, creating scrapbooks, telling stories around a dining table or campfire, displaying photographs and making videos, every family can weave an enduring rug of memories. Capturing the hopes, challenges, actions, disappointments, successes, pains, and joys inherent in every family gives children roots and wings.
If you'd like to learn more, go to Bold Spirit Across America.

--Nancy.
.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Other Side of Mother's Day

On Mother's Day, when we seek to honor those who gave us life - and are being honored by those to whom we gave life - many of us mothers feel uncomfortable. We feel the inadequacy of our own best efforts to be perfect mothers and we see our faults and imperfections more than our successes.

This Mother's Day, I'm thinking about my beautiful daughters, without whom I wouldn't be a mother. It has been an honor to be entrusted with the care of those sweet babies. What a satisfying, and often challenging, experience to watch them grow from dependent babies to bright, busy, and creative toddlers and children, into beautiful ladies. From them I have learned (and am still learning) patience, diplomacy, gentleness, humility, resourcefulness, goodness, and faith, among other things.

I believe they have taken to heart the following ideas expressed by Margaret D. Naudald.
"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity."
These daughters are my first descendants and links in a continuing chain that extends back in time and will extend forward into the future as they become wives and mothers. I am filled with gratitude to know that these women, my daughters, personify the attributes of courage, faith, determination, tenderness, kindness, gentleness, virtue, beauty, and purity. I wish for them the blessings of motherhood with its unnumbered challenges, opportunities, and blessings. And I am grateful to be their mother.

Happy Mother's Day

To the mothers I know and the mothers I don't, Happy Mother's Day!

Lydia Bell Thompson, Born 160 Years Ago

My great-great-grandmother, Lydia Bell, was born 160 years ago on this day, May 8, 1851. I did not know her in this life but I want her life to be remembered. She married John Thompson and together they had at least 9 children, possibly 11. She died on February 21, 1930.

Happy Birthday, Gramma Lydia.

Below is an image and a transcription of her death certificate. The informant, Laura Shorts, was one of her daughters.
________________________________________________________________
1 PLACE OF DEATH . . .
Division of Vital Statistics, County Brooke
West Virginia State Department of Health
District Cross Creek
CERTIFICATE OF DEATH 1545
Town or City Wellsburg R.F.D.
2 FULL NAME Lyda Thompson
(a) Residence No. Cross Creek

PERSONAL AND STATISTICAL PARTICULARS
3 SEX Female
4 COLOR OR RACE White
5 Single, Married, Widowed... Widow
5a If married, widowed... WIFE of John Thompson
6 DATE OF BIRTH May 8, 1851
7 AGE 78 Years 9 Months 13 Days
8 OCCUPATION OF DECEASED Retired Housewife
9 BIRTHPLACE Ohio
10 NAME OF FATHER Jacob Bell
11 BIRTHPLACE OF FATHER Not Known
12 MAIDEN NAME MOTHER Not Known
13 BIRTHPLACE OF MOTHER Not Known
14 SIGNATURE OF INFORMANT Mrs. Laura Shorts
(Address) Wellsburg, W. Va.
15 Received Feb 22 1930
Lulu Sanders REGISTRAR

MEDICAL CERTIFICATE OF DEATH
16 DATE OF DEATH Feb 21 1930
17 I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT I attended deceased from Feb 21, 1930, to Feb 21, 1930, that I last saw her alive on Feb 21, 1930 and that death occurred on date stated above, at 2 PM.
The CAUSE OF DEATH was as follows: (Primary or beginning cause) Cerebral apoplexy . . . . Contributory: (Secondary or finishing cause) General Debility . . . .
18 . . . . Did an operation precede death? No
Was there an autopsy? No
(Signed) Frank T. Dare M.D.
(Address) Wellsburg W Va
19 PLACE OF BURIAL New Alexandria, Ohio
Date of Burial Feb. 24, 1930
20 Undertaker Frank E. Foster
Address Wellsburg, W. Va.
________________________________________________________________

Friday, May 6, 2011

For the Women, 1938



Stanley Home Products, Inc., wished to be so helpful to the ladies in 1938 that they offered them a measuring tape which they called "A Tattle-Tape for Women," called such because "It-Tells-On-You." It was copyrighted by Roger Martenson, Minneapolis, Minn., 1938.



This cloth tape measures 60" and is about 5/8" wide. Along the front of the tape are the advertisements, "Stanley Home Products, Inc." and "Household and Personal Brushes - Floor Wax and Household Polishes."

All 60 inches of the back of the tape is covered with printed information about body weights and measurements and boxes and grids to write one's measurements.

The lady of 1938 learned that "If your weight is within 10% of our charts and your proportions check with our tables ... you have a lovely figure." Information about the height/weight chart explains, "Approximate and normal weights for small, medium and large framed individuals." Here is the chart they provided.


The instructions below are printed with boxes for writing the measurements following each:
"Write chest measurement in the following square....."
"Write bust measurement in the following square......" "Your bust should measure 1 to 2 1/2 inches larger than chest"
"Write waist measurement in following square......"
"Your waist should be from 6 to 9 inches less than bust. 6 inches is fair, 7 inches good, and 8 inches is excellent."
"Write hip measurement in following square......" "Your hips should be 1 to 3 inches more than bust"
"Write your weight in following square......" "Your weight should be within 10% of normal."
"For beauty, health and appearance check your weight and measurements each month...."

About 24 inches of the tape gives space for the lady to track her weight, chest, bust, waist, and hip measurements for 12 months.


I'm trying to imagine what a lady of the house in 1938 thought about this gift. Was she pleased to receive a free measuring tape? Did any of the women who received one feel unhappy that Stanley Home Products, Inc. was offering them a product to help them monitor their weight and measurements? Did any of the ladies who received the tapes use them? Did it encourage them to buy (or buy more) Stanley products?

In 1938 my mother turned 23 and she married my father in September. From some of the memories she shared about that time in her life, there wasn't an abundance of food. I know that throughout her life she was aware of her weight and was careful not to overeat. I suppose she would have appreciated such a gift.

I found this measuring tape at a local recycle center. It was neatly coiled into a flattened circle. It is frayed and obviously has been used for measuring, but no measurements were recorded in the boxes on the back. As a sewer and homemaker, I'm pleased to have another tape measure: it means I won't have to go retrieve the one by the sewing machine when I want to measure something in the bedroom.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Spiritual Connection to Your Ancestors

Whether you have a famous ancestor or your ancestors were "common
folk" who lived quiet lives, as you learn about them and get to know
them perhaps you, too, feel a spiritual connection to them.
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