Back in the Day: 99 years ago in The News

Mothercraft should be studied by all women. It is not merely the mother of the poor sections who needs instruction in the care of her baby. It is the college woman, the woman of wealth and position, who ought to study mothercraft. Neither instinct nor genial culture is sufficient in itself to enable a mother to give her little ones really intelligent and scientific care. She needs to learn how to protect her baby’s health just as she needs to learn how to keep herself well and strong.

They are ahead of us in England. They have a number of schools there where refined and intelligent young women may learn how to feed and clothe and train their babies. The life chances of the baby whose mother nurses it compared with the bottle fed baby are 10 to one. I cannot imagine any social professional duty of sufficient importance to interfere with a mother raising her baby. Parenthood is a responsibility, and if it be undertaken at all it should not be half heartedly. Mother instinct, which is mother love, impels most mothers to devote themselves to their babies during these precious and swift flying early years.

Mothers are to blame for riot of rouge and moral anarchy of dress. Who can doubt that others are off the job when they allow their young daughters to paint their faces and to wear the sort of clothes we have seen everywhere in the last two or three seasons? To say mothers can’t control their daughters is even worse. It’s an acknowledgment of disgraceful failure that no grown woman should be obliged to make. When will women learn that the only “aids to beauty” are absolute cleanliness, proper food, proper exercise, abundant sleep, fresh air and an unselfish character? The new dances are but an indication that the suspicion of immorality does not trouble some people. And so you will find girls who, there is every reason to think, are good girls, yet have become infected with the easy going spirit of the world around them and will participate in dances that ought to make them blush for shame. To indulge in the worldliness may attract the giddy and thoughtless, but it will never excite the admiration of decent men who seek wives and the quality that strengthens trust, constancy and fidelity in the true husband.

To make the cheeks rosy red, at the same time benefiting the skin, rub them slowly with a piece of ice. Color brought out in this way will remain for hours. The ice strengthens the skin, improving both its velvet qualities and its texture.

The beauty crawl is the latest feminine craze. It must be a proper crawl; no half measures, but down on one's hands and knees with the energy of a small boy searching for a marble under the dining room table. In the morning the devotees of beauty crawl around their bedrooms, and sometimes in the afternoon they crawl in the company with their women guests.

Spaghetti by Lina Cavalieri, Italian Prima Donna. (From a reprinted interview after she had just completed a concert tour of the United States). Truly, the spaghetti is an ambrosial food fit for Gods and for Goddesses. And I believe that it makes one beautiful, for are not the women of my Italy the loveliest in all the world; and do they not partake of the spaghetti? Is it not to them the staff of life. I eat anything — bread, soup, meat vegetables, sweets — and my spaghetti. Always, I have an appetite. I do not know why, but I do. And my singing is not troubled that I eat as other people. No, indeed! And I do not grow fat, no matter how much I eat. Is not that nice? I work, but no one knows how I work. I study, study and practice, going over my old, old scales, learning the new songs and operatic scores. That keeps my brain waked up and lively. I do not let it get what you call “slow.”

These editorials and articles were culled from The Bridgton News archives at the Bridgton Library and the Bridgton Historical Society.

Visit for museum hours and schedules of events held at the in-town museum and at the historical Narramissic farmhouse in South Bridgton.

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