Saturday, September 5, 2020

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Time Capsule Fun

I've missed creating new posts for the past few weeks of Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, mostly due to repeated topics and my surgery, but I'm back this week!  I love magic computer tools that aggregate information in one place for me.

Here is your assignment, if you choose to play along (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music, please!):

(1) Go to the dMarie Time Capsule Website:

(2) Select a date in your family history that you want to know about.  You might pick a birth date or wedding date of your parents or grandparents.

(3) Enter the date into the search form and select the news, songs, toys, books and other things that you want to feature.

(4) Share the date, why you picked them, and the results of your Time Capsule study on your own blog, in a comment to this post, or in a comment or post on Facebook.

I chose the wedding date of my great-grandparents, Joe Gordon and Sarah Libby Brainin, which was April 4, 1914, which I learned was a Saturday (and I realized when I chose it that my half-sister chose April 4 for her second wedding date, but she's my half-sister from the other side of the family, so that's just a random coincidence).

When I had an option, I chose events that occurred on that actual date.

The president in 1914 was Woodrow Wilson, and his vice-president was Thomas R. Marshall.

The top news headline for that day was that Perils of Pauline was shown for the first time in Los Angeles.

Of a few top songs for 1914, I chose "Play a Simple Melody" and "Land", both by Irving Berlin, because I thought there was a higher probability that they would have heard those songs.

1914 prices and numbers were:
Bread:  $0.06/load
Milk:  $0.36/gallon
Eggs:  $0.33/dozen
Car:  $500
House:  $4,800
Stamp:  $0.02 for first-class mail
Average income:  $1,055/year
DOW average:  75

Several top books were listed for 1914.  I know my great-grandfather was a Socialist in his political leanings, but I don't know anything about what he or my great-grandmother might have liked to read.  I picked Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm and The Promise of American Life by Herbert Croly as possibilities, mostly because the rest sounded less plausible.  Realistically, I would not be surprised if neither of them could read English in 1914.

And author Marguerite Duras (born Marguerite Donnadieu) was born April 4, 1914.


  1. Funny how the stamp was still at 2 cents in 1930, but my other prices had gone up.

    1. The price of postage stamps was stable for very long periods. Not so much anymore.

  2. I loved this SNGF challenge. Really interesting tidbits of history appeared.

    1. I love resources that let you plug in information and get those cool tidbits!


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