Helen Moser

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sleeves, butter, tombstone designs, cemeteries, barn signs, yeast, riddles


A handwritten letter from Helen J. Moser addressed to Alfred L. Shoemaker, dated November 17, 1955. Within, Moser writes on a number of topics including yeast, tombstone designs, undergarment sleeves and a story about bullfrogs churning butter.


Helen J. Moser


Alfred L. Shoemaker

Corresponds to:

Packet 410-35 to 410-36


Bally, Pennsylvania


Nov. 17th 1955

Bally Box 91


Dear Sir

I guess you think I moved to another country but I am still here a silent listener. The only ans. I can think of for that last riddle the difference between a potato and a pair of men’s pants is. The man has the potato in the belly and the pants on the belly.

Sometime ago you had talked about putting peach leaves or hops in the yeast but as I understood you did not know why it was put in to make it more bitter it was believed the yeast had to be bitter to have more power to raise the bread. “Kee bitters” was also used for the same purpose now what is the English name for “kee bitters” I don’t know.

I never heard you say how man found out how to make butter well two bull-frogs showed how. This is how Lydia Kriebel of Barto R. D. 1 told me, one evening a farmer set a bucket of milk in the spring house during the night two bull-frogs fell in and they struggled together to get out until they had a lump of butter to-gether one bullfrog drowned and the other sat on the lump of butter to greet the farmer in the morning.

When I was a girl going to school we used to wear long sleeve underwear and one sleeve used to be about 1 inch longer then the other but I do not know anymore which was the longer and my mother said they were made by the Jews, because they crucified Jesus with one hand and as a sin they would have one shorter arm then the other.

The other Sunday we were over in Spinnerstown on an old cemetery and there we saw for the first time on old tombstones a design that almost looks like the Pa. Dutch barn sign of course not in color.

There were also some with weeping willow trees on but that was not new to me. Below I will draw a design as near as I can remember maybe you never saw any like them before if you did it is alright.


I thought you would be interested if you never saw any like it the bigger one is more interesting to me then the little one.

Your Friend

Helen J. Moser

Bally Pa.



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Letter From Helen Moser to Alfred L. Shoemaker, November 17, 1955



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