P. Miller Scrapbook, January-December 1920

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Dublin Core

Title

P. Miller Scrapbook, January-December 1920

Description

  1. Cover of Peter Miller’s scrapbook. Mixed media collage with birchbark caribou head on pale green background and lettering reading "1920 From Caribou Land".
  2. Handwritten introduction page to the scrapbook, explaining the nature of the materials used, including painted birch bark collage, original verse, crocheted tassel and cord, and original photographs. Includes explanation of the caribou as the war symbol of Newfoundland in World War I, as well as Newfoundland’s nickname, Caribou Land. Book is referred to as a diary.
  3. Handwritten page introducing Miller, a telegraph operator. Description centres on Miller’s office, which is unique among telegraph offices due to the collection of "inanimate beloveds". Miller describes the room as full of books, music and fancy-work materials, with makeshift furniture. More than a telegraph office, it is where friends would gather, and Miller states these friendships are what makes life beautiful. The page is signed "P. Florence Miller, Topsail, Newfoundland, 1920."
  4. Collage consisting of clipping of a photograph of a dead caribou and a rifle, titled "NEWFOUNDLAND CARIBOU", pasted to the top half of page from a periodical. The page contains the heading "The Well-Known Medicines of the Famous Receipt-Book Author". Text obscured by photograph on top half of page. Bottom half of page is titled "TABLE 1: Corrections for Differences in Longitude For the Sun and the Moon, and includes calculations for Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario".
  5. Printed poem "In Caribou Land" by P. Florence Miller. Poem is mounted on birch bark, backed by a page of a periodical. Four rhyming stanzas, each describing a season in Caribou Land (Newfoundland).
  6. Printed log book page for January 1920, which includes columns for the Day of Month, Day of Week, Zodiacal Signs, Weather Forecast, Sun Rise, Sun Set and Moon Set times for Local Mean Time Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Provinces. Brief handwritten entries fill each day’s space. Subjects include weather, mail, walks with friends, visits from friends, illness, Concert Troupe, church.
  7. Handwritten poem titled "A Settlin’ Back", signed P. Florence Miller, Jan. 6 1920. Three rhyming stanzas from the perspective of a young boy, Johnson, who misses the sweets, toys and feasts at home, now that he’s back at school after Christmas holidays. Written in dialect.
  8. Handwritten poem, "A Truly-Valentine" in blue ink with certain words underlined in red. Free verse. Short poem describing the traits of a Truly-Valentine: glamour, mystery, charm. "One must seal it with a Kiss,/and slip out/and post it secretly/after Dark!" Signed P. Florence Miller. Small drawing of two hearts pierced with arrows, in red ink.
  9. Large cutout full-colour Valentine's card depicting a Cupid wearing navy shorts and a hat which reads "Cupid Telegraph Co." He holds a red heart which reads "To My Valentine". Handwritten on Cupids’ leg: "FROM GRAHAM". Mounted on a plain piece of paper.
  10. Printed log book page for February 1920, which includes columns for the Day of Month, Day of Week, Zodiacal Signs, Weather Forecast, Sun Rise, Sun Set and Moon Set times for Local Mean Time Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Provinces. Brief handwritten entries fill each day’s space. Subjects include weather, mail, walks with friends, visits from friends, church, food, writing, reading, making Valentines "for all the kiddies", school concert, C.E. Missionary meeting.
  11. Valentine made of several layers of birch bark hearts tied together with a brown crochet bow at the top, mounted on a reversed page of a periodical. Written in cursive on the heart: "The Plain Unvarnished Truth/To One I Love—/My Valentine" with a small drawing of a heart pierced with an arrow.
  12. Sepia photograph mounted on plain paper, with handwritten caption, "Gathering seashells with Charlotte and Major". Photograph is dominated by rocky foreground, with an adult and two children crouched in the middle ground. Both children wear brimmed hats and long coats, and the adult (Peter Miller?) wears a brimless dark hat and a long dark coat with a furred collar.
  13. Collage of a birch bark rabbit on a green background, pasted onto a periodical page which shows the headline "Dr. Chase’s Nerve Food revitalizes wasted Nerve cells". Written in white cursive on the collage: “In the Front of March.” Signed "P.F.M."
  14. Printed log book page for March 1920, which includes columns for the Day of Month, Day of Week, Zodiacal Signs, Weather Forecast, Sun Rise, Sun Set and Moon Set times for Local Mean Time Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Provinces. Brief handwritten entries fill each day’s space. Subjects include weather, mail, visits from friends, gifts to friends, Church of England, Girl’s Guild, wireless training, winning a prize.
  15. Handwritten rhyming poem, “Mother Mine”, dated March 26, 1920. A small collage cross precede the poem, which describes Miller’s deceased mother whose spirit lives on in spring’s flora. Signed P. Florence Miller.
  16. Printed log book page for April 1920, which includes columns for the Day of Month, Day of Week, Zodiacal Signs, Weather Forecast, Sun Rise, Sun Set and Moon Set times for Local Mean Time Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Provinces. Brief handwritten entries fill each day’s space. Subjects include weather, mail, visits from friends, gifts to friends, Church of England, Girl’s Guild, illness, photography, publication of writing, multiple deaths.
  17. Two sepia photographs mounted on plain paper. The top photograph shows two figures with long-sleeved blouses and skirts sitting on a beach with the ocean in the background. They lean together, smiling, to look at something on the beach. Captioned "With Jeanette on Topsail Beach". The bottom photograph shows two adult figures and two children, in front of an outbuilding and some trees. Both children wear smocks and seem to be riding tricycles. One adult is centre frame looking at the camera in a light-coloured dress and matching headband. The other adult is in profile in the lower right corner and appears to be directing the children. Captioned "A day with my small nephews".
  18. Three photographs mounted on plain paper with a handwritten caption which explains that they are of Peter Miller and sisters in the rose garden. The first of the series of candid photographs shows two sisters among the roses, wearing dark, long dresses and coats with large hats and hair up. The second photograph shows one sister in profile with her long hair loose and flowing down her back. The third photograph shows a different sister in profile with hair up, wearing a fur wrap around her shoulders.
  19. Two sepia photographs mounted on plain paper. The top photograph shows two small boys in smocks riding a tricycle and a toy car, with outbuildings and trees in the background, captioned "My two little nephews—Russell and Graham, who are 'reg’lar fellers'." The bottom photograph shows two adults sitting on the ground in front of a background of trees, with long dresses and hair up, eating and drinking. Captioned "With Emmie Nurse at breakfast, Island Pond (three miles inland) 7 a.m."
  20. Printed log book page for May 1920, which includes columns for the Day of Month, Day of Week, Zodiacal Signs, Weather Forecast, Sun Rise, Sun Set and Moon Set times for Local Mean Time Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Provinces. Brief handwritten entries fill each day’s space. Subjects include weather, mail, going to St. John’s to have dentures made, visits from friends, Church of England, Girl’s Guild, music, writing, sewing, death.
  21. Collage with two birch bark fish on a sage green background mounted on a periodical page. White handwritten description of Empire Day spent fishing with friends, enjoying the sunset and each other’s company.
  22. Two sepia photographs mounted on plain paper. The top photograph shows two figures tending to a kettle on a fire, with trees and rocks around them. Both are in long skirts. Captioned "Boiling the kettle in the woods". The second photograph shows four adults and two children, with all but one adult facing the camera. Long dresses on all adults and the children wear hats. Captioned "Isabel and Charlotte visit us".
  23. Two sepia photographs mounted on plain paper. The top photograph shows three adults and a child posing among roses. One adult is in a suit and the other two wear dresses, one with hair down. Captioned "In our Rose-Garden". The second photograph shows four adults and two children sitting on the grass, one adult in a suit and the others in long dresses. One figure faces away from the group. Captioned "He loves me, he loves me not."
  24. Printed log book page for June 1920, which includes columns for the Day of Month, Day of Week, Zodiacal Signs, Weather Forecast, Sun Rise, Sun Set and Moon Set times for Local Mean Time Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Provinces. Brief handwritten entries fill each day’s space. Subjects include weather, mail, swollen face from possible poisoning, visits from friends, church, Girl’s Guild, music, picnics, sewing, forest fire.
  25. Handwritten poem, "Th’ Olerdays", written in dialect. Four rhyming stanzas from the perspective of a child who is daydreaming about playing outside while in the classroom. The poem ends with the child getting kept behind because of their absentminded schoolwork. Signed P. Florence Miller.
  26. Handwritten page titled A Moonlight Revel, illustrated with drawings of a moon, and fork and spoon characters who reappear further down the page. Description of a moonlight picnic at Frog Pond, where cutlery went missing in the dark. The group sang and played "young" games like Hide and Seek, staying there until midnight. A send-off for Mary. Dated June 30th 1920.
  27. Three sepia photographs mounted on plain paper, titled "Studies of Graham". The top photograph shows a small smiling child with long curly hair, wearing a smock, cardigan and long stockings, posing in front of a fence with a trowel and dish. The caption reads "As a Small Grubby King of Mud-Pie-Dom" with a drawing of two mud pies. The bottom two photographs show the same child with hair cut short, posing in profile and toward the camera, wearing light coloured shorts and socks and with a fence in the background. He has a small wagon in the right photograph. Captioned "Shorn of all the little curls in which our hearts delighted".
  28. Printed log book page for July 1920, which includes columns for the Day of Month, Day of Week, Zodiacal Signs, Weather Forecast, Sun Rise, Sun Set and Moon Set times for Local Mean Time Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Provinces. Brief handwritten entries fill each day’s space. Subjects include weather, mail, Miller’s birthday (July 8, celebrated "by moonlight"), visits from friends, Wesley Bible Class, Girl’s Guild, motoring (driving), music, picnics, catching a frog for nephews.
  29. Collage with a birch bark frog in human clothing standing on a heart-shaped lily pad holding a piece of paper. The frog is mounted on a sage green background on a periodical page. Titled "I Capture Brer Bull Frog." The frog has a speech bubble which says "Chug-a-rump". Below the frog reads "A Froggie would a-wooing go". A small arrow may indicate there is something on the reverse of the image.
  30. Handwritten account titled "I adopt an Uncle!", in which Chug-a-rump, the frog, draws the attention of visitors who then become friends. Uncle Tom is from British Columbia and Miller "adopts" him as their uncle. His niece, Marie, is thrilled by meeting Miller, whose writing she and her father have enjoyed. It turns out that Uncle Tom was friends with Miller’s father "back in the yesterdays." They spend days together and Miller anticipates missing them once they leave.
  31. Photograph mounted on plain paper. Written on the photograph in white is "H.R.H. The Prince of Wales Landing at Topsail Aug. 11th 1919." The photograph shows a dock with many people gathered, with two men in the middle of the picture, one looking toward the camera, wearing suits with hats and ties. In front of them are several small children in white with wide-brimmed hats. One has a parasol.
  32. Printed log book page for August 1920, which includes columns for the Day of Month, Day of Week, Zodiacal Signs, Weather Forecast, Sun Rise, Sun Set and Moon Set times for Local Mean Time Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Provinces. Brief handwritten entries fill each day’s space. Subjects include weather, mail, CLB concerts, visits from friends, gramophone music, bathing suit stolen from fence, picnics.
  33. Three photographs mounted on a dark background with white handwriting. The page commemorates the first anniversary of the visit of the Prince of Wales, who landed at Topsail Wharf on August 11, 1919. The first photo shows the Prince of Wales and contingent walking past the Miller’s gate, with the Prince raising his hat in greeting to those watching. The second photograph shows a group of men in conversation, one being the Prince. The third photograph shows Topsail Beach with the hill in the distance where the Prince climbed to admire the view.
  34. A large "photocard" of the HMS Renown, which transported the Prince of Wales, mounted sideways on the page. The text describes how the card was given to Miller after they explained local postage and currency to one of the officers. Along with accompanying vessels, the Renown stayed in Topsail for 24 hours, during which time crowds of people drove from St. John’s to see the sights. Miller notes that the ships were especially beautiful in the night, "outlined distinctly with electric bulbs."
  35. Clipping from "The Quarterly", pasted sideways on a birchbark background, from a special edition celebrating the visit of the Prince of Wales. The clipping includes a poem, "Conception Bay", by P. Florence Miller, as well as a photograph showing Topsail, Kelly’s Island and Bell Island in Conception Bay. The short, three-stanza rhyming poem celebrates the natural beauty of the landscape, and in the final lines adds that there was no "history" to mention here until the Prince arrived "and brought to you your glory."
  36. Printed log book page for September 1920, which includes columns for the Day of Month, Day of Week, Zodiacal Signs, Weather Forecast, Sun Rise, Sun Set and Moon Set times for Local Mean Time Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Provinces. Brief handwritten entries fill each day’s space. Subjects include weather, mail, visits from friends, meeting new teacher, crochet, picnics, adopting stray kitten named Judy Abbott, put frog back (released it).
  37. A birch-bark kitten plays with a ball of red string, with the title “Judy Abbott!” Red handwritten description of finding the small black kitten on a cold night and adopting her immediately. The kitten was named after the orphan protagonist in the 1912 novel "Daddy-Long-Legs", by Jean Webster.
  38. Two photographs mounted on plain paper, with the title "Under the Hill, a-picnicin’." The photographs are similar and depict a group of seven adults with a picnic spread on a large cloth in front of a treed landscape. Two picnic baskets are visible, and the party appears quite relaxed.
  39. Photograph mounted on plain paper, titled "Charlie." A small child in a dark coat, boots and hat holds the rope of a sled which is visible on the snow mound behind him.
  40. Printed log book page for October 1920, which includes columns for the Day of Month, Day of Week, Zodiacal Signs, Weather Forecast, Sun Rise, Sun Set and Moon Set times for Local Mean Time Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Provinces. Brief handwritten entries fill each day’s space. Subjects include weather, mail, writing, visits from friends, Aunt’s death, a wedding, sewing, crochet.
  41. A printed card on blue paper shows a portrait of writer Edgar A. Guest. The card is a mass-produced thank-you note from Guest to "My dear Friend", in thanks for sending greetings on his birthday. Below the card in red handwriting is an account of Guest’s birthday being announced in The Telegram, which printed many of his poems. The Telegram asked readers to send letters to Guest for the occasion, and Miller sent a "pome" (poem) in appreciation. Signed P. Florence Miller.
  42. Handwritten copy in blue and red ink of Miller’s letter to Edgar A. Guest in August 1920. The letter wishes Guest a happy birthday, thanking him for his poetry and humbly enclosing a poem in his honor, "straight from the heart of a little mouse-scribe". Signed P. Florence Miller.
  43. Handwritten copy of Miller’s "pome" (poem), "Edgar A. Guest, Poet and Brother-Man." The five stanza rhyming poem is written in dialect and celebrates Guest as an ordinary man who enjoyed life like other men, as well as a poet whose words enriched others’ lives. Dated August 10th, 1920, signed P. Florence Miller.
  44. Printed log book page for November 1920, which includes columns for the Day of Month, Day of Week, Zodiacal Signs, Weather Forecast, Sun Rise, Sun Set and Moon Set times for Local Mean Time Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Provinces. Brief handwritten entries fill each day’s space. Subjects include weather, mail, writing, visits from friends, music, sewing, knitting, death, birth, friends moving to St. John’s. Tags: 1920, Peter Miller, scrapbook, diary, log book, handwriting, friendship, religion, nature.
  45. Handwritten account titled "The First Snowfall—November 27th", which describes the fresh snow covering every branch and leaf, untouched by sun or wind. Miller concludes that it is "good to be in Newfy now that Winter’s here!"
  46. Printed log book page for December 1920, which includes columns for the Day of Month, Day of Week, Zodiacal Signs, Weather Forecast, Sun Rise, Sun Set and Moon Set times for Local Mean Time Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Provinces. Brief handwritten entries fill each day’s space. Subjects include weather, mail, visits from friends, sewing, knitting, poems published in The Quarterly, distributing gifts.
  47. Collage of birch bark Christmas bell with green crochet bow. The page is bordered in drawing of holly leaves and berries, with the phrase "To Greet You" below the bell. On the bell itself reads "MERRY CHRISTMAS. Christmas—welcome it with a smile, and keep it with you all the Year. P. Florence Miller."
  48. Drawing of a clock striking midnight. Below, the candle of 1920 is snuffed out while the candle of 1921 burns bright. Below this is a short verse about the New Year, signed P. Florence Miller. The page is dated "December Thirty First, Nineteen Hundred and Twenty."
  49. Two handwritten columns of titles with an "x" marked by some entries.
  50. Continued from the previous page, a list of titles.

Creator

P.F. Miller

Source

Memorial University of Newfoundland Archives and Special Collections, Coll 016
https://collections.mun.ca/digital/collection/archives/id/12071

Publisher

Memorial University of Newfoundland Digital Archives Initiative

Date

1920

Format

jpg

Language

English

Type

Journal

Collection

Citation

P.F. Miller, “P. Miller Scrapbook, January-December 1920,” The Newfoundland and Labrador Queer Archive, accessed February 24, 2024, http://nlqueerarchive.com/items/show/13.