Monday, June 30, 2014

Beverages Part 3

Continuing with Beverages these recipes involve adding fruit syrups to iced water and or soda water:

It is to be regretted that fruit syrups are not more extensively used in this country, as the addition of a few tablespoonfuls of a good fruit syrup to a glass of iced water, or soda water, produces a refreshing summer beverage that is far more desirable for general use than the majority of the liquids employed in this country. For the use of ladies and children, and all persons by whom intoxicating beverages are not used, they are strongly to be commended.

—One pint of juice, two pounds of sugar. Mix together three pounds of currants, half white and half red, one pound of raspberries, and one pound of cherries, without the stones. Mash the fruit, and let it stand in a warm place for three or four days, keeping it covered with a coarse cloth or piece of paper with holes pricked in it to keep out any dust or dirt. Filter the juice, add the sugar in powder, finish in the water-bath, and skim it. When cold, put it into bottla, fill them, and cork well.

—Take the stones out of the cherria, mash them, and press out the juice in an earthen pan. Let it stand in a cool place for two days, then filter; add two pounds of sugar to one pint of juice, finish in the water-bath, or stir it well on the fire, and give it one or two boils.

—One pint of juice, one pound twelve ounces of sugar. Press out the juice, and finish as cherry syrup.
Gooseberry Syrup.—One pint of juice, one pound twelve ounces of sugar. To twelve pounds of ripe gooseberries add two pounds of cherries without stones, squeeze out the juice, and finish as others.

—One pint and a quarter of juice, two pounds of sugar. Let the juice stand in a place to settle. When a thin skin is formed on the top pour it off and filter; add the sugar, and finish in the water-bath. If the flavor of the peel is preferred with it, grate off the yellow rind of the lemons and mix it with the juice to infuse, or rub it off on part of the sugar, and add it with the remainder when you finish it.

—One pint of juice, two pints of vinegar, four pounds and a half of sugar. Prepare the juice as before, adding the vinegar with it. Strain the juice and boil to the pearl. A very superior raspberry vinegar is made by taking three pounds of raspberries, two pints of vinegar, and three pounds of sugar. Put the raspberries into the vinegar without mashing them, cover the pan close, and let it remain in a cellar for seven or eight days; then filter the infusion, add the sugar in powder, and finish in the water-bath. This is superior to the first, as the beautiful aroma of the fruit is not lost in the boiling.

—Peel the oranges carefully, then squeeze the juice and strain it, so as to extract the seed and white fibrous substances, which are very bitter. Add one pound of loaf sugar to one pint of juice, and boil it in a preserving kettle. Stir frequently, and skim well. Boil until it is a rich syrup. When nearly cold, bottle, cork, and seal.
Syrup of Cloves
—Put a quarter of a pound a of cloves to a quart of boiling water, cover close, set it over a fire, and boil gently half an hour; then drain and add to a pint of the liquor two pounds of loaf sugar, clear it with the whites of two eggs, beaten up with cold water, and let it simmer till it is strong syrup. Preserve it in phials, close corked.

-Select ripe and thin-skinned fruit. Squeeze the juice through a sieve, and to every pint add one pound and a half of loaf sugar. Boil it slowly, and skim as long as the scum rises; then take it off, let it grow cold, and bottle it. Two tablespoonfuls of this syrup mixed with melted butter make a nice sauce for plum or batter puddings. Three tablespoonfuls of it in a glass of ice water make a delicious beverage.
Source: The Godey's Lady's Book Receipts ©1870

Friday, June 27, 2014

Baths & Bathing

Hi all,
I thought this a rather interesting tidbit regarding baths and bathing taken from "A Cyclopaedia of Six Thousand Practical Receipts" ©1851

BATHS, BATHING. General Remarks. The practice of bathing is not only an act of cleanliness, but is eminently conducive to health. The delicate pores of the skin soon become choked by the solid matter of the perspiration and the accumulation of dirt, and require frequent ablution with water, to preserve their natural functions in a state of activity. The mere wearing of flannel and washing the more exposed parts of the body, and the daily use of clean linen, is but an imperfect attempt at cleanliness, without being accompanied by entire submersion of the body in water. The phlegmatic Englishman, unlike his liveiy French neighbor, seems perfectly incredulous on this point, and would sooner spend his sixpence or his shilling in a glass of grog, or a ride to Greenwich, than in the healthy recreation of the bath.

Bathing is not only conducive to cleanliness, but to both the physical and mental health. The body cannot be in a state of lively health, while the proper offices of the skin are interfered with, any more than would be the case with either of the other excretory organs, placed in a like condi tion. Nor can the mind, dependent as it is on the organization of the body, escape unharmed, when the animal functions are imperfectly performed. Intellectual and moral vigor are universally promoted by the imperceptible yet controlling influence of the physical system, and he who would increase the former, cannot go on a safer method than that which tends to preserve or improve the health.

"On the continent, 'Maisons des Bains' or bathing-houses, are almost as numerous as the chemists and druggists are in this country. The inferenco necessarily is, that bathing in France is as much patronized as physic is in England. The French need the latter less, because they live more temperately, are less ground down to think and work; and because they pertorm general personal ablution (to the benefit of one of the mos* important functions of life, namely, free perspiration) with as much zeal as though it were a religious duty. The inducement to such frequent use of the warm bath among our neighbors, may be fancied to be the low charges for bathing, and the little value the Messieurs attach to their own time. The first notion is a fallacy. Warm bathing on the continent is not cheaper in comparison with all the other necessaries or luxuries of life, viewed in connection with a foreigner's resources, than it is in England. With regard to the apparently little importance they attach to their own time, they are wise enough to discover, that life is not one jot sweeter by passing sixteen hours a day behind the desk or counter, to the exclusion of all recreation, except recreation be to count the gains of such exilement; or to indulge the hope of amassing a sufficiency to do the ' important' at the close of a wearied life, when and which the infirmities of age forbid to enjoy. A Frenchman lives, works, and enjoys himself to the last. Prince Talleyrand died in armor; his life was a bouquet in which all but the sweetest flowers were excluded. A Frenchman takes the bath for the mental and bodily gratification it affords; he can appreciate the luxury of it, while at the same time he is sensible of its healthfulness. An Englishman is such a stiffnecked fellow, that in most things, he will only do that which pleases him best, and his standard of pleasure is estimated by that which adds most to his hoard, and which gives the greatest amount of satisfaction to the inward man. Advise him to take a warm bath; the answer is, he cannot spare the time, and he hates the bother of uncravating, &c. The waste of the one and the trouble of the other add not to his income, whatever they may to his health. The roast beef, the brandied wines, and the London-brewed are his stomach's deities, the minor godships being blue pills and black draughts. The latter are indispensable attendants upon the former, to temper down Mr. Bull, lest he become a giant in noses and carbuncles. A Frenchman knows no ill but what pleasure denies; he rarely has dyspepsia, gout, rheumatism, or fevers. Half his life is spent in Elysium,—half ours in Purgatory. Indigestion, headaches, restless nights—the blues when awake, and the terribles when asleep—fall to the lot of the mind-absorbed and grossly-fed Londoner, while our lively Parisian, with his light meal and still more lightsome body, finds trouble only in broken limbs, or positive starvation."

The warm bath, especially, is one of the most valuable, but most neglected remedies which we possess. It is generally imagined by Englishmen, that bathing is but little fitted for their country, owing to the changefulness of the climate, and that to attempt to place a sick man in a bath in any other than the mildest weather, would be to subject him to all the horrors of " sniffling, sneezing, coughing, and relapse." But that such results of bathing have no existence beyond the minds of the fearful, ignorant, and prejudiced, must be acknowledged by every candid person. Even the cold bath, as in the treatment termed "hydropathy," is beneficial when applied with judgment; and it is only when common discretion is not exercised, that bathing under any shape ever proves injurious.

Some persons are very susceptible of taking cold, and are themselves "living barometers;"
but even to them warm bathing would prove ad. vantageous. One half of the rheumatic twinges, swollen limbs, and cramped joints that occur in such persons, would give way before proper perseverance and confidence in this remedy.
Whenever in delicate persons the cold bath is deemed proper, the warm, tepid, and cool bath may be used as a preparative, and when the former is at length adopted, it should be at first only for one or two minutes at a time, gradually increased to a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes; care being taken never to remain immersed sufficiently long to induce a sensation of cold on coming out. A healthy reaction should follow the bath, and a pleasing glow of warmth should diffuse itself over the surface of the body. If this be not the case, the bath has either been indulged in too long, or been injudiciously taken. When any symptoms appear that contra-indicate the use of the cold bath, the tepid, warm, or vapor bath may be substituted, according to circumstances.

In conclusion, I may remark, that bathing, especially in water at a temperature nearly similar to that of our bodies, (tepid bath,) is at once lie of the most cleanly and health-preserving luxuries, or, I should say, necessaries of life. The following short notice of each description of bath, is all the space that can be spared for this subject.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Odds & Ends for the 1871 Housewife

Miss Beecher has a informative list of Odd's and Ends for the housewife to take care of her idle time. Perhaps, some of the items on this list will give your character a jolt in what is or is not there.

There are certain odds and ends, where every house tipper will gain much by having a regular time to attend to them. Let this time be the last Saturday forenoon in every month, or any other time more agreeable, but let there be a regular fixed time once a month, in which the housekeeper will attend to the following things:
First, go around to every room, drawer, and closet in the house, and see what is out of order, and what needs to be done, and make arrangements as to time and manner of doing it.
Second, examine the store-closet, and see if there is a proper supply of all articles needed there.
Third, go to the cellar, and see if the salted provision, vegetables, pickles, vinegar, and all other articles stored in the cellar are in proper order, and examine all the preserves and jellies.
Fourth, examine the trunk, or closet of family linen, and see what needs to be repaired and renewed.
Fifth, see if there is a supply of dish towels, dish cloths, bags, holders, floor cloths, dust cloths, wrapping paper, twine, lamp-wicks, and all other articles needed m kitchen work.
Sixth, count over the spoons, knives, and forks, and examine all the various household utensils, to see what need replacing, and what should be repaired.
A housekeeper who will have a regular time for attending to these particulars, will find her whole family machinery moving easily and well; but one who does not, will constantly be finding something out of joint, and an unquiet, secret apprehension of duties left undone, or forgotten, which no other method will so effectually remove.
A housekeeper will often be much annoyed by the xccumulation of articles not immediately needed, that must be sared for future use. The following method, adopted by a thrifty housekeeper, may be imitated with advantage. She bought some cheap calico, and made bags of various sizes, and wrote the following label' with indelible ink on a bit of broad tape, and sewed them on one side of the bags:—Old Linens; Old Cottons; Old Black Silks; Old Colored Silks j Old Stockings; Old Colored Woollens; Old Flannels; New Linen; New Cotton; New Woollens; New Silks; Pieces of Dresses; Pieces of Boys' Clothes, &c. These bags were hung around a closet, and filled with the above articles, and then it was known where to look for each, and where to put each when not in use.
Another excellent plan is for a housekeeper once a month to make out a bill of fare for the four weeks tc come. To do this, let her look over this book, and find out what kind of dishes the season of the year and her own stores will enable her to provide, and then make out a list of the dishes she will provide through the month, so as to have an agreeable variety for breakfasts, dinners, and suppers. Some systematic arrangement of this kind at regular periods will secure great comfort and enjoyment to a family.
Source: Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book ©1871

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

1879 Fashions Part 2

Continuing with 1879 Fashions from last week.

Walking Dress




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Advertising and Selling Tea

This tidbit is really about the art of advertising during the 19th century. However, the example is from a small book "Tea-Blending as a Fine Art"©1896 and has a chapter dedicated to how to advertise and sell tea. Below is a large excerpt from this book.

(1.) Make an attractive display of your Teas, utilizing a show-case when convenient to do so for an exhibit of your finest varieties, having on such kind a neatly printed show-card after the following styles:—
"We sell Tea to sell again." "If it's anything in Tea, we've got it." "What you require in Tea is to be had here." "It's our pleasure to please you in Tea." "A good Tea for you is a gain for us." "Our Teas make our prices look small." "Every Tea as advertised, or—a little better." "No Tea customer must leave our store dissatisfied."
"You can make a little money go far by buying your Teas here."
"Misrepresentation in our Teas would be the suicide of our business."
"Our Teas are pure, pungent, piquant, perfect."
"Blank's Teas are distinctive in leaf, distinctive in liquor, distinctive in flavor."
"Blank's Teas are cleanest in leaf, heaviest in body, richest in flavor."
It is an old axiom "that goods well bought are half sold," and the same is equally true of Teas well displayed in the dealer's store or window.
Goods conveniently placed and marked save time, temper, labor and money in showing. When a line of Teas have been placed in a prominent position, with the prices plainly marked and attached to them, they often become their own salesmen.
A good customer secured being a promise of larger salary in the future, the good Tea salesman will always increase your business in addition to adding to your profits, while the poor Tea salesman will only serve to drive away customers and may ruin your Tea trade in other respects.
In a grocer's window Tea should always be given a prominent position, especially if neatly sealed up in handsome packages, or even "dummies" may be conveniently used for the purpose with good effect. But they should be perfectly fresh and clean, in fact, every package exhibited should be carefully examined and made as inviting as possible. It is not prudent, however, to make too copious a display of loose Teas as it collects dust and absorbs moisture in addition to the loss resulting from deterioration in strength and flavor, its appearance also disgusting the customers who are apt to reflect that they must become the consumers of the article when removed from the window. Again, nothing can look worse than a window in Summer sprinkled over with flies—dead and alive—or in Winter than a heap of damp and discolored Teas, so that all loose Teas should invariably be scrupulously covered over with well-polished glass-shades or invitingly displayed in small sample bowls appropriately labeled. The colors also should harmonize in order that the window will look well, attract customers' attention and gain favorable criticism. Care should also be taken that the Teas be not kept too near the heat of gas, heat or sun, or exposed to these influences as they are often irretrievably ruined thereby.
There is great art in dressing a window well with Teas; some dealers having a natural talent for it, while others can only imitate it indifferently, others, again, being entirely incapable of either. The art, however, has a very important bearing in the sale of Teas and is certainly worth careful study on the part of the dealer, as a well-dressed and judicious arrangement of Teas in a window is sure to attract attention and admiration from the passers-by, people turning again to look at and admire it. So that a Tea window-dresser should possess good natural taste as well as be a good designer and systematic arranger of the goods. All labels and show-cards should always be neat, clean and bright, that is, removed often, and when prices are affixed they should be reasonable, neither too high nor too low, as the best customers like moderation, but Teas that are exceptionally cheap and plentiful should always be marked in plain figures.
Cleanliness goes a long way in selling Teas, as in all things people want to eat and drink, and a clean store is a customer's delight, so that dusting and sweeping are among the mast important functions of a well-kept Tea store. These duties should be performed every day, or oftener, and should be done under the best conditions possible, as all dust is destructive to Tea, and all losses thus entailed must be kept down as far as possible.
Do not attempt to place too many varieties or grades in the window at the same time, as such a display serves only to confuse the mind and weary the eyes of spectators, neither aim at quantity. A good plan for the dealer is first to consider what Teas are most in demand or most likely to be in request in his neighborhood and not simply what he has most of. Then making out a list of what he decides to show he should map out in his mind the best manner of arranging the same.
The window display should be frequently altered and the Teas never allowed to remain until they become discolored, stale and dirty, as in such cases instead of attracting trade it will only serve to repel it, and no favorite cats should be allowed to sun themselves near the Tea no matter how sleek or handsome they may be. In emptying the window also each package should be carefully examined, cleaned and replaced in stock, ready for sale and hidden out of sight regardless of its condition. Carelessness in this matter is a source of serious loss.
The Tea salesman of the future must not be illiterate or ignorant of his business; the day for such has gone by in this country, never to return. Any salesman can take orders but very few can impart information about the Teas he sells or tries to sell, so that the customer learns nothing from contact with him, while many of the best purchasers like to talk to an intelligent and well-posted man in order to learn all they can about the article. Again, it is the Tea salesman who knows the meaning and feels the power of what he is talking about that will naturally speak earnestly and with the right emphasis; while otherwise he will not emphasize it at all and very often a good sale of Tea depends on the proper emphasis given to a few important words in reply to the customer's question about the article. The good Tea salesman should speak to explain, convince and persuade and should keep this final object constantly in mind; he should know instantly the effect he is producing on the customer, and the more favorable the effect is the better he can talk, because his faculties are thus encouraged. But when a question can be made clear at all it is made all the clearer by brevity, as all sensible intending purchasers prefer evidence to eloquence.
Many Tea dealers and employees have an idea that a certain kind of smartness in dealing is a praiseworthy business qualification, and that success in the Tea business depends largely on that kind of sharpness and chicanery in dealing with their Tea customers. This is a most mistaken idea, if not worse, as it should be the first and fundamental effort on the part of every business man to gain the respect and confidence of his patrons, not their ill-will and contempt by getting the best of them, as he foolishly supposes. As a customer who once finds himself deceived in either quality or price in buying Teas will consequently be suspicious ever afterward of the dealer who has deceived him, so that the dealer who thought himself so sharp in making a little extra money on the first transaction loses in the end a good and prompt-paying customer who might have traded with him for years if he had but retained his good opinion and induced him by fair dealing to continue his patronage. It has been wisely and sensibly said by President Lincoln that "You may fool some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." Enduring prosperity in the Tea business cannot be founded on cunning and deception, as the tricky and deceitful Tea dealer is sure to fall a victim sooner or later to the influences which are forever working against him. His business structure is built in sand and its foundations will be certain to give way and crush him in the end. Young men in the line particularly cannot give these truths too much weight and importance, as the future of the young Tea dealer is secure who repudiates every form of deception and double dealing, thereby laying the foundation of his business career on the enduring principles of ever-lasting truth and honest dealing.
A reputation for intelligence and truthfulness is indispensable to a permanent and satisfying success in the Tea business, and politeness is also among the few weapons that the small Tea dealer has at his command to meet the competition of larger dealers who
buy their Teas more cheaply. But the larger the business the greater the number of hands required and consequently the less chance of the customers being treated with deference. That these advantages are not fully realized and utilized by the average retailer is well known to all who come in contact with them. One important point in particular to be impressed upon your assistants is the necessity of careful and polite attention to the smallest customers. There is an old and trite adage which says, "When you buy, keep one eye on the goods and the other on the seller, but when you sell, keep both eyes on the buyer." Customers are drawn to the dealer who greets them cordially, treats them with civility, shows them little courtesies, manifests an interest in their wants and seeks to gain their confidence. Do not imagine that customers consider cheap Teas and "cut prices" are the equivalent for such treatment, for if you do you will soon have to discontinue business for lack of brains or be sold out altogether, although you may charge your misfortune to other causes.
Don't smoke in your store or encourage your customers to do so.
Don't let your store smell of mice and rats, or allow dogs or cats around the store.
Don't permit your store to smell of oil, fish, soap, strong cheese or other loud smelling articles.
Don't clean your scales, weights and other utensils or wash your counters and shelves in the presence of customers.
Don't spit on your store floor or allow others to do so, and never be without a clean handkerchief, even when you wear an apron.
Don't use the same set of scales, weights or scoops for sugar, flour, rice, cheese or other articles for Tea, as they invariably impart their odor to it.
Don't store your Teas in damp places or they will soon contract a musty, mildewy smell and flavor, and be careful of wet cellars, which produce the same results.
Don't permit your store to become a lounging place for idlers, local gossipers or cheap politicians, no matter how profitable they may appear to you, as particular customers do not like to have their business exposed to such hangers-on.
Don't have dirty hands, face or wear your fingernails in half-mourning, and don't wear a sour, illtempered face—nothing so repels a sensitive customer —but cultivate a cheerful countenance at all times and under all circumstances. In other words, if you do not possess this virtue at least assume it.
Don't overbuy, as most Teas deteriorate by long keeping, particularly after opening, get dirty, lose strength and therefore become unsalable. And when you happen to get stuck on a bad lot dispose of them quickly and as privately as you can, even at a sacrifice. Above all things don't try to work them off on your customers, either regular or casual, as nothing will ruin your Tea trade quicker or surer.
In conclusion, be thorough in all you undertake, as nothing conduces like thoroughness and sincere earnestness to build up and retain a successful Tea business. And remember that it is much easier to do particular work yourself than to show others how to. Master the whole business and the road to success has been mapped out, as most certainly the dealer who notes what a community is most in need of and supplies that want most thoroughly possesses the attributes of a successful Tea merchant.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Beverages Continued

Below are some additional recipes for common beverages from the 19th Century:

To Make Good Tea.
—In making tea it is usual to allow a teaspoonful of dry tea for each person. First scald the teapot by filling it with boiling water, and letting it stand a few minutes near the fire. Turn off the water and put in the dry tea; over this pour boiling water enough to cover it. Cover the teapot closely, and stand near the fire for five ~minutes. Fill up with boiling water, and serve.

To Make Good Chocolate
—Grate one cake of fine French chocolate, and put it over the fire .
with lukewarm water enough to cover it. Stir gently until thoroughly dissolved. Pour in gradually, stirring all the time, half a pint of boiling milk. Boil all gently for five minutes, and serve.

Chocolate a la FRANCAISE
—Grate one cake of fine French chocolate into a gill of cold milk. Put into a vessel of boiling water, and stir till well mixed. Add half a pint of milk and water, cold, and let it gradually come to a boil, stirring all the time. Boil fifteen minutes.

—-Soak a teacupful of dry shells all night in a quart of cold water; boil in the same water three hours before using. (Prepared shells do not require soaking.) Boil them rapidly for one hour, settle and strain, and add boiling milk in the proportion of a pint of milk to a quart of water and three ounces of shells.

-To make broma, powder in a mortar, two ounces of arrowroot, half a pound of loaf sugar, and a pound of pure chocolate. Sifi carefully through a hair sieve. To two tablespoonfuls of this powder put two tablespoonfuls of cream. Stir till well mixed, pour on half a pint of boiling milk, and boil all for ten minutes.
Source: The Godey's Lady's Book Receipts ©1870

Friday, June 20, 2014


Not a pleasant subject but one our historical characters dealt with on a fairly regular bases.

Amputation of the Arm.
Operation.— Give the patient ninety drops of laudanum, or let him breathe ether from a large ■ponge till sound asleep, and seat him on a narrow and firm table or chest, of a convenient height, so that some one can support him, by clasping him round the body. If the handkerchief and stick have not been previously applied, place it as high up on the arm as possible (the stick being very short) and so that the knot may pass on the inner third of it. Your instruments having been placed regularly on a table or waiter, and within reach of your hand, while some one supports the lower end of the arm, and at the same time draws down the skin, take the large knife and make one straight cut all round the limb, through the skin and fat only, then with the penknife separate as much of the skin from the flesh above the cut, and all round it, as will form a flap to cover the face of the stump; when you think there is enough separated, turn it back, where it must be held by an assistant, while with the large knife you make a second straight incision round the arm and down to the bone, as close as you can to the doubled edge of the flap, but taking great care not to cut it. The bone is now to be passed through the slit in the piece of linen before mentioned, and pressed by its ends against the upper surface of the wound by the person who holds the flap, while you saw through the bone as near to it as you can. With the books or pincers, you then seize and tie up every vessel that bleeds, the largest first, and smaller ones next, until they are all secured. When this is done, relax the stick a little; if an artery springs, tie it as before. The wound is now to be gently cleansed with a sponge and warm water, and the stick to be relaxed. If it is evident that the arteries are all tied, bring the flap over the end of the stump, draw its edges together with strips of sticking-pi as tor, leaving the ligature
hanging out at the angles, lay the piece of linen spread with ointment over the straps, a pledget of lint over that, and secure the whole by the bandage, when the patient may be carried to bed, and the stump laid on a pillow.
The handkerchief and stick are to be left loosely round the limb, so that if any bleeding happens to come on, it may be tightened in an instant by the person who watches by the patient, when the dressings must be taken off, the flap raised, and the vessel be sought for and tied up, after which, every thing must be placed as before.
It may be well to observe that in sawing through the bone, along and free stroke should be used, to prevent any hitching, as an additional security against which, the teeth of the saw should be well sharpened and set wide.
There is also another circumstance, which it is essential to be aware of: the ends of divided arteries cannot at times be got hold of, or being diseased their coats give way under the hook, so that they cannot be drawn out; sometimes also, they are found ossified or turned into bone. In all these cases, having armed a needle with a ligature, pass it through the flesh round the artery, so that when tied, there will be a portion of it included in the ligature along with the artery. When the ligature has been made to encircle the artery, cut off the needle and tie it firmly in the ordinary way.
The bandages, etc., should not be disturbed for five or six days, if the weather is cool; if it is very warm, they may be removed in three. This is to be done with the greatest care, soaking them well with warm water until they are quite soft, and can be taken away without sticking to the stump. A clean, plaster, lint, and bandage are then to be applied as before, to be removed every two days. At the expiration of ten or fifteen days the ligatures generally come away; and in three or four weeks, if every thing goes on well, the wound heals.

Amputation of the Thigh.
This is performed in precisely the same manner as that of the arm, care being used to prevent the edges of the flap from uniting until the surface of the stump has adhered to it.

Amputation of the Leg.
As there are two bones in the leg ,which have to thin muscle .between, it is necessary to have an additional knife to those already mentioned, to divide it. It should have a long narrow blade, with a double-cutting edge, and a sharp point; a carving or case knife may be ground down to answer the purpose, the blade being reduced to rather less than half an inch in width. The linen or leather strip should also have two slits in it instead of one. The patient is to be laid on his back, on a table covered with blankets or a tnatresi*, with a sufficient number of assistants to secure him. The handkerchief and stick being applied on the upper part of the thigh, one person holds the knee, and another the foot and leg as steadily as possible, while with the large knife the operator makes on oblique incision round the limb, through the skin, and, beginning at five or six inches below the knee pan, and carrying it regularly round in such a manner that the cut will be lower down on the culf than in front of the leg. As much of the skin is then to be separated by the penknife as will cover the stump. When this is turned back, a second cut is to be made all round the limb and down to the bones, when, with the narrow-bladcd knife just mentioned, the flesh between them is to be divided. The middle piece of the leather strip is now to be pulled through between the bones, the whole being held back by the assistant, who supports the flap while the bones are sawed, which should be to managed that the smaller one is completely cut through bj the time tbe other is only half so. The arteries are then to be taken up, the Bap brought down and secured by adhesive plasters, etc. as already directed.

Amputation of the Forearm.
The forearm has two bones in it, the narrow bladed knife, and the strip of linen with three taiis. are to be provided. Tbe incision should be straight round the part, as in the arm, with this exception, complete it aa directed fur the preceding case.

Amputation of Fingers and Toes.
Draw the skin back, and make an incision round the finger, a little below the joint it is intended to remove, turn back a little flap to cover the stump, then cut down to the joint, bending it so that voo can cut through the ligaments that connect the two bc.nes, tho under one first, then that on the side. The bead of the bone is then to be turned out, while you cut through the remaining s«a parts. If you see an artery spirt, tie it up, if not, bring down the flap and secure it by a strip of sticking-plaster, and a narrow bandage over the whole.
Source: Mackenzie's Ten Thousand Receipts ©1867

Thursday, June 19, 2014


I love the tidbit about cooling cucumbers in this article. Today we simply take them from the fridge, however back in 1871 that wasn't possible. Enjoy this article from Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book ©1871

To a person accustomed to a good table, the manner in which the table is set, and the mode in which food is prepared and set on, has a great influence, not only on the eye, but the appetite. A housekeeper ought, therefore, to attend carefully to these particulars.
The table-cloth should always be white, and well washed and ironed. When taken from the table, it should be folded in the ironed creases, and some heavy article laid on it. A heavy bit of plank, smoothed and kept for the purpose, is useful. By this method, the table-cloth looks tidy much longer than when it is less carefully laid aside.
Where table napkins are used, care should be taken to keep the same one to each person, and, in laying them aside, they should be folded so as to hide the soiled places, and laid under pressure.
The table-cloth should always be put on square, and right side upward. The articles of furniture should be placed as exhibited in figures 7 and 8.
The bread for breakfast and tea should be cut in even, regular slices, not over a fourth of an inch thick, and all crumbs removed from the bread plate. They should be piled in a regular form, and if the slices are large, they should be divided.
The butter should be cooled in cold water, if not already hard, and then cut into a smooth and regular form, and a butter knife be laid by the plate, to be used for no ot her purpose but to help the butter.
Small mats, or cup plates, should be placed at each plate, to receive the tea-cup, when it would otherwise be set upon the table-cloth and stain it .
All the flour should be wiped from small cakes, and the crumbs be kept from the bread plate. In preparing dishes for the dinner-table. all watet should be carefully drained from vegetables, and the edges of the platters and dishes should be made perfectly clean and neat.
All soiled spots should be removed from the outside of pitchers, gravy boats, and every article used on the table; the handles of the knives and forks must be clean, and the knives bright and sharp.
In winter, the plates, and all the dishes used, both for meat and vegetables, should be set to the fire to warm, when the table is being set, as cold plates and dishes cool the vegetables, gravy, and meats, which by many is deemed a great injury.
Cucumbers, when prepared for table, should be laid in cold water for an hour or two to cool, and then be peeled and cut into fresh cold water. Then they should be drained, and brought to the table, and seasoned the last thing.
The water should be drained thoroughly from all greens and salads.
There are certain articles which are usually set on together, because it is the fashion, or because they are suited to each other.
Thus with strong-flavored meats, like mutton, goose, and duck, it is customary to serve the strong-flavored vegetables, such as onions and turnips. Thus, turnips are put in mutton broth, and served with mutton, and onions are used to stuff geese and ducks. But onions are usually banished from the table and from cooking, on account of the disagreeable flavor they impart to the atmosphere and breath.
Boiled Poultry should be accompanied with boiled ham, or tongue.
Boiled Rice is served with poultry as a vegetable.
Jelly is served with mutton, venison, and roasted meats, and is used in the gravies for hashes.
Fresh Pork requires some acid saQce, such as cranberry, or tart apple sauce.
Drawn Butter, prepared as in the receipt, with eggs in it, is used with boiled fowls and boiled fish.
Pickles are served especially with fish, and Soy is a fashionable sauce for fish, which is mixed on the plate with drawn butter.
There are modes of garnishing dishes, and preparing them for table, which give an air of taste and refinement, that pleases the eye.
Thus, in preparing a dish of fricasseed fowls, or stewed fowls. or cold fowls warmed over, small cups of boiled rice can be laid inverted around the edge of the platter, to eat with the meat.
Sweetbreads fried brown in lard, and laid around such a dish, give it a tasteful look.
On Broiled Ham, or Veal, eggs boiled, or fried and laid, one on each piece, look well.
Greens and Asparagus should be well drained, and laid on buttered toast, and then slices of boiled eggs be laid on the top, and around.
Hashes, and preparations of pig's and calve's head and feet, should be laid on toast, and garnished with round slices of lemon.
Curled Parsley, or Common Parsley, is a pretty garnish, to be fastened to the shank of a ham, to conceal the bone, and laid around the dish holding it. It looks well laid around any dish of cold slices of tongue, ham, or meat of any kind.
The proper mode of setting a dinner-table is shown at Fig. 7, and the proper way of setting a tea-table is shown at Fig. 8. In this drawing of a tea-table, smallsized plates are set around, with a knife, napkin, and cup plate laid by each, in a regular manner, while the articles of food are to be set, also, in regular order. On the waiter are placed the tea-cups and saucers, sugar bowl, slop bowl, cream cup, and two or three articles for tea, coffee, and water, as the case may be. This drawing may aid some housekeepers in teaching a domestic how to set a tea-table, as the picture will assist the memory in some cases. On the dinner table, by each plate, is a knife, fork, napkin, and tumbler: on the tea-table by each plate is a knife, napkin, and small cup-platc.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

1879 Historical Fashions

Today we are featuring 1879 images of ladies fashions.

Walking Dress
House Dress

Bathing Suits


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

1872 - 1880 Wages

Every so often as an author I'm looking for the price of various items during the year I'm writing. I generally find advertisements with sale prices as a guide. This tidbit comes from Massachusetts it does give an understanding to the various wages from 1872 - 1880. Perhaps you'll find it helpful too.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Below are several recipes and instructions for making various common beverages from 1867. Along with details about coffee, the beans and some of the various types known then.

For a gallon of punch take six fresh Sicily lemons; rub the outsides of them well over with lumps of double-refined loaf-sugar, until they become quite yellow; throw the lumps into the bowl; roll your lemons well on a clean plate or table; cut them in half and squeeze them with a proper instrument over the sugar; bruise the sugar, and continue to add fresh portions of it, mixing the lemon pulp and juice well with it. Much of the goodness of the punch will dc]>end upon this. The quantity of sugar to be added should be great enough to render the mixture without water pleasant to the palate even of a child. When this is obtained, add gradually a small quantity of hot water, just enough to render the syrup thin enough to pass through the strainer. Mix all well together, strain it, and try if there be sugar enough; if at all sour add more. When cold put in a little cold water, and equal quantities of the best cogniac brandy and old Jamaica rum, testing its strength by that infallible guide the palate, A glass of calves'-foot jelly added to the syrup when warm will not injure its qualities.
The great secret of making good punch may be given in a few words: a great deal of fre>h lemonjuice— more than enough of good sugar — a fair proportion of brandy and rum, and very little water.

To make Nectar.
Put half a pound of loaf sugar into a large porcelain jug; add one pint of cold water; bruise and stir the sugar till it is completely dissolve:!; pour over it half a bottle^of hock and one bottle of Madeira. Mix them well together, and grate in half a nutmeg, with a drop or two of tbe essence of lemon. Set the jug in a bucket of ice tor one hour.

Tbe best coffee is imported from Mocha. It is said to owe much of its superior quality to being
kept lone. Attention to the following eircumItances is likewise necessary. 1. The plant should be grown in a dry situation and climate. 2. 1 be berries ought to be thoroughly ripe before they are gathered. 3. They ought to be well dried in the sun: and 4. Kept at a distance from any substance (as spirits, spices, dried 8sh, etc.) by which the taste and flavor of the berry may be injured.
To drink coffee perfection, it should be made from the best Mocha or Java, or both mixed, carefully roasted, and after cooling for a few minutes, reduced to powder, and immediately infused; the decoction will then be of a superior description. But for ordinary use, Java, Laguayra, Maraeaibo, Bio and other grades of coffee may be used. An equal mixture of Mocha, Java and Laguayra make an excellent flavor. We have been recently shown (1865) some samples of Afrioan ooffoe from Liberia, which is said to possess a very superior flavor. The following mode or preparing it may be adopted:
1. The berries should be oarefully roasted, by a gradual application of heat, browning, but not burning them. .
2 Grinding the coffee is preferable to pounding, because the latter process is thought to press out and leave on the sides of the mortar some of the richer oily substances, which are not lost by filtrating tin or silver pot, with double Bides, between which hot water must be poured, to prevent the coffee from eooling, as practised in Germany, is good. 8imple decoction, in this implement, with boiling water, is all that is required to make a cup of good coffee; and the use of isinglass, the white of eggs, etc., to fine the liquor, is quite unnecessary. By this means, also, ooffee is made quicker than tea.
Generally, too little powder of the berry is given It requires about one small cup of ground coffee to make four cups of decoction lor the table. This is at the rate of an ounce of good powder to four common coffee cups. When the powder is put in the bag, as many cups of boiling water are poured over it as may be wanted, and if the quantity wanted is very small, so that after it is filtrated it does not reach the lower end of the bag, the liquor must be poured back three or four times till it has acquired the necessary strength. Another Method.—Pour a pint of boiling water on an ounce of coffee; let it boil five or six minutes then pour out a cupful two or three times, and'return it again; put two or three isinglass chips into it, or a lump or two of fine sugar; boll it five minutes longer. Set the pot by tbo fire to keep hot for ten minutes, and the coffee will be beautifully clear. Some like a small bit of vanilla. Cream or boiled milk should always be served with coffee.
In Egypt, coffee is made by pouring boiling water upon ground coffee in the cup; to which only sugar is added. For these who like it extremely strong, make only eight cups from three ounces. If not fresh roasted, lay it before a fire till hot and dry; or put the smallest bit of fresh batter into a preserving-pan; when hot throw the coffee into it, and toss it about till it be fresh coffee most certainly promotes wakefulness, or, in other words, it suspends the inclination to sleep.
A very small cup of coffee, holding about a wineelassfull, called by the French une demi tane, drunk after dinner very strong, without cream or milk, is apt to promote digestion.
Persons afflicted with asthma have found great relief, and even a cure, from drinking very strong «offee, and those of a phlogmatio habit would do
well to take it for breakfast It is of a rather drying nature, and with corpulent nanus it would also be advisable to take it for breakfast.

Arabian Method of Preparing Coffee.
The Arabians, when they take their coffee off the fire, immediately wrap the vessel in a wet cloth, which fines the liquor instantly, makes it cream at the top, and occasions a more pungent steam, which they take great pleasure in snuffing up as the coffee is pouring into the cups. They, like all other nations of the East, drink their coffee without sugar.
People of the first fashion use nothing but Sultana coffee, which is prepared in the following manner: Bruise the outward husk or dried pulp, and put it into an iron or earthen pan, which is placed upon a charcoal fire; then keep stirring it to and fro, until it becomes a little brown, but not of so deep a color as common coffee; then throw it into boiling water, adding at least the fourth part of the inward husks, which is then boiled together in the manner of other coffee. The husks must be kept in a very dry place, and parked up very dose, for the least humidity spoils the flavor. The liquor prepared in this manner is esteemed preferable to any other. The French, when they were at the court of the king of --emen, saw no other coffee drank, and they found the flavor of it very delicate and agreeable. There was no occasion to use sugar, as it had no bitter taste to correct. Coffee is less unwholesome in tropical than in other climates.
In all probability the Sultana ooffee can only be made where the tree grows; for, as .he husks have little substance if they are much dried, in order to send them to other countrios, the agreeable flavor they had when fresh is greatly impaired. Improvement in making Coffee. The process consists in simmering over a small but steady flame of a lamp. To accomplish this a vessel of peculiar construction is requisite. It should be a straiglit-sidod pot, as wide at the top as at the bottom, and inclosed in a case of similar shape, to which it must bo soldered air-tight at the top. The case to be above an inch wider than the pot, and descending somewhat less than an inch below it. It should be entirely open at the bottom, thus admitting and confining » body of hot air round and underneath the pot. The lid to be double, and the vessel, of course, furnished with a convenient handle and spout.
The extract may be made either with hot water or cold. If wanted for speedy use, hot water, not actually boiling, will be proper, and the powdered eoffee being added, close the lid tight, stop the spout with a cork, and place the vessel over the lamp. It will soon begin to simmer, and may remain unattended, till the coffee is wanted. It may then he strained through a bag of stout, close linen, which will transmit the liquid so perfectly clear as not to contain the smallest particle ol the
Though a fountain lamp is preferable, any or the common small lamps, seen in every tin shop, will answer the purpose. Aloohol, pure sporniaocti oil, or some of the recent preparations of petroleum are best, and if the wick be too high, or the oil not good, the consequence will be smoke, soot, and extinction of the aroma. The wick should be little more tbiiD one-eighth of an inch high. In this process, no trimming is required. It may be left to simmer, and will continue simmering all night without boiling over, and without any sensible diminution of quantity. Paritian Method of making Coffee. In the first placo, let ooffee be of the prime quality, grain small, roand, bard, and clear; perfectly dry and sweet; and at least three years old—let it be gently roasted until it be of a light brown color; avoid burning, for a single scorched grain will spoil a pound. Let this operation be performed at the moment the coffee is to be used; then grind it while it is yet warm, and take of the powder an ounce for each cup intended to be made; put this along with a small quantity of shredded saffron into the upper part of the machine, called a grecque or biggin ; that is, alnrge coffee-pot with an upper receptacle made to fit close into it, the bottom of which is perforated with small holes, and containing in its interior two movable metal strainers, over the second of which ihe powder is to be placed, and immediately under the third ; upon this upper strainer pour boiling water, and continue doing so gently until it bubbles up through the strainer; then shut the cover of the machine cW>sc down, place it near the tire, and so soon as the water has drained through the coffee, repeat the operation until the whole intended quantity be passed. Thus all the fragrnnce of its perfume will be retained with all the balsamic ana stimulating powers of its essence: and in a few moments will be obtained — without tho aid of isinglass, whites of eggs, or any of the substances with which, in the comtnon mode of preparation, it is mixed—a beverage for the gods. This is the truo Parisian mode of preparing coffee; the invention of it is due to M. de Belloy, nephew to the Cardinal of the same name.
A coffee-pot upon an entirely new plan, called the Old Dominion, and made in Philadelphia, Pa., is very much liked by some Perhaps, however, the old mode of boiling and clearing with egg, or the French mode, with the biggin or strainer, is the beyt.
Sufficient attention is not, however, paid to the proper roasting of the berry, which is of the utmost importance; to have the berry done just enough and not a grain burnt. It is customary now in most large cities for grocers to keep coffee ready roasted, which they have done in large wire cylinders, and generally well done, but not always fresh.

Friday, June 13, 2014


This medical information is great for writing historicals because of the concise information.

Of Wounds.
Wounds are of three kinds, viz., incised, punctured, and contused: among the latter are included gun-shot wounds. The first step in all wounds, is

To Stop the Bleeding.
If the flow of blood is but trifling, draw the edges of the wound together with your hand, and hold them in that position some time, when it will frequently Btop. If, on the contrary, it is large, of a bright red color, flowing in spirts or with a jerk, clap your finger on the spot it springs from, and hold it there with a firm pressure, while you direct some one to pass a handkerchief round the limb (supposing the wound to be in one) above the cut, and to tie its two ends together in a hard knot. A cane, whip-handle, or stick of any kind, must now be passed under the knot (between the upper surface of the limb and the handkerchief), and turned round and round until the stick is brought down to the thigh, so as to make the handkerchief encircle it with considerable tightness. You may then take off your finger; if the blood still flows, tighten the handkerchief by a turn or two of the stick, until it ceases. The patient may now be removed (taking care to secure the stick in its position) without running any risk of bleeding to death by the way.
As this apparatus cannot bo left on for any length of time, without destroying the life of the parts, endeavor as soon as possible to secure the bleeding vessels, and take it off. Having waxed together three or four threads of a sufficient length, out the ligature they form into as many pieces as you think there are vessels to be taken up, each piece being about a foot long. Wash the parts with warm water, and then with a sharp hook, or a slender pair of pincers in your hand, fix your eye steadfastly upon the wound, and direct the handkerchief to be relaxed by a turn or two of the stick; you will now see the mouth of the artery from which the blood springs, seize it with your hook or pincers, draw it a little out, while some one passes a ligature round it, and ties it uptight with a double knot. In this way take up in succession every bleeding vessel you can see or get hold of.
If the wound is too high up in a limb to apply the handkerchief, don't lose your presence of mind, the bleeding can still be commanded. If it is tho thigh, press firmly in the groin; if in the arm, with the hand end or ring of a common door key, make pressure above the collar bone, and about its middle against the first rib which lies under it. The pressure is to be continued until assistance is procured, and the vessel tied up.
If the wound is on the head, press your finger firmly on it, until a compress can be brought, which must be bound firmly over the artery by a bandage. If the wound is in the face, or so situated that pressure canuut be effectually made, or you cannot get hold of (he vessel, and the blood flows
fast, place a piece of ice directly over the wound, and let it remain there till the blood coagulate*, when it may be removed, and a compress and bandage be applied.

Incised Wounds.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tea & Evening Parties

This article continues where last week's Thursday article left off with Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book ©1871

Tea Parties and Evening Company.
In one respect, fashion has aided to relieve a housekeeper of much care in providing evening entertain ments. It is now fashionable to spread a table for evening parties, and not to serve tea and coffee, as was formerly done. As this is the easiest, and most rational way of entertaining evening company, no other method will be so minutely described.
If a lady designs to invite from forty to sixty friends to pass the evening, or even to have a much larger company invited, the following would be called a plain but genteel arrangement, for company in New York, Philadelphia, or any of our large cities.
Set a long table in the dining-room, and cover it with a handsome damask cloth. Set some high article containing flowers, or some ornamental article, in the centre. Set Champagne glasses with flowers at each corner. Set loaves of cake at regular distances, and dispose in some regular order about the table, preserves, jellies, lemonade, and any other articles that may be selected from the abundant variety offered in the collection of Receipts for Evening Parties in this book.
Where a very large company is to be collected, and a larger treat is thought to be required, then a long table is set in the centre of the room, as above, and on it are placed cakes, pastry, jellies, and confectionary. Then smaller tables are set each side of a mantle, or in corners, one of which is furnished with sandwiches, oysters, salad, celery, and wine, and the other with coffee, chocolate, and lemonade. Sometimes all are placed on one long table, and in this case, cakes, jellies, and confectionary are put in the centre, coffee and lemonade at one end, and oysters, sandwiches, celery, and wines at the other. A great deal of taste may be displayed in preparing and arranging such a table.
As it is often the case, that the old mode of serving tea and coffee will be resorted to, one modification is proposed, which decreases the labour and anxiety to the housekeeper, and increases the enjoyment of the company. It is this. Set a table in one of the parlors, and cover it with a damask cloth. Let the tea and coffee be served at this table, the lady of the house presiding. Then let the gentlemen wait upon the ladies around the room, and then help themselves. This is particularly convenient when it is difficult to get good waiters.
Most of the articles used for evening parties (with the exception of rich cakes, wine, and high-seasoned chicken salad) are not unhealthful, if taken moderately.
When these parties break up at seasonable hours, they may prove one of the most rational and harmless modes of securing social enjoyment; but when connected with highly exciting amusements, and late hours, they are sure to wear upon the constitution and health, and rational and conscientious persons, for these and other reasons, will avoid them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

1872 Historical Fashions

For Historic Fashion Wednesday you'll find images from 1872


Men & Women


Woman & Boy


Tuesday, June 10, 2014


This article continues the topic of providing for the household and what to have on hand, from last Tuesday's post. Again it comes from Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book ©1871

By a little skill and calculation, a housekeeper may contrive to keep a constant change of agreeable varieties on her table, and that, too, without violating the rules either of health or economy. Some suggestions will be offered to aid in this object.
In the first place, much can be effected by keeping on hand a good supply of the various bread-stuffs. Good raised bread, of fine flour, must be the grand staple, but this may, every day, be accompanied with varieties of bread made of unbolted flour, or rye and In dian, or Indian alone, or potato and apple bread, or rice bread, or the various biscuits and rusk. It will be found that these are all more acceptable, if there are occasional changes, than if any one of them is continued a long time.
All the dough of these different kinds of bread, when light, can, with very little trouble, be made into drop cakes, or griddle cakes for breakfast, or tea, by adding »ome milk and eggs, and in some cases a little melted lard.
Very fine common cake is also easily made, at every baking, by taking some of the dough of bread and working in sugar, butter, and eggs, by the receipt given for Bread Cake and Child's Feather Cake. These can be made more or less sweet and rich at pleasure.
In the next place, a good supply of fruit in the gar den, and stored in the cellar, enables a housekeeper to keep up a constant variety. The directions given under the head of Modes of Preparing Apples for the Tea Table, will be found very useful for this purpose, while those for preparing Rice and Dry Bread are equally serviceable in helping out a cheap and convenient variety. There are some cheap dishes at the end also, which are very good, and easily made.
The directions for preparing Hashes, also, are recommended as a mode of economizing, that is very acceptable when properly done. The little relishes obtained in summer from the garden, are very serviceable in securing varieties. Among these may be mentioned cucumbers, radishes, cabbage sprouts, Jerusalem artichokes, and tomatoes, all of which are very fine eaten with salt and vinegar.
Mush, hominy, tapioca, and rice cooked, and then, when cold, fried on a griddle, are great favorites. If salt pork rinds are used to grease the griddle, there will be so little fat used, that no injury to the most delicate stomachs can result from this mode of cooking.
In winter, the breakfast-table and tea-table can be supplied by a most inviting variety of muffins, griddle cakes, drop cakes, and waffles made of rice, corn meal, and unbolted flour, all of which are very healthful and very agreeable to the palate.
One mode of securing a good variety, in those months in spring when fruits and vegetables fail, is by a wise providence in drying and preserving fruits and vegetables. The following directions will aid in this particular.
Directions for Preserving Fruits and Vegetables Blackberries, whortleberries, currants, raspberries peaches, plums, apples, pears, and quinces, can ail be preserved by drying them in the sun, and then storing them in bags in a cool, dry place.
Green currants, and green gooseberries, can be preserved thus. Gather them when perfectly dry, put them into very dry junk bottles, free from stems and eyes, set the bottles uncorked into a kettle of cold water, and then make the water boil. Then cork the bottles (the fruit should come up to the cork), and seal them with bee's wax and rosin. Store them in a dry, cool place, where they will not freeze. Everything depends on success in excluding air and water. Putting them in boxes, and filling the interstices with dry sand, is the surest mode of storing the bottles.
There is a receipt for Preserving Fruit in Water, that has found its way into many receipt books, which seems to the writer to be a dangerous and useless one, and never should be tried.
It directs that fruit be put in bottles, then water pour ed in, and then the bottles corked tight, and the cork lied. Then the bottles are to be set in a kettle of water, which is to be heated till it boils. Of course this must burst the bottles, or throw out the corks.
It is probable that the design of some plan of this sort «vas to exclude all air from the fruit. This could be done by setting the bottles filled with fruit and water, uncorked, in a kettle of water, and making the water boil Then cork the bottles and seal them, and the wa ter will remain, but all air will be excluded. The writer never has seen a person who has tried this method, and perhaps it may be one in which fruit can be pre served.
Peach Leather is much relished by invalids, and is prepared thus. Squeeze out the pulp of very ripe peaches, and spread it half an inch thick on plates or shingles, and let it dry till quite hard and tough. Then roll it up in layers, with clean paper between.
Tomato Leather can be made in the same way. But the following is the best mode of preserving tomatoes. Pour boiling water on to the ripe tomatoes, and peel theiu lioii them till reduced to half the original quaii tity, throwing in. at first, a tea-cup of sugar and a large spoonful of salt for every gallon. When reduced to one half the quantity, spread it on flat dishes half an inch thick, and dry it eight or ten days in the sun, and air. Then put it in layers, with paper between. In preparing it for table, stew it slowly in a good deal of water, adding bread crumbs and seasoning.
Some persons dry them in a brick oven instead of the sun. A quicker, but not so nice a way, is simply to cut them in two without peeling, and dry them in the oven.
Tomato Figs are prepared thus:—Scald and peel them, and then boil them in one-third the weight of sugar, till they are penetrated by it. Then flatten and dry them in the sun, occasionally turning them and sprinkling with sugar. When dry, pack them in layers, with sugar sprinkled between.
Green Corn can be preserved by simply turning back the husk, all but the last thin layer, and then hanging it in the sun, or a very warm room. When it is to be used, boil it till soft, and then cut it off the cob and mix it with butter, and add, if you like, dried Lima beans cooked soft, in another vessel. The summer sweet corn is the proper kind to dry. Lima beans can be dried in the sun when young and tender. They are good to bake, when dried after they are ripe.
Another mode is to parboil sweet corn, cut it from the cobs, and dry it in the sun. Then store it in a dry, cool place, in a bag.
Another way is to take off all the Iuissks but the thin one next the corn; tie this over the corn tight, and pack it in salt.
Try each of these ways, and make succotash with dried Lima beans, adding a little cream to the broth. If done right, it is excellent in winter. In cutting corn from cobs, in all cases take care not to cut off any cob, as it gives a bad taste.
Peas, also, are good to dry, and make a fine dish thus. Take six or eight pounds of corned beef, put it in a large pot and fill it with water, and put in two quarto of drto>l leas. Let them boil till soft, and then add the sweet herb seasoning, or take it up without any other seasoning than a little pepper and the salt of the meat.
Beef, cooked thus, is excellent when cold, and the pea soup, thus made, is highly relished. No dish is cheaper, or more easily prepared.
Pumpkins and squashes can be peeled and cut in strips and dried in the sun.
The stalks of rhubarb or the pie plant can be slivered fine and dried in the sun for winter use.
A housekeeper who will take pains to have these things done in the proper season, and well stored, will always keep an inviting table, in those months when others so much complain that they can find no variety.
It is a good plan for a housekeeper the first day, or week of every month, to make a calculation of her bill of fare for that month, going over such a receipt-book as this, and ascertaining how many of the varieties offered she can secure. At the same time she can be laying in stores of articles for future use. Svstem in this matter is of essential service.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Odd and Various Tidbits

Here are a bunch of odd but useful tidbits we can use with our historical characters.

Substitute for a Corkscrew.
A convenient substitute for a corkscrew, when the latter is not at hand, may be found in the use of a common screw, with an attached string to pull the cork.
Another. — Stick two forks vertically into the cork on opposite sides, not too near the edge. Run the blade of a knife through the two, and give a twist.
Another.—Fill the hollow at the bottom of the bottle with a handkerchief or towel; grasp the neck with one hand, and strike firmly and steadily with the other upon the handkerchief.

To send Messages in Cypher.
Any document written in cypher, by which signs are substituted for letters, or even for words, is liable to be decyphered. The following plans are free from such objection: The correspondents select two copies of the same edition of a book, the word to be used is designated by figures referring to the page, line, and number of the word in the line; or the message may be written on a slip of paper wound spirally around a rod of wood ; these can only be decyphered by bringing them into their original position, by wrapping around a second rod of the same size.

Castor Oil as a Dressing for Leather.
Castor oil, besides being an excellent dressing for leathor, renders it vermin-proof; it should be mixed, say half and half, with tallow or other oil. Neither rats, roaches, nor other vermin will attack leather so prepared.

To Prevent Haystacks from Taking Fire.
When there is nny reason to fear that the bay which is intended to be boused or stacked is not sufficiently dry, let a few nandfuls of common salt be scattered between each Inyer. This, by absorbing the humidity of the hay, not only prevents the fermentation, and consequent inflammation of it, but adds a taste to it, which stimulate? the appetites of cattle and preserves them from many diseases.

To Prevent Cold Feet at Night.
Draw off the stocking, just before undressing, and rub the ankles and feet with the hand as hard as can be borne for 5 or 10 minutes. This will diffuse a pleasurable glow, and those who do so will never have to complain of cold feet in bed. Frequent washing and rubbing them thoroughly dry with a linen cloth or flannel, is useful for the same purpose.

To Bring Horses out of a Stable on Fire.
Throw the harness or saddles to which they may have been accustomed, over the backs of the horses in this predicament, and they will come out of the stable as tractably as usual.

Horses Pulling at the Halter.
Many remedies have been proposed for curing this bad habit, but a simple and effective one is to discard the common halter, and get a brotid, strung lenther strap to buckle around the neck fur a few inches below the oars. A horse may pull at this, but wilt soon give it up.

Friday, June 6, 2014


This information on fractures comes from Mackenzie's Ten Thousand Receipts ©1867 What I like about this is the concise nature of the information given because it is not a medical book but simply a book of useful information and the kind of information my historical characters would be aware of. It's a fairly long excerpt but well worth the research read, imho.

OF Fractures.
The signs by which fractures may be known having been already pointed out with sufficient minuteness, it will be unnecessary to dwell thereon; it will be well, however, to recollect this general rule: In cases where, from the accompanying circumstances and symptoms, a strong suspicion exists that the bone is fractured, it is proper to act as though it were positively ascertained to be so.

Fracture of the Bone of the Nose.
The bones of the nose from their exposed situation are frequently forced in. Any smooth article that will pass into the nostril should be immediately introduced with one hand, to raise the depressed portions to the proper level, while the other is employed in moulding them into the required shape. If violent inflammation follow, bleed, purge, and live on a low diet.

Fracture of the Lower Jaw.
This accident is easily discovered by looking
into the mouth, and is to be remedied by keeping the lower jaw firmly pressed against the upper one by means of a bandage passed under the chin and over the head. If it is broken near the angle, or that part nearest the ear, place a cushion or roll of linen in the hollow behind it, over which the bandage must pass, so as to make it push that part of the bone forward. The parts are to be confined in this way for twenty days, during which time all the nourishment that is taken should be sucked between the teeth. If, in consequence of the blow, a tooth is loosened, do not meddle with it, for if let alone, it will grow fast again.

Fracture of the Collar-Bone.
This accident is a very common occurrence, and is known at once by passing the finger along it, and by the swelling, etc. To reduce it, seat the patient in a chair, without any shirt, and place a pretty stout compress of linen, made in the shape of a wedge, under his arm, the thick end of which should press against the arm-pit. His arm, bent to a right angle at the elbow, is now to be brought down to his side, and secured in that position by a long bandage, which passes over the arm of the affected side and round the body. The forearm is to be supported across the breast by a sling. It takes from four to five weeks to re-unite.

Fracture of the Arm.
Seat the patient on a chair, or the side of a bed. Let one assistant hold the sound arm, while another grasps the wrist of the broken one and steadily extends it in an opposite direction, bending the forearm a little, to serve as a lever. Yon can now place the bones in their proper situation. Two splints of shingle or stout pasteboard, long enough to reach from below the shoulder to near the elbow, must be then well covered with tow or cotton, and laid along each side of the arm, and kept in that position by a bandage. The forearm is to be supported in a sling. Two small splints may, for better security, be laid between the first ones, that is, one on top and the other underneath the arm, to be secured by the bandage in the same way as the others.

Fracture of the Bone of the Forearm.
These are to be reduced precisely in the same way, excepting the mode of keeping the upper portion of it steady, which is done by grasping the arm above the elbow. Apply two splints, one extending to the palm and one to the back of the hand, and over them a bandage. When the splints and bandage are applied, support it in a sling.

Fracture of the Wrist.
This accident is of rare occurrence. When it does happen the injury is often so great as to require amputation. If you think the hand can be saved, lay it on a splint well covered with tow; this extends beyond the fingers. Plaoc another splint opposite to it, lined with the same soft material, and secure them by a bandage. The hand is to be carried in a sling.
The bones of the hand are sometimes broken. When this is the case fill the palm with soft compresses or tow, and then lay a splint on it long enough to extend from the elbow to beyond the ends of the fingers, to be secured by a bandage, as usual.
When a finger is broken, extend the end of it until it becomes straight, place the fractured portion in its place, and then apply two small pasteboard splints, one below and the other above, to be secured by a narrow bandage or adhesive straps. The top splint should extend from the end of the finger over the back or the hand. It may sometimes be proper to have two additional splint for the sides of the finger.

Fracture of the Rib.
When, after a fall or blow, the patient complains of a pricking in his hide, we may suspect a rib is broken. It is ascertained by placing the tips of two or three fingers on the spot where the pain is, and desiring the patient to cough, when the grating sensation will be felt All that is necessary is to pass a broad bandage round the ehest, so tight as to prevent the motion of the ribs in breathing, and to observe a low diet Fracture* of the Tkigk.
This bone is frequently broken, and hitherto has been considered the most difficult of all fractures to manage. To the ingenuity, however, of the late Dr. J. Harts borne, of this city, the world is indebted for an apparatus which does away the greatest impediments that have been found to exist in treating it, so as to leave a straight limb, without lameness or deformity. Nor is it the least of its merits, that any man of common sense can apply it nearly as well as a surgeon.

Fractured thighs and legs generally reunite in six or eight weeks; in old men, however, they are three or four months.
In cases of fracture of the thigh or leg, the patient should always, if possible, be laid on a mattress, supported by boards instead of the sacking, which, from its elasticity and the yielding of
the eords, is apt to derange the posstion of the limb.

Fraetures of the Knee-pan.
This aeeident is easily aseertained on inspeetion. It may he hroken in any direetion, hut is most generally so aeross or transversely. It is redueed hy hringing the fragments together, and keeping them in thut position hy a long handage passed earefully round the leg, from the ankle to the knee, then pressing the upper fragment down so as to meet its fellow (the leg heing extended), and plaeing a thiek eompress of linen ahove it, over whieh the handage is to he eontinued.
The extended limb is now to he laid on a hroad splint, extending from the huttoek to the heel, thiekly eovered with tow to fill up the inequalities of the leg. For additional seeurity, two strips of muslin may he nailed to the middle of the splint, and one on eaeh side, and passed ahove the joint, the one helow, the other ahove, so as to form a figure of eight. In twenty or thirty days the limh should he moved a little to prevent stiffness. But it usually requires two or three months for perfeet union of this hone.
If the fraeture is through its length, hring the parts together, plaee a eompress on eneh side, and keep them together with a handage, leaving the limh extended and at rest . Any inflammation in this or other fraeture is to he eomhated hy hleeding, low diet, etc., etc.

Fraetures of the Leg.
From the thinness of the parts eovering the prineipal hone of the leg, it is easy to aseertain if it he hroken ohliquely. If, however, the fraeture he direetly aeross, no displaeement will oeeur, hut the pain, swelling, and the grating sensation will suffieiently deeide the nature of the aeeident .
If the fraeture is ohlique, let two assistants extend the limh, while the hroken parts are plaeed hy the hand in their natural position. Two splints, that reaeh from a little ahove the knee to nine or ton inehes helow the foot, having near the upper end of eaeh four holes, and a vertieal mortiee near the lower end, into whieh is fitted a eross-pieee, are now to he applied as follows:—Lay two pieees of tape ahout a foot long on eaeh side of the leg, just helow the knee-joint, and seeure them there hy several turns of a handage; pass a silk handkerehief round the ankle, eross it on the instep, and tie it under the sole of the foot. The two splints are now plaeed one on eaeh side of the leg, the four ends of the pieees of tape passed through the four holes and firmly tied, and the eross-pieee plaeed in the mortiee. By tying the ends of the handkerehief to this eross-pieee the husiness is finished.
If the fraeture is aeross, and no displaeement exists, apply two splints of stout pastehoard, reaehing from the heel to the knee, and well eovered with tow, one on eaeh side of the leg, seeuring them hy a handage passing round the limh, and outside the splints. Instead of splints, however, a fraeture-hox is often used, made hy fastening, with hinges, to a hottom-pieee rather longer than the leg, two side-pieees ahout six inehes high, and reaehing ahove the knee. The leg may rest in this on a pillow. A foothoard fastened to the hottom-pieee may serve to fix the foot hy the aid of a handage.
In cases of ohlique fracture of the leg close to the knee.

Fractures of the Bones of the Foot. The bone of the heel is sometimes, though rarely, broken. It is known by a crack at the moment of the accident, a diffieulty in standing, by the swelling, and by the grating noise on moving the heel. To reduee, take a long handage, lay the end of it on the top of the foot, earry it over the toes under the sole, and then by several turns secure it in that position.
The foot heing extended as mueh as possihle, earry the handage along the haek of the leg ahove the knee, where it is to he seeured hy several turns, and then hrought down on the front of the leg, to whieh it is seeured hy eireular turns. In this way the hroken pieees will he kept in eontaet, and in the eourse of a month or six weeks will he united.

Fraetures of the foot, toes, ete., are to he treated like those of the hand and fingers.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Dinner & Evening Parties

This article comes from Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book ©1871. What I like about this is that she's suggesting how those of a moderate income can entertain.

The following directions for a dinner-party are designed for a young and inexperienced housekeeper, in moderate circumstances, who receives visiters at her table from the most wealthy circles.
They are not intended for what would be called u stylish dinner-party, but what in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, in the most respectable society, would be called a plain, substantial dinner, and as complete and extensive as any young housekeeper, with the ordinary supply of domestics, ought to attempt anywhere. Anything much more elaborate than this, usually demands the services of a professed cook. The details will be given with great minuteness, that a novice may know exactly what to do in every particular.
It is generally the case, that, at dinner-parties for gentlemen, no ladies are present but those who are members of the family. The gentleman of the house invites his friends the day previous, and then gives notice to his wife who are to come, and consults with her as to the articles to be provided, which of course he aids in purchasing.
The housekeeper then makes a list of all the articles to be used, either for table furniture or cooking, and then examines her cupboard, store-closet, and cellar, to see if everything is at hand and in order. All the glass and silver to be used is put in readiness, and the castors, salts, and everything of the kind arranged properly. In order to be more definite, the exact dishes to be provided will be supposed to be these:
Soup. Fish. A boiled ham. A boiled turkey, with Oyster sauce. Three roasted ducks, and a dish of scolloped oysters. Potatoes, Parsnips, Turnips, and Celery, For dessert, Pudding, Pastry, Fruit, and Coffee.
This will make a dinner for about ten or twelve persons. The pastry should be baked the day before, and the soup boiled down.
In the morning of the day for the dinner-party, every article should be on hand from market, and the cook have extra help, so as to get breakfast and the dishes out of the way early.
Then, the first thing, let her stuff and truss the turkey and ducks, and set them away to use when the time comes. Be sure that they are trussed so that the legs and wings will be tight to the body, and not come sprawling on to the table.
Suppose the dinner hour be three o'clock, as this is the earliest hour at which such a dinner could be comfortably prepared.
At nine o'clock, let the ham be washed, and put to boil. Then let the vegetables be prepared, ready for cooking. Next prepare the pudding. The pastry ought to be baked the day before. If not, it should be done very early in the morning, and be out of the way.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

1875 Fashions Part 2

Continuing with last week's 1875 fashions here are a few more images.

Women's Dresses

Various Hats and Bonnets

Here's a link to an index of all my Historical Fashions Posts