Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Astronomy from Literary Gazette 1830

Celestial Phenomena from 1830 to 1836
To stimulate recent subscribers to the Literary Gazette to commence with the year the study of astronomy, a brief sketch is subjoined of the aost remarkable phenomena that will occur mm 1830 to 1836, inclusive. Some of these are connected with questions and predictions to the solution and fulfilment of which philosophers are looking forward with considerable interest; more particularly to the return of the three comets, whose periods are supposed to be kaown with some degree of certainty; namely, lbs cnmets of Encke, Biela, and Halley.

1830—Four visible occultations of Aldebarsn, one of which will be attended with singular circumstances connected with terrestrial position—to one part of the British Isles it will prove only an appulse of the star, and to another part an occultation. A total eclipse of the moon, the duration of which will be almost the longest possible, as the centre of the moon will pass very near the centre of the earth's shadow: about the middle of the eclipse the saoon will be in conjunction with a star in Aquarius, which conjunction will, in some places be an occultation. An occultation of Venus by the moon.

1831 An eclipse of the moon. Mars will pass over a star in Taurus. An occultation of Japiter by the moon. Mercury eclipsed by the san. An occultation of Saturn by the moon.

1832—This year will be remarkably replete with interesting phenomena. The comet of Eacke will return in the spring, and the comet «f Biela in the autumn of the year. A transit rf Mercury across the sun's disc. An eclipse rf the sun. An occultation of Saturn by the 2UOB. Three of the satellites of Jupiter sizxltaneou&ly eclipsed.

1833 An eclipse of the sun.

1834 and 1835—The comet of Halley will ae expected; it last passed its perihelion on the -3th of March, 1759: it is calculated to reach iie same point again 16th of March, 1835. A Sanaa t of Mercury across the sun's disc.

1836 A considerable solar eclipse.

end of quote

Note they didn't put in the 1833 Leonoids meteor storm. Coined "The Night It Rained Fire."

Inflammation in breasts and navels of Infants

This comes from Ayers Every Man His Own Doctor Family Medical Adviser ©1879

Inflammation of the Breasts and Navel

New-born infants are liable to a singular inflammation and enlargement of the breasts, which is often very injuriously treated by squeezing, sucking, or pressing them, in order that they may be "milked out," as ignorant nurses talk of. In moderate cases of this kind, nothing more is necessary than to apply a piece of linen moistened with a little sweet oil; or a weak solution of the muriate of ammonia in vinegar and water, in the proportion of a drachm of the ammonia to four ounces of vinegar. The solution ought to applied warm by moistening pieces of linen with it, and laying them over the affected parts.

Inflammation and consequent ulceration about the navel is a frequent occurrence during the first nine or ten days after birth. The most common cause is deficient attention to cleanliness, particularly in not clearing away the white caseous matter from about the umbilicus. A solution of the sulphate of copper, in the proportion of ten grains to an ounce of water, may be applied once or twice daily, and the parts afterwards covered with lead ointment, where there is cations are made, the parts should be carefully washed with lukewarm water, at least twice daily.

Stenographic Notes

I stumbled on this phrase while researching the railroads and while I thought I knew what the writer was saying, I wanted to double check. What I found was an interesting tidbit.

First the quote from the article I was reading:
My friends of the Railroad Gazette informed me that in such event they would have stenographic notes taken for a report that would appear in their paper.

Naturally I presumed shorthand. Which the writer was intending. Wikipedia shows there were several varieties of short hand in the 19th Century. Here's a link to view the Lord's Prayer in several of those forms.

A basic timeline of shorthand in the 19th century.
Pitman shorthand introduced in 1837
Graham shorthand introduced in 1854 (credited with perfecting Pitman's shorthand)
Munson shorthand introduced in 1867
Gregg Shorthand introduced in 1888

Salaries of U.S. Officials

Source is Houghtalings Handbook of Useful Information © 1887

(Salaries per Year)
Pension Agents at
Augusta, Me $4,000
Boston, Ma $4,000
Chicago, Ill $4,000
Concord, N.H. $4,000
Des Moines Iowa $4,000
Detroit, Mich $4,000
Indianapolis, Ind $4,000
Knoxville, Tenn $4,000
Louisville, Ky $4,000
Milwaukee, Wis $4,000
New York, N.Y. $4,000
Philadelphia, PA $4,000
Pittsburgh, PA $4,000
San Francisco, CA $4,000
Syracuse, N.Y. $4,000
Topeka, Kans $4,000
Washington, D.C. $4,000

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

19th Century Photography

Wikipedia has a great overview of the history of the camera. There are a few dates that should be noted for those of us who write historical fiction.

In 1839 the first commercially produced camera, a Daguerreotype Giroux was sold.

1840 an American Chamfered daguerreian was made

Daguerrotypes are shown at the Great Exhibit in London in 1851 by 1853 New York Daily Tribune estimates that in the US 3 million daguerrotypes are being produced yearly.

The first studio that took portrait shots opened in 1853 in Paris.

In 1854 a boom of portrait studios worldwide over the next decade.

1859 a panoramic camera was invented.

1861-1865 Civil War is photographed by Mathew Brady and staff creating 7000 negatives.

Color Photography is introduced to the world in 1868

Eastman sets up Dry Plate Company in 1880

In 1887 a detective camera was patented by Eastman.

1888 First Kodak camera containing 20 foot roll of paper.

1889 first Kodak camera containing film

1900 Brownie camera introduced.

And behind every camera there is a photographer. I stumbled on this page and thought it might be helpful as well. It is a list of 19th century photographers, along with the dates they were in operation and where. Wikipedia has a great overview of the history of the camera. There are a few dates that should be noted for those of us who write historical fiction.

In 1839 the first commercially produced camera, a Daguerreotype Giroux was sold.

1840 an American Chamfered daguerreian was made

Daguerrotypes are shown at the Great Exhibit in London in 1851 by 1853 New York Daily Tribune estimates that in the US 3 million daguerrotypes are being produced yearly.

The first studio that took portrait shots opened in 1853 in Paris.

In 1854 a boom of portrait studios worldwide over the next decade.

1859 a panoramic camera was invented.

1861-1865 Civil War is photographed by Mathew Brady and staff creating 7000 negatives.

Color Photography is introduced to the world in 1868

Eastman sets up Dry Plate Company in 1880

In 1887 a detective camera was patented by Eastman.

1888 First Kodak camera containing 20 foot roll of paper.

1889 first Kodak camera containing film

1900 Brownie camera introduced.

And behind every camera there is a photographer. I stumbled on this page and thought it might be helpful as well. It is a list of 19th century photographers, along with the dates they were in operation and where.

The Greatest Billiard Match

The greatest billiard march ever played in America was 2,000 points up, four caroms, for $10,000, between Phelan and Sweereiter, at Detroit, Mich., on April 12, 1859. Phelan was the winner, scoring 2,001 points to his opponent's 1,994.

Micahael Phelan is written up today as: The Father of American Billiards. An expert player, author, manufacturer, inventor, and tireless promoter of the game. Worked endlessly to improve the game's image, and spread its popularity to all levels of society. Authored the first American books devoted exclusively to billiards. Founded The Billiard Cue, billiards' first periodical. His Arcadia Billiard Parlor, in New York City, set the trend for the lavish rooms to follow. Holds numerous patents for table design and cushions. Was the first to put ivory "diamonds" on the rails. His "angular" pockets—perhaps his greatest invention—led to incredible shotmaking streaks. Won the first major stakes match in American history, winning $15,000, in 1859.
Source: The above information comes from online. They are a great source for overall tidbits on the personalities in the sport of Pool.

Yeast and Other Rising Agents

Below are some recipes for yeast and other rising agents from Mrs Owens' cookbook and useful household hints by Frances Emugene Owens ©1884

6 ounces of starch.
6 ounces of bi-carbonate of soda.
4 ounces of tartaric acid.
Powder and sift several times, and you will have a cheaper article than you can buy, and will have it pure. Keep it from the air. The main thing in preparing one's own baking powder is to sift it times enough. The above is a reliable formula, and may be safely used.
Since the alarming adulterations of almost everything used in cooking, a chemist advises the use of tartaric acid in place of cream of tartar. It costs about twice as much, but half the quantity suffices, and there is no difficulty in procuring this pure.

In recipes calling for 1/2 teaspoon soda and 1 of cream of tartar, baking powder may be used instead, using about 2 teaspoons. If baking powder is called for, soda and cream of tartar may be used instead, using about £ less of both together, than the amount of baking powder in the recipe. For instance, if 3 teaspoons of baking powder is called for, you can use 2/3 teaspoon soda and twice as much cream of tartar, which together will make 2 teaspoons, which is 1/3 less than 3 teaspoons baking powder. If sour milk is substituted for sweet, soda must be substituted for baking powder, and in those cases the cream of tartar must not be used at all, the sour milk furnishing the acid. One teaspoon soda to a pint of sour milk is about right. If sweet milk or water is substituted for sour milk, and the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon soda, baking powder may be used, and it would be safe to put in 2 heaping teaspoons or even 3. Sweet milk and water may be used interchangeably. Many good cooks prefer water to milk for their nicest cake. So never discard a recipe that calls for milk because you have none, as water will answer very well. Recipes calling for whites of eggs only, require very little, if any, baking powder, and recipes giving a large number of eggs, generally use none, as. the whites are beaten very light and added last, and lighten the batter sufficiently.

Put 1 cup hops in 3 quarts cold water. Boil 15 minutes, strain, set back on stove and add 5 large potatoes, peeled and grated, 1/2 cup salt, same of sugar. Stir well, let boil up, take off, cool and add a cup of yeast. Beat thoroughly. Set by the stove until it is light. If preferred, the potatoes may be boiled in the hop water, and then mashed, adding salt, sugar, and yeast, as above.

Mrs. Carrie S. Carr, New Lisbon, Wis.
Take 3 large potatoes, peel and grate as rapidly as possible, so they will not turn dark. Pour on 1 quart boiling water and cook 1/2 hour. Add 1/2 cup sugar, same of salt, shortly before it is done. When sufficiently cool, put in any good yeast to raise it; stir well together. The next day it will be as light as a foam. A tea-cup of this yeast will be enough to raise 4 or 5 loaves of bread. Keep in a cool place, and in summer renew every fortnight.

George Payne Rainsford James

He was a historical romance fiction writer in the early half of the 19th century. He's said to have written over a 100 novels and 67 of them are catalogued in the British Museum. He began writing at an opportune time after Sir Walter Scott had done a lot to make the genre popular as well as Alexandre Dumas.

If you would like to read further about James here's a link to a great online source.

You can also read some of his books at google books, just search the author's name. You'll need to go to the second page of the search before you find some of his titles.

I find it interesting to read about and read some of the works of authors who came before us. I hope you'll enjoy it too.

Monday, November 28, 2016


While researching a novel a friend asked about anemia in the late 1800's. Below you'll find what "Ayer's Everyman His Own Doctor" © 1879 had to say:

This is a condition of the constitution in which there is a deficiency of the red globules, or coloring matter, in the blood. It is marked by extreme pallor in those parts, such as the lips, which are generally suffused; and is not uncommon in young females of a weak or scrofulous habit. It appears to arise from a deficiency of vital energy in the system, either constitutional or brought on by want of nourishment, breathing impure air, or great loss of blood. In any case a cure may be effected by good generous diet, pure air, moderate exercise, and strengthening medicines.
Treatment--Any of the various preparations of iron may be taken in combination, if the appetite be bad, with some bitter tonic, such as infusion of gentian, with a little quinine. Should there be much emaciation, cod-liver oil, taken in orange whie, will be of service. The pores of the skin should be kept open by tepid spouging, and the bowels moderately so by a rhubarb or colocynth pill now and then. Strong purgatives should be avoided, and especially salines. In young females the absence of the monthly discharge need cause no uneasiness; with returning strength that will most likely return. Should it not do so, however when this treatment has been persisted in for a time, and should the pallor, languor, sleepleessness, headache, confined bowels, swelling of the feet, &c., which generally distinguish anaemia, continue, a medical man ought to be consulted, as it is likely there may be consumption, or other organic disease, at the root of the mischief.

Trail of Tears

One of the worse times in our American history, imho, was the Trail of Tears, the forcible relocation of many Native Americans. Five tribes the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Muscogee-Creek, and Seminole all living in the deep south were relocated to the Indian Territory, what is now known and most of Oklahoma and some of Kansas.

The trail was not a one time event, each tribe was relocated at different intervals. The act was called "The Indian Removal Act of 1830" Wikipedia has a good article referring to the act voted on and signed by President Andrew Jackson.

Choctaw from Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana were marched out in 1831
1832 was the removal of the Seminole tribe from Florida.
The Creek were removed in 1834 also from Alabama & Georgia
The Chickasaw in 1837 Mississippi River area.
Cherokee in 1838 from North Carolina, Georgia because gold had been found on their lands.

The trail took the lives of many as exposure, disease and starvation hit them as they were en route. 46,000 were taken before the Cherokee, I couldn't find figures on how many Cherokee were taken but at least 4,000 died on the trail. I've found figures from 17,000 to 24,000

Oklahoma Land Rush

Apr. 22nd 1889 at high noon was the start of the Oklahoma land run. Land that had been given to the Native Americans was now being reallocated for the white man. It was a race to pick out your spot. 160 acres were given for farm land and I'm not sure what the size of town lots were. People hid in the woods and arrived long before those who were fairly entering the competition. People would grab your land if you left it to go to the river and gather some water. In reality it wasn't a simple solution and after a few weeks more people were leaving the area than were arriving. In the end the area was built up and cities and towns were formed.

Online I've found a source that gives an interesting aspect to this land run. Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 check it out if you'd like to know more about the event.

Around the World in 80 Days

This post probably isn't going to be what you are thinking it should be. Yes, Jules Verne wrote the novel but did you know that in 1889-1890 Nellie Bly a female journalist completed the journey? You can read about Nellie at Wikipedia.

Below I've included an excerpt from

Recollections of "Nellie Bly."
The filing for probate in New York City, the other day, of a second will purporting to be made by Robert Seaman, president at the time of his death of the Iron Clad Manufacturing Company, brings once again to mind the personality of the former famous newspaper correspondent, who was known by the pen-name of "Nellie Bly."

At one time, when she out-did "Phineas Fogg's" mythical circumnavigation of the globe in eighty days, "Nellie Bly" occupied the attention of two hemispheres. In her early career as a newspaper worker she successfully surrounded herself with a mystery as to her identity, which added to the value of her writings.

At that time she was variously pictured as a gushing school girl, an embittered old maid, a grass widow, a real widow, a wife and mother, an effeminate man disguished as a woman, and as a myth altogether, kept before the public eye by an enterprising syndicate of three journalists, with Joe Howard at the head.

Not one newspaper reader in a thousand was quite sure whether "Nellie Bly" was of feminine gender. Those who believed that she was a woman held the opinion that she was of great beauty of face and form. There were a score of men in New York who were ready to make affidavit that they possessed an intimate personal acquaintance with the writer of the "Nellie Bly" articles, and that in private life this writer wore trousers and drank absinthe frappe in inordinate quantities. Indeed, it has been asserted in all seriousness that "Nellie Bly" was the father of an interesting trio of bouncing baby boys, and that his wife wrote all his articles.

* * * * * "Nellie Bly"—as of course we all know now— is in reality a woman; a young woman past the school girl age, and not yet at the quarterpost of old-maidism when she entered newspaper life. She was then, as far as appearances go, a very ordinary everyday young woman, rather slight in form, leaning to eccentricity in dress, masculine in her tastes and ideas, and a man hater from 'way back. That may sound strange, but it is true nevertheless. Beyond business relations with the male sex "Nellie Ely" had at that time no further use for them. All her love was extended to her mother, and to make that mother comfortable and happy was the one thought that actuated her in every undertaking.

In the pursuance of this ambition she has endured what would drive almost any other woman wild with shame, mortification or chagrin. The basest motives were at times attributed to her by thoughtless and brutal carpers and cynics. She was declared unwomanly, unmaidenly, bold, presumptuous, by men, and brazen and forward by her sister women. While it is true that the vast majority of persons who felt an interest in her novel and original line of work entertained only the kindest sympathy for her, the very nature of her occupation subjected her constantly to the crudest kind of unthinking animadversion.

* * * * * "Nellie Bly" is a Pittsburg girl by birth. Her first attempt to gain a livelihood with her pen was made early in 1886, on The Pittsburg Dispatch. She had written a communication to that journal on the condition of workingwomen in the city of Pittsburg, and there being something in it that caught the fancy of Mr. Madden, the managing editor, she was requested to send her name and address. With this she complied, and as a result was engaged. It was Mr. Madden who suggested the title of Steven C. Foster's lullaby, "Nellie Bly" as a signature, and at his instance the name, being euphonious and easily remembered, was adopted. The young woman's real name was kept an office secret, and for some months successfully, but The Pittsburg Leader finally discovered and published it. Numerous cognomens were afterwards published in different cities, purporting to reveal the identity of the new woman writer, whose real name is "Pink" Elizabeth Cochrane. Her father, who has been dead for a number of years, was an Associate Judge in one of the oil region towns. "Nellie Bly's" first important mission was a trip to Mexico, where she traveled for six months, learning to speak Spanish with fair fluency in that time. Her letters were published in The Dispatch and attracted attention because of their originality and quaint treatment of old subjects in a new way. "Miss Bly" was honored during this her first practical newspaper experience by a love-lorn Mexican, who became desperately enamored of her, and who thummed his guitar with such savage persistency and wrote so many notes breathing "love or death" that the object of his admiration was obliged for her own peace of mind to take a hasty departure. He was a particularly handsome fellow, this Mexican, and took a solemn vow that the young American should either become his bride or he would convert himself into a cold, clammy corpse. Whether he carried out his latter alternative or not was never learned. At all events he missed making good the first section of his oath.

***** When "Miss Bly" returned to Pittsburg, she was put in charge of the society column of The Dispatch, alternating this work with writing theatrical notices and criticisms, and in preparing articles on woman's work. With her added experience, these papers attracted attention in New York, and were frequently introduced in the Metropolitan dailies. This gave "Miss Bly" the idea that she could better herself in the bigger city, and she secured a letter of introduction to Joe Howard, Jr., from one of her newspaper friends in Pittsburg. With nothing more definite than this, she said good-bye to her mother, and started out with the full determination to win or die, and, as she has confessed herself, it came nearly being a "die."

Arrived in New York, she presented her letter, and was given several large chunks of fatherly advice and the cheerful opinion that she had made a mistake, and ought to go home. She didn't go, but sought out Foster Coates, managing editor of The Mail and Express, and one of the leading spirits in a newspaper syndicate. It was just at this time that Andrew Carnegie, the millionaire, had taken unto himself a bride, and it was estimated that if "Miss Bly" could interview Mrs. Carnegie, such service might be acceptable. Small hopes were held out that success might attend this effort, as the most experienced New York interviewers had triefl and failed. "Miss Bly" started in, and by perseverance and the exercise of a little feminine diplomacy obtained a very complete and exhaustive talk with the bride, touching upon every subject that would be of interest to women readers.
* * * * *
The news market was not glutted with millionaires' brides, and that field promised no further crop.
Like all beginners in newspaper work in the big city, "Miss Bly" speedily reached that period when it appeared that there was not a single new thing under the sun to write about. She thought and thought and thought, and tried and tried, but met rebuffs at every turn. She was boarding at a modest little boarding house 'way up in Harlem, where the fare was just about generous enough to support life because of the moderate price paid for it. Cheap as this living was, it could not be paid for without an income. The little store of money that the girl had hoarded was becoming rapidly exhausted. She was indebted to her landlady, and could not meet the obligation. To make matters worse, "Miss Bly" one day lost her purse, and with it every dollar she possessed in the world. This misfortune did not discourage her, however, and she was too proud to make her loss known. Every day she walked from six to eight miles, because she had actually no money to pay her carfare. The situation began to look desperate. Days were slipping by, and the board bill was growing. Something had to be done, so without much hope of success letters of introduction were obtained from Joe Howard to every editor in New York. After a great struggle and the exercise of a most extraordinary amount of perseverance, interviews were obtained with the editors or the editors-in-charge of The Herald, The Sun, The Times and The Tribune. Not one of them professed to believe that "Nellie Bly" would be a profitable investment. They had heard of her in a perfunctory way, but they did not believe they had any work which she was capable of doing. The old and favorite method of politely disposing of the applicant by taking her name and address was adopted, and "Miss
Bly" was informed that if her services were needed she would receive a notification by mail.

Then the young woman, who refused to be disheartened, betook herself to the office of The World and secured an audience with Joseph Pulitzer.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Barbed Wire

For all of you who write or just plain old love those cowboy stories, barbed wire goes hand in hand. Below you'll find an excerpt from the 1910 Encyclopedia Britannica on the history and subject of barbed wire. Henry Rose exhitits barbed wire at the Illinois County Fair on in May of 1873. Joseph Gidden "the inventor"(not really but he's given the title by some sources) invented the machine to mass produce barbed.

BARBED WIRE, a protective variety of fencing, consisting usually of several strands of wire twisted together with sharp spikes or points clinched or fastened into the strands.

In the United States, barbed wire for fencing was originally suggested to meet conditions existing in the western states, by reason of the large cattle-raising industry in sections where timber was scarce. Prior to its introduction, a No. 9 round or oval iron wire was popular on the frontier of the United States and in South America, as a fencing material. Large amounts were used annually for this purpose, but iron lacked strength, and single wire strand was not fully satisfactory on account of stretching in warm and contracting in cold weather, and of thus being broken. Cattle would rub against a smooth fence, and this constant pressure loosened the posts and broke the wire. To overcome this defect, ingenious people—the most successful being farmers—set themselves to find a way by which wire could be used and at the same time be free from destruction by the animals it was intended to confine. This investigation resulted in the invention of barbed wire. Soon after, automatic machinery was invented for rapidly and cheaply placing the barb upon the smooth wire, so that the cost of barbed wire is much less than the cost of smooth wire when it was in general use. So immediately did barbed wire find favour with the farmers of the United States, and, in fact, all over the world, that the manufacture of wire was revolutionized.

The history of barbed wire fencing is of recent date. In the United States—the real home of this industry—patents were taken out by Lucien B. Smith, Kent, Ohio, in 1867; by William B. Hunt, of Scott, N.Y., at almost the same time; and by Michael Kelly, of New York, a year later. The practical beginning of the industry, however, was in the patents issued to Joseph F. Glidden, De Kalb, 111., 1874, on barbed fence wire, and during the same year, to Joseph F. Glidden and Phineas W. Vaughan, for a machine to manufacture the same. These inventions were the foundation of the system of patents under which barbed wire has been protected and sold. The development of the barbed wire industry would hardly have been possible without steel. Iron wire, used for fencing prior to the introduction of steel, was not suitable, seeing that iron does not possess sufficient tensile strength and lacks homogeneity, qualities which Bessemer and open-hearth steels possess in a high degree.

The advantages of galvanized barbed wire fencing are that it is almost imperishable; is no burden on the posts; does not oppose the wind with enough surface to rack the posts, thus allowing water to settle around them and rot them; is economical, not only in the comparative cheapness of its first cost but also in the amount of land covered by it; and is effective as a barrier against all kinds of stock and a protection against dogs and wild beasts. Cattle, once discovering what it is, will not press against it, nor even go near it, and thus it becomes an effective means of dividing the farmer's ranch into such fields as he may desire. It is quickly and cheaply constructed, and has the advantage of freedom from harbouring weeds. It affords no impediment to the view. A man can see across his farm, and ascertain what is going on in every portion within the scope of vision, as plainly as if there were no fences. It does not contribute to the formation of snow drifts as do other kinds of efficient fence. This makes it a favourite form of fencing for railroads and along highways. Finally, barbed wire composed of two wires twisted together, once firmly put in place, will retain its taut condition through many seasons without repair. The fact of the wire being twisted allows it to adapt itself to all the varying temperatures.

The introduction of barbed wire met with some opposition in America on supposed humanitarian grounds, but ample and extended tests, both of the economy and the humanity of the new material, silenced this objection. Now no American farmer, especially in the west, ever thinks of putting any other kind of fencing on his farm, unless it may be the new types of meshed wire field fencing which have been coming so generally into use since 1899. Generally speaking, the use of barbed wire fencing in other countries has not been as extensive as in the western United States. While it has been used on a comparatively large scale in Argentina and Australia, both these countries use a much larger quantity of plain wire fence, and in Argentina there is an important consumption of high-carbon oval fence wire of great strength, which apparently forms the only kind of fence that meets the conditions in a satisfactory manner.

It is interesting to note the largely increased demand for meshed wire field fencing in the more thickly settled portions of the United States, and along the lines of railway. Beginning with 1899, there has been an annual increase in this demand, owing to the scarcity and high cost of labour, and the discontinuing of the building of rail fences. _ Meshed wire is considered by many a better enclosure for small animals, like sheep and hogs, than the barbed wire fence. Barbed wire has been popular with railroads, but of late meshed wire fencing has been substituted with advantage, the fabric being made of wires of larger diameter than formerly, to insure greater stability. The popularity of barbed wire is best shown by the following statistics:—

Barbed wire is usually shipped to customers on wooden spools, each holding approximately 100 lb or 80 to 100 rods. A hole is provided through the centre of the spool for inserting a bar, on which the reel can revolve for unwinding the wire as it is put up. After the wire is stretched in place, it is attached to the wooden posts by means of galvanized steel wire staples, ordinarily made from No. 9 wire. They are cut with a sharp, long, diagonal point and can be easily driven into the posts. On account of the rapid decay and destruction of wooden posts, steel posts have become popular, as also have reinforced concrete posts, which add materially to the durability of the fence. It is essential that barbed wire should be stretched with great care. For this purpose a suitable barbed wire stretcher is necessary.

Barbed wire fencing is now manufactured in various patterns. The general process may be outlined briefly as follows:—The wire is made of soft Bessemer or Siemens-Martin steel, and is drawn in the wire mill in the usual way. Galvanizing is done by a continuous process. The coil of wire to be galvanized is placed on a reel. The first end of the wire is led longitudinally through an annealing medium—either red-hot lead or heated fire-brick tubes—of sufficient length to soften the wire. From the annealing furnace, the wire is fed longitudinally through a bath of muriatic acid, which removes the scale, and from the acid, after a thorough washing in water, the wire passes through a bath of spelter, heated slightly above the melting point. After coming from the spelter and being cooled by water, the wire is wound on suitable take-up blocks into finished coils. From 30 to 60 wires are passing simultaneously in parallel lines through this continuous galvanizing apparatus, thus insuring a large output. The galvanizing gives the wirt a bright finish and serves to protect it from the corrosive action of the atmosphere. There is a considerable demand for painted fencing, in the manufacture of which the galvanizing is dispensed with, and the spools of finished barbed wire, as they come from the barbing machine, are submerged in paint and dried. The barbing and twisting together of the two longitudinal strand wires is done by automatic machinery. A brief description of the manufacture of 2 and 4 point Glidden wire is as follows:—Two coils of wire on reels are placed behind the machine, designed to form the main or strand wires of the fence. One of the main wires passes through the machine longitudinally. One or two coils of wire are placed on reels at either side of the machine for making 2 or 4 point wire respectively. These wires are fed into the machine at right angles to the strand wire. At each movement of the feeding mechanism, when fabricating 2 point wire, one cross wire is fed forward. A diagonal cut forms a sharp point on the first end. The wire is again fed forward and instantly wrapped firmly around one strand wire and cut off so as to leave a sharp point on the incoming wire as before, while the bit of pointed wire cut off remains as a double-pointed steel barb attached firmly to the strand wire. This wire armed with barbs at regular intervals passes on through a guide, where it is met by a second strand wire—a plain wire without barbs. The duplex strand wires are attached to a take-up reel, which is caused to revolve and take up the finished barbed wire simultaneously and in unison with the barbing machine. In this way the strand wires are loosely twisted into a 2-ply strand, armed with barbs projecting at right angles in every direction.

When once started, the operation of barbed wire making is continuous and rapid. The advantage of two strands is the automatic adjustment to changes of temperature. When heat expands the strands, the twist simply loosens without causing a sag, and when cold contracts them, the twist tightens, all without materially altering the relative lengths of the combined wires. A barbed wire machine produces from 2000 to 3000 lb of wire per day of ten hours.

In some American states, the use of barbed wire is regulated by law, but as a rule these laws apply to placing barbed wire on highways. Others prohibit the use of barbed wire fencing to indicate the property line between different owners, unless both agree to its use. In some states the use of barbed wire is prohibited unless it has a top rail of lumber.

Barbed wire is also employed in connexion with " obstacles " in field fortifications, especially in what are known as " high wire entanglements." Pointed stakes or " pickets," 4 ft. high, are planted in rows and secured by ordinary wire to holdfasts or pegs in the ground. Each picket is connected to all around it, top and bottom, by lengths of barbed wire.

In England, where the use of barbed wire has also become common, the Barbed Wire Act 1893 enacted that, where there is on any land adjoining a highway within the county or district of a local authority, a fence which is made with barbed wire (i.e. any wire with spikes or jagged projections), or in which barbed wire has been placed, and where such barbed wire may probably be injurious to persons or animals lawfully using the highway, the local authority may require the occupier of the land to abate the nuisance by serving notice in writing upon him. If the occupier fails to do so within the specified time, the local authority may apply to a court of summary jurisdiction, and such court, if satisfied that the barbed wire is a nuisance, may by summary order direct the occupier to abate it, and on his failure to comply with the order within a reasonable time, the local authority may execute it and recover in a summary manner from the occupier the expenses incurred.

Deepest Wells in the World

Deepest Wells in the World.

The deepest well drilled in the United States is that of George Westinghouse, at Homewood, near the city of Pittsburgh, Pa., which on Dec. 1, 1886, had reached a depth of 4,618 feet, when the tools were lost and drilling ceased. The Buchanan farm well of the Niagara Oil Company, drilled by Frederick Crocker, in Hopewell township, Washington, Co., Pa., is 4,303 feet deep. The Rush well of the Niagara Oil Company, in Washington, Co., Pa., was abandoned at 3,330 feet. The deep well of Jonathan Watson, near Titusville, Pa., was drilled about 3,500 ft. J.M. Guffey & Co.'s well on the Walz farm at West Newton, Westmoreland Co., Pa., was drilled to a depth of 3,500 ft. The well of Isaac Willets at Sargent's Mills, near Sycamore, in Greene County, Pa., was abandoned at 3,008 feet.

The deepest bore hole in Europe is at Schladebach, near Kotschan station, on the railway between Corbetha and Leipzig, and was untertaken by the Prussian Government in search for coal. The apparatus used is a diamond drill, down the hollow shaft of which water is forced, raising again to the surface outside the shaft of the drill and inside the tube in which the drill works. By this method cores of about fifty feet in length have been obtained. The average length bored in twenty-four hours is twenty to thirty-three feet, but under favorable circumstances as much as 180 feet has been bored in that time. Other deep holes are as follows:

Domnitz, near Wetting . . . 3,287 ft
Probat-Jesar, Mecklenburg . . . 3,957 ft
Sperenberg, near Zossen . . . 4,173 ft
Unseburg, near Strassfurt. . . .4,242 ft
Leith-Elmshorn, Holstein . . . 4,390 ft
Schladebach. . . 4,515 ft

Etiquette of Carriage & Equestrian Exercises

Below you will find a short chapter from "FASHIONS: The Power that Influences the World" by George Fox ©1871


" But Coach ! Coach! Coach !
Oh, for a coach, ye gods ! "—Carey.

" He does allot for every exercise
A sev'ral hour, for sloth, the nurse of vicss
And rust of action, is a stranger to him."—Massinger.

The gentleman having handed the lady into the carriage in the manner before mentioned, places her farthest from the open door, and seats himself beside her; if there are two ladies, he sits opposite to them, giving them the rear seats. In accompanying a lady on horseback, some little skill is necessary in assisting her in seating herself gracefully and conveniently in her saddle. The lady having disengaged her feet from the riding-habit, takes the reins in her right hand, holding her robes in the left. She puts her hand upon the shoulder of the horse, and, slightly raising the left foot, the gentleman gently assists her to vault into the saddle. As soon as she has arranged her position upon the saddle, the gentleman places the stirrup upon the left foot, and then arranges her drapery, in windy weather, fastening it under her feet, with a shawl pin. Some taste and tact are required in doing this last service, so as to leave the skirt free and graceful. In dismounting, you take the broach from the skirt and release the left foot from being encumbered by the habit The lady disengages herself from the pomel of the saddle, and, standing in the stirrup, the gentleman takes her by the waist with both hands, and whilst she makes her skirts shorter, assists her to reach the ground. Whilst riding with a lady, place her horse on your right; it is easier for her to converse with you on that side than on the other. Always accommodate the pace of your horse to that of the lady's; if, however, you are riding by a line of carriages, you must place your fair charge farthest from the vehicles.

SS Great Western

Was the first steamship to provide service from Bristol, England to New York City on Apr. 8, 1838. She was the model for all Atlantic wood paddlers. You can read more at The Ships List which includes a copy of the article below written in NY papers after the arrival of the ship.

Another good article about the SS Great Western and her first ocean voyage can be found at Gjenvick-Gjonvik Archives

Another overview can be found at Wikipedia

New York papers of 24th April 1838 gave this account:

British Steam Packet Ship Great Western, James Hosken, R.N. Commander, having arrived yesterday from Bristol, which place she left on 8th inst. At noon, will sail from new York for Bristol on Monday, May 7th, at 2 p.m. She takes no steerage passengers. Rates in the cabin, including wines and provisions of every kind, 30 quineas[sic]; a whole stateroom for one person, 50 guineas. Steward's fee for each passenger, £1 10s. sterling. Children under thirteen years of age, half-price. No charge for letters or papers. The captain and owners will not be liable for any package, unless bill of lading has been given for it. 100 to 200 tons can be taken at the lowest current rates. Passage or freight can be engaged, a plan of cabin may be seen, and further particulars learned by applying to Richard Irvin, 98, Front Street. (p. 41 of The History of North Atlantic Steam Navigation, by Henry Fry, 1896.)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Chinook Jargon Part 3

Continuing the list from "The Journal of Travels Over the Rocky Mountains" by Joel Palmer ©1847.

Klips - Upset
Ko-el - Cold
Kap-wah - Alike
Kon-a-maxi - Both
Kla-hum - Good-bye
Kla-hi-you - How do you do
Kaw-a-nassim - Always
Kla-ha-na - OUt
Klim-in-wit - A Falsehood
Krap-po - Toad
Klose - Good
Klas-ko - Them, those
Ka-so - Rum
Ko-pa - There
Kit-lo - Kettle
Klone-ass - I do not understand
Klop-sta - Who
Klouch-man - Female
Kee-kool - down
Lepo-lo - Pan
Le-por-shet - Fork
Lehash - Axe
Leg-win - Saw
Lima - The hand
Lita - Head
Le-pe-a - Feet
Lo-ma-las - Molasses
Lemon-to - Sheep
Lavest - Jacket, or Vest
La-ep - Rope
Lep-lash - Boards
Lep-wa - Peas
Las-well - Skillet
La-win - Oats
La-ram _ Oar, for boats
Le-wash - Snow
Lemonti - Mountain
La-sel - Saddle
Le-lo-im - Sharp
Le-poim - Apple
La-bush - Mouth
le-da - Teeth
Le-ku - Neck
Le-mora - Wild
La-shimney - Chimney
Lemitten - Mitten
La-ha-la - Feel
Le-le - A long time

In this book you'll find three more pages of Chinook Jargon, I've given you a sample of this valuable trade language at the time of the Westward Expansion into the Oregon area.

Chinook Jargon Part 2

This is the second part of three regarding the Chinook trade language used in the Pacific Northwest. The excerpt comes from "The Journal of Travels over the Rocky Mountains" by Joel Palmer ©1847

I-yak - quick, or hurry
Il-a-he - soil, dirt
Ichwet - Bear
Is-kum - Take
In-a-ti - Overdress
Ith-lu-k-ma - Gamble
I-wa - Beaver
Ips-wet - Hide
Ik-ta - What
Kah - Where
K-u-ten - Horse
Kaw-lo-ke-lo - Goose
Ka-luck - Swan
K-puet - Needle
Kot-suck - Middle
Kap-o - coat
Ka-nim - Canoe
Ka-ta - Why
Kap-su-alla - Theft, steal
K-liten - Lead
Kaw-haw - Crow
Klat-a-wah - Fowl
Kum-tux - Know, or understand
Ke-a-wale - Love
Ka-wah-we - All
Klow-e-wah - slow
K-wallen - the ear
K-wathen - Bell
K-macks - Dog
Klugh - Split, or ploush
Ko-pet - Done, finished
kop-po - Older broter
Kow - Is to tie
K-wat - Hit
Kop-shut - Broken
Ko - Arrived
Kim-to - Behind
Kollo - Fence
Kutt - Hard
Klimin - Fine
kle-il - Black
Ka-was - Afraid
Kom-suck - Beads
Ko-ko-well - Eel
Klaps - Find
Kow-ne-aw - How many
Kilaps - Turn over

Chinook Jargon Part 1

The Chinook Jargon was a pidgin trade language that serviced those along the upper Pacific Northwest.The language started in Oregon moved into Washington and eventually spread into Canada and Alaska. It really wasn't the same as the Chinook people's tribal language. Below is a partial list of words written in 1847 in Journal of Travels over the Rocky Mountains by Joel Palmer.

This is a tongue spoken by a few in each of the tribes residing in the middle and lower divisions of Oregon. It is also used by the French, and nearly all the old settlers in the country.

Aach - Sister
Aha - Yes
Alka - Future, by and by
Alta - Present, now
Ala - I wonder
Ankote - Past time
Chawko - Come
Chee - New
Chinkamin - Iron, chain
Chuck - Water
Deob - Satan
Delie - Dry
Ekih - Brother-in-law
Ekik - Fish-hook
Elitah - Slave
Esick - Paddle
Esil - Corn
Geleech - Grease
Halo - None
Hankachim - Handkerchief
Hous - House
How - Let us
Hoel-hoel - Mouse
High-you - Quanity, many
High-you-k-wah - Ring
Hul-u-e-ma - Strange, different
Hu-e-hu - Swop, exchange
Hol - Drag, or pull
Ilips (Capitol i lower case l begin this word)- First
Ith-lu-el, or Ituel - Meat, flesh

Oregon Trail Outfits

The excerpt below is from "The Journal of Travels over the Rocky Mountains" by Joel Palmer ©1847 In this book he gives a good description on the type of wagon one should take on their trip.

FOR BURTHEN WAGONS, LIGHT FOUR HORSE OR HEAVY TWO horse wagons are the size commonly used. They should be made of the best material, well seasoned, and should in all cases have falling tongues. The tire should not be less than one and three fourth inches wide, but may be advantageously used three inches; two inches, however, is the most common width. In fastening on the tire, bolts should be used instead of nails; it should be at least 5/8 or 3/4 inches thick. Hub boxes for the hubs should be about four inches. The skeins should be well steeled. The Mormon fashioned wagon bed is the best. They are usually made straight, with side boards about 16 inches wide, and a projection outward of four inches on each side, and then another side board of ten or twelve inches; in this last, set the bows for covers, which should always be double. Boxes for carrying effects should be so constructed as to correspond in height with the offset in the wagon bed, as this gives a smooth surface to sleep upon.

Ox teams are more extensively used than any others. Oxen stand the trip much better, and are not so liable to be stolen by the Indians, and are much less trouble. Cattle are generally allowed to go at large, when not hitched to the wagons; whilst horses and mules must always be staked up at night. Oxen can procure food in many places where horses cannot, and in much less time. Cattle that have been raised in Illinois or Missouri, stand the trip better than those raised in Indiana or Ohio; as they have been accustomed to eating the prairie grass, upon which they must wholly rely while on the road. Great care should be taken in selecting cattlle; they should be from four to six years old, tight and heavy made.

For those who fit out but one wagon, it is not safe to start with less than four yoke of oxen, as they are liable to get lame, have sore necks, or to stray away. One team thus fitted up may start from Missouri with twenty-five hundred pounds and as each day's rations make the load that much lighter, before they reach any rough road, their loading is much reduced. Persons should recollect that every thing in the outfit should be as light as the required strength will permit; no useless trumpery should be taken. The loading should consist of provisions and apparel, a necessary supply of cooking fixtures, a few tools, &c. No great speculation can be made in buying cattle and driving them through to sell; but as the prices of oxen and cows are much higher in Oregon than in the States, nothing is lost in having a good supply of them, which will enable the emigrant to wagon through many articles that ae difficult to be obtained in Oregon. Each family should have a few cows, as the milk can be used the entire route, and they are often convenient to put to the wagon to relieve oxen. They should be so selected that portions of them would come in fresh upon the road. Sheep can also be advantageously driven. American horses and mares always command high prices, and with careful usage can be taken through; but if used to wagons or carriages, their loading should be light. Each family should be provided with a sheet-iron stove, with boiler; a platform can easily be constructed for carrying it at the hind end of the wagon; and as it is frequently quite windy, and there is often a acarcity of wood, the stove is very convenient. Each family should also be provided with a tent, and to it should be attached good strong cords to fasten it down.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Turkey Recipes

Below are a couple of recipes for Turkey from 19th century cookbooks:

The first recipe comes from Riverside Recipe Book ©1890

Roast Turkey.
183. Allow % of a pound of dressed fowl to a man. Pick and clean the turkey well—saving the heart, liver, and gizzard for the stuffing. To prepare the stuffing, take 1-3 bread and soak well in water and squeeze out with the hands. Add 1-3 minced potatoes and 1-5 brown minced onions. Season with pepper, salt and a little sage, thyme or other flavor. Mix well and stuff into the turkey filling the space vacated by the entrails and craw. Sew up the turkey with a strong thread, and bend the wings under the back and tie down to the body. Make a batter, with flour and fat, seasoning it with pepper and salt and rub over the turkey with hand, before placing in the oven. Place in the oven. In about 20 minutes add a little hot water and baste frequently until done. This willigenerally take about 2VZ hours, but depends greatly Upon the particular fowl roasted, as some are small and tender and others large and tough. Turkeys, as a rule, have a dry skin, and it is for that reason that the batter is rubbed on; if the turkey is very fat it may be omitted, but it will do no harm to use it under any circumstances. The above stuffing is the one generally used, but as an alternative the bread may be soaked in oyster juice and the oysters (proportion 1-3) may be used in the preparation. Again the sliced onions may be replaced by chopped celery; or, the bread may be cut into 1%-inch cubes, toasted and used as bread. A little lemon juice may well be added. Sometimes in Spanish countries, the onions or celery are replaced by currants or raisins. This stuffing may be used at any time when stuffing is required. It is equally good for fowl or fish.
To Serve Turkey.
Remove the stuffing and place on the platter; then carve the turkey, cutting the breast pieces as large and thin as possible. Take the breast bone and press into the stuffing on top. Place the legs, wings and finer parts around the stuffing then spread the large white pieces over the whole. Make a little gravy in the pan where the turkey was roasted and pour over. Garnish the dish with greens of some description—water cresses or parsley preferred. Serve hot with cranberry sauce.

The recipe comes from a 1896 publication "The Young Woman's Journal" Vol. 7 Pg. 103
Select a nice young turkey. Clean and wash thoroughly; wipe dry, as moisture will spoil the stuffing. Take one loaf of stale bread, grated fine; mix into this one teacup of melted butter, and if not moist enough a little water or milk; season with pepper, salt and a little powdered sage, if liked, also onion. Rub all together and fill the turkey, sewing it up so that the stuffing cannot cook out. (We need hardly say that the strings are to be clipped and removed before placing upon the table.) Rub salt on the outside, put in some large vessel to steam, where it will not touch water. Steam till tender, which will require two hours or more, according to size and age.
Remove to your dripping pan, pour in a cup or more of boiling water, and some pieces of butter; baste frequently, till nicely browned, then remove. After taking out the turkey, add flour; stir until brown. Add the giblets (which have been previously steamed with turkey), chopped fine; serve hot.
Elmina S. Taylor.

Thanksgiving Poems

Below is a poem that was published in 1880 in the Victorian Review, Vol. 3 pg 518. It was written by William Allen. I wasn't able to find anything about William Allen apart from this poem.

I Thank Thee, Lord, because Thou dost ordain
Strength out of weakness, blessing out of pain;
For all of light through darkness brought to birth,
I thank Thee, O Thou Lord of Heaven and earth.
But, chief of all Thy gifts sent from above,
I thank Thee for the sovereign grace of love-
Choicest of all the boons to mortals known,
A ray of glory from the eternal throne.
See where this feeble sufferer lies ! a prey
To long-drawn pains that waste his life away;
While o'er his couch his faithful partner hangs,
And in her own fond bosom feels his pangs.
And once again her anxious watch behold,
Beside the one pet darling of the fold,
As forced, with breaking heart and streaming eye,
To own the hateful truth—" my child must die."
And is there nothing here but grief and gloom—
The grim attendants of the unlovely tonibl
Far be the thought! Here flowers of Eden blow,
Luxuriant in the midst of human woe.
Here the fair flower of love its fragrance yields,
To earth transplanted from the heavenly fields,—
So fair as almost with a grace to wreathe
The frightful features of the monster death.

'Tis love that bids the unwearying vigil keep,
And gives to tireless toil the hours of sleep;
Of wifely care, maternal watch and ward,
The keen inspirer and the sole reward.
Love lights the eyes (to love responsive given)
Of the child-angel on the verge of heaven;
And love unspeakable the husband shares
With her whose tender kindness soothes his cares.
Then, blest be God! who good from evil brings,
And round the ghastly grave a radiance flings,
Gilding with love a lot else all forlorn,
The grievous lot of those o'er death who mourn.
Dear Son of God! Dear love of God ! we pray
Take from our hearts all lovelessness away,
So shall Thy Spirit through our actions shine,
And make the meanest toil of life divine. 
Wm. Allen.

Thanksgiving Proclamation

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Abraham Lincoln made a proclamation in 1863 declaring Thanksgiving to be a National holiday. After the Civil War some of the Southerners considered it a northern holiday, but in time all did.

Below is the proclamation made by Abraham Lincoln on Oct. 3, 1863. What is rather interesting is I found this copy of the proclamation went out as an invitations to American's living in London, England at the time. You can view the entire document at Google Books American Thanksgiving Dinner at St. James Hall, London, Thursday November 26, 1863.

Included in this document is the menu, the program, and the remarks of the event.

Below is simply the copy of the President Lincoln's Proclamation:

THE year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever''watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggressions of foreign States, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theatre of military conflict, while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
The needful diversions of wealth and strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the Bhip. The axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal, as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege aud the battle-field, and the country rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigour is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people ; I do, therefore, invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea, and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficient Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers, in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of "Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixtythree, and of the independence of the United States the eightyeighth.
By the President, William H. Seward,
Secretary of State.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Menu for Thanksgiving

In The Boston Cooking-school cook book by Fannie Merritt Farmer ©1896 you'll find this menu for Thanksgiving.
Oyster Soup. Crisp Crackers.
Celery. Salted Almonds.
Roast Turkey. Cranberry Jelly.
Mashed Potatoes. Onions in Cream. Squash.
Chicken Pie.
Fruit Pudding. Sterling Sauce.
Mince, Apple, and Squash Fie.
Neapolitan Ice Cream. Fancy Cakes.
Fruit. Nuts and Raisins. Bonbons.
Crackers. Cheese. Cafe Noir.

Thanksgiving 1864

In 1864 a gentleman from New York proposed an idea. To feed the troops serving in the war. The idea grew and the committee received $57,000 in money. Poultry and provisions valued at $150,000. The idea spread to other states in the end the 1864 Thanksgiving dinner cost the people around a quarter of a million dollars. The troops prized the attention more than the gift and the support went a long way to encourage the troops spirits.

Below is the initial proposal for the troops.

The Soldiers' Thanksgiving Dinner of November, 1864—a repast which, if not dainty enough for Lucullus, was of dimensions that would have satisfied Gargantua—came about in this wise. The country was in tbe throes of the impending presidential election: never, perhaps, was it more indifferent to turkey and cranberry sauce, nor less anxious about what it should eat and what it should drink. Still, an idea too big, too generous to be kept in one brain, had occurred to an individual in New York, to whom ideas of the sort were no strangers, and, at the risk of confiding it to an unwilling ear, he made it public by addressing certain editors in the following lines:
Gentlemen:—President Lincoln having ordered a general Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, it being on the 24th, I have thought it only proper that something should be done for the army and navy on that occasion, not only to aid them in keeping the day properly, but to show them they are remembered at home. My proposition is to supply the armv and navy in Virginia with poultry and pies, or puddings, all cooked, ready for use. This seems to he a big undertaking, but I do not see any difficulty in carrying it out.
My idea is this: there will be about fifty thousand turkeys—say of eight pounds each, and fifty thousand pies, or their equivalents, required to feed the soldiers and sailors on that day; let, then, every one who can afford it and is willing to send and prepare such articles do so, and make up a barrel or box of them well packed; have them ready for shipment in this city from the IStb to the 20th of November; they can be sent (freight free) to the army and navy of the Potomac so as to be distributed the day before Thanksgiving.
It would be a grand sight to see that army of brave men, loyal to the flag, feeding on the good things of the land they have fought for, whilst the miserable traitors, if they still hold out, are crouched behind their defences hungry and starving.

Time Required for Digesting Food Part 2

Continued from yesterday's post from Houghtaling's Handbook ©1887

FOOO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HOW COOKED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HOURS.MINUTES
Fowls, domestic. . . . . . . . . . . Roasted. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.00
Hashed meat and vegetables. .Warmed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.30
Lamb, fresh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Broiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.30
Milk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.00
Milk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Raw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.15
Mutton, fresh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Broiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.00
Oysters, fresh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Broiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.00
Oysters, fresh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Raw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.55
Oysters, fresh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roasted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.15
Parsnips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.30
Pork, steak . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Broiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.15
Pork, fat and lean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roasted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.15
Pork, recently salted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . stewed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.00
Pork, recently salted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fried . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.15
Potatoes, Irish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Baked . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.30
Potatoes, Irish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.30
Salmon, salted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.00
Sausages, fresh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Broiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.20
Soup, bean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.00
Soup, chicken . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.00
Soup, mutton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.30
Soup, beef, vegetables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.00
Trout, salmon, fresh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.30
Turkey, domesticated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roasted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.30
Veal, fresh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.00
Veal, fresh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fried . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.30

Time Required for Digesting Food

The information below comes from Houghtaling's Handbook ©1887

Time Required for Digesting Food

FOOD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . HOW COOKED. . . . . . . HoursMinutes
Apples, sour, hard . . . . . . . raw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.50
Apples, sweet, mellow . . . . raw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.30
Bass, striped . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Broiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.00
Beans, pod . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.30
Beans and green corn . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . 3.45
Beef . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fried . . . . . . . 4.00
Beefstead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Broiled . . . . . . . 3.00
Beef, fresh, lean, dry . . . . . . . Roasted . . . . . . . 3.30
Beef, fresh, lean, rare . . . . . . . Roasted . . . . . . . 3.00
Beets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiled. . . . . . . 3.00
Bread, corn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Baked . . . . . . . 3.15
Bread, wheat, fresh . . . . . . . Baked . . . . . . . 1.30
Cabbage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Raw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.30
Cabbage, with vinegar . . . . . . . Raw . . . . . . . 2.00
Cabbage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.30
Carrot, orange . . . . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.13
Catfish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fried. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.30
Cheese, old, strong . . . . . . . Raw . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.30
Chicken, full grown . . . . . . . Fricasseed . . . . . . . 2.45
Codfish, cured dry . . . . . . . Boiled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.00
Custard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Baked . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.45
Duck, tame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roasted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.00
Duck, wild . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roasted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.30
Eggs, fresh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Raw. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.00
Eggs, fresh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scrambled . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.30
Eggs, fresh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roasted. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.15
Eggs, fresh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Soft boiled. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.00
Eggs, fresh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hard boiled. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.30
Eggs, fresh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fried. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.30

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Medical Advertisments

While reading "A Family Medicine Directory" ©1854 by Charles Dinneford, I discovered some recommendations in the book of various medicines and treatments that Dinneford approved of. Today's post includes several from this book.

Pharmacentical Chemists

This preparation possesses all the properties of the root, combined with such aromatics as render it an exceedingly useful medicine in a variety of affections where a cordial aperient is required, particularly for indigestion and griping pains in the stomach and bowels; it is esteemed by those who have been in the habit of taking it, .one of the most useful aperients for persons affected with the Gout, and can be taken in such cases, when a cooling aperient would be attended with danger.

The medicinal virtues of the herb Peppermint, in relieving cramps, spasms, flatulency, and other affections of the stomach and bowels ; and also languor, lowness of spirits, general debility, &c, have been long so well known as to render it one of our most valuable medicines. This is a preparation of such general utility, and so applicable to all cases of emergency, that its possession is earnestly recommended to the heads of every family. The sick chamber or nursery should never be without it, as it may be taken at all times, and under all circumstances, with equal success.

This elegant preparation possesses all the valuable properties of the finest Jamaica Ginger, and is presented in the most agreeable form in which that esteemed domestic medicine is capable of being administered. In cases of languor or temporary depression, no other stimulant is more agreeable and efficacious.

These Pills have been used in the practice of that distinguished Physician for nearly fifty years, and are invaluable as a standing family medicine, for all disorders arising from a confined state of the bowels—such as pains in the stomach, head-ache, dimness of sight, &c, &c. They contain neither calomel, antimony, or any other medicine requiring the least confinement or alteration of diet; they may be taken by persons of all ages, for any number of years, without the slightest injury to the constitution, and are therefore peculiarly adapted to persons of sedentary or studious habits, who are unable to take necessary exercise.

These Dinner Pills assist the digestion, improve the appetite, increase the action of the bowels, and by regular use will give new vigour to the constitution.

Dinneford and Co. give especial attention to the selection of medicines constituting this valuable compound ; the Pills as prepared by them, possess stomachic and aperient qualities, and are confidently recommended to the heads of families for general domestic use.

Containing all the active properties of the fresh root in a concentrated state. A dessert-spoonful in water is equal to half a pint of the ordinary decoction of the root.

Possessing all the aromatic properties of the root in the greatest perfection; this liquid form of Ginger is peculiarly serviceable where gouty, spasmodic, and flatulent affeotions disturb the digestive functions.

This elegant preparation has long been celebrated for its beautiful flavour and softness, being entirely deprived of the unpleasant caustic qualities complained of in the Sal Volatile of ordinary use.

A convenient preparation for the extemporaneous production of CAMPHOR JDLEP, which can be made by adding thirty or forty drops of the essence to a wineglassful of water.

An efficacious and convenient restorative for relieving sickness, lowness of spirits, languor, and faintings, particularly when produced from over-heated assemblies. A small teaspoonful, mixed with a wineglassful of water, forms a draught equal in every respect to Sal Volatile, taken with Camphor Julep, the inconvenience of two bottles being avoided.

This agreeable preparation will be found efficacious as an aperient in cases of habitual costiveness; as a remedy for heartburn, acidity of stomach, and cutaneous eruptions, it may be taken in smaller doses with equal advantage. Being comparatively tasteless, it may be given to children, who frequently refuse the usual aperients.

Prepared from an analysis of the mineral springs of Germany, and adapted for the cure of bilious affections, indigestion, want of appetite, habitual costiveness, cutaneous eruptions, &c.; by regular use this salt will prevent the necessity of having recourse to Calomel, Epsom Salts, and other more powerful and nauseous medicines, which frequently tend only to weaken by giving temporary relief.

From its portability this preparation is far more convenient for use than the ordinary Seidlitz Powder. The dose can be proportioned to form either an Aperient or a Saline Draught.
For the former it is only necessary to dissolve a large tablespoonful in two-thirds of a tumbler of water; for the latter a teaspoonful.
It will keep good in every situation, and is singularly efficacious in preventing sea-sickness.

The celebrated saline water of Wiesbaden possesses alterative and aperient properties; it stimulates the absorbent system, and is found beneficial in gouty and other affections depending on a deranged state of the system, The salt obtained by evaporation from the natural spring, as specially consigned to Messrs. Dinneford & Co., will be found correspondingly efficacious and desirable.

This peculiarly grateful effervescent may be taken with the greatest advantage in febrile and other similar affections, and as a beverage for allaying thirst during the heat of summer.

For gout, indigestion, acidity, &c., composed of Turkey Rhubarb, Farina of Jamaica Ginger, and pure Calcined Magnesia. This composition was a favourite remedy of the late Professor Gregory, of Edinburgh, for affections of the stomach (such as acidity, flatulency, &c.), and torpidity of the bowels, consequent upon an impaired state of the secretions necessary for the process of digestion. Its effects are antacid, carminative, and gently aperient. It is particularly serviceable to gouty and dyspeptic invalids, and may be taken without any restraint whatever, according to the directions which accompany it.

The ingredients of this formula are especially selected: the aromatic properties of the Ginger assist in relieving flatulence; whilst the bitter qualities of the Camomile act as a mild tonic on the stomach, assisting digestion and restoring the appetite.

For weak stomachs, flatulency, indigestion, loss of appetite, nervous affections, and constitutional debility.

An elegant and grateful stomachic, and strengthening stimulant to the nervous system.

A grateful effervescing beverage for allaying thirst.

For preventing and relieving colds, difficulty of breathing,

A most agreeable form for administering this usually nauseous draught. It is an admirable domestic medicine, and may be had recourse to in all cases, with safety, in the absence of a medical man. It will keep good for any length of time.

Posted by Lynn Coleman at 7:27 AM 0 comments 
Labels: 1854, Household Medicine, Medicine

Custom Houses

Hi all,
After yesterday's post I thought about the Custom House and where the Mexican Tariffs were enforced, which reminded me that over the years I've heard various authors ask about other career choices for characters other than school teacher, cowboy, etc. Has anyone ever considered a Custom House employee? Wikipedia describes a Custom House as a place to process paper work for the import and export of goods. Custom Houses were vital to our economy during the 19th century. And personally, I think there are a lot of interesting situations that could come up in a Custom House.

Below is an excerpt from a math book, yes a math book. It lays out the various jobs and definitions in or surrounding a custom house.

712. A Custom-House is an office established by government for the transaction of business relating to the collection of customs or duties, and the entry and clearance of vessels.
713. A fort of Entry is a seaport town in which a custom-house is established.
714. The Collector of the Port is the officer appointed by government to attend to the collection of duties and to other custom-house business.
715. A Clearance is a certificate given by the Collector of the port, that a vessel has been entered and cleared according to law.
By the entry of a vessel is meant the lodgment of its papers in the custom-house, on its arrival at the port.
716. A Manifest is a detailed statement, or invoice, of a ship's cargo.
No goods, wares, or merchandise can be hrought into the United States by any vessel, unless the master has on board a full manifest, showing in detail the several items of the cargo, the place where it was shipped, the names of the consignees, etc.
717. Duties or Customs are taxes levied on imported goods.
The general object of such taxes is the support of government, but they are also designed sometimes to protect the manufacturing industry of a country against foreign competition.
718. A Tariff is a schedule showing the rates of duties fixed by law on all kinds of imported merchandise.
Duties are of two kinds, Specific and Ad Valorem.
719. A Specific Duty is a fixed sum imposed on articles according to then- weight or measure, but without regard to their value.
720. An Ad Valorem Duty is an import duty
assessed by a percentage of the value of the goods in the
country from which they are brought.
Before computing specific duties, certain deductions, or allowances, are made, called Tare, Leakage, Breakage, etc.
721. Tare is an allowance for the weight of the box, cask, bag, etc., that contains the merchandise.
722. Leakage is an allowance for waste of liquors imported in casks or barrels.
723. Breakage is an allowance for loss of liquors imported in bottles.
724. Gross Weight or Value is the weight or value of the goods before any allowance is made.
725. Net Weight or Value is the weight or value of the goods after all allowances have been deducted.

The source is "The Complete arithmetic, oral and written" by Daniel W. Fish ©1876

Mexican Tariff

Below comes from The Merchant's Magazine ©1850 publishing the entire notice from the Oct 4, 1845 General Congress session.

Official notice is hereby given, by the undersigned, of the following alterations made by the General Congress during its present session, in the Mexican tariff of 4th October, 1845:—
Article 1.—The ports open to foreign commerce, and to scaleage and coasting, are Vera Cruz, Tampico, Matamoras, Campeche, Sisal, and Tebasco, in the Gulf of Mexico; and Acapulcu, San Bias, Huratalco, Manzanillo, and Mazatlan, in the Pacific.

Article 2.—The ports open to the coasting trade are Guaymas, and Altata, in the Golf of California; Isla del Carmen, Goazacoalcos, Alvarado, Tecoluta, Santecomapan, Soto la Marina, Tuxpan, in the Gulf of Mexico; Bacalar, on the eastern coast of Yucatan; Tonala, on the Pacific; Santa Maria, in the Gulf of Tehuantepec; and La Par, in 'the Gulf of California.

Article 3.—Frontier custom-houses arc established en la Frontera del Norte, Matamoros, Camargo, Presidio del Norte, and en la Frontera lei Sur, Comitan, and Tuatla Chico.

Article 4.—In addition to the smaller vessels in the revenue service, as per the deewe of 13th July, 1840, the government may establish in the Gulf of Mexico a steamer and six revenue cutters, and on the Pacific coast, a steamer and seven revenue cutters, the expenses of repairs, wages, and provisioning of which, shall be included in those of administration. The government will issue orders in regard to the service of these vessels, and to their cruising, as also to the officers of the custom-houses to which they may be attached.

Article 5.—The government will form, and submit to Congress for approval, an estimate of cost of building custom-house, stores and offices, in those places where there •re none.

Aeticle 6.—The custom-houses for the coasting trade belong to the general government, and will be under the control of the nearest maritime custom-house.

Article 7.—The importation of side and fire arms is permitted on payment of an import duty of $4 per quintal, gross weight. The government will take such measures as to prevent their introduction being injurious to public order and tranquillity.

Article 8.—The 18th article of the tariff is abolished, and the goods therein specified shall pay an ad valorem duty of 40 per cent on the value of the invoice, except the following articles, which shall continue to pay the duties designated in said article, viz:—
Aceite de trementina o agua-ras. Albayalde seccoo en aceita. Agua de almendra amarga, de colonia, de espliego, o de la banda, de laurel cereso de la reyna, y cualesquiera otras aguas, compuestas. destiladas, o esprituosas. Almireces. Alinizcle en grauo. Almizcle en zunon. Alquitran y brea, pez de todas clasos, trementina. Alumbre. Amarillo cromo. Amarillo de Napoles. Arsenite de cobro o verde de Scheie y el verde de Schweinfart o verde de Almania. Asfalto o chiele prieto. Azul de cobalto. Azul de esmalto. Azul de Ultramar. Barnices de Alcohol y resina. Bennellon. Betun de Judea o asfalto. Blanco de Espana y de plomo. Bol de armenia. Caparrosa azul o sulfato de cobre, blanca o sulfato de Zinc, verde o sulfato de fierro. Carbon animal o negro animal Cardemillo o verde gris. Carmin. Cola de boca. Cola fuerte. Cola de pescado en buche. Colores de todas clases no especificados. Crisols en barro refractario. Crisoles de plombagina y de porcelana y bizcocho. Esmeril. Esponjas nas y corrientes. Estractos de Campeche para tintes. Fosforos. Gomalaca. Jaldre. Licores compuestos, como ratafias,

Article 9.—The import duties established by the tariff of October 4th, 1845, remain reduced to 60 per cent in conformity with the decree of 3d May, 1848.

Article 10.—The reduction made in the import duties does not affect the inferior or consumption duties, nor those of averia of 1 per cent, nor those of averia of 2 per cent, specified in the decrees of 31st March, 1838, and 28th February, 1843, these shall continue to be collected as heretofore.

Article 11.—The export duties on the precious metals shall be as follows:—
Oro acunado o labrado, 2 per cent
Plata acunada, 3| per cent.
Plata labrada quintada, 44; per cent.
Copello o pura, labrada en munecos con certification de haber pagado los derechos de quinto, 44; per cent

Article 12.—The circulation duty on money is reduced to 2 per cent, and will be collected on entry of money in the ports.

Article 13.—The government cannot issue orders on the maritime custom-houses for the payment of duties effected, or to be effected. Whenever the General Treasury, or the General Direction of Maritime Custom-houses, receive orders of this kind, to communicate to the respective custom-houses, or any other orders that they may consider illegal, or injurious to the Public Treasury, they will notify the government and Collectors of said custom-houses; in case of receiving them directly, shall also be under the same obligation. If, notwithstanding the observations they make, the government should insist, they shall comply, and he or they who shall have made the observations shall send to the Contaduria Mayor the order certified by the respective Contador, that they may be freed from responsibility ; the Contaduria Mayor taking note of it for the ' ends to which it may give rise, will pass it, with a note corresponding, to the Chamber of Deputies, or, in recess of Congress, to the Consejo de Gobierno; the Contadores Mayores, in case of omission, incurring the penalty of suspension of office for two years, besides other penalties vhich the laws impose on them.

Article 14.—The penalty of confiscation of vessels, imposed on captains by article 84, is substituted by a fine equal to double the value of the goods omitted—all the remainder of said article continues in full force. The penalties imposed by article 35 will be substituted by a fine of from 8200 to $1,600.

Article 15.—The government will cause to be published within thirty days, counted from 24th November, 1849, the date of this law, the regulations of the maritime frontier and coasting custom-houses, simplifying the system of accounts and of despatch, without altering the basis of this law, nor of the actual tariff. The government, during the said period, will also organize and regulate the coast guard service.

Article 16.—The regulations which the government will issue, in conformity with this law, cannot be altered nor modified without the express authority of the general Congress.

Article 17.—The frontier custom-houses established by this law will be characterized as provisional; meantime, those to be so hereafter, are not designated, the employees of them observing the 4th part of article 1 of the decree of 13th May, 1840.
Abticlb 18.—The tariff of 4th October, 1845, remains in force, with the additions and explanation that has been made to it in all that may not be altered by this present aw. Jose Ramon Pacheco, vice-presidente de la Camara de diputados. Crispiniano del Castillo, vice-presidente del senado. Felix Veistegui, diputado secretario. Juan Rodriguez de San Miguel, senador secretario. Por tanto mando se imprima, publique, arcule, y se le de el debido cumplimiento. Palacio del gobierno federal en Mexico, a 24 de Noviembre, de 1849. Jose Joaquin de Herrera. Francisco Florriaga.

New York, January 4th, 1850. Vice-Consul of Mexico.


Below are some excerpts from Pets: a paper ©1859 by Edgerton Leigh I'm posting this because it will help those of us who write historical fiction realize pets are not new to society and to see how having pets was viewed during the mid 19th century.

The love of Pets is one of the flowers of civilization, a feeling either openly apparent or lying dormant until warmed into existence by circumstances, like the fire hid in the cold steel till it comes in contact with the flint. Many may carry this affection too far, but on the whole there is something humanizing in a Pet, which makes the heart open to the genial warmth of kindness, like the rose bud expanding its long folded leaves when kissed by the sunbeam. The word Pet is derived by some from the French word " petit," and there are similar words in Italian, Irish, Dutch, and even Persian, meaning bosom friend, idol, dear, &c. I would rather derive it from the Latin petere, to seek, as one of the characteristics (I may say one of the unamiabilities) of Pets is continually to be looking out and seeking for something for themselves. The derivation from the French "petit" may justly be preferred by others, as in many languages "diminutives" (as they are called) are peculiarly in use for fondling purposes. The French word " enfantiller, to talk affectionate nonsense to a child," is a very expressive instance of this. The other meaning of Pet is ill-temper, easily traceable to the unhappy effect of spoiling the Pet, which, whether human or animal, we are all too much inclined to do.

I shall not touch upon human Pets further than to recommend that no affectionate mamma (if she only values her own peace) should ever run the risk of deserving the toast proposed by an irritated old bachelor, upon the ladies and a batch of spoilt children leaving the dining room, viz.,
" The immortal memory of the good King Herod."

Gratitude sometimes causes the adoption of a Pet. A dog that has saved your own or child's life, or, as in the case of Lord Forbes's dog, which discovered that the castle was on fire and saved the inmates, has a right to be regarded during the rest of its life with care, gratitude, and affection. We hear of a Turkish Emperor who rewarded a horse which had carried him safely through danger by giving him a marble stable, an ivory manger, a rack of silver, shoeing him with gold, settling on him estates, appointing servants to wait on him, &c. The horror of solitude, whether natural or compulsory, is one of the greatest inducements to drive men to endeavour to relieve themselves from the monotonous oppression of the eternal self, by striving to gain the affection and extract sympathy from anything possessing life. We hear of prisoners taming the sparrows that twittered on the bars of their cell, and striking up friendship of a most ardent nature with a stray rat or mouse; and we have, I have no doubt, all felt indignant at the conduct of the heartless jailor who, to intensify misery, killed the spider, the sole friend and consolation of some political prisoner sentenced to a life imprisonment. We may many of us have read with interest the account of the pleasures, pains, hopes and fears that a chance-sown seedling, springing up between the flags of his small exercising court, gave to the poor creature cut off by prison from all communication with the outer world. He called the plant Picciola (poor little thing), and the story of the captive's flower expands into a volume.

The author goes on to name various types of pets: dogs, horse, guinea pigs, rabbits, tortoise (10k are sold in London a year), green frog, snake, hedgehog, monkeys (apparently out of date), birds of various types, squirrels, and cats to name a few the author lists.

If you'd like to read the entire paper you can at Google Books

Another book written during the 19th century that might give you further insight is History of My Pets by Grace Greenwood, also located at google books.

Later in the 19th century "Our Home Pets How to Keep Them Well and Happy" was written in 1895 by Olive Thorne Miller.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Skipper Shooting the Sun

I stumbled on this phrase while researching another and found it worth sharing for those of you who are writing of sea travels during the 19th century, or of emmigrants who have come to America during the 19th century. In any case, below is a quote from Adventures in Australia in 1852 and 1853 by Henry Berkeley Jones ©1853

It puzzled many of our people to see the Captain every morning take the altitude of the sun, and at mid-day the meridian altitude ; what the sailors call " the skipper shooting the sun." With some difficulty we succeeded in making a few understand its purpose and end. It was our custom to explain anything upon which they desired to be informed.

Walking Machine

Baron von Drais invented a walking machine in 1817 to help him get around the garden faster. The device was two in-line wheels of equal size, a steerable front wheel, both wheels were mounted to a frame which you straddled. This device was the beginning of what we now call a Bicycle.

Eventually this Walking machine became known as the Draisienne or hobby horse.

The fad faded in popularity. The Walking Machine was quite heavy and the frame made out of wood.

The next 2 wheeled riding machine was introduced in 1865 and had pedals attached to the front wheel. It was called the Velocipede or Boneshaker.

The high wheel Bicycle we most often think of with regard to the history of the bicycle was introduced in 1870. These bicycles were expansive but enjoyed by young men of means. They cost an average of six month's pay. They were a bit dangerous because they had a tendency to flip the rider over if the bike hit a rock in the road.

By the 1880's the High Wheeled Bicycle was invented. It was a tricycle giving more stability and the rider sat between the two rear wheels. These were more affordable and doctors and clergy would often used them. This invention also brought into use, rack and pinion steering, the differential and band brakes, all of which were used when the automobile was invented.

Hot Air Balloons

The 19th century saw many hot air balloons. They were invented in the last quarter of the 19th century in France but they were becoming more common and ventured into America during the 19th century. HOwever, the first manned flight in America actually took place in 1793 and George Washington was in attendance.

In 1838 John Wise invented a ripping panel which solved the problem of the balloon being dragged along the ground once landed. This panel is still in use today.

Thaddeus Lowe a professor from New Jersey built his second balloon, Enterprise in 1858. It was in this balloon that the first telegraph message was sent in 1861.

Around the World in 80 days was written by Jules Verne in 1873 then into English in 1875.

Wikipedia 19th century Aviation has a great list of events in aviation during the 19th century.

Calling or Visitation 19th Century Etiquette

Below is an excerpt from "Etiquette for Americans" ©1898

After introductions, visits—as we commonly term them in this country, "calls"—come next in preliminary sequence. To "make a call" has an inelegant robustness of tone to one not used to hearing it; but Americans cannot plead that they are not used to hearing it. And the expression is not only general, but universal here. "Paying visits," the neat substitute for the rougher phrase, is not yet in colloquial use.

Visiting or calling hours are now limited, and most sensibly, to a restricted time in the afternoon. No one not privileged, on pressing business, or extremely intimate, would think of invading a household before three o'clock. And as it is only of formal visiting we are speaking—"running in" to friends' or neighbors' houses familiarly need not be mentioned in connection with the subject. So great a nuisance did the old-fashioned habit of callers, of spreading themselves thereon whole days, some people calling in the mornings, others in the afternoons, still others evenings, and all on any day in the week, become, that the custom of restricting hours to certain parts of days, and then to certain days of the week, was started in self-preservation; and now, in large cities, is general. No one can be offended who is refused at half-past two on a Tuesday, when "Mondays, three to six," is plainly engraven on a carte de visite. The hostess, on the other hand, who excuses herself within these limits, will find it hard to make her peace with disgusted visitors, who have stretched a point to conform to restrictions made by the offender herself.
It is a good rule to stay only fifteen minutes at a formal, at any rate a first call, unless, of course, urged to stay longer for some special reason. It is an equally good rule to depart as the room becomes crowded and talking grows more difficult, at all events, to relinquish one's place near the hostess. Tea is universally served on calling days in all well-regulated houses; but if you are obliged to go very early, say at three o'clock, it is good form to decline the offer of tea made specially for you, not only because of the TEA TOO EARLY
unseasonable hour, but because it makes a great deal of trouble. This sounds like superfluous advice; but most persons who go out calling much will relate at least one instance of some absent-minded female, who, straying in without regard to the time, accepts the offer of tea at three o'clock, waits till it comes in, and then departs—finding how early it is—without drinking a drop. Of such is the kingdom of callers.

'' Little speeches'' are now ruled out pretty generally in the routine of calling. It is foolish to pretend that "calling" is more than routine; and the more quietly one enters, and the more unobtrusively departs, the better pleased will the hostess be. Above all, don't keep her standing an hour, while you lecture or "orate," or go over somebody's history, while everybody else sits about looking foolish.

Put your card on a convenient place in the hall, or on the tray the servant holds out for you, and mention your name to the manservant, if there is one. A man or a maid usually takes the card on a tray, and stands holding the curtains (perhaps) aside, for yon to enter, speaking your name audibly at the same time. Sending or taking the card in before you to the drawing-room on "afternoons," is obsolete.

A man does exactly the same as a woman, except that he takes off his overcoat, if he wears one, in the hall. His hat and stick he also deposits outside. This rule is not generally observed, but should be. The drawingroom is no place for the hat; and of course the hat and stick go and stay together.

A man in this country must be asked to call, before he may venture to do so. To take away the awkwardness or suspicion of forwardness from such an act, it may be stated that a lady usually knows when a gentleman wishes to call, and if he has been out of his way to be civil to her, she is safe in asking him. He then calls as soon as possible after the invitation is given. After that, if it is a family of much entertaining, he will receive, if his visit has been agreeable, an invitation to dinner. After that, again, he calls within a week, and then he may be summoned for informal occasions, etc. He is an acquaintance.
This rule is not for young girls, whose mothers must do the asking.

Business men cannot pay visits very easily in the afternoons. In these days, however, a man, on an ordinary week day, is allowed to call in a brown, blue or any colored coat, fancy waistcoat, and derby hat. And he can be admitted up to six o'clock. He, therefore, will usually be able to find half an hour out of the week; and there is always Sunday. Few houses are closed to visitors Sunday afternoons. There is really no excuse for men's delinquencies, especially, and above all, if they have accepted invitations or favors of any sort from ladies.

In dealing with the subject of visiting in general, the receiving party is always a woman, of course. Men receive visits from men at their club, or their offices, and in England, and now possibly in New York, there is a distinct etiquette for these ceremonies. And in that respect, of amenities between men, we should do well to learn from our British cousins. The slapdash and freedom of many men's friendly calls in business offices is disgusting and without palliation. No decent man has a right to see a stranger in his shirtsleeves, with his hat on, and his feet on the table. In England a man would no more keep his hat on in another man's office than in his wife's drawing-room; and it would be well if that one formality were observed and enforced here.

But as for formal visiting among men, it is never done at their houses, if they are married. That is to say, it is always the wife who receives, not the husband. He goes out, if he has any sense, and makes calls himself. For we have borrowed another sensible custorn from England; and that is that when a gentleman, no matter if he is married, has received hospitality at a lady's hands, he is quite capable of paying a visit to show his personal appreciation. It is not necessary for a man to relegate all the visiting to his wife.

The imposing and important question of its being necessary to call (and thus return your own visit!) after a five o'clock tea, or at home, is not mooted in communities where there is any knowledge of society modes. But as in some small towns, and some large cities, of provincial experience only, the point is everlastingly being raised, it may as well be said once, and for all, that it is an utter absurdity to feel obliged to make one call after another. The rash person who issues eight hundred invitations to a tea, has eight hundred calls to return; and if she does not know this simple fact she has been more than rash, she has been ignorant. An exception may be made, as it always is made in any case, for that matter, in favor of old or delicate ladies, who cannot return eight hundred calls; and sometimes, when the hostess makes a special occasion of a tea, and has a set programme of music. But even then calling again is a gratuitous civility, and by no means expected.
You announce that you will be at home between certain hours; your friends, in walking costume, wait upon you. In the words of a slang phrase, it is "up to you;" and yours is the next move.

Nothing excuses delay in returning a first visit within a few days but going out of town, or illness. Nothing can be taken in place of a call after a dinner, a luncheon, a supper, or theaterparty, unless, as said before, you are ill or out of town. A card may be sent with a word of regret, and nothing is as easy, really, as attention of this kind, which invariably pleases the recipient Club life and bicycling, and many other informal matters, have modified the obligation of persons who meet constantly; but it is always better to overdo the polite than to underdo it; and a call after each and every act of civility is a neat courtesy for a woman to pay, and indispensable for a man.