Wednesday, September 17, 2014

1890 Fashions

Below are Fans, Parasols and Hats from 1890 sources. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


We've all heard of the Queen proclaiming to "let them eat cake" which it turns out isn't what we think of today as cake but a by product of making bread. In any event, below are several recipes for various cakes from the 19th century.

CAKES—Federal Cake—Flour 2 1/2 lbs.; pulverized white sugar 1 1/4 lbs.: fresh butter 10 ozs ; 5 eggs well beaten; carbonate of ammoma 1/8 oz.; water 1/2 pt., or milk is best, if you have it
Grind down the ammonia, and rub it with the sugar. Rub the butter into the flour; now make a bowl of the Hour, (unless you choose to work it up in a dish,) and put in the eggs, milk, sugar, &c., and mix well, and roll out to about a quarter of an inch in thickness; then cut out with a round cutter, and place on tins so they touch each other , and instead of rising up thicker, in baking, they fill up tno space between, and make a square-looking cake, all attached together. While they are yet warm, drench over with white coarsely-pulverized sugar. If they are to be kept in a show-case, by bakers, you can have a board as large aa tho tin on which you bake them, and lay a dozen or more tinsful on top of each other, as you sprinkle on the sugar. 1 cannot see why they are called "Federal," for really, they are good enough for any " Whig."
Ammonia should be kept in a wide-mouthed bottle, tightly corked, as it is a very volatile salt. It is known by various names, as " volatile salts," "sal volatile," "hartshorn,"' "hartshorn-shavings," &c., &c. It is used for smelling-bot ties, fainting, as also in baking.

2. Rocgh-and-Ready Cake.—Butter or lard 1 lb.; molasses • qt.; soda 1 oz.; milk or water 1/2 pt.; ground ginger 1 tablespoon; and a little oil ot lemon; flour sufficient.
Mix up the ginger in flour, and rub the butter or lard in also; dissolve the soda in the milk or water; put in the molasses, and use the flour in which the ginger and butter is rubbed up, and sufficient more to make the dough oi a proper consistence to roll out; cut the cakes out with a long and narrow cutter, and wet the top with a little molasses and water, to remove the flour from the cake; turn the top down, into pulverized white sugar, and place in an oven sufficiently hot for bread, but keep them in only to bake, not to dry up. This, and the "Federal," are great favorites in Pennsylvania, where they know what is good, and have the means to make it; yet they are not expulsive.

3. Sponge Cake.—Flour 3 cups; fine white sugar 2 cups; 6 eggs; sour milk 1/2 cup, with saleratua 1 tea-spoon.
Dissolve the saleratus in the milk j beat the eggs separately; sift the flour and sugar; first put the sugar into the milk and eggs, then the flour,and stir all well together using any flavoring extract which you prefer, 1 tea-spoon — lemon, however, is the most common As soon as tho fl.,ui Is birred in, put it immediately into a quick oven; and if it is all put into a common square bread-pan, for which it makes the right amount, it will require about twenty to thirty minutes to bake; if baked in small cakes, proportion ately less.

4. Sponge Cake With Sweet Milk.—As sour milk cannot always be had, I give you a sponge cake with sweet milk
Nice brown sugar l 1/2 cups; 3 eggs; sweet milk 1 cup; flour 3 1/2 cups; cream of tartar and soda, of each 1 tea-spoon; lemon essence 1 tea-spoon.
Thoroughly beat the sugar and eggs together; mix the cream of tartar and soda in the milk, stirring in the flavor also; then mix in the flour, remembering that all cakes ought to be baked soon after making. This is a very nice cake, notwithstanding what is said of "Berwick," below.

5. Berwick Sponge Cake Without Milk.—Six eggs, powdered white sugar 3 cups; sifted flour 4 even cups; cream of tartar 2 tea-spoons; cold water 1 cup; soda 1 tea spoon; one lemon.
First, beat the eggs two minutes, and put in the sugar and beat five minutes more; then stir in the cream of tarcar and two cups of the flour, and beat one minute; now dissolve the soda in the water and stir in, having grated the rind of the lemon, squeeze in half of the juice only; and Dually add the other two cups of flour and beat all one minute, and put into deep pans in a moderate oven. There is considerable beating about this cake, but if itself does not beat all the sponge cakes you ever beat, we will acknowledge it to be the beating cake, all around.

C. Surprise: Cake.—One egg; sugar 1 cup; butter 1/2 cup; sweet milk 1 cup; soda 1 tea-spocn; cream of tartar 2 teaspoons.
Flavor with lemon, and use sufficient sifted flour to mak die proper consistence, and you will really be surprised t see its bulk and beauty.

7. Sugar Cake.—Take 7 eggs and beat the whites and yolks separately; then beat well together; now put into them sifted white sugar 1 lb.; with melted butter 1/2 lb., and a small teaspoon of pulverized carbonate of ammonia.
Stir in just sufficient sifted flour to allow of its being rolled out and cut into cakes.

8. Ginger Cake.—Molasses 2 cups; butter, or one-half lard if you choose, 1 1/2 cups; sour milk 2 cups; ground ginger 1 tea-spoon, saleratus 1 heaping tea-spoon.
Mash the saleratus, then mix all these ingredients together in a suitable pan, and stir in flour as long as you can with a spoon; then take the hand and work in more, just so you can roll them by using flour dusting pretty freely; roll out thin, cut and lay upon your buttered or floured tins; then mix one spoon ot molasses and two of water, and with a small brush or bit of cloth wet over the top of the cakes; this removes the dry flour, causes the cakes to take a mce brown and keep them moist; put into a quick oven, and ten minutes will bake them if the oven is sufficiently hot. Do not dry them all up, but take out as soon as nicely browned.
We have sold cakes out of the grocery for years, but nevei ound any to give as good satisfaction as these, eithei at table tor counter. They keep moist, and are sufficiently rich and ight for all cake eaters.

9 Tea Or Cup Cake—Four eggs; nice brown sugar 2 1/2 cups; saleratus 1 tea-spoon; sour milk 3 cups; melted butter or half lard 1 cup; half a grated nutmeg; flour.
Put the eggs and sugar into a suitable pan and beat together: dissolve the saleratus in the milk and add to the eggs and sugar' put in the butter and nutmeg also' stir ail well: then sift in flour sufficient to make the mass to such a consistence that it will not run from a spoon when lfted upon it. Any one preferring lemon can use that in place of nutmeg. Bake rather slowly.

10 Cake, Nice, .without Eggs Or Milk —A very nice cake is made as follows, and it will keep well also:
Flour 3 1/2 lbs.; sugar 1 1/4 lb ; butter 1 lb : water 1/2 pt having 1 teaspoon of saleratus dissolved in it. Roll thin and bake on tin sheets

For More Recipes check out Dr. Chase's Recipes for Cakes There are many more, I've only shared the first ten. The next one is really interesting. Not sure if I'd make or eat it though.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Eggs Keeping and Hatching

One of my first responsibilities as a child was to take care of the chickens. It was my job to feed, muck out the hen house (thankfully Dad did that most of the time) keep a record of expenses and sales to determine a profit. It was one of the best life lessons I was ever taught. Keeping a few chickens for fresh eggs was much more common during the 19th Century than it is today. The tidbits below might help you when your characters have this responsibility, or better yet, the responsibility is thrust upon them and they don't have a clue what to do. Enjoy!

Keeping and Hatching the Eggs.
THE eggs should be kept in a cool, dry room in tin boxes to prevent the ravages of rats and mice. They are most safely stored in a dry cellar, where the temperature rarely sinks below the freezing point, and they should be occasionally looked at to make sure that they are not affected by mold. If, at any time, mold be perceived upon them it should be at once rubbed or brushed off, and the atmosphere made drier. If the tin boxes be perforated on two sides and the perforations covered with fine wire gauze, the chances of injury will be reduced to a minimum. The eggs may also, whether on cards or loose, be tied up in small bags and hung to the ceiling of the cold room. The string of the bag should be passed through a bottle neck, or piece of tin, to prevent injury from rats or mice. The temperature should never be allowed to rise above 40° Fahr., but may be allowed to sink below freezing point without injury.

Hatching-They should be kept at a low temperature until the mulberry leaves are well started in the spring, and great care must be taken as the weather grows warmer to prevent hatching before their food is ready for them,'since both the Mulberry and Osage Orange are rather late in leafing out. One great object should be, in fact, to have them all kept back, as the tendency in our climate is to premature hatching. Another object should be to have them hatch uniformly, and this is best attained by keeping together those laid at one and the same time, and by wintering them as already recommended, in cellars that are cool enough to prevent any embryonic development. They should then, as soon as the leaves of the food plant have commenced to put forth, be placed in trays and brought into a well-aired room where the temperature averages about 75° Fahr.
Heat and Moisture-The heat of the room may be increased about two degrees each day, and if the eggs have been well kept back during the winter, they will begin to hatch under such treatment on the fifth or sixth day. By no means must the eggs be exposed to the sun’s rays, which would kill them in a very short time. As the time of hatching approaches, the eggs grow lighter in color, and then the atmosphere must be kept moist artificially by sprinkling the floor, or otherwise, in order to enable the worms to eat through the egg-shell more easily. They also appear fresher and more vigorous with due amount of moisture.
Ventilation.-The building in which rearing is to be done should be so arranged that it can be thoroughly and easily ventilated, and warmed if desirable. A northeast exposure is the best, and buildings erected for the express purpose should, of course, combine these requisites.
Source: Home and Farm Manual ©1884

Friday, September 12, 2014

About East

I came across this expression from a book on Americanisms. Here's what it said:

About East.—To the frontiersman or pioneer, the Eastern or New England States are typical of all that he cherishes most and loves best. The vicissitudes of his rough Western life, the toil and hardships he has undergone while battling with nature and building up a new habitation far from the old homestead, all predispose him to turn with longing eyes and undying, though quaintly exaggerated love, to the East—the home of his fathers. A famous Yankee character (Major Jack Downing) makes use of the expression that he would "Go East of sunrise anyday to see sich a place." Everybody and everything connected with the East, i.e., his native land, is commendable. To his mind they cannot be surpassed —hence the things he would hold up to admiration he says are about East, i.e., "about right." Indeed, it is surprising what a strong hold this idea has upon the minds of men. Many a familiar phrase recalls the old times and the old folks to memory, which, in this respect, is evergreen. They talk of Going Down East, that is, to New England, while the DownEaster is neither more nor less than the pure and veritable Yankee.
Source: Americanisms ©1889

Unfortunately this was the only reference I found regarding this term. I found it in other books but always referring to a direction, not the term being quoted above.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Buffalo Chips

Is the delicate way to mention the droppings from a Buffalo. You might ask why I would mention such a tidbit, well someone was asking so I looked it up. And yes if you are writing a story set in the plains during the 19th Century you'll want to know this little bit of info.

Buffalo chips—Last, but by no means least in value to tbe traveler ou the treeless plains, are the droppings of the buffalo, universally knowu as "buffalo chips." When over one year old and thoroughly dry, this material makes excellent fuel. Usually it occurs only where firewood is unobtainable, and thousands of frontiersmen have a million times found it of priceless value. When dry, it catches easily, burns readily, and makes a hot fire with but very little smoke, although it is rapidly consumed. Although not as good for a fire as even the poorest timber it is infinitely better than sagebrush, which, in the absence of chips, is often the traveler's last resort.
It usually happens that chips are most abundant in the sheltered creek-bottoms and near the water-holes, the very situations which travelers naturally select for their camps. In these spots the herds have gathered either for shelter in winter or for water in summer, and remained in a body for some hours. And now, when the cow-boy on the roundup, the surveyor, or hunter, who must camp out,.pitches his tent in the grassy coulee or narrow creek-bottom, his first care is to start out with his largest gunning bag to "rustle some buffalo chips" for a campfire. He, at least, when he returns well laden with the spoil of his humble chase, still has good reason to remember the departed herd with feelings of gratitude. Thus even the last remains of this most useful animal are utilized by man in providing for his own imperative wants.
Source: Report Upon the Condition and Progress of the U.S. National Museum ©1889

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

1858 Bonnets

Below are some 1858 bonnets featured in magazines from the time period.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Below are some recipes for various Beers, btw, not all beer is full of alcohol. Like the first recipe for Root Beer. However most do have alcohol.

Root Beer.—For each gallon of water to be used, take hops, burdock, yellow dock, sarsaparilla, dandelion, and spikenard roots, bruised, of each i oz.; boil about 20 minutes, and strain while hot, add 8 or 10 drops of oils of spruce and sassafras mixed in equal proportions, when cool enough not tc scald your hand, pat in 2 or 3 table-spoons of yeast; molasses 5 of a pint, or white sugar £ lb. gives it about the right sweetness.
Keep these proportions for as many gallons as you wish to make. You can use more or less of the roots to suit your taste after trying it; it is best to get the dr~ -v>tB. or dig them and let them get dry, and of course you can add any other root known to possess medicinal properties desired in the beer. After all is mixed, let it stand in a jar with a cloth thrown over it, to work about two hours, then bottle and set in a cool place. This is a nice way to take alteratives, without taking medicine. And families ought to make it every Spring, and drink freely of it for several weeks. and thereby save, perhaps, several dollars in doctors' bills.

2. Spruce Or Aromatic Beer.—For 3 gals, water put in 1 qt. and i pt. of molasses, 3 eggs well beaten, yeast 1 gill. Into 2 qts. of the water boiling hot put 50 drops of any oil you wish the flavor of; or mix 1 oz. each, oils sassafras, spruce and wintergreen, then use 50 drops of the mixed oils.
Mix all, and strain; let it stand two hours, then bottle, Dearing in mind that yeast must not be put in when the fluid would scald the hand. Boiling water cuts oil for beers, equal to alcohol

3. Lemon Beer.—Water 30 gals.; ginger root bruised 6 ozs.; cream of tartar £ lb.; coffee sugar 13 lbs.; oil of lemon 1 oz.; or i oz. of the oil may be used, and 6 good sized lemons, sliced; yeast 1| pts.
Boil the ginger and cream of tartar, about twenty to thirty minutes, in two or three gallons of the water; then strain it upon the sugar and oils or sliced lemons, which have been rubbed together, having warm water enough to make the whole thirty gallons just so you can hold your hand in it without burning, or about seventy degrees of heat; thon work up the yeast into a paste, as for the cider, with five or six ounces of flour. Let it work over night, skimming off the yeast, or letting it work over as the cider, then strain and bottle for use. This will keep fifteen or twenty days. The Port Huronites think it a splendid drink.

4. Ginger Beer.—White sugar 5 lbs.; lemon juice 1 gill; ouney i lb.; ginger, bruised, 5 ozs.; water 4£ gals.
Boil the ginger thirty minutes in three qts. of the water; then add the other ingredients, and strain; when cold, put in the white of an egg, well beaten, with one tea-spoon of lemon essence—let stand four days, and bottle. It will keep for months—much longer than if yeast was used; the honey however, operates mildly in place of yeast.

PHILADELPHIA Beer.—Water 30 gals.; brown sugar 20 lbs.; ginger, bruised, iJ lbs.; cream of tartar J lb.; super carbonate of soda 3 ozs.; oil oi lemon, cut in a little alcohol, 1 tea-spoon whites of 10 eggs, well beaten; hops 2 ozs.; yeast 1 qt.
The ginger root and hops should be boiled twenty or thirty minutes in enough of the water to make all milk warm, then strained into the rest, and the yeast added and llowed to work over night; skimmed and bottled.

6. Patent Gas Beer.—Ginger 2 ozs.; allspice 1 oz.; cinnamon i oz.; cloVes i oz.; all bruised or ground; molasses 2 qts., cold water 7i gals.; yeast 1 pt.
Boil the pulverized articles, for fifteen or twenty minutes, in the molasses; then strain into your keg, and add the water, then the yeast; shake it well together and bung down. If made over night it will be ready for use the next day. There ought to be a little space in the keg not filled with the beer. This beer is ahead of all the pops and mineral waters of the day, for flavor, health or sparkling qualities or speed in making. Be careful you do not burst the keg. In hot weather, draw in a pitcher with ice. I have jold this in the principal towns of Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, traveling with a caravan, and obtained two dollars for the recipe of the man who kept the inside stand, and blowcd the head out of the first keg of it which he made.

7. Corn Beer, Without Yeast.—Cold water 5 gals.; sound nice corn 1 qt.; molasses 2 qts.; put all into a keg of this sir*; shake well, and in 2 or 3 days a fermentation will have been brought on as nicely as with yeast. Keep it bunged tight.
It may be flavored with oils of spruce or lemon, if desired, by pouring on to the oils one or two quarts of the water, boiling hot. The corn will last five or six makings. If it gets too sour add more molasses and water in the same proportions. It is cheap, healthy, and no bother with yeast.

8. Strong Beer, English Improved.—Malt 1 peck; coarse brown sugar 6 lbs.; hops 4 oz.; good yeast 1 tea-cup; if you have not malt, take a little over 1 peck of barley, (twice the amount of oats will do, but are not as good,) and put it into an oven after the bread is drawn, or into a stove oven, and steam the moisture from them. Grind coarsely.
Now pour upon the ground malt 31 gals, of water at 170 or 172 °. of heat. The tub in which you scald the malt should have a false bottom, 2 or 3 inches from the real bottom; the false bottom should be bored full ot gimlet holes, so as to act as a strainer, to keep back the malt meal. When the water is poured on, stir them well, and let it stand 3 hours, and draw on by a faucet; put in 7 gals, more of water at 180 to 182°; stir it well, and let it stand 2 hours and draw it off. Thee put on a
fal. or two of cold water, stir it well and draw it off; you should ave about 5 or 6 gals. Put the 6 lbs. of coarse brown sugar in an equal amount of water; mix with the wort, and boil 11 to 2 hours with the hops; you should have eight gals, when boiled; when cooled to 80° put in the yeast, and let it work 18 to 20 hours, covered with a sack; use sound iron hooped kegs or porter bottles, bung or cork tight, and in two weeks it will be good sound beer, and will keep a long time; and for persons of a weak habit of body, and especially females, 1 glass of this with their meals is far better than tea or coffee, or all the ardent spirits in the universe. If more malt is used, not exceeding i a bushel, the beer, of course, would have more spirit, but this strength is sufficient for the use of families or invalids.
Source: Dr. Chase's Recipes or Information for everybody ©1866

Monday, September 8, 2014


I came across an oil cloth floor in Franklin, Tn while visiting an historical site. Here's a link to the previous post.
Today's post I'd like to build on that knowledge a bit with the tidbits below:

Floorcloth. There are several kinds of floorcloth. Formerly the name was confined to painted canvas, which is now called oilcloth; but the more recently introduced linoleum and other fabrics in which ground cork bulks largely are now extensively used for covering floors.

Oilcloth.—The basis of oilcloth is a coarse canvas generally made of jute, but it is stronger when made of flax tow. It is woven into pieces often as long as 150 yards and as wide as 8 yards. The first step is to fix a piece of this, say 75 feet in length by 24 feet in width, upon an upright frame provided with screws by means of which the canvas can be uniformly stretched. Stages or platforms are placed at convenient heights to enable the workmen to cover the canvas. Before paint is applied the canvas receives a coating of size, the chief object of which is to prevent injury to the cloth by acid products arising from the oxidation of the linseed-oil with which the paint is made up. When the size is thoroughly dry and pumiced, a layer or coating of paint is put on with steel trowels like those used by plasterers. Yellow ochre is much used for this thick coating, which if unaided by artificial heat sometimes takes fourteen days to dry. A second coat is applied in the same manner to finish the back, but the face receives five or six trowel coats, the surface being once or twice pumiced between the coats. The wearing surface receives a coat of paint with a brush if some other colour than that of the last trowel coat is wanted for the ground shade. In the case of cheap oilcloths, the coats of paint, instead of being applied by trowels, are put on by a .roller machine. A man keeps pouring the prepared paint out of a bucket on the moving canvas, and a long blunt knife-blade, almost touching its surface, regulates the thickness of the coat of paint. When made by this method, the oilcloth receives nine coats.

In printing, wood blocks are chiefly used, a separate one being required for each colour of the pattern. These are about 18 inches square, and the face is commonly made of pear-wood, with a pattern cut out by steel tools. There is an ingenious way of producing patterns on wood blocks by heated iron punches. Sometimes the raised portions of these printing-blocks consist of type-metal or brass.

Calico-printing will give an idea of how the impressions from several blocks complete a pattern. Beside the printers there is a table upon which are placed the colour-pads. Another table, padded with felt or flannel, supports the floorcloth, each pattern block, charged with colour, being applied by means of a small screw-press. A machine is in use for printing floorcloth which to a certain extent imitates hand-printing. The blocks which form the pattern are depressed by cams carried on shafts. Roller machines are not applicable to this kind of printing, because the paint would ' run' on a revolv-( ing surface. The durability of oilcloth depends' very much on the length of time given for the paint to harden, and also upon its quality.
Source: Chambers' Encyclopedia ©1893

Touching Up Household Articles.
These are a hundred and one little things about a house that may be improved in appearance by a slight rub over with varnish. The furniture, in most cases, is oiled and polished. The stair-cloth and hall or kitchen oil-cloth flooring may be varnished over at night and be dry for use the following day, but the knowledge of just how such work is to be done prevents many from attempting it. Directions for varnishing many household articles have already been given, but there is yet opportunity for going into more minute details.

Varnishing Floor Oil-Cloth.
The varnish best suited for a floor-cloth is known in the
trade as "No. 1 Furniture." It dries hard and quickly,
and is not so readily removed by the repeated washings
of soap and water. This varnish should cost about $2.00
per gallon, and it may be kept bottled so that at intervals
the cloth may receive a coating and thus be kept bright
and clean. It is hardly necessary to explain that before 6* (129)
varnishing, the oil-cloth must be washed clean. It is better to use no soap in washing or at least but a little, because strong soap will remove the coloring.

The figures in a floor-cloth may be brightened up by the stencil process if need be, and to do this take a pioco of thin paper and copy the figure originally on the cloth, then lay the pattern thus obtained upon some thick papor and cut it out (see page 59 for directions about making stencils). After the new paint has been put on, and this will probably not be necessary upon every square, tho varnishing will complete operations.
Stair-cloths may have the centre stripe, where most worn, painted with a plain color, say dark brown, leaving the original edge-stripe, and a very nice job be made of it. See chapter on Mixing Colors for method of preparing paint for this purpose.
Source: Everybody's Paint Book ©1884

Saturday, September 6, 2014


If you lived in the 19th Century and worked outside of a city more than likely you knew and had experience with cows. Below are some pictures and brief info to help the writer identify the type of cow that might be in their books.

Short Horned Cows
It has heen frequently asserted, that short-horn cows are had milkers, indeed that no kind of cattle are so deficient in milk. Those who say so do not know the still greater deficiencies of the Herefords, a species of cattle quite unknown in Scotland. The higher hred stocks of the Messrs. Collings, Mr. Mason, and Mr. Rohertson, yielded little milk. Indeed, Mr. Rohertson's cows could not supply milk sufficient for their own calves, at least not in the quantity which it was desired hy him they should receive. Cows were kept for the purpose of supplying the deficiency of milk of the high-hred cows. But this deficiency of milk did not altogether proceed from the circumstance of the cows heing of the short-horn hreed : hecause those eminent hreeders devoted their whole attention to the developement of flesh, and not at all to the developement of milk. Had the flesh heen neglected as much as the milk, and the property of giving milk as much cherished as the developement of flesh, their short-horn Coats would have heen deep milkers. As it is, the generality of shorthorn cows are not had milkers.
Source: The Farmers' Magazine Click link for the rest of the article.

Sussex Cow "Elsa"
Winner of the Champion Prize given by the Sussex Herd Book Society for the best female in the Sussex classes, and of the Gold Medal presented by Her Majesty the Queen for the best animal in the Sussex classes, at the Jubilee Show of the Royal Agricultural Siicicty of England, Windsor, 1889. Bred and exhibited by Mr. W. B. Waterlow, of High Trees, Redhill, Surrey.
Source: The Complete Grazier and Farmers' and Cattle=Breeders Assistant Click link for the entire book.

Ayrshire Cow
The Ayrshire cow, removed to England, is said not to maintain her dairy qualities at the best; there is tendency to flesh. The American-bred Jersey shows more horn, larger bone, and a less deer-like form than the Jersey-born.
The Ayrshire is exceptionally hardy. Though you may not expect to freeze her blood in the yard, and at the succeeding thaw find her milk flow unimpaired, her coat sleek, and her back straight, yet she will be as profitable with those who expect all this from a cow as any other.
Source: The Dairy Cow Click link for the entire book.

Jersey Cow
Though it is rapidly being proved that cows of the Jersey and Guernsey breeds rank as first-rate for richness of milk and cream, for quantity and high quality of butter, for easy keeping qualities and for delicacy of meat, there yet seemed a want of a work which proves all these excellent qualities to be possessed by these breeds, and, by bringing them more prominently into notice, to advance the interests of the agricultural community, particularly that portion of it residing in the vicinity of large cities and towns; though by the constantly increasing advantages offered by most of the railways distant portions of the country are brought more nearly and advantageously together.
Source: The Jersey, Alderney and Guernsey Cow Click the link for the entire book.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Cheese Making

I love going to the store and buying cheese. Making cheese today is similar to making cheese during the 19th century however the tools are a bit different. Below is beginning of an article from The Book of the Farm ©1890 on cheese making.

The systems of cheese-making pursued in this country are numerous. It is a more intricate process than butter-making, affording scope for the exercise of greater skill in manipulation, and of more ingenuity in producing differences in the manufactured article.
In making the hard cheeses of this country the entire milk as it comes from the cow is dealt with. In making Stilton cheeses a little extra cream is usually, and ought always to be added. The cheese-maker has thus a bulky article to handle, and one which requires to be treated with the utmost skill and care commonly called a vat or tub. It may be oblong, as shown in Fig. 449
about 20 inches deep, and 30 to 32 inches wide, and mounted on 3 or 4 wheels so as to be easily moved about, and from one apartment to another. The Vat is if uniformly good results are to be obtained.

Apartments for Cheese-making— In well-equipped dairies there are at least three separate compartments for cheese-making—(r) the milk-room, the curd and pressing room, and (3) t e drying-room. In Stilton dairies there are generally three but sometimes four compartments. A convenient arrangement is to have the store over the other compartments, or perhaps over the curd or cheese-making room only. Some prefer to have the store in a cool dimly lighted ground-floor room.
An important point is to have the compartments as much as possible protected from variations in temperature,— so arranged that the temperature may be artificially controlled independently of the season of the year.
And, as in butter-making, the apartments and vessels must be kept perfectly clean, sweet, and fresh. Bad smells and impurities in the milk are fatal to successful cheese-making.

Utensils.--The utensils required in cheese-making are numerous, but they need not be costly. They usually consist of a milk vat or tub, strainers, curdknives, curd-mill, curd-shovel, curd-rake, cheese moulds or hoops, cheese racks or shelves, cheese-presses, pails, and pans, etc.

Vat—The vessel in which the milk is collected to be coagulated by rennet is made of many sizes to suit different dairies. This is the most modern vat. It has a double casing, so as to admit between the two cases cold water for cooling and hot water for heating the milk and curd. The inner case should be made of the best tinned steel; and the at is provided, as shown, with brass taps, as well as with draining cylinder, siphons, covers, and draining racks, on which the last the curd is placed to strain.

Circular Cheese Tub--Formerly the milk-vat was in the form of a circular tub. In very small dairies these tubs may still be convenient for the handling of small quantities of curd. Indeed there are not a few noted cheese-makers who still prefer the circular tub. With either the round or oblong vat first-class cheese may be made; but the modern oblong vat, with the double casing for heating or cooling the contents, in unquestionably the most convenient.

Heating Curd--In the modern vat with double casing the curd may be heated as desired by circulating steam or hot water between the two cases, which are usually about 2 inches apart. The perfect control which this gives over the temperature of the contents of the vat is regarded by most modern cheese-makers as of the very first importance. There are some who contend that this system is liable to injure the cheese by over-cooking the portions of curd which come into contact with the hot sides of the vat. This risk may be avoided by raising the heat slowly. In the round tubs the curd is heated by withdrawing a quantity of the whey, scalding it to a high temperature, and pouring it over the curd. This has to be frequently repeated, and is a troublesome process.

Curd-mill.—The frame of the curd mill, is usually made of wood, consisting of two bars supported on four legs. On the top is fastened the hopper with movable pins and hinges, and at the bottom of this runs an iron axle armed with pins or teeth fixed on it spirally, and below this again a metal grating. A handle drives the toothed axle, and the teeth pass through the bars of the grating, so that slices of “green” curd when put into the hopper are cut and broken through the grating, and fall into a receiver below. The metal working parts are tinned over 3 and the wood must be of some close-grained variety, and well seasoned, while the framework is sometimes made of iron.

Presses-- Of the cheese press the varieties are numbers. Those most in use my be classed under two kinds, with and without levers. Of the lever-press the varieties are most numerous, passing from the single lever, through the various combinations of simple levers, to the more elaborate one of the rack and levers.
Single cheese Press
The article goes on and if you would like to read the rest of it, here is a link in Google books Cheese Making the article begins on pg 500.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

When visiting South China

Here's a little tidbit with two illustrations that I thought was interesting. Mainly because they call the hand cart a wheel barrow. However it is always interesting to read what people find curious about visiting another culture. This comes from the The Phrenological Journal and Life Illustrated ©1873

The wheel-barrows are usually provided with a cushion for the passenger to sit on. This generally extends over the frame which protects the wheel, and can be removed if boxes and bales are required to be carried in place of passengers. A kind of rope stirrup is generally attached to each side of the cart, which hangs down near the ground. The outside foot of the passenger can be readily inserted in this stirrup, while the other is curled up under him, in case he does not prefer to sit with his back against the frame which protects the wheel, with both feet dangling down on the outside. The wheel-barrow man has a rope or band which he puts over his shoulders, and hooks on to the end of the wheel-barrow handles. In this way the weight which otherwise would have to be sustained by his arms and bands is sustained by the strap or rope.
consists in having the weight to be carried come by the sides of the wheel, and not between the wheel and the man working it. The weight is so disposed that only a small part of it is lifted by the man in wheeling. With the Western wheel-barrow, oftentimes half, or more than half, of the strength of the man is employed in lifting the load, but in the case of the Chinaman with bis wheel-barrow, he employs his strength mostly in pushing and propelling his load.
An ingenious mechanic, from these pictures and suggestions, could doubtless manufacture an improved wheel-barrow which would be much more fitted to the transportation of boxes, packages, stone, sand, etc., than the one now in general use in the United States, enabling the barrow-man to wheel two or three times as much weight as now and with less fatigue. At Tientsin, when dirt and pebbles or refuse are to be transported, the wheel-barrow is provided with two or more oblong baskets, which are snugly packed alongside of the wheel.
Carrying Packages
Carrying People

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

1872 Men's Fashions

This items come from original 1872 sources

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Yesterday's post on the Horse should have been today's post. That will teach me to be writing blog posts at 3am. Scroll down and Enjoy!

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Horse is a Horse of course...

Yes, I grew up watching Mr. Ed and fell in love with the idea of a talking horse, wouldn't that be cool? Okay so, I'm no longer that kid but I still think it would be cool. hehe.

Seriously though today's topic is the horse. If you're like me and haven't grown up around or had much experience with horses, this information you will find handy for writing your historicals or even contemporary novels in which a horse is necessary. The first is an illustration from Dr. Chase's Recipes ©1873. No he's not advocating eating horse meat. However, this book is useful for a variety of household information. Then after the picture are some tips from the same book regarding the care of the horses.

HORSE OINTMENT—De Gray or Sloan's.—Resin, 4 ozs.; bees-wax, 4 ozs ; lard, 8 ozs.; honey, 2 ozs. Melt these articles slowly, gently bringing to a boil; and as it begins to boil, remove from the fire and slowly add a little less than a pint of spirits of turpentine,.stirring all the time this is being added, and stir until cool.
This is an extraordinary ointment for bruises, in flesh or hoof, broken knees, galled backs, bites, cracked heels, etc., etc.; or when a horse is gelded, to heal and keep away flies. It is excellent to take fire out of burns or scalds in human flesh also.
CONDITION POWDERS—Said to be St. John's.—
Fenugreek, cream-of-tartar, gentian, sulphur, saltpetre, resin, black antimony, and ginger, equal quantities of each, say 1 oz.; all to be finely pulverized; cayenne, also fine, half the quantity of any one of the others, say % oz. Mix thoroughly.
It is used in yellow water, hide-bound, coughs, colds, distemper, and all other diseases where condition powders are generally administered. They carry off gross humors and purify the blood. Dose.—In ordinary cases give two teaspoons once a day, in feed. In extreme cases give it twice daily. If these do not give as good satisfaction as St. John's or any other condition powder that costs more than double what it does to make this, then I will acknowledge that travel and study are of no account in obtaining information.
3. Cathartic Condition Powder.—Gamboge, alum, saltpetre, resin, copperas, ginger, aloes, gum-myrrh, salts, and salt, and if the horse is in a very low condition, put in wormwood, all the same quantities, viz: lozeach. Dose.—One table-spoon in bran twice daily; not giving any other grain for a few days; then once a day with oats and other good feed.'
This last is more applicable for old worn-down horses which need cleaning out and starting again into new life, and in such cases, just the thing to be desired.

HORSE LINIMENT—For Stiff-Neck from Poll-Evils.
Alcohol, one pint; oil of cedar, origanum, and gum-camphor, of each two ounces; oil of amber, one ounce; use freely.
2. English Stable Liniment—Vory Strong.—Oil of
spike, aqua ammonia, and oil of turpentine, of each, 2 ozs.; sweet oil and oil of amber, of each, 1% ozs.; oil of origanum, 1 oz. Mix.
Call this good for any thing, and always keep it in tho stable as a strong liniment; the. Englishman's favorite for poll-evils, ring-bones, and all old lameness, inflammations, etc.; if much inflammation, however, it will fetch the hair, but not destroy it.
3. Nerve and Bone Liniment.—Take beef's gall, 1 qt.; alcohol, 1 pt.; volatile liniment, 1 lb.; spirits of turpentine, 1 lb.; oil of origanum, 4 ozs.; aqua ammonia, 4 ozs.; tincture of cayenne, pt.; oil of amber, 3 ozs.; tincture of Spanishflies, 6 ozs.; mix.
Uses too well known to need description. This is more particularly applicable to horse flesh.
4. Liniment for One-Shilling a Quart.—Best vinegar, 2 qts.; saltpetre, pulverized, % lb.; mix and set in a warm place, until dissolved.
It will be found valuable for spavins, sprains, strains,' bruises, old swellings, etc.

BROKEN LIMBS—Treatment, Instead of Inhumanly Shooting: the Horse.—In the greater number of fractures it is only necessary to partially sling the horse by means of abroad piece of sail or other strong cloth, (as represented in the figure,) placed under the animal's belly, furnished with two breechings and two breast-girths, and by means of ropes and pulleys attached to a cross beam above, he is elevated or lowered, as may be required.
It would seldom be necessary to raise them entirely off of their feet, as they will be more quiet, generally, when allowed to touch the ground or floor. The head-stall should be padded and ropes reaching each way to the stall, as well as forward. Many horses will plunge about for a time, but soon quiet down, with an occasional exception; when they become quiet, set the bone, splint it well, padding the splints with battings securing carefully, then keep wet with cold water, as long as the least inflammation is present, using light food, and a little water at a time, but may be given often.
The use of the different buckles and straps will be easily understood.
If he is very restive, other ropes can be attached to the corner rings, which are there for that purpose, and will afford much additional relief to the horse.
I knew a horse's thigh to crumble upon the race-course, without apparent cause, which lost him the stake he would have easily won; he was hauled miles upon a sled, slung, and cured by his humane owner. Then let every fair means b« tried, before you consent to take the life, even of a brokenlegged horse.

There are additional pages for the care and treatment of horses in Dr. Chase's Book check it out in Google Books.

19th Century Cook Books

I've been collecting a resource of Google Cook Books from the 19th Century below is my list to date. Note that some are no longer available on Google books. This is one of the reasons I will download a copy for myself for research purposes. The one time I didn't copy my original source and an editor questioned me on it, the resource disappeared when I went to show the editor the information. It's a lesson I learned early in my writing career. I was able to prove my facts but it took a lot more time.

So if one of these cook books is important to your character and their story than you might want to download a copy for your records. Enjoy!

1810 The_new_family_receipt_book

1811 The_art_of_preserving_all_kinds_of_animal and Vegetable

1819 The_family_receipt_book

1820 The_new_family_receipt_book_

1829 The_French_cook

1829 The_Italian_confectioner

1830 Seventy_five_receipts_for_pastry_cakes_and Sweetmeats

1831 Family_receipts (Which I downloaded and have a copy but couldn't locate on Google books

1834 Simpson_s_cookery_improved_and_modernised: The Complete Modern Cookbook

1835 The_American_frugal_housewife

1838 The_Virginia_housewife

1840 Directions_for_cookery_in_its_various_branches

1845 The_New_England_economical_housekeeper

1850 Miss_Leslie_s_lady_s_new_receipt_book

1851 Miss_Leslie_s_complete_cookery (This edition seems to no longer be available on Google Books but it isn't that different from the one listed above.)

1855 Cook_book

1857 Miss_Leslie_s_new_cookery_book

1857 Mrs's Hales New Cook Book

1857 Mrs__Hale_Receipts for the Million

1863 The_book_of_household_management

1864 The_American_Home_Cook_Book The opening section of this cook book has several drawings of the various tools and equipment used at that time. Many still look the same today.

1865 Mrs_Beeton_s_Dictionary_of_every_day_cooking

1871 De_Witt_s_Connecticut_cook_book_and_housekeeper's assistant

1871 Miss_Beecher_s_Domestic_Receipt_book

1872 The_Appledore_cook_book

1881 Household_hints

1884 Mrs_Owens_cook_book_and_useful_household hints This one is no longer at Google books but can be found at the Library of Congress

1890 Keesling_s_Book_of_Recipes_and_Household

1893 Cooking_for_profit

1896 The_Boston_cooking_school_cook_book The Original Fanny Farmer Cook Book

1897 Mrs_Owens_new_cook_book_and_complete_household hints