Friday, October 2, 2015

The Dark Knight by Henry G. Bell

This isn't the kind of a poem I would normally read or post but as I skim through some of the references in Google books about the Dark Knight this 1830 poem (It could have been published before that date but that is the earliest I found it.) seems to have influenced a far amount of writings during the 19th Century. This 1830 poem was printed in "The Edinburgh Literary Journal." The following year, Bell published a book of poems "Summer and Winter Hours." in which he included this poem.

By Henry G. Bell

There came a dark knight from a far countrie,
And no one ever saw his face, for he
Wore his black vizor down continuallie.

He came to a gay bridal, where the bride
Stood, in rich robes, her destined lord beside,
Who gazed upon her with a joyful pride.

And there was music in the sunny sky,
And mirthful voices made a glad reply,—
And there was music in the young bride's eye.

Yet ever and anon her look would fall
On the dark knight who stood apart from all,—
Dark as his shadow, moveless on the wall.

The words were spoken, and the bridal o'er,
And now the mirth grew louder than before;
Why stands the dark knight silent at the door?

The hour grows late, and one by one depart
The guests, with bounding step and merry heart,—
Methought I saw that new-wed ladie start.

N'one in her father's hall are left but she
And her young bridegroom, who, as none may see,
Hath twined his arm around her lovinglie.

Yes,—there is still a third—the vizor'd knight,—
Mark you the glancing of his corslet bright,
Mark you his eye that glares with such strange light?

He moves on slowly through the lofty room,
And as he moves there falls a deeper gloom,—
That heavy tread, why sounds it of the tomb?

And through the castle there was stillness deep,
A drearier stillness than the calm of sleep,—
Closer, in silent awe, the lovers creep.

—A shriek was heard at midnight, such as broke
On every ear, like the first pealing stroke
Of the alarm bell, and the sleepers woke!

In the old hall where fitful moonlight shone,
There lay the bridegroom and the bride alone,
Pale, dead, and cold as monumental stone,—
A vizor'd helm was near, but the dark knight was gone.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Frosting versus Icing

This week a discussion rose on a historical writer's loop that I'm on about the use of frosting on cakes. A discussion about the term frosting or icing also developed. The earliest use of the term frosting I found in 1865 Dr. Chase's Recipes.

Icing tends to be for thinner more like a glaze covering while frosting is thicker, creamier.

Below are some recipes for both. However I found another source that spoke about the various sugars and designs with sugar for covering cakes as well. Be creative as your characters decorate their cakes.

Boiled Icing.
Measure 2 cups of white sugar in an earthen bowl, pour over boiling water enough to mix or dampen the sugar thoroughly and boil until thick, or grains. Have the whites of 2 eggs well beaten in a deep bowl, add the juice of 1 lemon or 1 tea-spoon of cream of tartar, pour the syrup over the eggs while quite hot, stirring quickly until cool.

Soft Icing. Mix 1/2lb. confectioners’ sugar with table-spoon of boiling water, and same amount of any preferred fruit juice or extract; spread at once about % of an inch thick.

One lb. of pulverized sugar, pour over it 1 table-spoon of cold water, beat the whites of 3 eggs a little, not to a stiff froth; add to the sugar and water, put in a deep bowl, place in a vessel of boiling water and keep on the fire, all the time stirring it. It will become thin and clear, afterwards thicken. When it becomes quite thick remove from the fire and stir while it cools, till it becomes thick enough to spread with a knife. This will frost several cakes.

Frosting Without Eggs, or Water Icing.
Take the amount of sugar necessary for your cake, pour on a little hot water and stir to the proper consistency, add flavoring and spread over or between cake.

Bakers’ Icing.
Sufficient sugar to make the required amount of frosting; pour on hot water, and stir to a little thicker consistency than ordinary frosting. Flavor with any desired extract, and spread over the cake or between the layers. This is simple and very nice.

Plain Frosting.
With an egg-batter whip the whites of 2 eggs for 5 minutes. Add 8 oz. fine sugar, a few drops of flavoring, and if for white frosting use a little lemon juice.

Pink Frosting.
Same as above with. no lemon juice, but a little strawberry, cranberry, or currant juice.

Yellow Frosting.
Same as above “Plain,” omitting the lemon. For coloring, grate the peel of I or 2 oranges, squeeze out a part of the juice, stir together, strain through a thin cloth, and add to the frosting. A little saffron tea strained makes a rich coloring.

Chocolate Frosting.
Enough fora four-layer cake. About % lb. fine sugar, and enough hot water to make a nice frosting. Scrape fine 2 oz. chocolate, put into a tin, to which add no water, and slowly melt. Unite the chocolate and frosting, stir well, and quickly spread between layers and on top of the cake.

Boiled Frosting.
Put into a kettle 1 cup sugar with 20r3table-spoons water, and boil until it threads. Pour onto the well beaten white of an egg, stir a few minutes, and spread it on the cake. A cup of either nut meats, chopped figs, or raisins may be added as an improvement.

Cocoanut Frosting.
Enough f0r4 la ers of cake. Grate a cocoanut, or use the desiccated. ith 3/4 lb. fine sugar and sufficient hot water make an icing. Spread between the la ers and sprinkle with cocoanut. Fine sugar may be use for the top of the cake, with or without the cocoanut.

Chocolate Frosting Without Eggs.
Melt I square of chocolate over steamIstirr I cup powdered su _ar, then add 2 table-spoons milk; spread when cake is a ittle warm.
Source: The Home Queen World's Fair Souvenir Cook Book ©1893

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bridal Attire

Earlier this week I shared some Wedding dresses from the 19th Century on Heroes, Heroines & History. There's a link at the bottom of this post. However, I have a couple other Wedding Attire Tidbits to share with all of you.


1860 Hair Style For Bride

1866 Bridal Head Dress



Bridal Veils & Bodices

Bride & Bridesmaids Toilets

1871 Bridal Veils

1876 Bridal Head Dress

The post I mentioned about was simply wedding gowns. Here's a link Tidbits of 19th Century Wedding Gowns Get them out, if you haven't already.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Peanut Butter

I apologize for this late post. I had an early morning appointment.

Below you'll find some basic information on Peanuts and Peanut Butter. It appears to me that peanut butter was not common place until the last decade of the 19th Century.

Of the 4,000,000 bushels of peanuts raised annually in this country i.000,000 bushels are used roasted. The remainder of the crop and he peanuts of an inferior grade go to the confectioner and appear in peanut candy and other confections. Therefore at present the peanut, is used among us, is hardly to be considered a food, but, as already -aid, only as a food accessory or luxury. It is quite possible, how?ver, that this highly nutritious and cheap product of our Southern fields may come to be used in more ways than it is at present, and [■specially in combination with other food materials.
Peanut butter.—The roasted peanut ground into an oily meal has somewhat the consistency of butter and is now marketed under the name of peanut butter. Salt is perhaps quite generally added during the process of manufacture. Water is also sometimes added—usually before serving. Peanut butter is used like other butter to spread on bread, for the making of sandwiches, and in the preparation of a number of made dishes. Many persons like its flavor when it is fresh and of good quality, and it seems fair to say that the use of this and other sorts of nut butter is growing. As regards composition, peanut butter, which is essentially the ground roasted peanut, contains more protein and less fat than ordinary butter. Little is known regarding the digestibility of peanut butter, but the fine grinding would naturally seem to be of an advantage. Judged by Jaffa's experiments with a ration containing peanuts, it would be well digested.
Source: The Farmer's Bulletin ©1894

THE production of nut butter is a very simple process. The peanut and almond are the nuts that are chiefly used for this purpose; but the Brazil-nuts make a very fine butter. All of the nuts can be ground, but as they can not be blanched, they do not make a nice looking butter. The Spanish peanut has proved the most satisfactory for butter making, although some people prefer the Virginia variety. The first essential thing is to have a nut-grinding mill.
The first step is to roast the peanuts to a nice brown, being careful not to over-brown or scorch them, as too much cooking spoils the flavor. They can be roasted in an ordinary oven, but can be better done in a peanut roaster made especially for this purpose. As soon as they are roasted and cool, the skins or bran should be removed by rubbing them in the hands, or what is better, a coarse bag; or take a square piece of cloth and fold the edges together, forming a bag of it. The chaff can then be removed by the use of an ordinary fan, or by pouring from one dish to another where the wind is blowing. The process of removing the skins is called blanching. Next look them over carefully, remove all defective nuts and foreign substances, and they are ready for grinding. If a fine, oily butter is desired, adjust the mill quite closely, and place in the oven to warm. Feed the mill slowly, turn rapidly, and always use freshly roasted nuts; after they have stood a day or two they will not grind well nor make oily butter. If the butter is kept in a cool place in a covered dish, and no moisture allowed to come in contact with it, it will keep several weeks; and if put in sealed jars or cans, will keep indefinitely.
Heat the peanuts just sufficiently to remove the skins, but do not allow them to get brown; prepare them as described in a former recipe, and grind in a nut mill. Although the raw peanut butter is not as palatable as the roasted butter, it is considered more healthful and easier of digestion. It is also preferable to use in making soups and puddings, in cooking grains, and in seasoning vegetables. Food seasoned with this butter does not have that objectionable taste that the roasted peanut butter imparts; and if it is properly used, the peanut taste is almost entirely eliminated.
Almond butter is more difficult to make than peanut butter because the skins can not be so easily removed. Roasting does not loosen the skins of the almond as it does of the peanut. They have to be soaked in boiling water from two to five minutes; then the skins become loose and can be pinched off by pressing on the nut with the thumb and finger; the skin will crack and the kernel pop out. But by this process the nuts have soaked up some water and become tough. They must then be dried in the oven until quite crisp, but the oven must not be hot, or they will brown. Then run them through a loosely adjusted mill or a sausage grinder, and place on a cloth stretched over the stove until perfectlydry; then grind them in the nut-butter mill, quite tightly adjusted. This makes excellent butter if the almonds are first-class, and sweet.
Source: Guide for Nut Cookery ©1899

Peanut Butter Cookies
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup lard
2 cups peanut butter Mix all ingredients adding flour last 2 eggs (well beaten) with soda and water. Drop on cookie
2 teaspoons baking soda sheet with teaspoon, press with fork. dissolved in Bake in 375° oven.
4 tablespoons warm water
3 cups flour added
Miss Blanche Roe
Source: Random Recipes ©1846 (Please note that might not be the actual date of the publication. There is no date on the original source from Google Books but the organization who put out the book was organized in 1846.)

The first patent for peanut butter was issued in the 1840's in Canada. (Lynn's note.)

Peanut Butter.—A new use for peanuts is developing as the peanut butter industry becomes better understood. This product of the peanut answers in the place of ordinary butter for table use, and is said to be excellent for shortening purposes and for gravies, sauces, etc. In point of purity it is superior to the best dairy butter. It is well designed for the use of the vegetarians who strenuously object to anything animal. There is already a demand for this butter substitute and it is very probable there will be an enlarged market for the nuts. At present the product of the United States is about 500,
000 bags annually and that of the world is 600,000,000 pounds.— West Coast Trade.
Source: Journal of Hygiene and Herald of Health ©1898

Monday, September 28, 2015

1896 House, Carriage House & Floor Plans

The year is 1896 and below you'll find the front view of the house and the floor plan. What I like about these plans are the details of the kitchen and pantry.

Also I have this other building related tidbit from 1896 it's from an advertisement but has a great image of a window sash lock.

1896 Carriage House
Side View

Ground Level Floor Plans
Upper Level Floor Plans

Friday, September 25, 2015

Bartering Exchanges

In Harper's Young People magazines there was a page devoted to "Exchanges" where an individual could post an item or items for trade for another item. Bartering or exchanges was a time honored way to do business. Below are some of the "exchanges' from this 1885 publication.

V nickels without" cents," a Spanish coin of 1776, and old U. S. coppers, for other rare coins. Fnnnle A. Gris Tt old, Buttle Creek, Mich.
Five advertising cards, for every mineral or curiositv. William Brigden, Jun., 210 Raymond St., Brooklyn,?}. Y.
A Baitlmorean printing-press and equipment (including 3 fonts of type), for a pair of Peek & Snyder*s Ice skates, S!js« 9}i or 10. J. C. Letts, 89 South Portland A v., Brooklyn, N. Y.
A magic lantern in good condition, for the best offer in roller skates. William Smith, 92 South Portland A v., Brooklyn, N. V.
Minerals, fosslls, and curiosities, for the same or for coins. C H. Solomon, 3iU \V. First St., Dayton, Ohio.
Some curiosities and postmarks, a Vnlekel without" cents," 2 old coppers, a basket made of a hazelnut, and some pretty cards, for the best offer of magic-lantern slides not more than 2\' inches in Width, li. H., 206 Broadway, Norwich, Conn.
An Acme card press and a rase, for 1 font of type. Albert Zerboue, 22:1 S. Water St., New Bedford, Masr.
Pretty colored advertising picture cards, for Indian relics (1S for a trood arrow-head), minerals, or curiosities. Frank B. Veusey, 1209 Taylor St., San Franatsco, Cal.
"Wide Awake for 1884-5 and a pair of B. & B. roller skates, size for a pair of all-clamp roller skates, size 9 or 9>tf, with or without bag. £. L. O'Counell, Oneida, N. Y.
Cards, stamps, postmarks, coins, tin tags, or monograms, for stamps not in my collection (Alsace and Lorraine, Angola. Antigua, and Argentine Republic preferred). Send list. W. W. Jackson, 835 W. 18th St., New York City.
A good magic lantern and 10 slides, 50 postmarks, an Indian arrow-head, and Exchanging to Win, for a good pair of all-clamp roller skates. Nelson, care of J. H. Sharewood, Box 411, Freehold, N. J.
Elements of Chemistry, nearly new. for stamps, curiosities, or coins. S. A. Nelson, Tompklnsrille, N. Y.
Three Hong-Kong stamps, for 2 from Azores or 8 from Portugal; 8 Sandwich Island stamps, for 2 from Newfoundland. Koger B. Friend, 971 West St., Oakland, Cal.
A new pair of 10-inch roller skates, in perfect condition, and the numbers of Youth's Companion for 1883 or 1884, for a printing-press and complete outfit. The press must be in good working order and the chase at least 2>J by 4 inches. Collector, Lock Box 57, Osceola, Iowa.
Two hundred mixed foreign stamps, 10 different l'. S. stamps, 5 different revenue stamps, and 5 advertising cards, for the best offer of U. S. or foreign Stamps, all different. No German of the issue of 1878 wanted. Clyde, 747 Custead Av., Cleveland, O.
A card press, for stamping names, a full font of type, and a can of ink, for a toy theatre or for magic - lantern slides in good condition. F. Sl. Stowcll, Box 40, NewtonvIMc, Mass.
A Scott's International stamp album with 425 rare stamps, for volumes of the Wheelman and Outing and The Wheelman, or books on ornithology; books, for the same. E. B. Smith, Warren, Worcester Co., Mass.
Postmarks, for the same. Alexander Graham, Jun., Clyde, Wayne Co., N. Y.
A piece of satin-spar, copper, and iron ore. for arrow-heads. Philip Coltn, 651 Washington St., San Francisco, Cal.
One hundred foreign stamps, 5 fish fosslls from Charleston. South Carolina, a triangular Cape of Good Hope stamp, and 30 postmarks (18 of which are different), for the best offer in V nickels without the word " cents." B. Spcltmtn, 78 Clinton Av., Albany, N. Y.
A handsome scrap - book (slightly damaged), a few minerals, a specimen of cedar wood, some shells, a V nickel. 100 cards with any desired name, some scrap and advertising pictures, and a pair of nickel-plated ice skates {size 91, for the best, offer of a pair of roller skates. C. E. B., 384 Ninth Av., New York City.
A pair of roller skatest a set of boxing-gloves, and large collections of cotns, stamps, and minerals, for a prtnting-press complete Size of chase 4 by 5 inches or larger. E. F. Jordan, 4226 Walnut St., Phlladelphia, Penn.
A large Mexican sllver coin of 1834, an English coin of 1801, a French coin of 1854, and 2 old coins of 1810 and 1883, for U. S. pennies of 1836, M0. '41, '42, '45. and '50. F. T. Towne, caro of H. K. Towne, Stamford, Conn.
A V. S. stamp of 1881 and a 5-sen Japan of 187. Smith, Lock Box 18, Andover, Mass.
* Tlte publishers reserve to themselves the right of deciding whether an Exchange shall appear or not. They do not undertake any responsibitity with regard to transactions effected by means of this department of tlte paper, nor do they guarantee the responsibllity of correspondents or the accuracy of the descriptions of articles offered for exchange. To avoid any misunderstanding or disappointment, therefore, they advise Exchangers to write for particulars to the addresses given before sending the articles coiled for.
Goskell's How to Write for the Press, new and in good condition, cloth binding, for the best offer of bound books of adventure or travel. J. D. O'Neil, Box 55, West Elizabeth, Pcnn.
Ten foreign stamps, no 2 alike, for 100 well-mixed U. S. stamps. F. I. Grlswold, Battle Creek, .Midt.
Two varieties of Chinese nuts, for every perfect arrow-head - a pair of Chinese chopsticks, for every 5 arrow heads. Collector, Dayton, Ohio.
Books on anatomy, physiology, chemistry, history, phllosophy, geography, and text-books, for a pair of pet rabbits or pigeons of good breed. John Awhrey, Maple Grove, Ala.
A small stalactite from Spruce Run Cavern, Allegheny Mountains, Virginia, and barnacles and pebbles from Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, for the best offer of Indian relics. A. H. Jennings, 903 Federal St., Lynchburg, Vs.
A pair of No. 9)4 club skates, lock on toe, Union Hardware Co. make, for Pitman's short-band book in good condition. W. G. Knight, Seneca Falls, X. Y.
One hundred stamps, 50 picture advertising cards, 25 postmarks, 15 tobacco tags, petrified wood, petrified charcoal, mica, Iron pyrites, and wood from Washington Territory, for a pair of Henlv or B. & B. roller skates to fit a No. 8 boot. J.W. Sargent, Centralis, Washington Territory.
Two volumes of St. Nicholas and 8 volumes of Wide Awake: any 3, for a pair of half-clamp skates; any 4, for a pair of all-clamp ; and the 5, for a pair of patent lever, 11-inch. Box 23, Lewes, Del.
Hematite, Lake Superior. Spanish, and English iron ore, advertising cards, and U. S. cents, for minerals, curiosities, or old U. S. cents and half-cents. It. M< M. Dodgers, 70 Miller St., Pittiburgh, Penn. A printing-press, chase Z)4 by \% inches, with 12 fonts of plain and fancy type, furniture, ink, cabinet, etc., for a photographtc outfit with or without chemicals. A. K. Cressinghsm, 188 18th St., Brooklyn, >. Y.
Two Australian papers, for the best offer of tobacco tugs. A. R. Lewis, care of W. U. Lewis, Marshall, Mich.
Rare stamps on sheets, for stamps not in my collection ; a genuine periodical stamp, for any stamp of iMi'j above 10-c. Warren Koser, Wellington, Ohio.
The 10 and the 3 c. unpaid letter stamp, for the 5; a stamp of Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, and Brazll, for a triangular Cape of Good Hope. John D. Smith, Andover, Mass.
Bread-fruit, poppy pods with seed from China, and first stripping of cork-tree from Spain, for Indian relics, petrifactions, shells, minerals, woods, nuts, and bulbs. N. L. Wilson, 237 Longwood Av., Koxbury, Mass.
Foreign postal cards, uncancelled and unwritten, for postal cards uncancelled, etc., not in my collection. Thomas Whitridge, 5 Cathedral St., Baltimore, Md.
Sharks' teeth, Indian pottery,petrified clams, and starfish, for crystallized and polished minerals. Indian relics, and good curiosities. Box 155, Wilmington, Del.
A printing-press (chase 3# by 4)4) and Robinson Crusoe, for a pair of Peek & Snyder's nickel-plated Ice skates, 9)4. L. Walker, 251 13th St., S. Brooklyn, N. Y.
A 25-cent note, for a star-fish or Indian pipe. Must be of good size, and perfect. W. S. Header, New Brighton, Beaver Co., Penn.
A good violin and bow, for the best offer of a stamp album (Scott's International preferred). B. Terry, 922 Putnam Av., Brooklyn, N. V.
Fifty tin tags, 50 postmarks, and an eagle cent of 1858, for Indian relics, sea-curiosities, minerals, and rare stones. Dixon Kautz, Moweaqaa, IH.
Five postmarks, for every stamp not in my collection ; stamps, for stamps. Jackson Kemper Garrett, 521 Columbia St., Burlington, lows.
Two rare Chinese coins, for the 24-c. stamp of 1870; an Italian coin of 1886 and a Swiss coin of 1K50, for the 8-centime Belgian stamp of 1809. H. B. Foster, Lock Box Z, Andover, Mass.
A piece of a pllaster (1# by 2 inches) of black walnut from the captain's cabin in the Morning Star, for minerals, Indian relics, and other curiosities suitable for cabinet. A. F. Mitchell, Box 161, St, Johusbury, Vt.
Bare stamps, advertisement cards, postmarks, and copies of Youth's Companion, for good fosslls and trllobites. Lower Sllurian especially desired. II. S. tiane, 89 N. Broadway, Yonkers, N. Y.
A bound volume of the Museum, instructions for playing the fife, a steam-engine, and a mouth harp, for a waterbury watch in good order. Robert J. Kerley, Mlllcrton, Dutrhess Co., N. Y.
A 2-cent Sandwich lsbtnd stamp, a 5-cent Newfoundland stump, and a 20-cent German stamp, for a Cape of Good Hope stamp. Hal C. Rogers. Box 327, F.scanaba, Mich.
A 14, 15, 1G puzzle, 10 revenue stamps, 25 stamps, 15 foreign stamps, curiosities, etc., for the best offer of tin tobacco tags. Accepted offer answered. Willie Borland, I tnlay City, Lnpur Co., Mich.
A Japanese napkin, for 5 pieces of sllk, satin, or velvet, 2 by 3 inches. No duplicates or solled pieces. Myra A. Doremus, 11 South Elliott Place, Brooklyn,
A hand-inking printing-press fchase 4 by 0 inches), 3 fonts of type, a rubber roller, and a pair of Sc
inch club skates, for a self-inking printing-press (chase not less than 3X by BM inches) with or without type and in good condition. George L. Mallery. Continental Hotel, cor. of 20th St. and Broadway, New York City.
Three foreign stamps, for pieces of sllk, satin, plusb.velvet. or anything suitable for a crazy-qullt. A. R. H., 2210 Locust St., Philadelphia, Penn.
One hundred and twenty postmarks, for an Indian arrow-head. John A. Thompson, Box 316, YYestvllle, Conn.
Four good postmarks, for every first-class tin tobacco tag except Climax. Chief, Old Honesty, Horseshoe, or Star. P. McF. Bealer, 201 Jackson St., Atlanta, Ga.
Three different tin tags, for every K. of L. or Brown's Mule tag sent me. YT. B. Nj mtners, 194 Houston St., Atlanta, Go.
Galena, gypsum, sandstone, peacock - coal, starfish, coral, geodes, moss-agates, hornblende, pudding-stone, coke, moonstone, arglllite agates, buhrstoue, chlorite, copper ore, hematite, ltmestone, and mica, for minerals and curiosities. Carl Gray, Box 471, St. Johusbury, Vt.
Sllver ore, jasper, chalcedony, carnellan, black sand, petrified wood, garnet, all kinds of Oregon minerals, and curiosities, for Indian relics. Gny M. Powers, Shedd, Linn Co., Oregon.
Full directions for Kensington painting, paper flowers, and some modern music, for plush and brocaded scrap-pieces. No black or old pieces wanted. 11. Brown, 00 Reynold's Arcade, Rochester, X. Y,
Twcnty foreign stamps, for 1 from Austria, Italy. Baden, Azores, Barbados, Bolivia, Hamburg, and New Brunswick. Not less than 4 taken. A.M. K.% 1010 Clinton St., Philadelphia, Penn.
Volumes IV. and V. of Golden Days, 355 foreign and 50 domestic stamps, 8 German papers, and a paper in mourning for Garfield, for a pair of allclamp roller-skates. Kaymond extension preferred. Kdward K. Black, 167 K. 60th St., New York City.
A year's subscription to an amateur paper, for 18 different Department stamps. Frank Thompson, Letter,box, Station B, Jersey City, K. J.
Cards and tin tags, for stamps and stamp papers; 2 postmarks, for every stamp; stamps, for the same. J. C. Wallace, Carlisle, Penn.
Vol. I. of Golden Argosy (7 numbers missing) and 28 numbers of Vol..II., and 500 mixed U. S. revenue stamps, for rare postage stamps or coins. Arthur C. Smith, 428 ffllfilin Av., Scran ton, Penn.
Four picture cards, for every piece of sllk, satin, velvet, or plush in Irregular shapes, but none less than S by 3 inches. No black unless brocaded or figured. Cards new and clean; no duplicates. Mabel K. Ashley, Box 24, Norwood, St. Lawrence Co..
One hundred well-assorted stamps, largest size foot-ball with key, Tom. Brown's School-Days, your name printed on 50 cards, and a gold-pointed stylographic pen, for the best offer oi long type. Alexander Gorski, care of V. A. Meyer A Co., Box 3050, New York City.
A specimen of iron ore, for 10 foreign stamps from Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Danish West Indies, Dutch Indies, Denmark, Feejee Islands, and Egypt. C. D. Mansfield, MerriU P. 0., Powell Co., Kentucky.
A good collection of 550 foreign and U. S. stamps in a Scott's International album (7th edition), for a sllver watch in good running order. E. 8. Gray, 139 Lagrange St., Toledo, Ohio.
A water-color paint box containing Winsoi A Newton's paints, books, rare stamps, and numbers of Forest and Stream, for fishing-lines, flies, spoonbaits, hooks, or tackle-book. H. W. Althouse, Pottsvllle, Box 164, Penn.
A fine new telegraph key and sounder, brass, mounted on rosewood stand, never been in use, for a pair of No. 9)4 or 10 all-clamp roller skates. Vineyard preferred. Correspondence necessary. II. Lolie Prescott, 151 Pearl St., Kast Somerrllle, Mass.
A magic lantern in good working order, for a good set of chessmen wtthout board; 150 all-different postmarks, for the best offer of foreign stamps. Stephen T. Dalryntple, Menomonec, Dunn. Co., Wis.
Sixty papers (including Durblu's last stamp catalogue), phllatelic papers, dealers' price lists of coins and stamps, minerals, etc., for 20 perfect arrowheads and a perfect axe. P. F. Shields, Nashville, Tenn.
A pair of Acme nickel-plated all-clamp ice skates (size 9) and a pair of Plympton roller skates (slzet 6). for a pair of 8 or 8)4 nickel-plated all-clamp roller skates. Winslow preferred. Kdwin A. Corbet, Box 292, Morrlstown, N. J.
A teacher of penmanship of two years' experience in Columbus Buisness College, Columbus, Ohio, wlll send a series of 12 lessons by mall, for a pair of Fenton or Raymond club skates in good condition. H. K. Hall, Box 352, Lima, Ohio.
Ten different foreign stamps, for every stamp from Asia or Africa. J* B. Brown, Jun., 22 Frank St., Nowport, K. I.
A hand-inking printing-press complete, an electric battery, a sllver-plattng set, 5 complete stories, and other articles, for a self-inking press without type. Give size of chase and full particulars. J. Davidson, 328 K. 11th St., New York City.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Balloon Ride Tidbit

Balloons and Flying in them have been around a lot longer than the 19th Century and I have a previous post or two on these.(I've posted links below) However, I ran across these tidbits and thought it might be something some of you might enjoy and possibly spawn some creative juices for some of you.

October 19th, 1869, he ascended from Rochester again, this time with his balloon, The Hyperion. The party consisted of seven persons. The day was very unfavorable, the wind was boisterous, threatening clouds flew across the sky, flurries of snow were frequent, and the cold was searching. The ascent was made from in front of the Court House, among high buildings, and to clear these a great ascensional power was given to the balloon. It was a delicate operation to start under the circumstances wiih such an immense aerial craft, but one bound cleared it of all obstructions. Not less than fifty thousand persons witnessed the ascens:on, in spite of the disagreeable weather. In four and a-half minu;es. although gas had been discharged from the valve, they entered a snow cloud. They traveled at the rate of about forty miles an hour; the cold was intense, night came on and they were in the midst of a driving snow storm. The weight of snow gathering on top of the balloon drove them to the grcund, and they were forced to make a landing in the squall. They struck violently in an open field, the anchor did not hold, and the balloon bounded over a piece of woods, alighting on the other side. Here the anchor held for awhile, the gas escaping from the valve at the same time. Unfortunately, in the excitement, two of the party in some way got out of the basket, and the balloon thus lightened broke loose and bounded upon a side hill and at last was driven against a tree, a huge rent being made in the machine so that the gas escaped almost instantly. They had landed in the town of Cazenovia. three miles from the village of that name. From Rochester Mr. King went to Atlanta, Ga., where he made a fine ascension.

Another Story:
After this ascension Mr. King leased the balloon to Dr. Hape, who was anxious to make an ascension alone. The time set for the ascent was New Year's Day, January I, 1870. Mr. King was present at its inflation, and superintended its management. As soon as the car had been attached to the balloon, the doctor got inside, and, before the preparations for the start were completed, suddenly gave the word to "let go." Mr. King was at the time some distance from the car getting more ballast, and was in consequence unable to prevent the premature ascent. There should have been at least two hundred and fifty pounds more of sand in the car to prevent its rising too rapidly. As it was, the balloon shot upward with such great velocity that the spectators became alarmed, and gathering around Mr. King, begged to know what would be the result. He informed them that unless the doctor should have the forethought to open the valve and allow a large quantity of gas to escape the balloon must burst from the sudden expansion of the gas; and, sure enough, when it had scarcely attained the height of one mile, it was sudderly rent from top to bottom, the gas was gone in an instant, and the balloon descended with great rapidity. The audience gazed at the sight with blanched countenances, and could not be convinced that the poor doctor would not be dashed to pieces. Yet within fifteen minutes —mounted on a policeman's horse—he was riding back through the town at full gallop. When the balloon burst it formed itself into a parachute, and thus met with a sufficient amount of resistance in falling through the air to save the voyager from any serious damage.

Below are the links from previous posts. No, I did not repeat the same information three times, however, I should have changed the titles a bit differently. Oh well. Enjoy!

Hot Air Balloons Hydrogen Filled

Hot Air Balloons

Hot Air Balloons

Hot Air Balloons

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

1867 Historical Fashions

These images come from 1867 publications.


House Dress

Walking Dress

Carriage Dress

Evening Dress



Tobacco Bag


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tidbits on Worsted Fabrics

Below is an excerpt from an 1898 Textile World on Worsted Fabrics and the costs for the past year. Not only is this interesting in terms of costs but is also gives you a list of the various companies that were selling fabric.

The largest quantity of goods was sold in worsted fabrics, and this will account for the large number of this class.
The general run of colors was somewhat lighter than for a few seasons past. The finest line of worsteds shown was the line made by the Hockanuni Co., one grade being $3.00 less 10 per cent., another $2.871/2 less 10 per cent., and containing some small check patterns with twist, which show the general character of patterns for medlum priced heavy weight worsteds. The same is also true of the $2.75 less 10 per cent. line. In the $2.87% grade, there was a herring-bone stripe pattern, the stripe of different widths, which shows one of the best patterns of this character on the market, and as this is what the trade are demanding, it would be well to obtain samples of the same.
The silk mix fabric, black grounds with different colored silks, was $2.50 less 10 per cent. An unfinished worsted line, blacks $2.12%, blues $2.25. A fine serge, black $1.50, blue $1.62%, also unfinished and finished twills, at the same prices as serge line.
The \Hockanum wool goods are made with twist yarns, $150-$155, and these are the class of fabrics which will be sold during the coming heavy lea-son.
The “Yeovil” worsteds, made by Phillips, contained some very handsome. patterns both in stripes and suitings: they are a hacked fabric, and have the firmness required in a high priced !ight weight, the prices being $2.10 less 5 per cent. and $1.95 less 5 per cent.
The “Oswego” worsteds, made by Chas. Fletcher and sold by 'F. Vietor &. Achelis, through R. Bahcock’s department, were $1.75 and $1.50, both lines being through and through fabrics. This same house had a line of backed worsteds at $1.75, and a cheaper grade, a'll cotton filling, at
$1.30. The “Manchester” eassimeres also sold through them brought $1.25.
Strong, Hewat & Co. ‘had a line of wool cassimeres at $1.25. some of the sultings containing twist.
The "Globe" worsteds were $2.62%, $2.50. $2.37%, $2.25. The fine covert cloths, made by the “Broad Brook" and sold by Ogden & Brook, were $2.00 for both the whip-cord and covert weave, and also a herringbone whip
cord. The worsted lines of this same concern were $1.80 and $1.60, and,contalned some good patterns for stripes. The “Perseverance” worstcds were $1.57l,§, in a line of 'black and'wh‘ltes. The “Centrals,” made by Farwell, were $15714, for the fabric which was woven through and through, and had the suiting patterns, and $1.65 for the backed fabric having the trouserings.
The "Gloria" worsteds are all worsted through and through fabric, sold at $1.30. The patterns were principally nea't checks. The “Fultons,” a line similar to the preceding, was also $1.30, the pattern effects being larger. The “Viking” cassimeres having a Saxony finish were $1.30. Hardvt Von Bernuth & Co. got out an imitation covert at $1.00, which, for a fabric of this class, is the firmest on the market. They also had worsted lines at $2.85 less 5 per cent., $2.70 less 5 per cent., $2.10, $15215 and $1.50.
XV. E. Ti'llotson’s ' “Silver Lake" worsteds, which have the reputation of having the best line of stripes in the market, were $2.25 less 5 per cent. and $2.15 less 5 per cent. The Oregon City Manufacturing Co., which obtains the worsted end of the business from Chas. Fletcher, had lines at $1.20 and $1.671,§. The wool goods were $1.25, $1.50, $15254; and $1.75, many of the styles above $1.50 containing twist. Brigham, Laurie, Mason & Co. had worsted lines at $1.87% and $2.50. Stevens, Sanford &. Handy's worsteds were $1.20, $15715 and $1.65.
“Sawyer’s” worsteds were $1.871/fi, $2.00 and $2.25; the last named grade having some check patterns made with all twist which are very desirable patterns. Oelbermann, Dormmerich & Co. also had a line of worsteds at $1.80 less 5 per cent., some of the patterns being large plaids, but subdued in pattern on account of the combination of color used. Cooley, Turnbull & 00. had a line of worsteds, containing cotton both in warp and filling, which sold at $1.00 less 5 per cent. Dudley, Battelle & Hurd sold a sightly line of worsted stripes at $1.125é, this fabric being backed with a twist. They also had a line at 31.37%.
Converse, Stanton & Co's worstcds were $1.75 less 5 per cent, and $1.85$1.95. A line of whip-cords sold by the same flrm were $2.25 less 5 per cent.
Forstmann & Co., Emerson‘s Department, had a line of worsteds at $1.60. ‘Rockfeilow & Shephard’s worsteds were $1.30 and 8.67%, and in pattern were good copies of the Hockanum patterns of previous season. John & James Dobson had worsted lines at $162341. and silk mix worsted at $1.85, and a fine venetian at $2.00. Ouid & Rigelow had a worsted line at 81.17%. Sullivan, Vail & Co. sold wool goods at 771/5, 85 and 87% cents. and a fine twill in mills at $1.20, and cassimere line at $13715). Curtiss & “"arren, the western manufacturers, had a line of wool goods at 85 cents, W. Stursberg, Schell & Co. had a worsted line at $2.121,é less 5 per cent., and a fine worsted covert at $1.75. Henry “I '1‘. Mali & Co. had line of wool stripes at $1.25, and Duval, Cone & Glover a line of worsteds with plenty of cotton at 95 less 5 per cent. The “Langham” worsteds were $1.25. Kunhardt &. Allen had their usual line of wool goods, the prices being 81.37%. “42%, $1.50 and $152115. The line at the highest price contains some of the finest styles, both as regards pattern and color. They also had the usual knickerbocker twists at $1.00.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Good Morning

Hi all,
Paul and I have been out straight for the past week, actually Paul hasn't had a day off in 4 weeks, so I apologize for not getting a post done for today. I hope to have some posts finished for the rest of the week.
Enjoy the research for your historical novels. But more importantly enjoy writing them.
In His grip,

Friday, September 18, 2015

An Odd Fee

This little story comes from "The Funny Side of Physicians."©1880 At first when I read "slippers and boots" I thought I had run across another odd expression but I found the tidbit so enjoyable, I thought I'd add it here for your enjoyment as well.

Quite as odd a fee was that presented to a celebrated New York surgeon about the year 1845. An ecceutric old merchant, a descendant of one of the early Dutch families of Manhattan Island, was sick at his summer residence on the Hudson, where his family physician attended him. The doctor gave him no encouragement that he ever would recover. A most celebrated surgeon, since deceased, was called as counsel, who, after careful examination of the case, and considering the merchant's age, coincided with the opinion of the family physician, and so expressed himself to the SLIPPERS AND BOOTS.
"Well, if that is all the good you can do, you may return to New York," said the doomed man. But as the astonished surgeon was going out of the house, the invalid seut a servant after him, in haste, saying, —
"Here, throw this old shoe after him, telling him that I wish him better luck on the next patient;" and drawing off" his embroidered slipper, he gave it to the servant, who, well used to his master's whims, as well as confident of his generosity, ran after the doctor, flinging the shoe, and giving the message, as directed. The surgeon felt sure of his fee, well knowing the ability of the eccentric merchant; but he picked up the shoe, and placing it in his coat pocket, said to his brother physician, who accompanied him, " I'll keep it, and I may get something, to boot."
It contained, stuffed into the toe, a draft for five hundred dollars.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Every Day Occupations

I stumbled on to this book while researching various occupations during the 19th Century. Now, this is a school book from the 19th century but I love how this simple information can give the writer of historical fiction insight into the times of the past.

So today's tidbit is short. It is a link to a book I feel you as a writer of historical fiction might also enjoy. Or if you're just curious of days past, you also might enjoy this little book. For example did you know that the queen once wore stockings made from a cobweb?

Here's the link"
Every-day Occupations ©1891

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

1898 Fashions

Today I've included the captions that went with these images from 1898. Typos and commas are the same as original source.

Evening Gown in black satin, arranged with transparent black lace splice over white silk, and trimmed with a full white net flounce patterned with black gauze ribbon. The skirt and bodice bordered with ruches of black net edged with narrow black satin ribbon. Chemisette and sleeves or transparent lace net.

Mantinee in "solar" accordion-pleated pink silk, hem-stitched.

Visiting Costume in dull olive green cloth and dark heliotrope velvet coat arranged with cream guider, a paler shade of green mirror velvet, miniature buttons, and a fine lace cravat.

Geranium cloth skating-gown, strapped with cloth, edged with chenille, and bordered with dark fur: vest and Toque of black antique satin.

Driving-wrap of sealskin and chinchilla, lined with brocade, fastened with antique turquoise clasps: Hat of white felt, bound and trimmed with black antique satin, black plumes and rosettes.

Flannel Dressing-gown with silk revers, trimmed with lace.

Evening Gown in mauve antique satin, arranged with the parent grey chenille fringe, and guider embroidered, and edged with chenille, draped with pale grey mousse, heavily encrusted with a design in steel and amethysts, with velvet shoulder straps.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Chicken Salad

I know we're past labor day and summer salads will soon be a thing of the past until next summer but it's still warm and perhaps your characters are hosting a party and its the summer.

So today we're posting a few recipes for Chicken Salad.

Chicken Salad.
(For forty guests.) Four chickens, same quantity of celery.
Twelve eggs, four tablespoons melted butter, four tablespoons oil, three tablespoons mustard, two teaspoons salt, two teacups vinegar, one pint cream. Beat yolks; add butter and oil slowly, then the mustard mixed smooth in a little hot water, then the beaten whites, then the vinegar and salt. Put on the stove in a custard kettle and cook until thick like custard. About an hour before serving mix the chicken and celery. Add cream to the dressing and pour over the chicken. Mrs. W. E. Burns.

Chicken Salad.
Shred fine two chickens and as much celery as chicken, chopped fine.
Two teaspoons mustard made in a paste with a little water, two teaspoons of sugar, one small teaspoon salt, three-fourths cup of vinegar, one-half cup of sweet cream, three eggs well beaten. Mix vinegar, sugar and salt with paste; add eggs; heat slowly with dish set in hot water and stir constantly till the thickness of cream. When done stir in a piece of butter size of an egg. Put cream in when you mix with chicken.
Mrs. H. Jay. Putman.

Chicken Salad.
Boil the fowls tender and remove all fat, gristle and skin, mince the meat in small pieces, but do not hash it. Take the same quantity of celery as chicken, cut into pieces of about one-quarter of an inch; mix thoroughly and set in a cool place. Use Eoyal Yacht Club Salad Dressing. Garnish the dish with fresh lettuce leaves, hard-boiled eggs or red beets cut in fancy shapes.
Source: Cook Book of Tried Recipes ©1897

Chicken Salad
Boil one chicken until tender, shred in fine pieces; cut white, tender stalks of celery very fine; about one cup of celery to one chicken. Mix chicken and celery together then stir well into them a mixture, in proportion of three tablespoonfuls of vinegar to one of oil,with pepper, salt, and a little mustard to taste. Put this aside for an hour or two or until just before serving, it will absorb the vinegar, etc. When about to serve mix the celery and chicken with a Mayonnaise sauce, leaving a portion of the sauce to mask the top. Reserve several fresh leaves of celery with which to garnish the dish. Stick a little bouquet of these tops into the center of the salad, then a row of them around it; sometimes slices or little cut diamonds of hard boiled eggs'are used for garnishing. Chicken salad is often made with lettuce instead of celery, the lettuce not being added until the last thing before serving. Salmon, shrimps and other salads are made in the same way, always using lettuce. Those desiring to, may add a little onion.
Source: Santa Rosa Recipes ©1891

Mrs. Henderson's Cook Book.

One chicken; white celery stalks; 3 tablespoons vinegar; I tablespoon Howland's olive oil; salt, pepper, mustard.
Boil chicken till tender, when cold, separate the meat from the bones. Cut into small bits; do not mince it. Cut some white, tender stalks of celery into three-quarters inch lengths. Mix chicken and celery together; stir into them a mixture in the proportion of three tablespoons of vinegar to one of oil; pepper, salt, mustard to taste. Set this aside for an hour or two. When ready to serve mix the chicken and celery with a mayonnaise dressing, reserving a portion of the mayonnaise to mark the top. Garnish with fresh celery leaves, stick a bunch of these in the center of the salad and from the center to each of the four sides, sprinkle rows of capers.
Chicken salad is often made of lettuce instead of celery. Marinate the chicken alone a moment before serving, add the small, tender, sweet lettuce leaves, then pour mayonnaise dressing over the top. Garnish with the center heads of lettuce, capers, cold chopped red beets, or sliced hard-boiled eggs. Sometimes little slips of anchovy are added for a garnish. When on the table it should all be mixed together.
Many may profit by this recipe for chicken salad, for it is
astonishing how few understand making so common a a dish. It is often minced and mixed with hard-boiled eggs for a dressing.

Mrs. E. A. Otis.
In mixing chicken salad allow one yolk of an egg to each chicken, and to four chickens one and a half pints of olive oil. Pick the chickens apart with fingers, removing carefully all fat and skin. Then take celery, pick likewise into small pieces and add it to the chicken until there is an equal quantity of each. If celery cannot be obtained, use lettuce prepared in the same manner.
For the dressing one level teaspoon of salt to each yolk of an egg; pepper to taste, one teaspoon of dry mustard, and juice of one lemon, more if the lemon is not very juicy. The oil should be added a few drops at a time, stirring constantly. While stirring, add an occasional drop of vinegar. To this mixture add the last thing one-half cup of rich cream, and when thoroughly mixed, pour over the salad just before it is served. The object of the lemon is to cut the oil, and make the dressing of a cream-like consistency.
Source: How We Cook in Los Angeles ©1894
(Gotta love that title for a cook book)

Monday, September 14, 2015

Hot Water & Hot Water Heating

Hot water and hot water heating were a modern convenience during the 19th Century. I was fortunate or not so fortunate to live in several houses that had forced hot water heating. Those huge cast iron radiators could burn your fingers, which meant keeping the tiny hands of the children away from them.
Below are two different excerpts regarding basic information on today's hot topic. Sorry couldn't resist.

ONE of the chief improvements in modern house arrangements is bringing a supply of hot water to every floor of the house on which it may be wanted. A boiler is fixed behind the kitchen fire, the flame passing behind it as well as in front. It is provided with a constant supply of water from the main cistern placed higher than the level to which the hot water has to rise. From the boiler a pipe is led to the top of the house, through which the water rises from becoming lighter as it gets heated, and flows back again to the boiler, with branches along its course to the various taps for baths, lavatories, and house-maids' closets. The pipe conveying the water upwards is called the flow pipe, that downward the return. At the highest part of it there is usually a closed iron cistern, strongly made, to resist the pressure of the steam should the water become too hot and boil. This is merely an expansion of the pipe, providing a greater quantity of hot water than the boiler alone would contain. Sometimes this hot water store is provided in a closed cistern or cylinder near the boiler, with a separate flow and return pipe to it, besides that carried through the house to supply the taps, which in this case has no cistern in its course. This plan has the advantage that there is an economy of heat, for a less quantity of hot water is moving a long distance through the house, motion being only another form of heat. The water ought never to be so hot as to boil, for the force of the steam shakes the pipes and loosens the joints. In case it should, escape pipes must be provided for it. To boil the water is needless waste of heat, and, where it contains lime, boiling it deposits the lime in the boiler and pipes in the form of a hard white crust. This thickens the boiler and prevents the fire acting on the water in it, and sometimes chokes the pipes, which is more serious. With limy water, therefore, a large boiler in which the water cannot readily rise to the boiling point is best; and in every case there must be provision for cleaning it. This is best done from the back, if it can be made accessible. The danger of a stoppage in the pipes is that the water in the boiler, not being able to flow, may be turned into steam and burst it. This sometimes occurs from the pipes freezing in some part of their course during the night when the kitchen fire is off. Or the supply-pipe may freeze, or from some other cause the supply may be stopped, in which case the boiler, getting empty, will become red hot; the water when it comes into it again will be turned instantly into steam, and burst it. It is absolutely necessary to protect all pipes from frost; for ice forming in them, from its expansion, bursts them, flooding the house when the thaw comes and allows the water to flow again. They are too often arranged with reckless disregard of this rule. They are placed in outside walls, and carried through attics where the temperature is often below freezing. To guard against frost, the hot and cold water pipes are sometimes placed together; but this cools the former and makes the latter tepid, and is no security, as the hot-water pipes may freeze if the kitchen fire is off. Besides being placed where they will be protected from the external atmosphere—the main supply-pipe well underground out of the reach of frost, and those in the house rather against inside than outside walls—they should be covered, wherever exposed, with soft felt, or some other non-conducting substance. This has also the advantage of keeping up the temperature of the hot-water supply. The cisterns also should be placed where they cannot freeze. It is an advantage when all the places where the water supply is brought are kept each above the other in one part of the house. Any leakage is thus confined to one part, where, not being over principal rooms, it does little harm, and the risk of stoppage in pipes and drains is less than when they are carried level along floors. In town houses with a small surface on each floor, the planning can generally, without inconvenience, be so arranged; but in country houses, which cover more ground, water is wanted at various points all over them, and it may be necessary to trust to good plumber-work to avoid this risk. But even in houses covering a large extent of ground I have sometimes found it possible to arrange the places where water is wanted in one position, each over the other, for the different floors; and where it is necessary to have water supply in several positions throughout the house, these should in each case be over one another.
Source: House Planning ©1880

FOR the present, people who build must take things as they find them, and use heating and ventilating apparatus as regularly manufactured. Experiments are uncertain. The theory of the proper heating and ventilating of a house as set forth in previous chapter is correct. The fulfilment of the ideas in dwelling-house heating remains to be practically worked out. It is not the business of the architect, or the housewife, or the owner of the house, to work out these mechanical details. It will be done in time by competent mechanical experts.
In the estimates subsequently given, the furnace is the only means considered for general heating. However, this does not indicate a prejudice in favor of that particular method. The furnace is considered and figured upon as the ordinary method of heating houses of moderate cost. It is the least expensive plant to be used for general heating. Indirect radiation from hot water or steam is to be preferred to a furnace. A combination of a hot-air furnace with hot water, or steam, is used with fair success. In this case, a hot-water coil is placed in an ordinary furnace, which connects with hot-water radiators in a conservatory or other room for the purpose of contributing a uniform degree of heat to that room. The water supply is a tank, located well above the level of the radiators, and connecting through an inlet pipe with the coil in the furnace. The proper means of supplying this tank with water is through a ball-cock or float-cock, the float of which opens the valve when the water gets low in the tank. Thus the supply is as constant as the source. A hot-water radiator of this kind may be used in connection with a device for warming dishes or keeping food warm. The heat is gentle, uniform, and constant. This is a general advantage of all hot-water heating.
Aside from the automatic arrangements for controlling the steam or water pressure in the heating apparatus, and thus measurably controlling the temperature in the building, other more positive automatic arrangements are provided which undertake to maintain any fixed temperature. These are proprietary devices, patented and advertised.
Complaints are made of the general inefficiency of everything under the sun: hence, furnaces and other heating apparatus come in for their share. An architect is sometimes asked how he would heat a certain building. He answers, " Hot water, steam, or furnace." — "Oh, I wouldn't have steam. My uncle had a steam plant in his house, and they nearly froze to death all last winter; and they burned over a ton of coal a week." The same things are said, and truly, of every kind of heating apparatus made, when we consider them in general classes. General complaints of a similar nature are made of everything. In regard to the steam plant or hot-water apparatus, or anything else of which this thing may have been said, one may first acknowledge its truthfulness, and then consider what it all means. Something is at fault. It may be that the whole design of the apparatus is faulty. The design may be right, and the construction bad. Everything else may be right, but the apparatus too small; or there may be some little defect which has to do with the placing of the apparatus in the house. Sometimes, when everything is in good form, the apparatus does not receive proper attention: hence trouble.
It may be asked how one is to get a good heating apparatus for a dwelling-house. The first thing to be determined is, the particular kind to be used: whether hot-water, steam, or hot-air furnace. There are many manufacturers of the various apparatus, who are regularly in the business. To these may be submitted plans of the building, and a request for estimates and suggestions. It is the experience of an architect that one who is putting money regularly in the manufacture or production of anything will not waste his energies for a great length of time on a bad thing, if he knows it. The evidence that an establishment has been putting up good furnaces or other heating apparatus is long-continued business success. If the owner of a house writes to an old-established, wealthy concern, and sends his plans, he is as certain to get a reliable proposition as he can be of anything. A local agent of an establishment of this kind may misrepresent, unintentionally or otherwise. The surest way is to go to headquarters. The local agent does not always know exactly what should be done. A competent architect can settle all these matters for an owner. However, if an architect says there are only one or Avo furnaces or heating apparatus which are all right, he is either ignorant or dishonest. There are many different kinds which will give fair satisfaction.
The idea in this chapter is to take things as we find them, and suggest what may be done. The theories outlined in the previous chapter may be correct, but they do not amount to anything to a man who is building to-day. The only purpose of this chapter is to suggest to those who are building that they go to a first-class house, pay a fair price, and get the best possible apparatus regularly in the market.
Source: Convenient Houses ©1889