Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Burning Fluids

What type of burning fluids are your characters putting in their lamps. This tidbit is something that might not have occurred to you. We tend to think oil for lamps but that was not the only burnable fluid available to our 19th Century ancestors or characters.

BURNING FLUID.—Best In Use— Alcohol, of 98 per cent 9 pts.; good camphene 1 qt., or in these proportions. Shake briskly, and it will at once become clear, when without the shaking it would take from 6 to 7 qts. of alcohol to cut the camphene, while with the least it is the best.
These proportions make the best burning fluid which can be combined. Many put in camphor gum, alum, &c., the first to improve its burning qualities, the last to prevent explosion, but they are perfectly useless for either, from the fact that campnor adds to the smoking properties, and nothing can prevent the gas arising from any fluid that will burn, from explosion, if the fire gets to it when it is confined. The only safety is in filling lamps in day-time, or far from fire or lights; and also to have lamps which are perfect in their construction, so that no gas may leak out along the tube, or at the top of the lamp; then let who will say he can sell you a recipe for non-explosive gas or fluid, you may set him down at once for a humbug, ignoramus, or knave. Yet you may set fire to this fluid, and if not confined it will not explode, but will continue to burn until all is consumed. Families cannot make fluid any cheaper than to buy it, as the profit charged on the alcohol is usually more than tkat charged on fluid; but they will have a better article by this recipe than they can buy, unless it is made from the same, and it is best for any one, even the retailer, only to make small quantities at a time, and get the freshest camphene possible. When made in large quantities, even a barrel, unless sold out very soon, the last part is not as good as the first, owing to the separation of the camphene from the alcohol, unless frequently shaken, whilst being retailed out.
Source: Dr Chase's Recipes ©1866

Monday, February 8, 2016

NYC Houses

Below is a description of a series of houses built in NYC. This comes from "The Manufacturer and Builder" ©1879. What I find interesting in this tidbit is the fact that the author admits that the house has a feel of more overall openness. Enjoy!

On the south side of East Seventy-first street, between Fourth and Lexington avenues, Mr. Chas. MacDonald has just completed three houses, which are well worth the attention of those who admire progress in architecture and approve of a change in the monotonous style of buildings that line our tip-town streets. Each house stands only upon n lot of 16.8x56, and yet there appears to be more room in the hallway than is generally found in n twenty foot house. True, it is done at the sacrifice of space in the front parlor, but the center and rear parlors make up for it in width, thus leaving the front parlor virtually to be used as a large reception room. The dining room is on the first floor in the rear of the parlor and extends across the full width of the house, while the middle room and parlor proper are lighted by a transom light, the dining room being lighted by a dome, giving the entire floor A most cheerful aspect. The rear room is connected with the kitchen by a stairway and dumbwaiter. In the wide hallway created by the cutting of the front room lire largo ornamental closets, adding considerably to the conveniences of a floor that is generally bereft of those foatures. The large front room in the basement is intended for a breakfast room, while the remainder of the basement is divided into a laundry, kitchen and storerooms, and withal there is n good sized yard. The houses are four stories high, of brown stone, and the front might bo called a French Gothic. The plans were made by John G. Prague, architect.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Cream Soda

This little tidbit includes for Soda Fountains as well as for home use:

Cream Soda, Using Cow's Cream, For Fountains.— Nice loaf sugar 5 lbs.; sweet rich cream 1 qt.; water 1 1/2gills; warm gradually so as not to burn; extract of vanilla 3/4 oz.; extract of nutmeg 1/4 oz.
Just bring to a boiling heat, for if you cook it any length of time it will crystalize; use four or five spoons of this syrup instead of three as in other syrups. If used without a fountain, tartaric acid one-quarter pound is added. The tendency of this syrup is to sour rather quicker than other syrups, but it is very nice while it lasts; and if only made in small quantities and kept cool, it more than pays for the trouble of making often.

Cream Soda, Without A Fountain.—Coffee sugar 4 lbs; water 3 pts.; nutmegs grated 3 in number; whites oi 10 eggs well beaten; gum arabic 1 oz.; oil of lemon 20 drops; or extract equal to that amount. By using oils of other fruits you can make as many flavors from this as you desire, or prefer.
Mix all and place over a gentle fire, and stir well about thirty minutes; remove from the fire, strain, and divide into two parts; into one-half put supercarbonate of soda eight ounces; and into the other half put six ounces tartaric acid; shake well, and when cold they are ready to use, by oouring three or four spoons, from both parts, into separate glasses which are one-third full of cool water; stir each and pour together, and you have as nice a glass of cream soda as was ever drank, which can also be drank at your leisure, as the gum and eggs hold the gas.

Source: Dr. Chase's Recipes ©1866

Friday, February 5, 2016

Boston Patriot One of New England's earliest Newspapers

Below is a little history on the Boston Patriot. This information comes from "Newspapers and Newspaper Writers in New England." ©1880 It's an interesting article voicing the author's opinion about the paper and it's objectives. But I also believe it helps the reader understand some of the issues that might be debated during the later part of the 19th Century about the earlier part of the century.

On the 3d March, 1809, was issued the first number of the "Boston Patriot," Everett and Munroe publishers. It was started as a stalwart supporter of the administration of James Madison, and a most zealous opponent of the policy and measures of the Federalist party. David Everett, already well known as a political writer, was the editor, and in the first number set forth his view of the reciprocal rights and powers of the States and the General Government in a frank, manly, and very positive spirit. He promised that while politics would claim his chief atten
1 I am indebted to William W. Wheildon Esq., of Concord, for the use of a complete file of "The Boston Spectator," of which there are, probably, few copies preserved.
tion, the great and permanent interests of religion, morality, literature, and the municipal economy of the country would also be objects of primary regard; and he kept his word. The first number contained a vigorous assault upon "The Essex Junto " and its alleged conspiracy against the Union; also the protest of a minority of the State Senate in support of the embargo laws, bearing the still familiar names of Seth Sprague, William Gray, Nathaniel Morton, Samuel Dana, Nathan Willis, and several others. John Adams, then in his seventy-fifth year, came out of his retirement and contributed to the " Patriot" the remarkable series of letters giving a retrospect and vindication of his public life, which at the time attracted the attention of the whole country. The collected works of Fisher Ames, who had died a few months before, were just published, and the "Patriot" devoted a large part of its space for many months to a bitter and sanguinary review of them, involving also the whole tenor of his life and character.1
In May, 1817, the "Patriot," then published by Davis C. Ballard and Edmund Wright, Jr., bought the "Independent Chronicle," and the two papers were thenceforward published as a daily, under the title of the "Independent Chronicle and Boston Patriot," until the absorption of both in the "Daily Advertiser " in December, 1831.
During the period following the adoption of the Constitution there were, outside of Boston, several journals of
1 The spirit which Mr. Everett gave to his paper during all this warlike period may he inferred from the following postscript to one of his more elaborate articles: "In the firm belief in the reality of its principles, the 'Boston Patriot' has taken its stand in the front of the hottest battle; and now, while the enemy deliberate whether or not to fall upon it with all the vehemence of their wrath, the editor has thought proper to reconnoitre their entrenchments, and to show that he will on no occasion be found sleeping at his post."
influence and ability. Foremost among them was the "Salem Gazette," established in 1787 under the name of the "Mercury," by Thomas C. dishing, taking the present name three years later. For a short time (1794-97) William Carlton assumed the publication, and the Rev. Dr. Bently began with him the remarkable and altogether incomparable weekly summaries of the news of the world, which he continued in the "Register" for twenty-five years after. Mr. Cushing resumed the publication in 1797, and espoused the Federalist cause decisively and aggressively; and until the end, in 1815, was its most faithful defender. He was known among his friends, and lives in the traditions of Essex County, as " the amiable and gifted Cushing." But his good temper, his pure character, and his lovable nature were no proof against the fierce temper of that time. As a journalist he was lucid, earnest, and usually courteous; but he spared no energy of argument or of denunciation which his cause seemed to him to require.
The great contest of 1802 between Jacob Crowninshield and Timothy Pickering for Congress, Republican and Federalist,— the "Register," conducted by William Carlton, representing the former, the "Gazette" the latter, — is historical. Nothing like it has been known, or would be possible, in our time. Blows were given and received without mercy. Captain Crowninshield in company with Joseph Story, then a young lawyer in the first flush of his youthful genius, and a writer of political articles for the "Register," called upon Mr. Cushing and threatened to shoot him if he continued his assaults. "The Register," at the same time or soon after, was held in a suit for libel on Timothy Pickering, for which the editor was convicted, fined, and imprisoned. Yet it must be said that both journals were conducted with eminent ability and comparative decorum. I have read the old files diligently, and it needs much reading between the lines to discover the causes of the convulsion which rent parties and society asunder in that stormy time.
Mr. Cushing retired in 1822. His fighting days had long been over. Mr. Buckingham, who speaks kindly of every one, is especially kind to him. "The qualities of his heart," he says, " were not less amiable than the faculties of his mind were respectable. His bosom was the seat of all the gentle virtues ; his benevolence was unwearied ; his friendship disinterested, ardent, and sincere; his integrity steadfast, incorruptible, and unsuspected." Caleb Cushing, his illustrious son, conducted the paper for a few months; but the son had larger plans in view, and left it in the hands of Mr. Ferdinand Andrews, who in 1827 transferred it to Mr. Foote, the present senior proprietor, who for more than half a century has made the " Salem Gazette " a name for all that is pure, honest, and of good report in its profession, and who still lives in the enjoyment of a serene and honored old age.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Chafing Dish

This tidbit comes from "One Hundred Recipes for the Chafing Dish" ©1894. I'd like to start off with this introduction quote from the book. I wrote a post back in 2013 also on the chafing dish here's the link.

THIS Book is intended to give pleasure to those who enjoy using a Chafing Dish. The formulas are simple, easy to follow, and are not designed to prove that elaborate dishes can be prepared, but that many articles of food can easily be made very delicate, toothsome and enjoyable.

Next I'm going to include excerpts (tidbits) from the book:

More than two thousand years ago the Chafing Dish fulfilled its true office as the promoter of man's palatable pleasures at the tables of the wealthy Greeks and Romans.

The Chafing Dish is a cosmopolitan vessel. It belongs to all nations. It was no less appreciated by the French than the English.

The Chafing Dish ever identified with the progressive phase of life appeared in America in 1720.

The mastery of the Chafing Dish is one of the undisputed arts where a man and woman may share equal privileges and triumphs. A man may prove his skill in cooking with it without detracting from his dignity and a woman can scarcely manipulate it without adding to her charm.

The Chafing Dish not only makes possible the sincerest expression of the most perfect hospitality, but it seems the true symbol of good fellowship. It develops a spirit of royal camaraderie. Even a pessimist would be inclined to judge his neighbor by his excellencies and not by his defects, as succulent odors whet the appetite and carry the sweet assurance of coming gustatory joys.
Verily, " a good dish sharpens the wit and softens the heart." Who can measure the beneficent influence of exquisite savours!

The Chafing Dish is the culinary censer exceedingly important feature in successful Chafing Dish cooking, is that the wicks of the lamp should be perfectly trimmed, and the reservoir about one half full of alcohol, after cooking a dish, and when making preparations for another, look carefully after this feature.
Have the wicks so regulated that all available flame shall be entirely under the dish, and that none of it shall come up the sides.
As the water is very liable to boil over, it is best to have a tray under the Chafing Dish to catch it, or any other drippings.

The rest of the book is filled with recipes. If you're interested in a copy of the book it is available from Google Books. Here's the link One Hundred Recipes for the Chafing Dish

Can't you just see your characters using or rather trying to use one of these at the table? Oh the situations that could be written.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


I discovered that wild asparagus grew on the Maryland coastline while visiting an author friend several years back. I already knew that a plant continued to yield every year but was surprised by the idea of wild asparagus in the marshlands. In my creative minds eye I can see characters hunting down wild asparagus, possibly trying to take some plants home and try to replant them. I also never considered drying them as mentioned in the first paragraph of the description. Let your imagination soar as you read these tidbits from "Science in the Kitchen." ©1893

Description. — The asparagus is a native of. Europe, and in its wild state is a sea-coast plant. The young shoots form the edible portion. The plant was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who not only used it as a table delicacy but considered it very useful in the treatment of internal diseases. Roman cooks provided themselves with a supply of the vegetable for winter use by cutting fine heads and drying them. When wanted, they were put into hot water and gently cooked.
The asparagus is remarkable as containing a crystalline alkaloid called asparagin, which is thought to possess diuretic properties.
Preparation and Cooking. — Select fresh and tender asparagus. Those versed in its cultivation, assert that it should be cut at least three times a week, and barely to the ground. If it is necessary to keep the bunches for some time before cooking, stand them, tops uppermost, in water about one half inch deep, in the cellar or other cool place. Clean each stalk separately by swashing back and forth in a pan of cold water till perfectly free from sand, then break off all the tough portions, cut in equal lengths, tie in bunches of half a dozen or more with soft tape, drop into boiling water barely sufficient to cover, and simmer gently until perfectly tender.
If the asparagus is to be stewed, break (not cut) into small pieces; when it will not snap off quickly, the stalk is too tough for use.
Asparagus must be taken from the water just as soon as tender, while yet firm in appearance. If boiled soft, it loses \ts flavor and is uninviting. It is a good plan when it is to be divided before cooking, if the stalks are not perfectly tender, to boil the hardest portions first. Asparagus cooked in bunches is well done, if, when held by the thick end in a horizontal position between the fingers, it only bends lightly and does not fall heavily down.
The time required for boiling asparagus depends upon its freshness and age. Fresh, tender asparagus cooks in a very few minutes, so quickly, indeed, that the Roman emperor Augustus, intimating that any affair must be concluded without delay, was accustomed to say, " Let that be done quicker than you can cook asparagus." Fifteen or twenty minutes will suffice if young and fresh; if old, from thirty to fifty minutes will be required.
Asparagus and Peas. — Asparagus and green peas make a nice dish served together, and if of proportionate age, require the same length of time to cook. Wash the asparagus, shell and look over the peas, put together into boiling water, cook, and serve as directed for stewed asparagus.
Asparagus Points.—Cut off enough heads in two-inch lengths to make three pints. Put into boiling water just sufficient to cover. When tender, drain off the water, add a half cup of cream, and salt if desired. Serve at once.
Asparagus on Toast. — Cook the asparagus in bunches, and when tender, drain and place on slices of nicely browned toast moistened in the asparagus liquor. Pour over all a cream sauce prepared as directed below.
Asparagus with Cream Sauce. — Thoroughly wash, tie in small bunches, and put into boiling water; boil till perfectly tender. Drain thoroughly, untie the bunches, place the stalks all the same way upon a hot plate, with a dressing prepared as follows: Let a pint of sweet cream (about six hours old is best) come to the boiling point, and stir into it salt to taste and a level tablespoonful of flour rubbed smooth with a little cold cream. Boil till the flour is perfectly cooked, and then pass through a fine wire strainer.
Asparagus with Egg Sauce. — Prepare and cook asparagus as directed above. When tender, drain thoroughly, and serve on a hot dish or on slices of nicely browned toast, with an egg sauce prepared in the following manner: Heat a half cup of rich milk to boiling, add salt, and turn into it very slowly the well-beaten yolk of an egg, stirring constantly at the same time. Let the whole just thicken, and remove from the fire at once.
Stewed Asparagus.— Wash, break into inch pieces, simmer till tender in water just to cover, add sufficient rich milk, part cream if convenient, to make a gravy, thicken slightly with flour, a teaspoonful to a pint of milk; add salt if desired, boil up together once, and serve.

Monday, February 1, 2016


Below is an excerpt from "Painting and Decorating" ©1889 I've included the first few sentences that give the company and location in Brooklyn, NY as well as a description of the type of house and the various wallpapers used in the different rooms.

THE Robert Graves Co. are building a new wallpaper factory in South Brooklyn, and are removing thereto their plant from their old factory in Fulton Street. The latest improvements in machinery and the most economical methods of production will be employed, and the faƩtory building will be sufficiently spacious for every requirement of their large business. Its length is three hundred feet, and it is five stories in height. They will make all grades of paper, from white blanks to flocks and leather papers. Their Brooklyn wallpaper store does a. large business in interior decoration in that city. The manager reports that he has lately decorated the Queen Anne house of Mrs. M. A. Pray at 1208 Dean Street. The front parlor is in whitefand-gold effects. The side walls are covered with a fine hand-made pressed paper of modern Renaissance design, with gold figure shaded with blue on a white ground. There is a wide frieze of similar design to match, with heavy white-and-gold ornamental picture moulding. The ceiling is frescoed to match the walls. The woodwork is decorated in white and gold.
The back parlor has a hand-made pressed paper having a French blue, copper and gold figure on a chocolate ground. There is a wide frieze in simultaneous contrast, and picture moulding to match. The ceiling is frescoed to harmonize with the walls, and the woodwork is of antique oak. The dining-room has a paper of Persian design on a blue-green ground, and the ceilingis tinted a pale yellow. The second-story front alcove-roam has a paper of Indian ornament, with flitter and gold on terra-cotta ground. The second-floor back room has a hand-made paper with fleur'de-lys pattern on a shrimp-pink ground; the woodwork is cherry. The third-floor front room has a damask paper of conventional floral design on a blue ground. The tbird~floor back room has a paper with Italian lace pattern in pink and cream on a red ground. All these rooms have friezes to match and the ceilings tinted various colors. The hall has imported Japanese leather paper, dado and frieze. The woodwork is of antique oak. The bath-room has varnished tile papers.

Friday, January 29, 2016

1899 Japanese Ashore in San Diego, CA

Here's an interesting tidbit from the 19th Century. This was reported in Harper's Weekly July 1899.


THE Japanese gunboat Heiyi carries sailors and marines who are well up to the mark in point of discipline, and
who can row cleverly. Proof of these facts was offered at San Diego, California, towards the end of June, when the United States government showed its friendship for Japan by making an exception to the rule that no foreign power may place armed forces on American soil. The illustrations above show the men who were landed at San Diego for the purpose of drill. Evidence of the careful attention paid to shore drill by the Japanese navy was afforded to Americans on the Atlantic coast on the occasion of the launching of the Japanese cruiser Kasagi. While the Heiyi was at San Diego its boat crew won a very exciting six-oar barge-race from a crew representing our Naval Reserves.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tools for Killing Weeds

Don't have much luck with growing plants however that was a serious problem if you lived in the 19th Century and grew up on a farm. Below are a couple of tidbits regarding killing weeds.

Weeds are easily killed when they are first seen, and more easily still, before they are seen at all. A heavy rake is better than a hoe for this work, and will do more in ten minutes, than can be done with a hoe in an hour. An implement made as in will do this work of
weeding in an excellent manner. This is made of a heavy rake head, with a handle attached as Siiowd, and furnished with a number of teeth placed about an inch apart. The teeth may be made of forty-penny nails, or one-quarter inch round iron, the weight of which will bury them in the soil without any effort. It is much more easy to work with this implement, than with a lighter rake. The beds may be cleaned close to the plants, and it should be used as soon as the weeds begin to appear.
For killing perennial weeds, a spud is a convenient implement with which to cut off the roots below the surface.

A good spud may be made from a carpenter's chisel of large size. This should be attached to a handle sufficiently long to allow it to be used without stooping. By thrusting this diagonally against the root, that may be cut off as far below the surface as desired. Some weeds, however, such as dandelion, plantain, etc., are not killed by merely cutting them, but need the application of some destructive liquid to make complete work. In England, oil of vitroil (sulphuric acid) is used for this purpose, but that is dangerous to handle, and must be kept in glass. Strong brine or coal-oil is sometimes applied to the roots to destroy them. We give an illustration of a vessel for the application of liquids, which is attached to the spud, and allows the cutting and killing to be done at one operation. Figure 205 shows the spud, a, with its attachment, a tin vessel with a tapering nozzle and holding about a quart, at b. At c, is a valve, which covers a small air-hole, against which it is pressed by a spring, and which may be raised by the cord, e. After cutting the root, a pull of the cord will raise the valve, allow air to enter the vessel, and a small quantity of the liquid will pass out and come in contact with the root.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

1880 Fashions

House Dress

Visiting Dress
Visiting Dress with Cape

Walking Dress


Children & Necktie


Tuesday, January 26, 2016


I've used parsnips in stews but not for much else. However, my characters might just find them useful. This information comes from "Science in the Kitchen." ©1893

Description. — The common garden parsnip is derived by cultivation from the wild parsnip, indigenous to many parts of Europe and the north of Asia, and cultivated since Roman times. It is not only used for culinary purposes, but a wine is made from it. In the north of Ireland a table beer is brewed from its fermented product and hops.
The percentage of nutritive elements contained in the parsnip is very small; so small, indeed, that one pound of parsnips affords hardly one fifth of an ounce of nitrogenous or muscleforming material. The time required for its digestion, varies from two and one half to three and one half hours.
Preparation and Cooking. — Wash and trim off any rough portions: scrape well with a knife to remove the skins, and drop at once into cold water to prevent discoloration. If the parsnips are smooth-skinned, fresh, and too small to need dividing, they need only be washed thoroughly before cooking, as the skins can be easily removed by rubbing with a clean towel. Reject those that are wilted, pithy, coarse, or stringy. Large parsnips should be divided, for if cooked whole, the outside is likely to become soft before the center is tender. They may be either split lengthwise or sliced. Parsnips may be boiled, baked, or steamed; but like all other vegetables containing a large percentage of water, are preferable steamed or baked.
The time required for cooking young parsnips, is about forty-five minutes; when old, they require from one to two hours.
Baked Parsnips.—Wash thoroughly, but do not scrape the roots; bake the same as potatoes. When tender, remove the skins, slice, and serve with cream or an egg sauce prepared as directed for Parsnips with Egg Sauce. They are also very nice mashed and seasoned with cream. Baked and steamed parsnips are far sweeter than boiled ones.
Baked Parsnips No. 2. — Wash, scrape, and divide; drop into boiling water, a little more than sufficient to cook them, and boil gently till thoroughly tender. There should remain about one half pint of the liquor when the parsnips are done. Arrange on an earthen plate or shallow pudding dish, not more than one layer deep; cover with the juice, and bake, basting frequently until the juice is all absorbed, and the parsnips delicately browned. Serve at once.
Boiled Parsnips. — Clean, scrape, drop into a small quantity of boiling water, and cook until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly, cut the parsnips in slices, and mash or serve with a white sauce, to which a little lemon juice may be added if desired.
Browned Parsnips. — Slice cold parsnips into rather thick pieces, and brown as directed for browned potatoes.
Creamed Parsnips.— Bake or steam the parsnips until tender; slice, add salt if desired, and a cup of thin sweet cream. Let them stew slowly until nearly dry, or if preferred, just boil up once and serve.
Mashed Parsnips. —- Wash and scrape, dropping at once into cold water to prevent discoloration. Slice thinly and steam, or bake whole until perfectly tender. When done, mash until free from lumps, removing all hard or stringy portions; add salt to taste and a few spoonfuls of thick sweet cream, and serve.
Parsnips with Cream Sauce. — Bake as previously directed. When tender, slice, cut into cubes, and pour over them a cream sauce prepared as for Turnips with Cream Sauce. Boil up together once, and serve.
Parsnips with Egg- Sauce. — Scrape, wash, and slice thinly, enough parsnips to make three pints; steam, bake, or boil them until very tender. If boiled, turn into a colander and drain well. Have ready an egg sauce, for preparing which heat a pint of rich milk or very thin cream to boiling, stir into it a level tablespoonful of flour rubbed smooth with a little milk. Let this boil a few minutes, stirring constantly until the flour is well cooked and the sauce thickened; then add slowly the well-beaten yolk of one egg, stirring rapidly so that it shall be well mingled with the whole; add salt to taste; let it boil up once, pour over the parsnips, and serve. The sauce should be of the consistency of thick cream.
Parsnips with Potatoes.—Wash, scrape, and slice enough parsnips to make two and a half quarts. Pare and slice enough potatoes to make one pint. Cook together in a small quantity of water. When tender, mash smoothly, add salt, the yolks of two eggs well beaten, and a cup of rich milk. Beat well together, put into an earthen or china dish, and brown lightly in the oven.
Stewed Parsnips. — Prepare and boil for a half hour; drain, cover with rich milk, add salt if desired, and stew gently till tender.
Stewed Parsnips with Celery. — Prepare and steam or boil some nice ones until about half done. If boiled, drain thoroughly; add salt if desired, and a tablespoonful of minced celery. Turn rich boiling milk over them, cover, and stew fifteen or twenty minutes, or till perfectly tender.

Monday, January 25, 2016

1881 Brass work designs for Furniture

These are fancy English Brass work Designs for Cabinets.

One cannot but be struck with the manner in which ornamental metal-work was displayed in old German and Flemish coffers, &c, and in contrasting them with similar articles of modern date, one naturally realises that we are decidedly far behind those good old craftsmen. In this old work of theirs, if we meet with a hinge there is no attempt at concealment, but the opportunity is at once availed of for a display of the maker's art. A lock-plate, or even a nail, seems to have been regarded as affording the artist a cban'e of showing his skill and ingenuity. It would be well if our cabinet-makers were to follow
in the footsteps of these handicraftsmen, and bear in mind that it is not necessary for a lock to be hidden, but that there is every reason why it should display charms of its own. The sketches shown on one of our Separate Vlates have been designed with this object in view, and we would advise manu facturers to give up the use of plain, polished surface brasswork, replacing it by hammered, ribbed, or punched articles. The substitution of the latter for the former would add greatly to the charm of many an article of furniture. The ten designs for drawerhandles, scutcheons, &c, referred to are from the pencil of Mr. R. A. Boyd, of 5, Poplargrove, West Kensington-park.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Proper care of farmlands in the event of black rot on Cabbages

These are some interesting tidbits that could cause your characters a bit of frustration and hardship should their cabbage develop this black rot.

The field observations described above, taken in connection with the characters of the disease as previously worked out, lead the writer to believe that this trouble may be successfully combated by means of what he has frequently designated as field hygiene. If he were asked to give in concise terms a few rules for avoiding this disease they would be about as follows:
1. Plant the cabbage seed on land where this disease has never appeared. When the plants are ready to set out inspect the seed bed very carefully, and if any cases of the disease are found reject all the plants and set from some other bed. One can not afford to run any risk of infecting his land by the use of seedlings from suspicious beds. It would be better to plant some other crop than to take this risk. A good practice is to strew the land to be used for seed bed with straw or dry brush and burn it over before plowing. The seed bed should be made in a different place each year.
2. Set the plants on land which has not been in cabbages or other cruciferous plants for some time. If it is impossible to avoid following cabbages by cabbages, at least take the precaution to plant only on land which has never suffered from this disease. To follow any other course is simply to invite the trouble. The practice of planting cabbages after cabbages for a long series of years also invites other parasites, and must as a rule be considered very bad economy.
3. As a matter of precaution avoid the use of stable manures, since these may possibly serve as a means of carrying the disease into uninfected fields, that is, through cabbage refuse fed to animals or thrown into the barnyard or onto manure piles. As far as possible make use of commercial fertilizers in place of barnyard manures, both in the seed bed and in the field, at least until it shall have been shown conclusively that there is no danger in the manure pile. Too much stress can not be laid on the necessity of keeping the germs out of the soil, and consequently on the avoidance of practices which, if not absolutely proved to be dangerous, are at least questionable.
4. Do not turn animals into diseased fields and then allow them to wander over other parts of the farm. Cattle or other stock should not be allowed to roam in cabbage fields where this disease prevails.
5. All farm tools used on infected land should be scoured bright before using on uninfected land. The transfer of soil from infected to healthy fields ought in all cases to be reduced to a minimum.
6. Keep up a constant warfare against insect enemies, especially the cabbage butterfly and the harlequin bug.
7. As a palliative remove badly affected plants from the field as fast as they appear. In early stages of the disease—i. e., while it is still confined to the margins of the leaves and has not yet entered the head or stump—go over the fields systematically about once every ten days and break off and remove all the affected leaves. Do not throw this refuse into cultivated fields, or into ditches from which it can be washed to other fields, or on roadways to be tracked about. It should be burned or put into a deep pit in some fence corner or other out-of-theway place.
8. Weeds which harbor the disease, especially the wild mustards, must be destroyed systematically.
9. Store cabbages from diseased fields only when it is impossible to sell them in the fall, and in such cases take particular care to reject all heads showing any trace of black in the stump and to keep all parts of the houses below 40° F. If any affected heads are stored tliey should be put by themselves in the lowest, coolest part of the house.
Source: The Black Rot of Cabbage ©1898