Here are a bunch of odd but useful tidbits we can use with our historical characters.
Substitute for a Corkscrew.
A convenient substitute for a corkscrew, when the latter is not at hand, may be found in the use of a common screw, with an attached string to pull the cork.
Another. — Stick two forks vertically into the cork on opposite sides, not too near the edge. Run the blade of a knife through the two, and give a twist.
Another.—Fill the hollow at the bottom of the bottle with a handkerchief or towel; grasp the neck with one hand, and strike firmly and steadily with the other upon the handkerchief.
To send Messages in Cypher.
Any document written in cypher, by which signs are substituted for letters, or even for words, is liable to be decyphered. The following plans are free from such objection: The correspondents select two copies of the same edition of a book, the word to be used is designated by figures referring to the page, line, and number of the word in the line; or the message may be written on a slip of paper wound spirally around a rod of wood ; these can only be decyphered by bringing them into their original position, by wrapping around a second rod of the same size.
Castor Oil as a Dressing for Leather.
Castor oil, besides being an excellent dressing for leathor, renders it vermin-proof; it should be mixed, say half and half, with tallow or other oil. Neither rats, roaches, nor other vermin will attack leather so prepared.
To Prevent Haystacks from Taking Fire.
When there is nny reason to fear that the bay which is intended to be boused or stacked is not sufficiently dry, let a few nandfuls of common salt be scattered between each Inyer. This, by absorbing the humidity of the hay, not only prevents the fermentation, and consequent inflammation of it, but adds a taste to it, which stimulate? the appetites of cattle and preserves them from many diseases.
To Prevent Cold Feet at Night.
Draw off the stocking, just before undressing, and rub the ankles and feet with the hand as hard as can be borne for 5 or 10 minutes. This will diffuse a pleasurable glow, and those who do so will never have to complain of cold feet in bed. Frequent washing and rubbing them thoroughly dry with a linen cloth or flannel, is useful for the same purpose.
To Bring Horses out of a Stable on Fire.
Throw the harness or saddles to which they may have been accustomed, over the backs of the horses in this predicament, and they will come out of the stable as tractably as usual.
Horses Pulling at the Halter.
Many remedies have been proposed for curing this bad habit, but a simple and effective one is to discard the common halter, and get a brotid, strung lenther strap to buckle around the neck fur a few inches below the oars. A horse may pull at this, but wilt soon give it up.