Today we go to the store and simply pick from a huge variety of cooling oils, motor oils and machine oils. Below is some information on how our 19th Century relatives and characters made their own. The information below comes from Mackenzie's Five Thousand Receipts in All the Useful and Domestic Arts ©1846. The spellings come from this original text.
To make oil of sweet almonds. Is usually made from bitter almonds for cheap ness, or from old Jordan almonds by heat, the oil from which soon grows rank, while that from fresh Barbary almonds, drawn cold, will keep good for some lime. The almonds are sometimes blanched by dipping in boiling water or by soaking some hours in cold water, so as to part with their skin easily; but are more usually ground to a paste, which is put into canvas bags, and pressed between iron plates, in a screw press, or by means of a wedge; 1 cwt. of bitter almonds unbianched, produces 46 lbs. of oil; the cake pays for pressing.
Is obtained from the kernel of the hazel nut, and is very fine; it is substituted for oil oi nan; as it will keep better than that of almonds, it has been proposed to be substituted for that oil; it is drank with tea, in China, probably in lieu of cream, and is used by painters, as a superior vehicle for their colours.
Oil of mace
Is obtained from nutmegs by the press; it is buttery, having the smell and colour of mace, but grows paler and harder by age; 2 lbs. of nutmegs in Europe will yield 6 oz. of this oil.
True oil of mace by expression.
This oil is red, remains always liquid, or soft, has a strong smell of mace, sub-acid taste, and is imported in jars or bottles, the lower part being rather thicker than the top; i\ lbs. of mace will yield in Europe an ounce and a half, troy, of oil.
Olive, salad, or sweet oil.
This is the most agreeable of all the oils; it is demulcent, emollient, gently laxative, and is also used as an emetic with warm water; dose, 1 ox. troy, or a large spoonful: also externally, when warm, to the bites of serpents, and when cold, to tumours and dropsies. Rank oil is best for plasters: but fresh oil makes the best hard soap.
This is either imported from the West Indies, where it is obtained by decoction with water, 10 lbs. of seeds yielding 1 lb. of oil; or frcm the East Indies, where it is obtained by grinding in a mortar, with a hole in the side for the supernatant oil to run off, being in common use there for lamp oil. Or, that made at home by the press, which is the best, especially some that is prepared from cold blanched seeds, with the eye taken out. Some chemists are said to take out the colour from the foreign oils, by certain additions, and sell them for English, or, as it is called, cold drawn castor oil. The virosity communicated to the oil by the eyes of the seeds may be got rid of by washing the oil with boiling water, or with weak oil of vitriol. It is soluble in warm spirit of wine, and its adulteration may thus be discovered, if thought necessary; but as all the fat oils have nearly similar qualities, the taste is sufficient for practical purposes. It is purgative in doses of from 1-2 an oz. to 1 1-2 oz. floated on some distilled water, or on wine; or if it does not usually stay well on the stomach, on some tincture of senna; or made into an emulsion with yolk of egg, and a little distilled water, with 20 drops of lavender, and a tea-spoonful of simple syrup; it may also be used in clysters. It is particularly useful where a stimulant would be hurtful; as it operates quickly without disturbing the system; also externally in swelling pains. Contrary to most medicines, on frequent repetition a less dose is suffitient.
Oil of croton.
This oil is extracted from Molucca grains, or •urging nuts. In its chemical qualities it agrees vith castor oil, but is considerably more active, as i single drop, when the oil is genuine, is a powered cathartic.
This is made from rape seed; it dries slowly, makes but a softish soap, fit for ointments: themulilageit contains may begot rid of, ina great meamre, by adding half an ounce of oil of vitriol to two pints of the oil.
To purify rape oil. The following is a simple method of rendering •ape oil equal to spermaceti oil, for the purposes af illumination.
Begin by washing the oil with spring water: which is effected by agitating the oil violently with a sixth part of the water. This separates the particles of the oil, and mixes those of the water intimately with them. After this operation, it looks like the yolk of eggs beat up. In less than fortyeight hours they separate completely, the oil swimming at the top, the water, with all feculent and extraneous particles, subsiding to the bottom. This may be very much improved, by substituting seawater in the place of fresh water.
By the process of washing, the oil does not lose
1 hundredth part. The experiment can at all limes be made in a glass decanter, or in a churn, with a cock at the bottom, the water to come up very near to the cock, by which all the oil can be drawn off, after it has deposited its impurities.
Another method.—To 100 parts of oil add 1A or
2 of concentrated sulphuric acid, and mix the whole well by agitation, when the oil will become turbid, and of a blackish-green colour. In about three quarters of an hour, the colouring matter will begin to collect in clots; the agitation should then be discontinued, and clean water, twice the weight of the sulphuric acid, be added. To mix the water with the oil and acid, a further agitation of half an hour will be requisite. The mass may, afterwards, be left to clarify for eight days, at the end of which time three separate fluids will be perceived in the vessel; the upper is the clear oil, the next is the sulphuric acid and water, and the lowest, a black mud or fecula. Let the oil then be separated by a syphon from the acid and water, and filtrated through cotton or wool; it will he nearly without colour, smell, or taste and will burn clearly and quietly to the last drop.
To purify vegetable oil. To 100 pounds of oil, add 25 ounces of roche alum, and mix, dissolved in 9 pounds of boiling water. After stirring it about half an hour, add 15 ounces of nitric ncid, still continuing to stir it. Let it stand forty-eight hours, when the fine oil will awlia on the surface, and then draw it off. Such oil if used all over the continent, and an equal II
quantity yields double the light of whale and fish oil, without its offensive odour.
To make pumpkin oil.
From the seeds of the pumpkin, which are generally thrown away, an abundance of an excellent oil maybe extracted. When peeled, they yield much more oil than an equal quantity of flax. This oil burns well, gives a lively light, lasts longer than other oils, and emits very little smoke. It has been used on the continent for frying fish, &c. The cake remaining after the extraction of the oil may be given to cattle, who eat it with avidity.
Beech nut oil.
Beech nuts are not only an excellent food for pigs, but they are known to yield an oil, fit for common purposes, by the usual methods of extraction. To extract oilfrom grape stontt.
In Italy an useful oil is drawn from the grape stones. In order to separate the seeds from the husks and refuse matter, the mash is put into a bucket with some water, and worked about with the hands, until the seeds, from their superior weight, have fallen to the bottom of the vessel. They are then to be removed and dried in the sun, or by any other wav, as soon as possible; when a sufficient quantity is collected, the whole is to be ground in the same kind of mill that is used for hemp and cole-seed: being then cold drawn, a fine oil is procured, which is scarcely distinguishable from common olive oil. The refuse matter, being scalded in a little hot water, yields a fresh portion of oil, though of an inferior quality, which burnt excellently well in a lamp, giving out no unpleasant odour, and very little smoke. By taking the loppings or primings of the vine, excellent vinegar may he made from the same, and even wine with the aid of sugar.
ANIMAL OILS AND FATS.
This is obtained like the rest of the animal tats from the raw lard, by chopping it fine, or rather rolling it out to break the cells in which the fat is lodged, and then melting the fat in a water bath, or other gentle heat, and straining it whilb warm; some boil them in water; but the tats, thus obtain ed, are apt to grow rank much sooner than when melted by themselves.
Neat's feet or trotter oil.Neat's Feet Oil definition in Wikipedia.
Obtained by boiling neat's feet, tripe, etc. in water; it is a coarse animal oil, very emollient, and much used to soften leather.
To purify trotter oil. Put 1 quart of trotter oil into a vessel containing a quart of rose-water, and set them over a fire till the oil melts and mixes with the rosewater. Stir well with a spoon. When properly combined, take the vessel from the fire, and let it cool. Now take off the oil with a spoon, and add rose-water, as before. When the oil is again separated and cleansed, set it in a cool place. The principal use of trotter oil is for the making of cold cream, in which its qualities exceed those of every other oil.. -To prepare oil from yolks of eggs. Boil the eggs hard, and after separating the whites break the yolks into two or three pieces, and roast them in a frying pan till the oil begins to exude; then press them with very great force. Fifty eggs yield about 5 ounces of oil. Old eggs yield the greatest quantity.
Anotlier method.—Dilute the raw yolks with a large proportion of water, and add spirit of wine to separate the albumen, when the oil will rise on the top after standing some time, and thus may be separated Ly a funnel.
To refine spermaceti. (A Type of Whale's Oil, Lynn's note)
Spermaceti is usually brought home in casks; and, in some cases, has so little oil mixed with it as to obtain the denomination of head matter. It is of the consistence of a stiff ointment, of a yellowish colour, and not tenacious. Besides the head matter, there is also a quantity of sperm obtained from the oil by filtration. Indeed, in all good spermaceti lamp oil, which is not transparent, particles of the sperm may be seen floating.
Having the head-matter, or filtered sperm, in order to purify it, first put it into hair cloths, and with an iron plate between each cloth, to the number of half a dozen, or more, submit it to the action of an iron screw-press; and, as the oil does not separate very readily, it will, in general, be necessary to let the cakes of sperm be pressed three different times. The third time the cakes will become so dry that they may be broken in small pieces with little trouble, and then put in a furnace containing l-3d water, and 2-3ds cake. Let the fire be raised sufficiently under the furnace to melt the cake, which it will do before the water begins to boil: after which, boil the whole together for about half an hour, taking off, during the boiling, what scum and other extraneous bodies rise to the top; then let the whole be dipped out into a tub, or other coolers. After it is completely cold, take off the cake of spermaceti, which will be on the top of the water, and cut it into pieces. Suppose, for example, that the cake weighs one hundred weight, it will be necessary to have a furnace, or rather a moveable kettle, where the light is thrown in such a way that the process can be observed. Having taken one hundred weight of the unrefined spermaceti, prepared as above, melt it together with about 3 gallons of water. As soon as it begins to boil, add, from time to time, small portions of the following liquor, say half a pint at a time:—Take of the alkaline salt, or pot-ash, 7 pounds. Pour on it 2 gallons of water; let them stand together twenty-four hours, and from the top dip off the ley as wanted, adding more water occasionally till the alkali is exhausted. After boiling the spermaceti for about four hours, having during the process taken off the scum as it arose, let the kettle be removed from the fire, and after remaining about a quarter of an hour, dip off the spermaceti into suitable coolers. This process must, in general, be repeated three times. The third time, if the processes have been properly conducted, the spermaceti will be as clear as cry- al; and then, after it is cool, the only thing necessary to make it fit for sale, is to cut it into moderately small pieces, when it will break into that flakey appearance which it has in the shops.
To sweeten, purify, and rejine Greenland whale and seat oil.
The oil, in its raw state, is filtered through bags, about 41 inches long, with circular mouths, extended by a wooden hoop, about 15 inches in diameter, fixed thereto. These bags are made of jean, lined with flannel; between which jean and flannel powdered charcoal is placed, throughout, to a regularthickness of about half an inch, tor the purpose of retaining the glutinous particles of the oil, and straining it from impurities; and the bags are
3uilted, to prevent the charcoal from becoming licker in one part than another, and to keep the linings more compact. The oil is pumped into a large funnel, made of tin, annexed to the pump through a perpendicular pipe, and passed from the funnel into another pipe placed over the bags horizontally, from whence it is introduced into them by cocks. The oil runs from the filtering hags into a cistern, about 8 feet long by 4 feet broad, and 4| deep, made of wood, and lined with lead, and containing water at the bottom, about the depth of 5 or 6 inches, in which are dissolved about 6 ounces of blue vitriol, for the purpose of drawing down the glutinous and offensive particles of the oil, which have escaped through the charcoal, and thereby rendering it clean and free from the unpleasant smell attendant upon the oil in the raw state; and, in order to enable the oil thus to run from the bags, they are hung in a frame or rack, made like a ladder, with the spokes or rails at sufficient distances to receive the hoop of the bagbetween two; and such frame or rack is placed in a horizontal position over the cistern. The oil is suffered to run into the cistern until it stands to the depth of about 2 feet in the water, and thereto remain for 3 or 4 days, (according to the qualityof the oil), and is then drawn off by a cock, which is fixed in the cistern a little above the water, into a tub or other vessel, when it will be found to be considerably purified and refined, and the oil, after having undergone this operation, may be rendered still more pure, by passing a second or third time through similar bags and cisterns. But the nil, after such second and third process, is drawn off into, and filtered through, additional bags, made of jean, lined with flannel, inclosed in other bags, made of jean, doubled, when the process is complete.
To purify fish oils, and apply the refuse to usefiu purposes.
The object of this invention is the refining not only of fish-oil, but of the oils obtained from all animal substances, and also from expressed vegetables. The mode of performing this is by mixing the oil with an infusion of tannin. Mr Speers, of Dublin, recommends the tannin of oak-bark, but any tannin, whether natural from oak or other barks, or artificial, will answer the purpose. The mode which he prefers is the following: Take equal quantities of oil and soft water; in the water infuse and agitate for a day or two about one-tenth part of its weight of tannin; it is then to be drawn off tine, and the oil and water to be mixed and boiled for some time, and then set by to cool. The tannin will, by means of chemical attraction, unite with the gelatine or mucilage, and, being heavier than oil, will sink below it; but being lighter than water it will swim above it; in other words, this refuse matter-will be found between the oil and the water. The oil is first to be drawn off and then the refuse matter may be obtained. This matter may be"applied to the formation of cements and stucco; or to the composition of paints and varnishes; or to the composition of an excellent blacking for leather, which will by that means be made water-proof.
A method of purifying common fish-oil, and rendering it equal to the best sperm oil, by the use of animal charcoal, has lately been discovered in Denmark. The description is very incomplete, but mentions that beef bones, which have been boiled,are made into animal charcoal-in a peculiar way. The charcoal is mixed with the oil, and repeatedly agitated for two months, after which it is filtered through several strata of charcoal, and used as soon as made. The quantity of gas evolved by the bones in the operation is considerable, and is used for lighting the manufactory and adjacent buildings. The residuum is mixed with clay for fuel. The loss in this process is estimated at 15 per cent., and the gain is equal to 40 per cent., leaving a balance in favour of the discovery of 25 per cent.
The peculiar method of making the charcoal, probablv consists in not heating the bones too much. It is well known by the animal charcoal mukers in London, that if the temperature be raised loo high, the charcoal is worth nothing.
Another.—Take a gallon of crude stinking oil, nd mix with it a quarter ol an ounce of powdered * balk, a quarter of an ounce of lime, slaked in the air, ard half a pint of water; stir them together; and when they have stood some hours, add a pint of water, and two ounces of pearl-ashes, and place the mixture over a fire that will just keep it simmering, till the oil appears of a light amber colour, and has lost all smell, except a hot, greasy, soap-like scent. Then superadd half a pint of water in which one ounce 0i salt has been dissolved, and having boiled it half an hour, pour the mixture into a proper vessel, and let it-stand for some days, till the oil and water separate.
If this operation be repeated several times, diminishing each time the quantity of ingredients one half, the oil may be brought to a very light colour, and be rendered equally sweet with the common spermaceti oil.
Oil purified in this manner is found to burn much better, and to answer better the purposes of the woollen manufacture. If an oil be wanted thicker and more unctuous, this may be rendered so by toe addition of tallow or fat
To prepare oils for tlve manufacture of hard soap.
Let the oil be ground in a mill, along with a quantity of fine new-slaked lime, till it becomes of the consistence of thick cream: this being done, let an iron pan be filled one-eighth full of this mixture, to which is to be added an equal quantity of unprepared oil, the whole being well stirred together. A brisk fire is now to be made under the pan, the contents of which will soon swell to the top, and afterwards subside; the fire and stirring must, however, be still kept up, till the mixture begins to swell and boil a second time, emitting thick clouds of steam; another portion of oil is now to be added and stirred briskly in, till this ebullition is suppressed; the lime being now united to the oil, the mass, when cold, will be of the consistence of wax. To make hard soap with the oil thus prepared, let tallow, rosin, grease, or unprepared oil, be added in the proportion of one half, and melted, to which add a ley, made of mineral alkali. When a perfect combination has taken place, by boiling and stirring, let the soap be taken out, and cleansed into frames: from which there will be, as usual, a small discharge of impure ley, after which the soap is ready for use.
Source:Mackenzie's Five Thousand Receipts in All the Useful and Domestic Arts ©1846