Friday, September 11, 2015

Home Occupations

The title of this post today has a very different meaning than in the 19th century. Today we think of home businesses or the household chores that you hire someone else to do. During the 19th Century you'll find a different meaning. Here's an excerpt from a book by the same title as my post. Below it will be a list of some of these 'occupations.'

"The human mind," says Cicero, "ever longs for occupation," and no one will be disposed to question the truth of his assertion. Its practical application is familiar to us all. "Give the child something to do if you want to keep him quiet," is nurse's dictum for the management of a troublesome youngster, and every mother knows how essential it is to provide occupation for boys and girls if there is to be peace in the house. And that which is true of the younger members of the household is true of us all. Occupation of some kind is a necessity.

"The Human heart is like a mill that goeth round and round;
If it hath nothing else to grind, it must itselt be ground."

And thus it comes to pass that, apart from the active business and enjoyments of life, there is a vast field for light occupation; and, while we agree with Shakespeare that "pleasure and action make the days seem short," we recognize how many hours there are in every day which, in ordinary lives, are not spent in the active pursuit either of business or amusement, and which must be filled up in some way. Our object in this little book, therefore, is to offer practical suggestions for making that way a pleasant one; one that shall be, at the same time, more satisfactory than the mere exciting chase of amusement, and less irksome than the monotonous pursuit of compulsory employment.

Possibilities with Tissue Paper
Modeling with Wax (Flowers)
" " " (Fruits & Vegetables)
Perserving Glasses, Flowers and Sea-Weeds
Spatter Work (Sprinkling a dye or ink over an item to make a negative image on the cloth, paper or item below)
Frame Making
Making Scrap Books
Making use of Cardboard
Amateur Photography

The book concludes with this:
In the suggestions for home occupations which we have offered in this little book, we have carefully avoided all mention of those which come under the head of duty or of amusement, and also of almost all that partake of a sedentary character, as, for example, reading, sewing, or the cultivation of accomplishments. We have restricted ourselves in our mention of the art of painting to that of its application to the ornamentation of readily made articles, and our endeavor has been rather to suggest occupations out of which others might spring than to lay down any definite rules or plans for regular employment. Our field of observation has been necessarily narrowed by these limitations, but we trust that our directions for the occupations suitable for leisure hours may be found sufficiently thorough to assist those who embark upon them in carrying them out to a successful issue.

If you'd like to read further here's a link to the book. Home Occupations ©1883

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