Friday, October 30, 2015

The Microscope

This excerpt comes from "The Modern Playmate, a book of games, sports and diversions." ©1875. It not only describes the microscope but also gives an insight into the time period and thoughts on science and discovery.

Whether for amusement or instruction, there is no instrument so deservedly popular as the Microscope. Other amusements are soon exhausted, but the little world which the microscope reveals is inexhaustible: there is always something wonderful or something new to be seen, and the instruction it affords is unparalleled. Many beautiful objects may be observed by a single lens, which can be folded and carried in the waistcoat-pocket; but there is a limit to the use of such instruments, and the only satisfactory microscope is the compound microscope, which a good optician will supply at a cost of from three guineas upwards. It may be said that cheaper instruments can be had, which appear to do their work well. Perhaps so; but as we are about to recommend only what we know to be worthy of recommendation, we should not name a lower priced instrument than such a one as can be procured of Mr. C. Baker, of No. 244 High Holborn, for three guineas. It is not with any invidious spirit that this name is given. Other opticians may supply microscopes as good at the price, but this instrument will serve to illustrate all we have to say about the microscope, and we shall adopt it as the standard of all our observations.

The microscope we have named is packed in a neat polished mahogany box, with lock and key. The size of this box is 10 in. high, and 6 in. deep, by 7 in. wide. At the top is a brass handle by which it may be carried, and when fully replenished its weight is about 7 lbs. So much for the case and the microscope within it. But we must open the case and take out the instrument. On opening the door we observe at the bottom of the case a neat little mahogany drawer divided in two parts: one part is " racked " for holding glass slides and mounted objects, the other portion will contain small articles of apparatus, which we shall describe hereafter.

We draw out the stand of the microscope, which is clamped to a square of mahogany, so as to ensure greater steadiness, an object of importance in a microscope; from the left side of the case we take the brass tube or body, and screw this to the stand, so that it presents nearly the appearance indicated in our woodcut (Fig. 1). A little cylindrical brass box slides into a hole at the top right-hand corner of the case. This we take down, unscrew the top carefully, take out the combination of glasses set in a neat kind of brass nozzle, which piece of apparatus is usually called the objective or objectglass. There is a screw at one end of this objective and a lens at the other. Let us screw this nozzle or objective into its proper place at the end of the tube or body of the microscope, and then, behold! it is the complete original of which our woodcut is a copy. Having put it together, the next step must be a careful examination of all its parts, and an appreciation of how these parts are to be employed in the examination of objects.

It is not our purpose to enter into a dissertation on the science of optics, for which we have neither room nor inclination; what we most desire is to instruct our reader how to use the mysterious little piece of machinery which has just been unpacked. The "why and wherefore " will be sought by-and-bye, and there are plenty of means of acquiring the theory when it is wanted. Big boys would be more likely to try and use such an instrument at once than to sit down and ponder over " the reason why," and little boys are not a whit less curious or impatient than their elders borne one will perhaps read these pages before he has obtained his microscope, and would like to know how high it stands, so that he may imagine what its appearance would be under a glass shade. For the especial benefit of such a one we have measured the instrument, and declare its full elevation to be 13 inches.

Place the left hand firmly upon the mahogany slab which supports the instrument, then with the right hand hold the top of the tube or body; draw the tube backwards, and it will be found to move easily to any angle, so that a tall boy or a short one, a man standing or a man sitting, can either of them look comfortably down the tube without any danger of dislocating his neck, which might be the case if the tube were fixed bolt upright

As the body moves freely on the pivots the lower portion will be seen to carry with it a circular mirror, which is attached near the bottom; this mirror, by an admirable arrangement of joints, can be turned in any direction. The use of such facility of motion will be seen by-and-bye. Above the mirror is a square brass plate with a round hole in the centre; this is called the stage, and upon it the objects to be viewed by the microscope must be placed. A movable bar passes up and down on the upper surface of this plate, which is useful to retain the slide containing the object in position. Above this stage is the tube with the object-glass screwed in at the lower end, and the eye-piece at the upper end. At the side of the tube or body, near the bottom, is a screw with a milled head, which may be moved by the thumb and finger: this is called the fine adjustment. It will be time enough by-and-bye to speak of its uses. Below the tube are two other milled heads, one on each side. Turn one of them towards you with the thumb and finger: they move easily, freely, and smoothly, and with their motion, behold! the tube of the microscope, with the eye-piece at the top and its object-glass at the bottom, glides up and down just as the operator wishes! A firm, steady, gradual motion here is a necessity in all good instruments. These milled heads and the screws which they move we call the coarse adjustment. Now, having learnt the names of all the parts of the microscope which at present we desire to know, let us put it to work.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Feeding the Cows

Below is a tidbit from "Feed and Care of the Dairy Cow" ©1898

In a herd of fifty cows, the average amount eaten, per cow. will correspond closely with the amount given in the one hundred rations, but individual cows will vary widely from the average. some eating not more than half the amount called for in the ration and others eating and giving returns for twice the amount. We find many Kansas dairymen feeding all cows in a herd alike, the fresh cows, the cows that have been milking six months and those nearly dry getting the same amount of grain. This is a mistake. In most herds cows will be found that, after milking three months, begin to put on fat and slacken in milk yield. As soon as the first signs of this appear, cut down the grain ration. Other cows will be found to keep thin, turning all their feed into milk. Increase the feed of such cows just as long as they will give returns for it. In the same herd we have with profit varied the grain ration for different cows from two to twenty-four pounds. If the dairyman has the conveniences it will pay to vary for each cow the proportion in which the grains are given, which is easily done if the grain mixture is fed from awbox mounted on low wheels. Fill the box with the mixture of grain selected for the ration, select the two grains in your mixture that are "respectively richest and poorest in protein and put them in small boxes on your feed-box. Taking ration No. 38. the feed richest in protein is cottonseed meal, that poorest in protein is Kaflir cornmeal. You come to a cow that is milking well but is beginning to put on flesh; give her only a part of a feed of the general grain mixture and add some cottonseed meal; this will tend to force her to a higher milk yield. The next cow may be a heavy milker that is getting so thin that she is losing vitality; give her only a part of a ration of the general mixture and add a liberal allowance of Kafiir corn meal. This will help her put on flesh enough to keep up strength. The nearer each cow’s wants are met, the greater will be the yield and the more the profits. Feed according to the _vield of milk and the condition of the cow.

This publication also notes various types of feed. Here's a partial list:
Corn Fodder
Orchard Grass
Prairie Hay
Timothy Hay
Red Clover Hay
Sorghum Hay
Linseed Meal
Soybean Meal

The list goes on but have fun with it, try and decide which diet your characters are feeding their cows and if it works well for them or not.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

1872 Men's Fashions

Enjoy these 1872 men's fashions from original sources.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Orange Recipes & a Storage Tidbit

In Florida fruit from the 'orange' families are beginning to ripen. My Chinese Honey tree in my front yard is so heavy with fruit we had to support some of the branches. It's a new tree and very thin and we've been enjoying the fruit as it ripens.

So for today's post I thought I'd share some recipes and a storage tidbit about oranges. First the recipes:

6 Jaffa or other good and juicy oranges, 1/4 lb. of loaf sugar.
Peel the oranges, divide them into quarters, carefully remove the outside white skin and the pips of each quarter. Put the sugar into a copper pan with about half a pint of water, and boil down to a syrup, remove the scum as it rises. Put in the oranges and boil till tender. Take up and cool, arrange the fruit neatly in a circle on a deep dish (glass or china), pour the syrup round it and serve.

1 lemon, 1/2 pint of orange juice, the thin rind of 1 orange, 6 ozs. of loaf sugar, 2 to 21/2 ozs. of gelatine (French leaf), the whites and shells of 2 eggs, a dessertspoonful coriander seeds, a small piece of cinnamon, 1 1/2pint of ivater, 1 glass of sherry wine (if liked).
Peel half the lemon rind as thinly as possible, and put it in a well tinned stewpan, add to it the juice of the lemon, and the remainder of the above named ingredients. Stir constantly with a whisk over the fire until it boils, draw the pan to the side of the fire and keep it there for about ten minutes. Put a chair upside down on the side of a tsible top, place a .fine towel across it, fasten the four ends with string on to the four legs, place a basin underneath, pass some boiling water through it, then pour through it the jelly and let it run into a clean basin. Repeat this two or three times till quite clear. Pour the clarified jelly into moulds and let set in a cool place. To turn out, immerse the mould in tepid water, wipe the mould and immediately turn out into a dish. A few drops of cochineal can be added to the jelly if a pink or reddish tint is desired. Any kind of fruit, oranges, tangerines, apricots, peaches, cherries, &c., may be set in moulds with this jelly, allowing each layer of fruit and jelly to set before another is added.
Source: Practical Cookery Manual ©1898

ORANGE FRITTERs. Peel,and slice(or quarter)three oranges,and lay them in powdered or granulated sugar an hour or more before making the fritters; mix to a smooth batter four teaspoonfuls of flour, a saltspoonful of salt, the yolk of a raw egg, and about a gill of milk. When ready to use the batter, add to it one teaspoonful of oliye-oil, or melted butter, and the white of one egg beaten to a froth; dip the slices of orange into the batter, lift them out flat with a silver fork, and put them into smoking hot fat: fry light brown, lay them for a moment on a napkin or brown paper to a sorb all fat, sprinkle them with powdered sugar, and serve hot. A very delicate and delicious dessert. MRS. HAMILTON QUIN
Source 265 Choice Recipes ©1883

Cut as many oranges as guests, leaving half the peel whole for the basket and a strip half a inch wide for the handle. Remove the pulp and juice and use the juice to make the orange jelly. Place the basket in a pan of broken ice to keep upright, fill them with the orange jelly; when ready to serve place a spoonful of whipped cream over the jelly in each basket; serve in a bed of orange leaves. To make the jelly: Six juicy oranges, one lemon, one pound of loaf sugar, half a box of Cox’s Gelatine; dissolve sugar in half a pint of water, pour half a pint of boiling water over gelatine, when dissolved strain it; put the sugar and water on the fire, when it boils add gelatine, juice of oranges and lemon with a little of the peel grated in, let all boil up and strain into the baskets to cool.

Allow pound for pound. Pare half the oranges and cut the rind in pieces, boil in three waters, until tender, and then set aside. Grate the rind of the remaining oranges, take off and throw away the thick, white, inner skin; quarter all the oranges and remove the seeds; chop or cut into small pieces. Drain all thejuice that will conne, over the sugar; heat this, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, adding a little water, unless the oranges are very juicy, boil for five minutes, add the boiled shreds and boil for ten minutes; then add the chopped fruit and grated rind, and boil for twenty minutes. Seal in glass tumblers.

One dozen good oranges; cover with cold water and boil for fifteen minutes. Take out, pour off the water, cover again with cold water and boil until a broom straw will readily pierce them; this will take possibly two hours. When soft, remove from the water, cut open, and with a spoon scoop out the inside, taking care to remove every seed. With a sharp knife or scissors, cut into thin strips two-thirds of the skins. rejecting the rest. Add this to the last boiling water; weigh, and to one pound of the mixture add one and one-fourth pounds of sugar. Boil until thick, and put up like jelly.

ORANGE CAKE - Mrs. Marshall
Two cupfuls of sugar, one cupful of butter, one cupful of sweet milk, three cupfuls of flour, yolks of five eggs and whites of two, three teaspoonfuls of baking powder, grated peel and juice of an orange; bake in four layers. Filling—
Whites of three eggs, juice of an orange, fifteen tablespoonfuls of sugar. Beat together, spread between the layers and 1 on the outside of the cake. Pare and divide in small sections two oranges, and put on top of cake.
Source: Santa Rosa Recipes ©1891

Tidbit on Storing Oranges
I ran across this information years ago and posted it: Storing Oranges

Monday, October 26, 2015

1879 Gas Stove

I ran across this 1879 gas stove that I thought was interesting. In part because of the date and because of the compact design.

Messrs. John Wright & Co., of Birmingham, exhibit several of these, one of which we will describe according to the subjoined illustration. The body of the stove is made up of the roasting and baking ove :s, and upon the top, besides the usual arrangements for boiling and steaming, is fitted a " broilery " sufficiently large to cook a fowl or to make toast, and a griller for chops, steaks, &c. The whole of the top, which is galvanised, consists of a water vessel, the burners for boiling and steaming purposes being located in suitable cavities therein. The waste heat from these burners very quickly raises the temperature of the water in the boiler to boiling point.
These stoves are also made without the water vessel on the top, and they vary in price from 4j guineas to £25 each. As to the economy of the new system, the makers guarantee a saving of fuel to the extent of 40 per cent, as compared with the cooking-stoves ordinarily in use. Experiments that have been made show that in using the ordinary gas oven 30 in. high, 10 in. wide, and 17 in. deep, a consumption of 20^ cubic ft. of gas per hour is necessary in order to maintain a temperature of 380 deg. Fahr. inside the oven, whilst with the new cooker 12 cubic ft. of gas per hour is sufficient. This saving is effected by jacketing the cookers on the sides, top, and door, with a new and very efficient non-conducting material, which prevents loss of heat in the oven by radiation. Some idea of the value of this non-conductor may be gathered from the fact that a teacupful of water (jacketed with fths of an inch of silica), which at 10 o'clock stood at 200 deg. Fahr., had at 2 o'clock lost only 50 deg. of its heat; and a cooker jacketed with it had been alight for six hours, the temperature of which, inside the oven stood at 500 deg., whilst the outside was so cool that the hand could be borne upon it. Another advantage besides the saving of gas is that the kitchen is kept perfectly cool during the summer months. Of course the first cost of these cookers is rather higher than that of the ordinary stoves of the same size, but when the daily saving in the consumption of gas is taken into account, there can be little question as to which is really the cheaper stove.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Ice Boating

Here's a sport most of you probably haven't thought about to include in your historical novels. Ice Boating.

The ice-boat is found in almost all parts of the world in which ice exists for part of a year, being employed in some cases for commercial purposes; but the principal us.• to which this curious craft is put is for racing and pleasure-sailing. In its crude form, a framework or platform mounted on skates and rigged with one or two sails, it is found in Northern Europe, in Asia, in Canada, and in that portion of the United States north of Mason and Dixon's line; but in parts of the latter countries only has the modern ice-yacht reached its full development. In Canada, in the Eastern and Western States, and, above all, in the vicinity of New York, it has emerged from its primitive character into a structure that in its way is a perfect example of engineering skill, a combination of strength and lightness that it is hard to improve upon; and in these places, also, the pastime of ice-yachting has come to be recognized as one of the most fascinating of Winter sports.
For those who would see it at its best there is one place above all others to visit: the Hudson River, for a distance of sixty to one hundred miles above New York, where the sport is more firmly established and systematized, and where boats and appliances have reached a higher state of perfection than in any other part of the world. Here are found not only the leading clubs of the country and the fastest boats, but here, in the birthplace and nursery of the sport, where it has grown and flourished for thirty years, nurtured by the icy west winds, are the men who have brought the arts of building and sailing to their present perfection. Sailing of any kind is always a most uncertain sport, dependent entirely on the caprices of the wind ; but ordinary yachting is certainty itself compared with ice-yachting, in which not only the wind but other climatic influences conspire to test the patience and resignation of its devotees. Given a good breeze from any quarter the yachtman cares little for the rest, he can go somewhere and the water is always open to him ; but with ice-yachting it is entirely different. A cold snap may smooth out the chilly waves and make a glorious course of many miles for the ringing runners, but before a breeze comes a dozen accidents may happen. A fall of snow may bury the glassy track, a storm of rain may soften the ice until it is unsafe, and when at last a cold northwest blast makes all solid again, and gives wind for the waiting sails, the slushy surface may be too rough and uneven for the boats. Time and patience are necessary to its full enjoyment; the yachtman must be on the spot, ready, after days of disappointment, to seize a few hours of such great and exhilarating pleasure as shall more than make amends. The low temperature of the Hudson Valley, its comparatively light snowfall, and the occasional thaws and rains, fol-. lowed by cold weather, renewing the glassy surface, with the prevailing westerly winds that sweep across the river and give a good course for the boats, offer more favorable conditions than are found further south, where the ice lasts for a shorter time, or further north, where heavy snows and the absence of rain or thaws keep the ice buried. Besides this, along the entire east bank, for many miles above and below Poughkeepsie, the headquarters of the sport, are many large estates and handsome country places, whose owners have the leisure that is indispensable to a full enjoyment of ice-yacht sailing, and who have within the last thirty years done so much to develop the boats and the sport.
Here are found the leading ice-yacht clubs of the world, as well as the largest, fastest and finest-equipped yachts, whose records for speed stand second only on the list of human constructions to the rifle-bullet and the larger projectiles of modern ordnance. No other vehicles in the whole category possess the speed of the modern ice-yachts, except a few of the fastest express locomotives running under special conditions, and this speed it is which gives the great charm to this curious pastime. Great speed, of itself, is not the attraction of ordinary yachting. A rate of twelve or thirteen miles per hour is unusual in a sailing-yacht, the common limit of time for a race is seven hours for a course of forty miles, or an average of seven miles per hour, and even with steam this is very seldom doubled ; but with the ice-yachts all is vastly different. We come into a n'ew atmosphere, in which the chief charm lies in the attainment of a speed never dreamed of in vessels that float. Here are none of the charms of yachting as commtonly understood, no quiet drifting over Summer seas, no lazy runs under kites and spinnakers, no glorious roll and tumble over green waves, no nights at anchor in snug harbors, where rattling halyards and creaking cables only give emphasis to the brightness and cheer of comfortable cabins. The "yachting," save the name, is another thing when coupled with its hard, cold prefix. The accompaniments that make a life afloat so delightful, that place yachting at the head of all sports, are missing entirely, and in their place one new element only steps in.
Speed, great and unlimited, a velocity hitherto unknown ; to be shot through space at a rate that produces an entirely new sensation, thrilling, exhilarating, fascinating; setting the blood coursing and sharpening the senses to an unknown degree; this is ice-yachting. The paltry twenty knots of the steam-launch or the forty-mile jog of the locomotive, both contaminated by the connection with a bulky, noisy, smoky and greasy medium, are exchanged for a marvelous gliding through space on a frail and airy fabric scarcely more tangible than the carpet of the Arabian necromancers, and accompanied only by the sharp, melodious ring of metal on ice. Account for it as we may, there is always an attraction about rapid motion, whether behind a fast horse, running down a rapid river, or on a modern express train ; speed itself brings pleasure to all but the most timid, and this pleasure is only intensified by the danger which is always in a greater or less degree present. This rapid motion it is which in the ice-yacht compensates for •the absence of the more numerous and varied charms of yacht-sailing. And when the limit of seven hours for forty miles is cut down to one hour for a course of nearly the same distance a new and attractive element comes into play.
To form any idea of the shape and construction of an ice-yacht, it is first necessary to divest one's self of almost every idea associated ordinarily with the word "yacht."
True, the sails and rigging are substantially the same, and the tiller is a most essential feature in both all analogy ends. The favorite simile for a swan or duck, but if we would describe an ic< comparison with any natural object, we must the insinuating musquito, or humble daddy - longlegs, as the nearest resemblance in outline to the stiff and angular construction of straight timbers and wires. The graceful curves, the beautifully rounded outlines, the glossy sides and shining bottom of the sailing-yacht, possess nothing in common with this curious framework of timbers and iron rods, whose sole beauty is from a purely mechanical point of view, as a most scientific example of engineering skill; and the only object in the entire range of naval architecture that bears any resemblance to it is that awkward and homely nondescript, the modern catamaran. The essential parts of an ice-boat consist of a rigidly built framework supported on three or more skates of large size; one, and sometimes two, of these skates being movable at will for steering, a mast with one or more sails, and a platform for the crew or cargo. These features are combined in various ways, according to the locality and the use to which the boat is put. In some places, where sailing is possible only for a short time each year, a temporary boat is fitted up with a triangle of boards or plank, the apex being aft. Under each corner is a runner of plank, shod with iron, shaped like a large skate; the one under the after corner being fitted on a pivot and controlled by a tiller. On this rough framework a mast and sail—usually pressed into service from some sailingboat temporarily out of use—is fitted, and securely staid to the various angles of the frame, the mast being stepped in the centre of the transverse plank, forming the forward side of the structure. Such boats as this are common on the ponds and bays of the south shore of Long Island, and very good sport may be had with them, while their cost is purely nominal; and of this same shape were the first boats on the Hudson. In Holland and other parts of Northern Europe, ice-boats of crude and heavy build are sometimes used for commercial purposes, irrespective of speed; their principles of construction being similar.

The Article goes on and you can read it in full here. The American Magazine ©1874 pick up on page 386.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

CARD GAMES part three

this is the third and final part on Card games.

This game, though comparatively new, is exceedingly interesting, and one that hitherto has always proved to be very popular as a lively and stirring round game.
Like Speculation, it is played with a full pack of fifty-two cards, and as the shuffling of them is of great importance, it is advisable to be supplied with two packs, as at Whist.
The pool is started by contributions from each player, the dealer giving double value. Five cards are then distributed to each player and held in the hand; as at Whist, it being necessary for the owner of them to ascertain whether they are good or otherwise.
The player to the left of the dealer then declares how many tricks he will guarantee to take, or whether he would prefer to be passed once, owing to the weakness of his hand.
He may promise to take one, two, three, or four tricks; but unless he should declare Nap, which means that he is able to take all five tricks, the next player is questioned, and so on, until Nap has ultimately been proclaimed by some one. Should no player declare Nap, the one declaring to take the highest number of tricks leads off.
The stand player, as he is called, then plays against every one else; he leads the game, and his first card decides what suit shall be trumps. All the other players try to prevent him from making the tricks which he declared to take, because, if he should fail, the payments will have to be made from him to them. Should he succeed, however, they pay him; and in the event of his making Nap, he receives double stakes from every one of the company.
A player revoking is Napoleoned, which means that he must pay five tricks to the stand hand, and the cards are played over again.

This game is played with an ordinary Whist pack, and it is won by the player who first scores sixty-one points. These points are marked on what is called a cribbage-board. The board may be placed either across or lengthways between the players.
A player must begin to score from the end where his sixty-first point is, and begin at the outside edge. Two pegs are given to each player to score with, and he uses them as follows:—
Supposing his first score to be four, he places a peg in the fourth hole; then if his next score be three, he marks it off from the position of the first peg, and sticks the second peg in the third hole farther on.
If his next score bo eight, say, he counts from the second peg eight holes, and there sticks the
peg, and so on. By this method confusion is Cribbaoe Board.
avoided, and the players are able to check one another's scores. Generally, the pegs of the different players vary in colour, but this is not necessary, though one player must never touch his opponent's half of the board.
The court cards and tens rank equally, and the other cards according to their number of pips. Aces are counted lowest.
The Game.
The cards having been shuffled, the non-dealer cuts, but does not place the undermost half on the uppermost, as in Whist, but leaves the pack divided into two parts on the table. From the undermost part the dealer then deals five cards each, beginning with his adversary. The remaining cards are placed on the other heap, and the pack remains undisturbed until the crib cards are put out. In the first hand of a new game, the non-dealer counts three at starting, as a sort of set-off against the possession of crib by the dealer.
Both players then look at their hands and throw out two cards, the dealer throwing out first, and the cards being face downwards.
The non-dealer then again cuts the cards, but the number cut must be more than two, after which the dealer takes the top card of the heap left on the table, the non-dealer replaces the cards he cut, ana the dealer puts the top card, which is thrown face upwards on the whole.
The two cards thrown out by each player and the turn-up card form the crib, which belongs to the dealer. If a knave be the turn-up, the dealer counts "two for his heels." The turn-up card is reckoned in making up the score of either player, as well as of the crib. The non-dealer then begins by playing a card, the value of which he calls out.
Suppose the dealer to have in his hand a queen, knave, and five, and the non-dealer a seven, eight, and queen, and that the turn-up is four; then the nondealer plays his queon, and cries "ton;" the dealer plays his queen, and cries "twenty," scoring two for a pair, because a court card counts ten.
The first player then puts down his knave and cries "thirty." As his is the nearest attained to thirty-one, and the dealer has no ace, he cries " Go," and the first player scores one hole.
Each player's hand is then counted up, the elder one scoring four—two for each fifteen; and the dealer two for his fifteen, made up by a seven and eight.
If the knave in either hand be the same suit as the turn-up, the holder of the card scores "one for his nob." The crib is added up by the dealer, and the game goes on.
If in trying to get near thirty-one in the beginning a player can make fifteen, he counts two. If a player gets exactly thirty-one he counts two.
The hands are counted up as follows :—
For knave turned up (heels) 2 points.
For sequence of three or four cards 3 or 4 ,,
For a flush, that is, three cards of same suit 3 „
For a full flush, when cards in hand and turn-up are of same suit 4 points.
For every fifteen, as 6 and 9; 10, 3, and 2; 7 and 8, court card and 5, &c. 2
For a pair (two of a sort, as 2 threes, 2 fours, &c.) 2
For a pair royal (three of same sort) 6
For a double pair royal, or four of same sort 12
For knave of trumps in hand (nob) 1
If a player has in his hand, say, six, seven, and eight, and the turn-up is eight, he will count that two separate sequences, and score three for each.
The non-dealer always counts up first. This counting up is called the "show," and the first show is very important at the end of the game, as a player may just get sixty-one points and win. The dealer may also have sixty-one, but as his show has not been the first it does not count.
Should the dealer misdeal, and not discover the mistake before either of the hands is taken up, his opponent counts two, and a fresh deal must be made. If, during the deal the non-dealer expose any one of his cards to view, the dealer has the option of dealing again, without, however, looking at his own cards. If the dealer deal more than five cards, his adversary counts two, and a new deal takes place, the same penalty being enforced if he give less than five cards.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

1889 Historic Fashions

All these images come from original 1889 publications. Note the amount of parasols that show up in these images.



Boy Knickerbocker

Girl's Frock

Hat with veil

House Dress

Traveling Coat

Walking Dress

House or Walking Dress


Women's Dresses

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Crayfish, Crawfish, Crawdads, Freshwater Lobster or Mudbugs

That's quite a few names for the same thing. Below are some recipes for both Cray and Crawfish.

Here's a zoological tidbit about Crayfish:
It is a matter of common information that a number of our streams and rivulets harbour small animals, rarely more than three or four inches long, which are very similar to little lobsters, except that they are usually of a dull, greenish or brownish colour, generally diversified with pale yellow on the under side of the body, and sometimes with red on the limbs. In rare cases, their general hue may be red or blue. These are "crayfishes," and they cannot possibly be mistaken for any other inhabitants of our fresh waters.

Caavpisn (Salad of).*—Boil crayfish as usual, take them from the shells, put them into a salad-howl with anchovies, artichoke hottoms, and seasoned like other salads.

Caavpisn Soup.—Put some eels, flounders, &c. into cold water, set them on the fire, and when near hoiling, skim, and add to it onions, carrots, parsley, and whole pepper. Take ahout fifty crayfish, and having taken them from their shells, put them into the fish hroth, also the small claws and tails, finely pounded; let them hoil for an hour, then strain it off; add some crusts of hread, and the spawn of a lohster pounded.

Caavpisn Soup.—Boil six whitings, and a large eel, with as much water as will just cover them; skim them clean, and put in whole pepper, mace, ginger, parsley, an onion, a little thyme, and three cloves l hoil them to a mash. Pick fifty crayfish, pound the shells, and a small roll, hut first hoil them with a little water, vinegar, salt, and herhs; put this liquor over the shells, on a sieve; then pour the other soup clear from the sediment; chop a lohster, and add this to it, with a quart of good heef gravy; and also the tails of the crayfish, and some flour and hutter, and season according to your taste.

CRAYFISH (Bisque of).—Take ahout fifty or sixty crayfish, stew them in a little water, with carrots, onions, parsley, thyme, hay leaves, salt, and pepper, for half an hour, then drain, and take them out of their shells; and having laid aside thirty of the tails whole, pound the remainder of the meat with the hreasts of two roast fowls, the crumhs of two French rolls, previously soaked in rich hroth, and the yolks of three hard eggs. Boil the shells in a little hroth, and, with the liquor, dilute the pounded meat, and ruh the whole through a silk sieve. lioil a piirt and a half of cream, keep it stirring, and pour on the soup; season it, and add the coral of a lohster pounded, and mixed with a little hroth; set the whole on the fire, hut do not let it hoil. When quite done, pour it into the tureen on some previously soaked hread,
and put the tails which were reserved, on the soup, and serve it hot.

To boil crawfish, make a court bouillon with water, salt, whole pepper, vinegar, parsley, green onions, bay-leaf, and mace; when the water boils throw in the crawfish, let them boil not more than fifteen minutes: they may be served plain in the second course, dished on a napkin.

Ecrevisse a, la Poulet.
Pick out the tails of crawfish that have been boiled as above, trim the thick end of the ragged part, then take two or three spoonsful of bechamel (No. 7), stir it over the fire till it boils, mix in a little chopped parsley, a few drops of lemon juice, throw in the crawfish, thicken the sauce with the yolks of two eggs, and a spoonful of cream. The crawfish may be served in a volau-vent, or a casserole.

Monday, October 19, 2015

1884 Farm Houses

A Farm House Costing $2,900
This plan of a farm-house embraces a commodious and convenient interior, with such external features as to clearly express its purpose. It will be recognized as at once adapted to rural situations and domestic life, providing much valuable space, and afiording a variety of pleasing and symmetrical outlines, with due economy in expense of construction. Perhaps the most striking fea' ture is the breadth of the front, which is 51 feet. (The average depth is 22 feet 7 inches.) As far as practicable, all prolonged vertical lines are avoided, leaving horizontal ones to prevail, as of more practical utility and value. Where opportunities abound for “ spreading out,” as in the-country, it would he obviously incompatible to build tall, or stilted houses, that would not comport with their surroundings, nor provide the conveniences desirable in all rural habitations.

A Stone House costing $2,900
These plans were designed for the substantial dwelling of a farmer in easy circumstances. The outside appearance truthfully expresses its rural and its domestic purpose. The interior accommodations are carefully arranged for comfort and convenience. The materials and method of construction insure permanency ; with little care, this _ building would last for many generations. *. . . EXTERIOR, (fig. 111.)—The elevation shows that this house was intended for the country—it looks like a farm-house—in fact it would be out of place anywhere else. Its peculiar solid, independent, and home-like character is due to the massive stone walls, large door and window openings, broad and steep slated roof, truncated gables, substantial chimneys, and heavy sheltering eaves, all arranged in simple, expressive, and harmonious combination. All superfluous ornamentation is avoided, as inconsistent with rural simplicity and truthfulness. Vines and creepers will be suggested by the rough stone walls and piazza posts ; and to their delicate tracery may be left the work of “ filling in ” their more appropriate and agreeable decomtions.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Pleasure Travel Hints

Here's a list of suggestions for pleasure travel in 1874.

1. Purchase through tickets previously to entering the cars.
2. Attend to checking your baggage rin person before taking your seat in the car.
3. Select a seat on the shady side of the car.
4. When you leave your seat, place a parcel, coat, or something belonging to you on it, which is an evidence of the seat being engaged.
5. Have the exact change to pay your fare on the cars, or you are subjected to be ejected from the cars—it has been decided by law that a conductor is not obliged to make change for a passenger.
6. Railroad Checks are good only for the train for which they are used; passengers cannot lay over for another train without making arrangements with the conductor.
7. Ladies without escort in travelling should be very particular with whom they become acquainted.
"If your lips would save from slips,
Five things observe with care:
Of whom you speak—to whom you speak,
And how—and when—and where."
8. If you see a lady unaccompanied, do not obtrude yourself upon her notice.
9. If she needs your services, tender them as though they were due to her, without unnecessary forwardness or undue empressment.
10. Such services do not entitle you to after recognition, unless by permission of the lady.
11. Ladies travelling with children should invariably have a basket of eatables, a tumbler or a goblet, for the children to drink from, and keep the children in their seats.
12. Keep your head and arms inside the car windows.
13. Never talk on politics in the cars —it is usually disagreeable to some of your fellow-travellers.
14. Never talk loudly while the train is in motion; it may not annoy any one, but it will injure your lungs.
15. A gentleman should not occupy more than one seat at a time.
16. Gentlemen should not spit tobacco juice in the cars where there are ladies; it soils their skirts and dresses.
17. Always show your ticket (without getting into a bad humor,) whenever the conductor asks for it. Observe this rule and it will pay.
18. Never smoke in a car where there are ladies. No gentlemen would be guilty of such an act.
19. Never use profane language in a railroad car.
20. If you cannot sleep yourself, don't prevent others from doing so, by whistling or loud talking.
21. Make a bargain with the hackman before getting into his carriage.
22. Look out for pickpockets.
23. Remember, that unless you pay for two seats you are entitled to but one, and every gentlemen and lady too, will respect the rights of others, and be mindful especially of the weak, the aged, and the infirm.
24. Provide yourself with sleeping berths before starting—you may then have a choice—the double lower birth is preferable.
25. Always be at the railroad station in good time to take the train. Better be an hour too early than a minute too late.
Note.—Many of the above rules are as applicable to Steamboat travelling as when travelling on Railroads. Often much comfort can be obtained by writing or sending a telegraph in order to secure state rooms, &c.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Card Games Part two

This is the second installment of Card Games, the first was last week on Thursday. Short Whist is a lot shorter in the directions than Long Whist.

This is unmistakably nothing more or less than ordinary Whist cut in half; therefore it is almost unnecessary to say much about it, because the principles of the game are just the same as those which have been given at length for the playing of Long Whist.
It is said that it was first introduced at Bath by Lord Peterborough, who, fearing he was about to incur some heavy losses, thought he might sooner be relieved of his suspense if he could contrive to shorten the game. Even now, although it may not be so popular as it once was, it still possesses a great attraction for many players, who are of opinion that the awarding of points for honours (which are not held as the result of play, but simply because they are dealt out to the players holding them) introduces an element of mere accident into the game, which they think does not add either to its interest or to its claims as a scientific amusement. Five points constitute the game in Short Whist, the rubber being reckoned as two points.
Honours are never called, but are always counted, except at the point of four.
The chief advantage of Short Whist lies in the fact that the trumps may be made special instruments of power. Carleton says:—" Trumps should be your rifle company; use them liberally in your manoeuvres; have copious reference to them in finessing, to enable you to maintain a long suit."
Should you be weak in trumps, ruff a doubtful card at all times; with a command in them, be very chary of that policy.
Let your great principle always be to keep the control of your adversaries' suit and leave that of your partner free.
If you see the probable good effect of forcing, decide which of your adversaries you will assail, but do not attempt them both at once. Let it be the stronger, if possible.
When you force both hands opposed to you, one throws away his useless cards; while the chance is the other makes trumps that under other circumstances would have been sacrificed.
And the great authority Deschapelles, in speaking of Short Whist, remarks, "When we consider the social feeling it engenders, the pleasure and vivacity it promotes, and the advantages it offers to the less skilful player, we cannot help acknowledging that Short Whist is a decided improvement upon the old game."

This is exactly the same as Long Whist, excepting that there are three players instead of four, and one of the players undertaking the responsibility of two hands. Duinby's hand is exposed on the table, open to the view of the three players. On the whole, the player having Dumby for partner has somewhat the best of it.

This is when only two persons play. Two hands may either be exposed on the table, and made use of as if there were four players, or they may be entirely rejected. In the latter case the single hands held by the players must be managed as skilfully as possible. In all these little variations upon the real game of Whist each honour counts as one point.

This is the most popular game in the United States, and can be played by two, three, or four players.
Like Whist, Euchre does not depend upon chance only; great skill is required to play the game well.
It is played with a Piquet pack, that is, a pack of thirty-two cards, all cards below seven, excepting the ace, being taken out. The value of the cards is the same as in Whist, except that the knave of trumps and the other knave of the same colour take precedence over the remainder of the trumps. The knave of trumps is called the right bower, and the knave of the suit of the same colour the left bower.
Supposing spades to be trumps, then the cards rank in the following order:— Knave of spades, knave of clubs, ace, king, queen of spades, &c.
If elubs were trumps then the knave of that suit would be highest card, and knave of spades the next. The knaves rank as in Whist when neither right nor left bowers.
The cards are dealt as follows:—First deal two to each, then three to each.
The eleventh card is then turned up, and to whatever suit it belongs that suit is trumps.
Five points constitute the game. If a player win three tricks, they count for one point; if he win four tricks, they also count for one point; but if he win all five tricks, they count two points.
The eleventh card being turned up, the first player begins the game by looking at his hand to ascertain if, in his own estimation, it is sufficiently strong to score —that is, to make three, four, or five tricks. Should he be able to do so, he will say, " I order it up;" that is, that the dealer is to take up the turn-up card in his hand, and put out any card he likes. If, on the contrary, he thinks he cannot score, he says, "I pass."
If the first player orders the turn-up card up, the game begins at once by his playing a card and the dealer following suit. Should the dealer not be able to follow suit, he must either throw away or trump, as in Whist.
The winner of the trick then leads, and so the game goes on until the ten cards are played.
If either the dealer or the other player order the card up and fail to get three or more tricks, he is euchred—that is, his adversary scores two.
Suppose the first player passes, not, in his own estimation, being strong enough to make three tricks, the dealer can, if he likes, take the card and put one of his own out, but if he fails to score he is euchred.
If they both pass, the first player may change the trump, and the dealer is compelled to play. If, however, the former does not score he is euchred.
If he passes for the second time the dealer can alter it, the same penalty being enforced should he not score.
if they both pass for the second time, the round is over, and the first player begins to deal.
If trumps are led, and you only have left bower, you must play it, as it is considered a trump.

In playing the famous game of Speculation a full pack of fifty-two cards is used, the value of each card being the same as at Whist.
Either counters or halfpennies may serve for stakes, an equal number of which must be allotted to all, the pool being provided by contributions from each player. After cutting for deal the owner of the lowest card deals out three cards to each player, one at a time, face downwards, and no one must on any account look at what has been given him. /
The top card of the remaining pack is then to be the trump, and this card the dealer may either keep himself or sell to the highest bidder, making it thus an object of speculation.
The player on the left of the possessor of the winning card then turns up his top card, and if it happen not to be a trump the next player turns up, and so on, until a higher trump than the first make its appearance, when the new comer takes the place of its predecessor, and, if not retained by its owner, is awarded to the highest bidder. If the card be not a trump, but only an ordinary one, it may be beaten by the highest card that makes its appearance of the same suit or by a trump.
At the close of every round the pool is won by the player who holds the highest card of the tramp suit. Should the ace of trumps be turned up, the hand is, of course, at an end, the owner of it being the winner.
The game is well named, for the buying and selling business is frequently carried on to a very considerable extent. Sometimes the players will sell their whole hand to each other, or perhaps a single card on the chance of their proving winners.
Although the above method is the most common way of playing, slight variations are frequently made. For instance, an extra hand is dealt by many players and placed in the middle of the table for pool; at the end of the round this hand is examined, and if a better card is found in it than that belonging to the winner, the pool is left undisturbed, and added to the next new pool, making it, of course, double in value. Another variation is, that any player who may turn up a knave or a five of any suit excepting trumps shall pay one counter to the pool.
In order to play well at Speculation great judgment must be used, and also the memory must be in full exercise, but when once thoroughly understood and appreciated there is no game superior to it for a Christmas gathering, and almost any number of players may join in it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Opera Dresses throughout the 19th Century

The richest full dress should be worn at the opera. This must be governed by the prevailing fashion. The head should be bare, and dressed in the most becoming style. Jewelry may be worn, according to taste, as there is no place where it shows to better advantage. A light or brilliant colored opera cloak will add greatly to the lady’s appearance and comfort. Gloves of white, or delicately tinted kid only are to be worn.



1857 Opera Bonnett

1859 Opera Cloaks

1877 Men's Opera Hat

1889 Russian Opera Hood Lower left image

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Lunch Menus and a recipe for Croquettes

I stumbled on this comment regarding lunch that I'd never heard before. "The menu: for the second breakfast, the lunch, which is served at twelve o’clock, and for dinner, which comes at about six o’clock in the afternoon," (The Chautauquan ©1899 Personally, I've never heard of lunch being called the second breakfast before, perhaps some of you have.

Today our tidbit are some Lunch Menus.

Deviled Crabs Parker House Rolls
Fruit Hot Gingerbread

Curry of Beef, Rice
Baked Bananas

Baked Tomatoes, Cream Sauce
Milk Biscuits Tea
Potato Salad

Macaroni Croquette, Cheese Sauce
Cress Salad
Source: Household News ©1895

And here's a little tidbit about Croquettes and specifically at the end of the paragraph what Macaroni Croquettes are.
CROQUETTES—The word signifies something crisp. Croquettes are balls or any shape of almost any eatable thing, floured or bread-crumbed and fried in plenty of hot fat, then drained on paper. Chicken Croquettes A L'italienne—Meat of i large chicken cut in very small squares, half as much mushrooms; little chopped shallot; butter and flour fried together; broth added to make thick sauce; yolks of egg's, chicken and mushrooms stirred into the sauce; made cold; rolled into pear shapes, or rolls; breaded; fried; served with Italian sauce. Croquettes Of Beef Palates—Beef palates parboiled and skinned; cooked 3 hours, and pressed; cut in small dice; made same as chicken croquettes; tomato sauce. Croquettes De Homard-Lobster croquettes; tne meat, coral, white sauce, yolks of egg's> and butter, made into smooth long rolls; breaded; fried; served with any fish sauce, which then gives the name, as with Hollandaise sauce. Croquettes De— Brains scrambled with bread crumbs, milk, flour, yolks, little minced shallot, nutmeg, lemon juice, pepper, salt, parsley; made in cone or pear shapes; breaded; fried. Croquettes De Volaille Aux Truffes—Chicken with truffles mixed in, instead of mushrooms, and served with truffle sauce. Croquettes De Volaille A L'ecarLate—With red tongue in the composition and in the sauce. Croquettes De Pommes—Apple marmalade stiffened with corn starch; cooled; cut in oblongs; breaded; fried; served with sweet sauce or jelly. Ckoquttes De Riz—Rice boiled dry, slightly sweetened; butter and yolks added; made in pear shapes; floured; breaded; fried; currant jelly for sauce. Croquettes De Riz De Veau—calves' sweetbreads; same way as chicken or brains. CroQuettes Of Rice Axd Ham—A London caterer's specialty. Potted ham or tongue made in small balls; rice cooked and seasoned; yolks and whipped whites added; the ham balls covered with the rice paste; egged; rolled in ground pop-corn; fried; white sauce containing lemon juice. Turkey CroQuettes—Made of 1 lb. cold turkey, % lb. bread crirtnbs, % lb. butter, 1 teaspoon ■ onion, 4 eggs, parsley, little nutmeg, salt, cayenne, sweet cream; bread wetted with cream, butter and eggs; stirred over the fire, chopped meat added; cooled; balled up; fried. Croquettes De Macaroni—Macaroni and cheese in croquette form.
Source: The Steward's Handbook and Guide to Party Catering ©1889

Monday, October 12, 2015

1884, 1885 & 1888 Furniture Window Valances

Below are various designs for Window Valances from 1884, 1885 & 1888 These came from "The Furniture Gazette." Below are two tidbits about Valances, from these your characters might decide which one they prefer.

Here's a short excerpt from 'An Encyclopedia of Domestic Economy' ©1855 about Valances.
Betides tie rod on which tht curtain slides, there is generally a piece of the tame material with the curtain, called a valance, suspended before it, to conceal the rod, and likewise the soffit, or under side, of the architrave. This valance gives great richness and finish to the window; but when the rooms are low, they should not be deep, as they then hide much of the light: on the contrary, when the windows are very lofty, they are often useful in moderating the too great glare of light. Valances are contrived in a vast variety of modes, on which depends, in a great measure, the style of the window. Sometimes they are made in the form of festoons, and are then, by upholsterers, termed draperies i the festoon itself is called the swag, and the end that hangs down is termed the tail: see fig. 164. These are frequently ornamented with hinges, tassels, and cords, in various ways. This, which is the former French style, was introduced some years ago, as being much richer and more elegant than ours; at present it Js less used, and what are called piped valances are more generally put up; these harbour less dust, from the folds being perpendicular. Lately, massive brass rods and large rings have been much in fashion; also, rich gilt cornices over the valances.

Here's another tidbit from "The Art of Furnishings on Rational and Aesthetic Principles." ©1881
The simpler and more natural a valance is the better.
Our own opinion is that it is seldom needed. A light brass pole again answers the purpose as an ornamental curtain rod. Cornices necessitate valances, and frequently bring the window into excessive prominence, and detach it from the rest of the walls in a manner injurious to the general effect.



This next design comes from an 1888 copy of "The Furniture Gazette."

Friday, October 9, 2015

Travel on to the Great Lakes

Below is a lengthy excerpt from Sailing on the Great Lakes and Rivers of America ©1874. It was around this time that travel for pleasure and recreation began to take hold in America. For so many years and generations Americans worked hard, day and night. But as the industrial revolution began to take shape travel, vacations also began for the middle class and no longer something the upper class. What you might find historically helpful for your writing is the views of travel, the modes and the tidbits the author shares.

Tourists, in search of health or pleasure, who intend to visit the region of the Great Lakes of America, if starting from New York or any of the cities of the eastern or middle States, are advised to take the most direct route for Niagara Falls, where may be seen the magnitude of the accumulated waters of the "Inland Seas," as exhibited by viewing the American and Canadian, or Horse-Shoe Fall of this mighty Cataract. The Suspension Bridges, Rapids, and Islands, with other objects combined, form attractions that will profitably employ several days sojourn at this fashionable resort.
Here are several well-kept Hotels, both on the American and Canadian sides of the river, from whence delightful drives are afforded in almost every direction, while bringing into view new objects of interest, either on ascending on descending the banks of this majestic stream—this whole section of country, above and below the Falls, being historic ground. The battle-fields of Chippewa, Lundy's Lane, Queenstown, and old Fort George, opposite Fort Niagara, on the American side, all deserve a visit.
On leaving Niagara Falls the tourist can proceed westward, via the Great Western Railway of Canada, to Detroit, 230 miles, passing through an interesting section of Canada; or, proceed to Buffalo, by rail, 22 miles.
Grand Pleasure Excursion,
Steamers of a large class leave Buffalo, during the season of navigation, every alternate day for Erie, Cleveland and Detroit, proceeding on their way to the Saut Ste. Marie and Duluth, Lake Superior, a distance of about 1,200 miles.
Passengers taking the Round Trip can stop, to suit their convenience, at any of the Lake ports, before arriving at Detroit. The City of Erie, 90 miles from Buffalo, is a place of growing importance, where terminates the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad, forming a direct and speedy communication with the cities of New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore. This is a favorite line of travel, crossing the Alleghany range and connecting with the Great Lakes. The City of Cleveland, 95 miles further, is fast becoming a great mart of trade, and a stoppingplace for pleasure travellers. The railroad lines, in connection with its shipping facilities, afford this port great commercial advantages—no city on the Lakes exceeding it in natural advantages as regards a healthy climate, lovely situation, beautiful avenues, and delightful drives. Steamers run from this place to Put-in-Bay, Kelley's Island, Sandusky and Toledo, as well as direct to Detroit, Mich., each affording pleasant summer excursions.
On leaving Detroit, if bound for Lake Superior, commences the Grand Excursion—passing through Lake St. Clair and St. Clair river, forming the boundary between the United States and Canada. The steamer usually stops at Sarnia, Can., or Port Huron, Mich, to land and receive passengers. Immediately, after leaving the latter port, Point Edward and Fort Gratiot are passed, and the steamer enters the broad waters of Lake Huron. Here is experienced during warm weather the most delightful change imaginable. The upward bound vessels usually keep near the Michigan shore, on the left, while on the right nothing but the broad waters are visible for some two hundred miles.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

CARD GAMES part one

Today I'm beginning a series on Card Games, the first game I'm sharing is Long Whist and the rules are long. But for those of you who might play whist, check it out and see if the rules have changed. Cassel's Book of Indoor Amusements, Card Games and Fireside Fun ©1882 is our source for this really long tidbit.

There is no knowing exactly when card-playing first made its appearance, or who introduced it. Long before Whist, Cribbage, or Piquet was heard of the natives of India and China amused themselves for many a long hour in cardplaying. Though probably they did not restrict themselves to any particular rule or method, still, the enjoyment they derived from the game was, doubtless, quite equal to any that we have now. The old tale, that has so often been repeated, that Whist was invented purposely to entertain, during his moments of sanity, an English sovereign who had lost his reason, may or may not be true. All we really know is, that for more than two hundred years our grandmothers and grandfathers have spent many a happy hour at the card-table, sipping their toddy and playing their rubbers in really good earnest. As far as we are concerned, the toddy sipping may be with safety dispensed with, but not the earnestness; for with cards, almost more than any other amusement, it is utterly useless to play in a half-hearted sort of manner.
Everything, for the time, must be forgotten but the game, and into that the whole energy must be thrown. As all good players know, triflers are to be dreaded far more than inexperienced players. The latter, by practice, strict attention, the exercise of judgment, observation, and memory may soon become skilful players, while the former will never willingly be chosen as partners by good Whist players. It is said that good old Sir Roger de Coverley sent a messenger round every Christmas time with a pack of cards to all the cottagers on his estate, and if accompanied, as no doubt they were, with something useful and substantial, nothing could have been much more acceptable.

Among all card games Whist is unequalled, and although no more than four players can join in one game, a whole roomful of people may easily play at the same time by simply dividing themselves into so many quartettes, a pack of cards being provided for each set of players.
For Long Whist four players are required, and a complete pack of fiftytwo cards. The first step is for each player to draw a card from the pack, the two highest and the two lowest being partners, each player taking his seat opposite his partner. The cards are then shuffled by the "elder hand," who is the player to the left of the dealer, the post of dealer being allotted to the drawer of the lowest card; after which they are cut by the "younger hand," who is the player to the right of the dealer. Beginning with his left-hand neighbour, the whole pack is then dealt out to the players one by one, faces downward, until the last one is arrived at, which, though the property of the dealer, is turned up, displaying the trump suit. If dealt properly, every player will hold in his hand thirteen cards, which he is now at liberty to look at and arrange in order, the owner of each hand being in honour bound not to look at any cards but his own.
The object of the game is for each player to either make himself, or assist his partner in making, as many tricks as possible, so that they together may gain ten points, that number being game in Long Whist.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dinner Dresses thru the 19th Century

Today's tidbit are a few dinner dresses down through the 19th Century. First I'm sharing some tidbits from "The College of Life Or Practical Self" a description regarding dressing for Dinner.

How Ladies Should Dress.
Dressing for dinner only presents points of difficulty to the ladies; the rule to be followed by gentlemen is simple enough.

Several considerations serve to embarrass the gentler sex. For a “great” dinner, a lady dresses in a style which would be extravagant and out of keeping with a “small” dinner; yet the invitation is in both cases couched in the same terms. Moreover, a dinner is often the prelude to an evening party, or a visit to the opera, or some other form of amusement; and the style of dress must be suited to these contingencies also. One or two general rules may be laid down.

Full dinner dress means a low dress; the hair arranged with flowers or other ornaments; and a display of jewelry, according to taste. For a grand dinner, a lady dresses as elaborately as for a ball; but there is a great distinction between a ball dress and a dinner dress. Let no misguided young belle who is invited to a great house rush to the conclusion that it will be right for her to appear in a dress that she has worn in a ballroom. The style of thing required is wholly different. In the ball-room everything should be light, floating, diaphanous, ethereal, and calculated to produce a good general effect.

A dinner dress must be good in quality; it should be of silk of the latest make, with an ample train. By way of setting the dress olf, rich lace may be worn—Brussels, Mechlin, Honiton, Maltese or Cluny; but such light materials as blonde, tulle, areophane, tarlatane, etc., are quite out of place as trimmings.
Jewelry of almost any value may be worn at a great dinner—diamonds, pearls, emeralds, rubies, any kind ; but it is not in good taste to wear too much jewelry at any time.

As accessories, an opera-cloak, a fan, and a pair of perfectly white and perfectly fitting gloves must not be forgotten.

In dressing for an ordinary dinner—say a dinner of six or eight, or a dinner at a country house—the demi-toilette is sufficient. The dress should be made with a low body; is in good taste, and the shirt-studs may be choice, but should be in proportion to the means of the wearer.

It may be as well to remark that dinner~ parties are not supposed to be given on Sundays, and, therefore, when an invitation is accepted for that day—or when, on a visit, host and guests dine together—it is not necessary to dress; the ladies appearing in high dresses, or the demi-toilette at most; gentlemm in walking-dress.




Unfortunately in my files I don't have an "Dinner Dress" between these two dates.