Monday, January 23, 2017

Keeping Flies Away

I found this tidbit while researching my Historical Writers Research of 19th Century Carriages & Wagons I ran across another use for "train oil." Train oil or Fist oil is made from whale blubber and/or codfish oil. 

From The Western Druggist Vol. 16 pg 209 ©1894 we find:
Almost any greasy substance will keep the flies away for several days. A number of experiments were tried in the field, with the result that train-oil alone, and trainoil with a little sulphur or carbolic acid added, will keep the flies away for from five to six days, while, with a small proportion of carbolic acid, it will have a healing effect upon the sores which may have formed. Train-oil should not cost more than 50 to 75 cents per gallon, and a gallon will anoint a number of animals. Common axle grease, costing 10 cents per box, will answer nearly as well, and this substance has been extensively and successfully used by Mr. William Johnson, a large stock dealer at Warrenton, Va. Tallow has also been used to a good advantage. The practice of smearing the horns with pine or coal tar s'mply repels from them these pests. Train-oil or fish-oil seems to be more lasting in its effects than any other of the substances used.

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