Friday, January 31, 2014

Carpeting How To's

I love my new living room carpet and keeping it clean means taking out the vacuum cleaner and sweeping over the entire area with an occasional cleaning from a steam cleaner. However, these machines weren't available to the common housekeeper back in the 19th century. I ran across these tidbits regarding carpeting from Mrs. Owens New Cook Book and Household Manual ©1897 Enjoy!

HOME-MADE CARPET.—Paste the floor of the room over with newspapers. Over this paste wall paper of a pattern to look like carpet or oil-cloth. Put down as smoothly as possible, match it nicely where the widths come together. Use good flour paste. Then size and varnish it. Dark glue and common furniture varnish may be used. Place a rug here and there and your room is carpeted.

TO SAVE STAIR CARPETS.—Stair carpets should always have a slip of paper or a padding made of cheap cotton batting, tacked in cheap muslin put under them, at and over the edge of every stair, which is the part where they wear first. The strips should be within an inch or two as long as the carpet is wide and about 4 or 5 inches in breadth. A piece of old carpet answers better than paper if you have it. This plan will keep a stair carpet in good condition for a much longer time than without it.

Mrs. Clarissa O. Keeler, Baltimore, Maryland.
A stair carpet lined with new cotton will almost never wear out. It saves the strain, especially if moved occasionally so that the wear does not come all the time in the same place.

PATCHING CARPETS.—Take pieces of cloth and paste over the holes with a paste made of gum tragacanth and water.

SWEEPING CARPETS.—Use coarse wet salt for sweeping both matting and carpeting. It keeps the dust down and brightens the carpet. And when sweeping sweep across the grain. Dampen sawdust with water and sprinkle with ammonia and use on a carpet; it brings out the colors. A tablespoon of ammonia in 3 or 4 quarts of water will often restore colors. It will remove whitewash from carpets. Mrs. R. Louis, Glen Ellyn, Ill., says: "Wet newspapers and wring them dry; tear into small bits and scatter over the carpet. It will collect the dust from rising while sweeping."

TO REMOVE INK STAINS FROM CARPET.=Take boiling milk to absorb ink, and immediately wash with hot water. If a dark spot remains the water was not applied quickly enough. This spot will disappear by an application of Potter's Clay. Make a thin paste and spread on.
(Another method: As soon as the ink is spilled, put on salt and cover well. Remove as fast as it becomes colored, and put on fresh. Continue this until the salt is white, sweep well, and no trace of ink v iil remain. Corn meal used similarly on coal oil spots on carpets will remove every particle, even if a large quantity has been spilled).

GREASE SPOTS.—To remove grease from carpets, see recipe, farther on.
Grease may be removed from a white floor by making a common hasty pudding of corn meal and laying it on the spot until cold.
To remove grease from wall paper,pulverize a common clay pipe, mix it with water into a stiff paste, laying it on very carefully, letting it remain over night. Then lightly brush it off.

HOW TO TREAT AN AGED BRUSSELS CARPET.-Tack the carpet on the floor right side down. Put on a coat of priming paint,then paint of the color desired, just as a floor is painted. A border may be painted as desired. Do not varnish,as it is liable tc scratch.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cooking Terms

Many of these do not vary from today's use. But in case you've run across a term you weren't sure of it's meaning during the 19th Century here's a list of Cooking Terms.

Aspio.—A savory jelly.
Assiettes.—Small entrees not more than a plate will contain.
Atelet.—A Email silver skewer.
Ad Bleu.—A French term applied to fish boiled in white wine with flavors.
Ac Grae.—Dressed with meat gravy.
Ac Jus.—In the natural juice, or gravy.
An Naturel.—Plain, simple cookery.
Baba.—Very light plum-cake, or sweet French yeast cake.
Bain-marie.—An open vessel which has a loose bottom for the reception of hot water. It is used to keep sauces nearly at the boiling point without reduction or burning. . Barde.— A thin slice of bacon fat placed over any substance specially requiring the assistance of fat without larding.
Batteris Db Cuisine.—Complete set of cooking apparatus.
Bavaroise A L'eau.—Tea sweetened with syrup of capillaire, and flavored with a little orange-flower water.
Bavaroise Ad LAit.—Made in the same way as the above, but with equal quantities of milk and tea.
Bechamel.—A rich white French sauce.
Reign Et, Or Fritter (see Fritter).
Bisque.—A soup made of shell-fish.
Blanc—White broth used to give a more delicate appearance to the flesh of fowl, lamb, etc.
Blanch.—Placing anything on the Are in cold water until it boils, and after straining it off, plunging it into cold water for the purpose of rendering it white. Used to whiten poultry, vegetables, etc.
Blanquette.— A fricassee usually made of thin slices of white meat, with white sauce thii-kened with egg yolk.
Blonde De Veau.—Double veal broth used to enrich soups and sauces.
Boudin.—A delicate compound mode of quenelle forcemeat.
Bouilli.— Beef which has been boiled in making broth.
Bouillie.— A French dish resembling that called hasty pudding.
Bouillon.—Tho common soup of France.
Bouquet Of Herbs.- Parsley, thyme, and green onions tied together.
Bouquet Garni.—The some thing as Fagot, which see.'
Boubouionote.—A rogoirt of truffles.
Braise.—Meat cooked in a closely-covered stewpan to prevent evaporation, so that the meat retains not only its own juices, but those of any other articles, such as bacon, herbs, roots and spice put with it.
Braisiere.—A saucepan with ledges to the lid, so that it will contain firing.
Bridkr.—To truss fowls with a needle and thread.
Brioche —A sponge cake similar to Bath buns.
Buisson.—A cluster or bush of small pastry piled on a dish.
Callipasb?.—The glutinous portion of the turtle found in the upper shell.
Callipee.—The glutinous meat of the turtle's under shell.
Cannelons.—Small rolls or collars of mincemeat, or of rice and pastry with fruit.
Capilotade.—A Mash of poultry.
Casserole.—The form of rice to be filled with a fricassee of white meat or a puree of game; also a stewpan.
Civet.—A dark, thickish stew of hare or venison.
Compikone.—Sweet French yeast cake, with fruit.
Compote.—Fruits stewed in syrup. There are also compotes of small birds.
Confitures.--Sweetmeats of sugars,fruits, syrups, and essences.
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Consomme.—Strong, clear gravy obtained by stewing; meat for a considerable length of time.
Conns.—A rich, smooth gravy used for coloring, flavoring, and thickening certain soups and sauces.
Croquettes.—A savory mince of flsh, meat, or fowl, made with a little sauce into various shapes, rolled in egg and breadcrumbs, and fried crisp.
Couronne, En.—To serve any prescribed articles on a dish in the form of a crown.
Croustacles.—Also known as Dresden patties. They are composed of mince encased in paste, and moulded into various forms.
Croustades.—Fried forms of bread to serve minces or other meat forms.
Crouton.—A sippet of bread fried, and used for garnish.
Cuisine Masouez.—Highly seasoned or unusually mixed dishes.
Cuisson.—Method of cooking meats, or the liquor in which they have been boiled.
Dariole.—A sweet pate baked in a mould.
Daubs.—Meat or fowl stewed in sauce.
Daubiere.—An oval stewpan.
Dejeuner A u Foubchette.—Breakfast with meats, wines, etc.
Desosser.—To bone.
Dorure.—Yolks of eggs well beaten for covering meats and other dishes.
Entree. — A corner - dish for the first course.
Entremet.—A side-dish for the second course.
Espaonole.—A rich brown Spanish sauce.
Faoot.—A small bunch of parsley and thyme tied up with a bay-leaf.
Fbuilletaoe.—Puff paste.
Financiers.- An expensive, highly flavored mixed ragout.
FLAjoont.—To singe fowl or game after picking.
Flan.—A French custard.
Flancs.—The side-dishes of large dinners.
Foncer.—To put in the bottom of a saucepan thin slices of veal or bacon.
Fonoue.—A light and pleasant preparation of cheese.
Fricandeaux may be made of any boned pieces of veal chiefly cut from the thick
part of the fillet, and of not more than two or three pounds weight.
Fricassee.—Chickens, etc., cut in pieces in a white sauce, with truffles, mushrooms, etc., as accessories.
Fritter —Anything encased in a covering of batter or eggs, and fried.
Gateau.— A pudding or baked cake.
Gauftres.—A light, spongy sort of biscuit.
Glaze.—Stock boiled down to the thickness of jelly, and used to improve the appearance of braised dishes.
Godiveaux.—Various varieties of forcemeat.
Gras.—With, or of meat; the reverse of maiyrt.
Gratin.—Au Gratin.—A term applied to certain dishes prepared with sauce and baked.
Gratin Er.—To cook like a grill.
Haricot.—So called from the French word for beans, with which the dish was originally made. Now understood as any thick stew, or ragout of mutton, beef, or veal, cut in pieces, and dressed with vegetables and roots.
Hors-d'osirvres. — Small dishes of sardines, anchovies, and other relishes.
Lardiniere.— Vegetables stewed down in their own sauce.
Larson.—The piece of bacon used in larding.
Liaison.—The mixture of egg and cream used to thicken white soups, etc.
Lit.—Thin slices in layers.
Luting.—A paste to fasten lids on piepans for preserving game.
Madelienes.—Small plum cakes.
Maiore.—Without meat .
Marinade.—The liquor in which fish or meat is steeped.
Mase.—To cover meat with any rich sauce, ragout, etc.
Matelote.—A rich fish stew with wine.
Mayonnaise.—Cold sauce, or salad dressing.
Mazarines, Or Turbans.—Ornamental entries of forcemeat and fillets of poultry, game, or fish.
Menu -The bill of fare.
Meringue.—Light pastry made of sugar and the white of,eggs beaten to "snow."
Miononnette Pepper.—Coarsely ground peppercorns.
Miroton.—Small thin slices of meat about as largo as a crown piece made into ragouts of various kinds, and dished up in a circular form.
Mouiller.—To add broth, water or other liquid while the cooking is proceeding.
Nouoat.—Almond candy.
Nouilles.—Strips of paste made of eggs and Sour.
Panada.—Soaked bread used in the preparation of French forcemeat.
Paner.—To cover with bread -crumbs fried or baked food.
Papillotk, En. — The pieces of paper greased with oil and butter, and fastened round a cutlet, etc., by twisting it along the edge.
Pate.—A small pie.
Paupiettes.—Slices of meat rolled.
Piece De Resistance. — The principal joint of the dinner.
Pilau.—A dish of meat and rice.
Piqueb.—To lard with strips of bacon fat, etc.
Poelee.—Stock for boiling turkeys, fowls, vegetables, instead of water, so as to render them less insipid.
Potaok.- Soup.
Printaniees.—Early spring vegetables. Profiterolles.—Light pastry creamed inside.
Puree.—The name given to soup, the ingredients for thickening which have been passed through a sieve, then thinned with broth to the proper consistency. Meat and fish are cooked and pounded in a mortar, roots and vegetables are stewed till soft in order to prepare them for being thus converted to a smooth pulp.
Quenelles.—Forcemeat of various kinds composed of fish or meat, with bread, yolk of egg, and some kind of fat, seasoned in different ways, formed with a spoon to an oval shape, then poached in stock and used either as garnish to entrees, or to be served separately.
Ragout.—A rich sauce, with sweetbreads, mushrooms, truffles, etc., in it.
Releves.—The remove dishes. Remoulade.—Salad-dressing. Rifacimento.—Meat dressed a second time.
Rissole.—A mince of fish or meat enclosed in paste, or formed into balls and other shf pes. Used either as side-dishes or garnish. (See also Fricassees.)
Roti.—Roast meat.
Roue.—A mixture of butter and flour used for thickening white soups and gravy
Salmi.—A hash of game cut up and dressed when only half roasted.
Saxtox — To dress with sauce in the saucepan by keeping it in motion.
Sauce Piquant.—A sharp sauce in which. lemon and vinegar predominate as a flavor.
Saute-pan.—A thin-bottomed, shallow pan for quick frying.
Sauter.—To toss over the fire in a sautepan with a small quantity of fat only.
Serviette, A La.—Served in a napkin.
Sippets.—Small pieces of bread cut intovarious shapes, either soaked in stock, toasted, or fried, to serve with meats as garnishing or borders.
Souffle.—A light pudding.
Stock.—The broth of which soups are made.
Tasus Or "tammy."—A strainer of fine woollen canvas, used for straining soups and sauces.
Timbale.—A sort of pie made in a mould.
Tourte.—A tart baked in a shallow tin.
Trifle.—A second-course dish, made of sponge cake, macaroons, jams, etc., brandy or wine, and liqueurs.
Trousser.—To truss a bird.
Turbans (ace Mazarines).
Vaxxer, To.—To make a sauce smooth by rapidly lifting it high in large spoonfuls,and allowing it to fall quickly again for some time.
Veloute.—Rich sauce used to heighten the flavor of soups and made dishes.
Vol-au-vent.—A liRht puff paste, cut round or oval, enclosing any delicate mincemeat.
Source: The Successful Housekeeper ©1882

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

1834 Fashions

It's Historical Fashion Wednesday again and today I'll be posting some 1834 fashions from actual sources, including some outfits from royalty.



Woman & Man

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Folding Napkins

You hardly see cloth napkins on the family dinner table these days. I still use them on occasion and love how they dress up a table. However, the art of folding the napkins, I haven't learned. Below are directions and illustrations on how to fold various napkin styles. If you're writing about characters who use such napkins or characters that have to fold the napkins, this tidbit is a great choice for you. I realize this is a fairly long tidbit, but worth it, for your historical character's sakes. At the bottom is another tidbit which makes for some interesting reading.imho Enjoy!

ALMOST any amount of fancy or ingenuity can be displayed in folding serviettes or table-napkins. To make them look well, or even to succeed in the more elaborate styles of folding, napkins are required very fine, exactly square, not too large, to be starched, and folded quite damp, every fold creased in place with a clean hot iron. The pantry or housekeeper's room is the place for folding the napkins, which may then be brought to table on a tray; but a lady may place a board covered with flannel on a small, light table, put the iron stand upon it, and shift it down the outside of the dinner-table as she folds, so as to place each napkin as it is done on a plate. A second iron must be heating to exchange with the one in use, for, unless very hot, the napkins will not be stiff enough. The shell and the Victoria Regia and the basket require them very stiff. If at any time the folding of a napkin is unsatisfactory, on no account attempt to refold the same; it is impossible to succeed with one already creased. Throw it aside to be re-damped or re-starched, which will take but a few moments, and meanwhile proceed with fresh ones.
Napkins folded in alternate patterns down a table look well, such as mitres and shells, and there may be flowers placed in the shells. Figs. 31, 13, 4 and 32—the mitre, the cornucopia, the pocket and the shell—are perhaps the best of these designs. The commoner kinds of folding can be achieved without the aid of starch, or even without an iron, although they look much better so assisted. The very simplest folds look extremely pretty if carefully done. They are not folded after they have been once used; when for the family the same are likely to come to table again, a ring is placed beside each person, and the article rolled and slipped into it after use the first time, and brought to table again in the ring, the mark on the ring distinguishing the napkin of each person.
The Pocket.—One of the simplest styles is to fold the napkin twice, lengthways; then, like Fig. 1, keeping the whole of the fold at the top and the edges at A A and B B; roll up. the ends at B to A, one at a time,
as in Fig. 2, but roll them the reverse way to Fig. 2 —that is, under, not over. When both ends are rolled up as close as E, with a twist of the hard bring the ends of the rolls, D, to the point c, like Fig. 3. Then lay tile part shown in Fig. 3 flat on the table, and set up the diamond -slipped fold at the top with the hands; slip the dinner roll or slice of bread into the hollow. Before the bread is put in, Fig. 4 represents the form of the folded napkin.
Crown Pattern.—This requires the damask to be very stiff. Halve and quarter it each way, like Fig. 6; bring all the corners very exactly to the centre, like Fig. 7; bring the four corners of Fig. 7 also to the centre, and smooth them at the crease; then form it into the crown by folding the corners at A A in Fig. 7, and slipping them into similar folds at B B, bringing the napkin round and upright in the form of a crown (Fig. 8).
The Flower.—To make this way of folding resemble a flower, copy Fig. 6 and then Fig. 7; bring all the corners of Fig. 7 nearly,
but not quite, to the centre for the second fold; finish it as before, and then curl up the four centre points, like Fig. 9.
The Cornucopia looks very pretty down a long dinner-table. Fold the napkin in a half, lengthways; then fold it like Fig. 10, the hems at the broad end. Take the corners A and B, bring them back again to the corner c, like Fig. 1,1. Double Fig. 11 together down the centre. This represents Fig. 12. At D, in Fig. 12, three folds exist, two outer and one inner. Set Fig. 12 upright, over the dinner roll with three of these folds to one side. Shape it- nicely, keeping the space from E to F close. To carry out the idea of the cornucopia, a few flowers and leaves may be placed in the mannei shown in Fig. 13, the stalks slipped under the edge, but must not be done too profusely. When the napkins are removed by the guests, the flowers will be taken away by the waiter on the plates, and can be transferred to the finger-bowls.
The Cocked Hat is made by folding the napkin first in halt one way, and then in half the other way, and once more in half, lengthways, in the way illustrated by Figs. 14 and 15. Then make

17, first one side and then the other, and iron down the crease; then partly unfold one side, as shown in the diagram, Fig. 18. The dotted lines mark the creases in the unfolded part, and c and c show how the piece marked c, in Fig. IV, is turned down. The piece raised is now folded down again, the dotted line, creased, passed over the other side, and the ends tucked in and creased down flat. The napkin now resembles Fig, 19. Arch it nicely over the dinner roll, and put a spray of flowers at the top to resemble the feather in a cocked hat, in the manner shown in Fig. 20.
The Basket.—Fold a napkin twice, like Figs. 14 and 15, once longways, and the second time across. This is to reduce its size.

Fold the four points to the centre, like Fig. 7; turn it over on the other side, and again fold the four points to the centre; again turn it face downwards, and, with the other side up, turn back the four corners, Fig. 21; fold it from A to B. Fig. 21, and c to D, both folds to be made keeping the part uppermost outwards. Open the last fold from c to D, and bring the shoulder B to the shoulder D by a fold at the dotted line between E. Repeat the same fold as that at E all round. The napkin will now stand on end as a basket, by standing it on its legs at E and the other three corners, and opening it back at F, in the way shown by Fig. 24. Fill the spaces with a few flowers, or cut the roll in four, put a portion in each, and just a flower or two. This pattern placed the reverse way on the plate also looks well, the dinner roll in the centre outside, Fig. 23; it requires the napkin to be very stiff, and exact in the folding. In Fig. 22 the bread is to be placed underneath.
The Mitre.—First fold the napkin in half; then fold down the corners as shown in Fig. 25; turn these corners down again, to meet in the middle, which is indicated by a dotted line. The napkin now looks like Fig. 20. Fold this in half at the dotted line in the centre, bringing the two points back to back, for the fold is

made outwards. Fig. 27 is the result. Fold over the two ends A and B, and produce Fig. 28. Let down the point c in Fig. 27, and fold the corners inside it; fold back c in its place again, turn the napkin over, and let down the point like c on the other side. The napkin now resembles Fig. 29. Fold it down at the dotted lines, turning the points A and B towards c. Fig. 30 is the figure now represented; D is the point let down; turn it up again to E; slip the hand inside the hollow underneath the napkin, and shape the mitre nicely, and then place it over the dinner roll, lite Fig. 31.
The Shell.—This is another very pretty and marked device. Lay the napkin flat on a table, and fold two sides to meet in the centre lengthways, like Fig. 36; fold it across the centre, and bring the side A A to meet the side B B. . The hems are kept inside in this fold. The long narrow piece thus formed must be folded in six equal pieces, and pressed close. It now resembles Fig. 44. Partly open it, and turn down the tops of the folds all along where the fold is double, in the manner shown by Fig. 35. Some can turn these down better if the lower end is kept close like a fan. When these corners are turned down, draw the end together, and pinch it firmly as a fan, and then set it upright on the plate, the two end folds level with the plate, like Fig. 32. If properly done,

it stands well. It is a very pretty addition to put alternately in each scallop of the shell a small flower and a leaf. Scarlet geraniums look exceedingly well.
The Victoria Regia.—Fold a napkin in half, and again in half, lengthways, keeping the hems to the edge; fold it a third time, also lengthways; then set it in twelve folds, like Fig. 44, as the shell was made, only the napkin is now only half the width, and there are twice as many folds. The corners are turned down (Fig. 35) as they were for the shell, beginning with the first hem; undo the plaits as little as possible; turn the first hem completely back, to make the first row of petals; turn back the second hem the same way, not quite so far; then turn down the first fold, which comes next, to form petals to meet those already made. The last fold is not turned down (see Fig. 40). Bring the two ends of the napkin together to form a round; the inner edges are thus forced up as a heart. A rosette is the figure formed, and the rosette represents the Victoria Regia (Fig. 33). A few small flowers, or even a small rose, look well arranged in the centre. This shape is difficult

to make, and requires very stiff damask. The petals need to be nicely set with the fingers, to resemble it.
To fold Fig. 58. Fold the napkin four times lengthways. Fold down one end as observed at A in Fig. 34—not to the centre by a couple of inches. Fold again at the dotted line B. Roll the end A as shown at c. Fig. 48 illustrates the process. Fig. 58 shows the complete design.
The Tiara.—Double the napkin four times lengthways. Fold down each corner, as shown in Fig. 39. Then fold by the lines across c D, and represent Fig. 53. Push the folds close together.
Fold in half at the centre line and tuck in the corners. Open the design by placing the hand inside. It must resemble Fig. 52 when complete.
Source: The Successful Housekeeper ©1882

One of the accomplishments of an "expert waitress ” has long been the ability to fold a napkin in all manner of curious forms. This fancy doubtless comes from the fashion, at one time prevalent, of folding the napkin for each member of the household or each guest in a different manner. This was a French custom, and at one time napkin etiquette ran so high that they were perfumed with rose water and were changed with each course, at ceremonial dinners. A French work published in 1650, which undertook to teach how properly to wait on tables and to fold napkins, gives the following forms in which the cloths might be folded : “ Square, twisted, folded in bands, and in the forms of a double-and twisted shell, single shell. double melon, cock, hen, hen and chickens, two chickens, pigeon in a basket, partridge, pheasant, two capons in a pie, hare, two rabbits, sucking pig, dog with a collar, pike, carp, turbot, mitre, turkey, tortoise, the holy cross and the Lorraine cross.”
Breakfast napkins are considered of the right size if half a yard square ; but for dinner they should be three-quarters of a yard. They are sometimes made an eighth larger, but those are too large for convenience, and there is no necessity for the extra size.
Source: Good Housekeeping ©1894

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sandwich Recipes from 1892

It's always fun to give your characters something different to eat. Why not try some of these from Science in the Kitchen ©1892. Below are several sandwich recipes, many I had not heard of before.

Few articles of the cuisine are capable of being served in so many and various forms as the time-honored sandwich. Breadstuifs of some kind are the usual foundation for sandwiches, and anything which harmonizes in taste and digestibility with bread may be used as filling. Yeast bread is the more commonly used for the purpose, but wafers, split rolls, and toasted granose biscuit make excellent sandwiches, and are a degree more wholesome than loaf bread in that they contain no yeast, and are harder in texture, so that they necessitate more thorough mastication. There is another advantage in the use of waters for sandwiches— they do not require to be first buttered before filling. Yeast bread, sliced from the loaf or split as when in the shape of biscuit, is so porous in character that a smearing of the surface with some kind of fatty substance is really needed to protect the crumb from becoming saturated when moist mixtures are used as filling; hence it is customary to butter the slices when making sandwiches. Both dairy and nut butters are used for the purpose, but some care needs to beltaken that whatever is used shall harmonize in taste with the filling. Thin slices are preferable for sandwiches. When the sandwiches have been spread and filled, they may be cut into a variety of pretty shapes.
Ribbon SandWich.— Prepare a filling with one-half pound of protose, minced fine, three grated yolks of hard-boiled eggs, juice of one lemon, and salt to season; or the lemon may be omitted, and the protose and egg mixed with mayonnaise dressing. Cut whole-wheat bread into thin slices and Spread lightly with dairy or cocoanut butter. Upon a slice thus prepared spread the protose mixture, and cover with a second slice buttered on both sides. Spread this thickly with grape or cranberry jelly and cover with a third slice. Divide the whole by cutting diagonally into two or four sections. Thinly split, well-toasted granose biscuit may be prepared into most appetizing sandwiches in the same manner.
Sweet Sandwich.— Flavor a half cup of almond butter, fresh from the can, with a tablespoonful of rosewater. Beat stiEE the white of an egg with a tablespoonful of meltose; add this to the almond butter, and beat all together. Spread between thin slices of bread, and serve.
Fig SandwiGh.—Spread thin slices of bread or toasted whole-wheat wafers with cocoanut or almond butter. Place nicely steamed figs between the slices and serve.
Olive'Samlwich.*— Spread thin slices of bread with nut butter, and put in between two pieces a layer of ripe olives. Cut the sandwiches in fancy shapes, and garnish with the rufiied edge of lettuce. Ripe olives served in this way resemble a ham sandwich.
Hulless Bean Sandwich.*—Lett-over bean patties may be seasoned to taste with lemon juice and spread between buttered slices of bread for sandwiches. They are also nice mixed with salad dressing and then used for the sandwich filling.
Potato Sandwich.*— Form mashed potatoes into patties the thickness of ordinary crackers. Put into an oiled baking dish and bake until the under crust is nice'and brown. While the‘ patties are in the oven, put one cup of cream into a small pan; salt slightly, and when at the boiling point add two
. hard-boiled egg yolks, minced fine; then moisten a level teaspoonful of ' corn starch in cold water and stir rapidly into the cream. Remove the pat’
ties from the oven; place on a heated platter, alternately covering with the corresponding patty, putting the brown side up. Garnish with parsley or lettuce leaves and serve while hot.
Fruit Sandwich.*—Between slices of bread which have been cut about one-fourth inch thick and spread with butter or nut butter, put a filling made by chopping very fine equal parts of steamed figs and nuts, moistening them with water and lemon juice to form a paste. Dates, prunes, raisins, or currants may be used in place of .figs.
Calcutta Sandwich.*— Make a filling by mixing together one part of nuttolene, one part of nut butter, four parts of protose, salt and lemon juice to taste. Put through a fine sieve. This goes in between the first two layers. Between the next two layers spread red raspberry or cherry marmalade mixed with chopped nuts, and on top serve a hard sauce. Into the center of each a cherry‘ or small tomato may be inserted. Under each point put a small lettuce leaf.
Protose Sandwich.*— Place slices of protose between thin slices of white or Graham bread, biscuit, or waters, spread with nut butter.
Protose Sandwich, N0. 2.—Spread nicely browned waters with nut butter, and place between them minced protose lightly seasoned with salt and lemon juice.
Nut Sandwich.—Over chopped English walnuts pour the following dressing: Four yolks of eggs well beaten, juice of two lemons in a cup and enough water to fill the cup, one teaspoonful of salt and one of sugar. Let it cook until the eggs thicken.

Friday, January 24, 2014

How to Make Good Household Bread

If you're a regular follower of this blog, you'll know I often put in recipes from the 19th Century. There are several things I find interesting with regard to this recipe. One, how basic it is. Two, how the measurements or lack there of are mentioned. And finally, three how you have to adapt your recipe according to the time of year and location.

To ten pounds of flour in your kneading-trough put a sm ill han lful of rait. Stir into this about two quarts of water, more or less; but somo flours will soak up more water tliau others. For very white bread, maio with superfine flour, the dough should bo softer thau for seemdj or brown bread. In summer the water may be milk-warm; iu winter, couEidcrably warmer, but ntrer hot enough to kill the, nca t. After the water is mixed with the flour, add the yeast. Much depends oa the quality of the yeast. Then knead your bread. After kiioadiny, lcavo it t J rise in a warm place, covered with a cloth. If all goes well, it will have risen in something between an hour and an hour and a half. Then divide it into rolls, loaves, or tin-breads, as wanted, and bake.
For a three-pound loaf you must t ike three pounds and n ha'.f of dough: for a four-pound loaf, four pounds eleven ounces; for a Fixpound loaf, six pounds and three-quarters; and for an eight-pound loaf, nine pounds of dough
You cannot make good bread without good waUr. The water should be good drinking water, pure both to the taste* and smell—water which (Involves soap without curdling, and which boils fresh vegetables green, and dry vegetables fas peas and haricots) tender. None is better than rain-water, when it can be had clean and without the taste of soot. Stagnant water, hard water, and water from melted ice or snow, are all to be avoided. The quali'y of the wnter has a considerable effect on the <■ ■.<-#. v , of it which the flour will take up. TIic quantity varies according to the kind of bread yon want to make, and even according to the season. You con put in more water in winter th iu i:i summer, because the dongh remains firmer in winter tlinn in summer. It takes more water to make soft bread, like the French, than to make kneaded with salt and yen at, as for mailing unusually light rolls, there enters into the composition of the dough almost as much water as flour. The smaller the rolls are, the less stiff the dough should be. But, as we have already stated, exact precision in these matters is not possible. In kneading dourh, to:> much water is less inconvenient than too little. Nevertheless, when the dough is too moist, the "eyes" iu the bread become too big, irregular, and unequal; and the crust is apt to separate from the bread and get burnt.
Oaten bread requires to be made with warm water, good yeast and plenty of it, and to be well kneaded; to be thoroughly baked in a hot oven, and left there some time, according to the size of the loaf, because the insido is apt to be pasty. Barley-broad takes less yeast, but should also bo thoroughly baked in a brisk ovrn. The German peasantry make bread with a mixture of barley-flour and potatoes, which they highly relish, custom being second nature. For rye-bread, make a stiff dough with cold water and plenty of good yeast; knead well; when risen, put it into a smart oven, and 1« in no hurry to tike it out. In Sweden, bread is made with a mixture of flour and barley: in some districts, buckwhoat-flour is mixed with rye-flourWhen yea?t cannot be got, wo recommend the following way cf making :—
Bread Without Yfast.—To every half-quartern of flour, odd one tcaspoonful of carbonate of sod \, and balf a teaspoonful of salt. M'x all together; then, to iho water sufficient to make a dough, odd half a teaspoonful of muriatic acid. Set into the oven at once. This makes beautiful sweet bread, and i* wholesome. Some use tartaric acid; iu which case the bread will contain tartrate of soda, which, although not poisonous, is medicinal—slightly purgative even. On the other hand, muriatic acid neutralises soda just as well as tartaric aoid, and the resulting compound is only common salt.—From "cassell's House
Source: 1871 Cassell's Illustrated Almanac ©1871

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Etiquette in Dress & Fashion 1871

Below is Chapter four of Fashion: The Power that influences the World ©1871 It's an incredibly small chapter and doesn't convey much more than one supposes but the fact that the author thought it important enough to put in his book, I found interesting. Especially the axioms he uses in his closing paragraph. Enjoy!



"Dress makes the man, the want of it the fellow,
And all the rest is leather and prunella."
"Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not expressed in fancy, rich, not gaudy,
For the apparel oft proclaims the man."

Etiquette in dress and fashion-is founded upon the all-important data, viz.: What is due to ourselves in the position we hold in society, and what we owe to those who have a claim on our respect, and in whom we are in daily intercourse.

From the time of the patriarchs to the present day, all nations of the world have had their ceremonial vestments, and despite the sneers of the cynic and the diatribes of the disorganizers of the social system, the best bred people of the civilized world have distinguished themselves from the under classes by the preservation of customs so easy of practice, and which convey to the intelligent mind the assurance, that he who faithfully observes the minor morals of society is rarely deficient in its more important virtues.

The Italian says, "Show me your company, and I will tell you who you are." "Respect yourself as the first step to the respect of others." This axiom aptly applies to our daily dress, upon which we will now note down a few standard rules, gathered from the best society and authors in this and other oountries.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

1855 Fashion Clothing

Below are some images from 1855 sources of various fashions. The earlier in the 19th century the more difficult to find images but here are a few of what I've found.




Infant Christening Robe


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lawn Tennis

During the 19th Century Lawn Tennis started to organize and the beginning roots of today's tennis matches were formed. Below is a picture of a book on Lawn Tennis that shows what the net, rackets and balls looked like in the later part of the century.

Below are a series of links to various Google books for more information about the game.
American Lawn Tennis Vol. 2 ©1899 This book gives some of the history of lawn tennis in America, along with some personal accounts.

Lawn Tennis ©1886 This book was published in London and states some of the rules concerning the game.

Lawn Tennis in Our Own Country ©1890 This book also gives some of the history in America.

Wright & Dittson Officially Adopted Lawn Tennis Guide ©1898

Monday, January 20, 2014

1876 Newspapers

Below are some various tidbits about newspapers in America from 1876. This centennial year was important to America and our historical characters living at that time. Below is a link to the resource for these tidbits.

First the list of Newspaper stats for various states.

Next is the circulation for the same state newspapers stats.

There was an exhibit regarding Centennial Newspapers and below is a list of the newspapers that actually paid for the exhibit. As a historical writer it is important to know the names of the actual newspapers in the area you're writing about. This list will help some of you.

The Evening Bulletin, San Francisco.
The Morning Call, San Francisco.
Sacramento Record—Union.

The Evening Star, Washington.

The Morning News, Savannah.

The Staats Zeitung, Chicago.
The Inter-ocean, Chicago.

The State Register, Des Moines.

The Courier-journal, Louisville.

Portland Transcript.

The Watchman, Boston.
The Youth's Companion, Boston.
The Congregationalism Boston.
Boston Advertiser.
Springfield Republican.

The Baltimore American.

The Evening News, Detroit.

Pioneer Press And Tribune, St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Westleche Post, St. Louis.
The Kansas City Times.

The Bee, Omaha.

Independent Statesman, Concord.
Manchester Mirror.

The Evening Journal, Jersey City.

The Argus, Albany.
The Brooklyn Eagle.
Times, Troy.
The Courrier Des Etats Tjnis.
The Sun.
The New Yorker Staats Zeitung.
American Agriculturist.
The New York Times.
The Evening Post.
The New York Evening Express.
The Scientific American.
Spirit Of The Times.
The New York Ledger.
The Shoe And Leather Reporter.
The New York Evangelist.
The New York Weekly.
The New York Clipper.
The Churchman.
The Iron Age.
The Christian Union.
The World.

The Cincinnati Gazette.
Cleveland Herald.

The Philadelphia Democrzvt.
The Public Ledger, Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Press.
The Presbyterian, Philadelphia.

The Nashville American.
The Avalanche, Memphis.

The Household, Brattleboro.

For a complete list of all the newspapers in America in 1876 Check out Centennial Newspaper Exhibition, 1876 in Google books go to page 17 to begin your search.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Water Beds

Yes that title is correct. No one was more surprised at that 19th Century tidbit than I was. I first saw a posting on a manufacturer's list and it cited five companies making waterbeds. I'm thinking to myself that there has to be some sort of medical thing and sure enough they were advertised and used in hospitals and with doctors.

Below is a picture of an ad in The Lancet London ©1857 (can you believe that date? 1857? Amazing. imho)

Now I didn't find a listing for waterbeds being sold for homes but I found it interesting that waterbeds went as far back as the 19th century, perhaps longer, I don't know and haven't researched it. (actually they went back to the time of Alexander according to "The Family Cyclopaedia" ©1859 you can read the excerpt with this link

Below is an excerpt from "Practical Hints of the Management of the Sick-Room" ©1857
In all cases where a patient has to lie long in bed, or in acute cases attended with much debility, bed sores are very apt to form. These sores form on those parts of the body where the bones are least protected by flesh. They are not only very distressing to a patient, but very weakening, and frequently tend not a little to accelerate a fatal issue. To prevent them, perfect cleanliness is absolutely essential; but, in addition, some means must be used to take off the pressure from the more prominent parts of the body. For this purpose, various contrivances, in the shape of water-beds, and water and air cushions, are used. Hooper's water-beds are exceedingly useful, and very agreeable to the patient. The whole body floats, as it were, oh the water, and is buoyed up in such a manner as to equalize the pressure over the whole surface of the body. The bed should not be quite filled, and the water when first put in should be warm, otherwise the patient feels cold and chilled for a long time. Two or three blankets should, in cold weather, be laid under the patient, as the water is sure to get cold, and would make him chilly.
After having tried air-beds, water-beds, and spring-beds, I think the water-beds, on the whole, the most comfortable and the most useful. The spring-beds are not suitable in cases where movement disturbs the patient, as they are too elastic; and the air-beds are so exceedingly apt to get out of order, that they often fail just when they are most wanted. As an example of the efficacy of water-beds in preventing bed-sores, I may mention the following case:—A man came under my care, about a year ago, with acute gangrene or mortification of the legs; for this it was necessary to amputate both legs just below the knee; this I accordingly did on the same day. He was, of course, unable to lie in any other position than on the back; and to this position he was confined for five or six weeks until the stumps healed. During the whole period, although he was very weak from previous privation and the amputations, no bed-sores formed, nor was any inconvenience experienced from the decumbency. He attributed, and I think justly, no small share of his recovery to the water-bed.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Parsnip Patties, Tomatoes Stewed in Butter and other items

Every so often I come across recipes that I know I've never eaten and sometimes ones I'm pretty sure I'll never eat. Below are a few different recipes. The fried rice is a kicker for me. It's not the kind of fried rice I've eaten or make. Could be a fun recipe in a book, hmm.

Wash and boil till very tender in salted boiling water, one large parsnip. Scrape off the skin and mash to a pulp while hot ; there should be a cupful.
Add one heaping teaspoonful of butter, one of flour, and half an even teaspoonful of salt. Stir well, and add the yolk of an egg, and mould into four little flat cakes.
If the mixture sticks, dip the hands into cold water, shake off the drops, and proceed.
Dip the cakes into powdered cracker crumbs, and when cold fry a delicate brown in hot butter.
It will take a teaspoonful of butter for each side. Do not cook longer than actually necessary to brown and heat through, or the egg will harden and the cakes lose their creaminess.

Put a lump of butter the size of a large nutmeg into a saucepan, dredge with half a teaspoonful of flour, and on this, carefully, so as not to displace the butter, pour two thirds of a cup of canned tomatoes or a full cup of sliced fresh tomatoes.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a teaspoonful of flour, cover, and cook gently twentyfive minutes.
Do not stir while cooking, and use an earthenware dish that may be sent to the table.
Butter, flour, and tomatoes should all remain in Separate masses, blending only at the point of contact.

Pack into a square pan two cupfuls of well~ boiled rice. When cold, cut into inch-thick slices, dredge with flour, and fry brown in a spoonful of hot butter or salt-pork drippings.
Serve with a lump of butter on each piece, and dust with black pepper.

Use either a small baking-dish or individual moulds (cups will do). Skin and slice two fine ripe tomatoes, and lay them in a dish with alternate layers of fine cracker-crumbs, pepper, salt, and bits of butter. A teaspoonful of butter for each tomato is about right.
Sprinkle with cracker-crumbs and bake half an hour in a hot even. Serve in the bakingdish. Canned tomatoes may be used, but are not so good as fresh ones.

Dip six freshly opened medium-sized oysters in cracker-crumbs, and fry a delicate brown in a spoonful of hot sweet butter.
Lay on a plate to get cold, then cut them into half-inch pieces and mix with six tablespoonfuls of finely chopped crisp white celery. Put this in the salad bowl, first rubbing the inside of the bowl with a slice of raw onion, and set where it will get very cold.
Just before serving make the dressing.
Whip to a stiff froth a fourth of a cupful of sour cream. Beat the yolk of one egg with a pinch each of salt, mustard, cayenne, and sugar; add one spoonful of olive-oil and then the whipped cream. Add more salt if necessary, and a spoonful of either lemon juice or cider vinegar ; the size of the spoonfuls should be governed by the acidity of the cream.

Pour one third of a cup of cold milk on half a cup of stale bread-crumbs; if the crumbs are very dry, a little more milk may be required.
Beat well one egg with half an even teaspoonful of salt, a dust of pepper, and a tablespoonful of butter, melted. Add half a cup of green corn, grated, or the same amount of canned corn, and mix with the crumbs and milk.
Bake in a buttered earthen dish in a hot oven just long enough to set the egg and brown the top, from ten to fifteen minutes.
Be careful abont the quantity of milk, as too much will make the omelette thin, while it will be stifl' if too little is used.
To be right, it should be about as stifi as light mashed potatoes.

Boil for twenty minutes in boiling salted Water three cupfuls of cauliflower.
Take from the fire, mash fine with a fork, add a tablespoonful of butter, and form into little flat cakes. When cold, dip them in a batter made of beaten egg, 8 pinch of salt, a tablespoonful of milk, and a teaspoonful of flour.
Fry to a light brown in a spoonful of hot butter, or, if preferred, in salt-pork drippings. Cook the fritters the last thing, as they should be served at once.
Source: 1898 Catering for Two: Comfort and Economy for Small Households

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Historical Fashions Review of Posts

Hi all,
Below is a list with links of Historical Fashions from the 19th Century. I'm putting them all together in one location to help make it easier for others to search.

1832 Fashion Descriptions

1834 Fashions

1835 Fashions

1840 Ladies Fashions
1840 Ladies Fashions Part 2

1850 Ladies Fashions

1855 Fashions

1856 Fashions

1860 Fashions Part 1
1860 Fashions Part 2

1862 Fashion Accessories
1862 Fashions

1863 Fashions

1864 Fashions
1864 Bonnets

1865 Fashions
1865 Fashions Part 2

1866 Part 1
1866 Part 2

1867 Fashions Part 1
1867 Fashions Part 2

1868 Fashions Part 1
1868 Fashions Part 2
1868 Fashions Part 3
1868 Fashions Part 4
1868 Fashions Part 5
1868 Fashions Part 6

1869 Hair Combs
1869 Fashionable Hair and Headdresses
1869 Everyday Fashion

1870 Winter Fashions for Men
1870 Ladies Fashions
1870 Riding Habit with Trousers for Women
1870 Gentlemen's Hats

!871 Fashion Accessories
1871 Fashions
1871 Fashions Part 2

1872 Fashions

1873 Fashion Accessories

1874 Fashions Part 1
1874 Fashions Part 2
1876 Fashion Accessories
1876 Fashions

1877 Ladies Hat & Bonnet Fashions

1878 Ladies & Children's Fashions

1880 Fashion Accessories
1880 Fashions

1881 Winter Fashions
1881 Fashion Accessories
1881 Fashion Overcoats
1881 Men's Fashions
1881 Hats
1881 Ladies Fashions

1882 Winter Fashions

1887 Gentlemen's Hats

1890 Ladies Hats
1890 Fashions

1891 & 1896
1891 & 1896 Winter Fashions

Bustles & Dress Forms

1896 Spring Gown Womens Fashions

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Electric Appliances 1898

Today our houses run on electricity however that wasn't the case for most of the 19th Century. By the end of the 19th Century electricity was in nearly every home and appliances were being made that ran on electricity. What is great about this article from "Catering for Two: Comfort and Economy for Small Households ©1898 is that they also give some overall prices for various items and the cost to run them.


The multitude of electric devices for the use and pleasure of every condition of modern society makes an impressive show of marvelous inventions.
The household exhibit by itself is full of astonishing things especially intended to lighten labor, and eliminate, as much as possible, the fatigue of necessary housework.
Electric household appliances are very attractive in appearance, so easy to handle, so easy to keep clean, and withal so serviceable, that their possession is a constant source of enthusiastic appreciation to their owners.
The prices asked for these devices make them seem too costly luxuries, but, when the excellence of material—steel, wrought and cast iron, aluminum—and the high-finished workmanship expended upon them are considered, they are not really more expensive in the end then any cooking apparatus of superior construction.
Refrigerating machines, washing machines, ranges, vacuum cleaners, and kitchen cabinets
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are the highest in cost, some of them reaching to, and considerably over, the hundred dollar mark.
A kitchen cabinet containing a motor which operates an egg-beater, ice-cream freezer, cofieegrinder, meat-grinder or chopper, and performs several other feats of everyday occurrence in families where cooking goes on, is listed at a hundred and eighty-five dollars.
This cabinet, of course, is not needed, or even desired, by every housekeeper, and is only mentioned here by the way.
It would seem an extravagant and superfluous luxury to many. But, to one who feels that her kitchen equipment must be electrically up-todate whatever the cost, it would, probably, be deemed a necessity.
Aside from these pieces of large price, there are to be found many simple and single devices of intrinsic value that cost each but a few dollars, and in homes where there is an electric socket it is an easy thing to test for oneself the capabilities of these small and exquisite housekeeping inventions.
It is estimated that the cost of current for an ordinary family range is about two dollars and fifty cents per month, but prices for electricity, as well as for other things in the commercial world, are subject to change and reduction, so one may consider any quotation of prices for electric service as inconclusive, except for the present moment.
By enquiry one finds, and for the asking is given, a considerable amount of readable literature devoted to electric service and electrical inventions for household purposes.
These illustrated booklets contain, besides the advertising matter, much that is entertaining and instructive to the reader who feels interested in these topics, but, for the most comprehensive study of electric cooking, the management of switches, grills, hot plates, and the utensils, one must see the methods demonstrated.
Demonstrations are given by experts at stated times at the offices and branch offices of electric companies exhibiting electric household wares. Department stores also sometimes give these valuable lessons.
A long hour full of delightful surprises may be spent at the “Country Life Permanent Exposition," Grand Central Terminal, New York City, where not only electrical inventions are displayed and explained, but other things contributive to the enlargement of life’s outlook may be seen and studied.
At any electric station or office, complete and authoritative information relating to electric appliances may be obtained.
The questions one wishes to ask should be written out in full, and the answers, written in full, be put underneath each question. Then in case of forgetting instructions there will be these plainly written notes for ready reference.
Some of the little booklets mentioned above contain directions for the care of heaters with attachments, and some have a dictionary of simple electrical terms, and directions for reading a. meter.
It is very useful sometimes to know the meaning of a watt and watt hour, a kilowatt hour and a kilowatt, fuse, amperage, etc., and to be able to read a meter intelligently.
For electric appliances of all sorts one has the choice of many makers. Among the most noted and popular are: Westinghouse, Hughes, General Electric, Simplex, Western Electric, Hot Point, Universal.
There are so many new and wonderful electric inventions for household use that one can scarcely keep track of them. A few noted at random are:
Ranges, sweepers, heaters, vacuum cleaners, elevators, washing machines, fans, clocks, flatirons, heating-pads, portable ovens, footwarmers, hot-plates,—variously called stoves, disk-stoves, and grills,—chafing-dishes, coffee percolators, samovars, waffle-irons, soup-tureens, egg-boilers, water cups for quick heating, nursery milk-warmers, radiators, double-boilers, refrigerating machines, tea-kettles, toasters and toaster-stoves, which are also grills, and a toaster “which turns the toast."
There are egg-heaters which are also used for whipping cream and as drink-mixers.
There are sewing-machine motors, dishwashers, vegetable peelers and cutters, corn poppers. There is a griddle which can be turned into a stove, and a frying-pan which can be converted into a stove, also into a dishwater heater by immersing it in a pan of water and turning on the current.
There is a tireless-cooker, which boils, bakes, roasts, and steams, and has automatic heat control.
There is also a portable oven, heavily insulated, which cooks an hour after the current has been turned off. This oven has a broiler attachment. The cost of it is not small, ranging from twentyseven dollars up to forty-nine dollars.
If all that is claimed for electric household inventions proves true, it looks as if the prediction that “housework of the future will be carried on by the turn of a switch" might also come true, but that electricity will supplant all other methods, notwithstanding its acknowledged great capabilities, is viewed skeptically by many.
Some small stoves are made so they can be used with portable ovens.
Ranges have stationary ovens, elevated at the side, or placed beneath the burners, each burner being controlled by a three-heat switch.
Ranges also have broiler attachments.
Cooking on an electric range after its possibilities are known, and the manipulation of the switches is understood, is not difierent in method or in the preparation of the food, from cooking on a coal range. The oven bakes and roasts, the grill broils, and the top is arranged for boiling, stewing, and frying.
Toast can be made on a range by placing a wire frame between the bread and hot-plate.
But when a meal is to be got on a grill or single hot-plate, a little ingenuity and some planning has to be done to make the cooking go along uninterruptedly.
As an example, take a breakfast of fruit, oatmeal, bacon and eggs, coffee, toast, and pancakes.
Set the grill on a waiter, turn on the current, and set some water on top to boil with which to make the coffee. It takes about seven minutes to boil a quart of cold water.
Utilize the heat at the bottom to warm the oatmeal, which has been previously cooked, and while this is warming, the fruit may be eaten.
While eating the oatmeal, the bacon is put to broil, and the coffee-pot is placed on the top of the grill.
Afterwards the coflee—pot will be replaced with the pan of eggs to be fried, or poached. Both eggs and bacon will be done at about the same time, and while eating these, toast can be made, and then the pancakes baked.
All this cooking can be done on the breakfast table.
The service is of course, most informal, and will be regarded by some as slow, and a little fussy, but many others will think it charmingly cosy.
For light-housekeeping in the house electrically lighted, these little separate stoves are a marvel of comfort, and nothing can be said that too highly praises their convenience, and beauty of handicraft.
And if the little oven made to fit, costing about two dollars and a half, is added, the equipment is quite adequate for any amount of cooking needed in a very small household.
In places, however, where the current is turned off during the day electric appliances are somewhat limited in their usefulness.
Some makes of grills brown as quickly by electricity as by gas, but, for general cooking, electric heat is not so rapid as gas. A test made of the time for a quart of cold water to boil was seven minutes for electric heat, and four for gas.
Ten minutes is required to make a quart of coffee in an electric percolator. A toaster must have the current turned on for about two minutes before it is ready to use, and at the cost of a cent, it is estimated, can be used for about twenty-five minutes.
For the same length of time and the same expense, a chafing-dish or a flatiron may be operated.
It is not economy to heat flatirons on hot plates. The electric iron—with its own heater attachnent——gives better service.
For flat and heavy work, use the iron with the heat turned on until it becomes a little cooled -—ironing heavy, damp pieces cools the iron even with the current turned on full—then tum 05 the current and iron delicate fabrics which need slow and careful ironing; then turn on the current again and iron heavy pieces.
Alternating in this way adjusts the heat to suit the various requirements of heavy and thin materials.
Cooking utensils for electric stoves should be flat-bottomed. Aluminum, also heavily tinned copperware, are recommended, but agateware, on account of its not being flat-bottomed, is not so well adapted for this mode of cooking.
To obtain the best results, all the pots and pans should be exactly fitted to the top of the stove or grill, as well as to the hot-plates of ranges.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Tidbits Posts

I thought today I would revisit my first posts on my blog. I actually started the blog a month before I launched it. This allowed me to have some information up on the web before I invited people to take a look. Below you'll find links to the various posts as well as a comment or two updating the information.

My first post was about Houghtaling's Handbook
Original Post
Since that time Google Books has a copy of the 1885 Houghtaling's Handbook Which makes it much easier to search for tidbits of information.

My second post was posted the same day about Debt from the eyes of my copy of the 1887 Houghtaling's Handbook.

My third post was also from Houghtaling's Handbook

My fourth ventured into another book I had on my shelves Ayers: Every Man His own Doctor

My fifth post talked about some Genealogy Tidbits. Since that time I've come to rely on my genealogy resources for my historical fiction. Information like how many people were living in the area, names of some of the store owners, occupations of some of the residents. Did you know that some people registered as "pirates" on some censuses? It's a great resource for writing historical fiction, admittedly it is time consuming but you can glean some interesting tidbits.

Facts for Builders was my sixth post, on my fourth day of posting on my blog. Yes, it was another tidbit from Houghtaling's.

A Printing Press for wallpaper was my next post. Wall Paper Printer There's a great illustration included with this tidbit. I don't know about you but I'm always looking for a different kind of occupation my hero or heroines can do, this one is something I never thought about.

Houghtaling's came into play again with the topic of Cisterns. However, I selected that because of the work I'd done while researching my Key West series. Key West relied on Cisterns as well as desalinating the ocean water for drinkable water for the residents.

Wedding Anniversaries followed with a list of the kinds of gifts one gave for various anniversaries. I still refer back to that list. I would be nice if I could memorize everything but I can't so I keep notes. Which is what this blog is really about, sharing with other some of the historical tidbits I've found while researching my books.

On the fifth day I took from some of my notes what I had found about the history of matches. Matches & Strikables When I've taught groups about researching your historical novels, I've often shared these tidbits about a match. This research came while I was writing Raining Fire, which was set in 1834 Kentucky. I had my hero striking a match to light the fire and then I questioned myself as to whether or not he would have a match then. A lot of the tidbits I've gathered has been from similar situations.

Pencil History was from the same kind of a question. Would my characters have access to a pencil in such-a-such year.

Finally one week later I posted another medical information tidbit. The topic was Yellow Fever and yes I was researching yellow fever, how common it was in the area I was setting my story and finally what were the signs of the disease.

So those are the tidbits I shared the first week of the 19th Century Historical Tidbits Blog. I hoped you enjoyed this little trip through tidbits and perhaps it will challenge you to search through some of the past posts to help you in your quest for tiny tidbits that add so much authenticity to your historical novel.

Friday, January 10, 2014


I found these recipes for Granola and thought I'd pass them on. When I make Granola today we generally eat it as a cold cereal.

Gbanola is a preparation of oats and wheat ready cooked. It is excellent eaten with milk or cream, either hot or cold. It may also be served with fruit juices, or it may be used in place of bread crumbs for scalloped vegetables, and for sprinkling the tops of prepared dishes.
Granola Mush.— Granola makes a most appetizing and quickly prepared breakfast dish. Into a quart of boiling water sprinkle a pint of granola. Milk may be used instead of water, if preferred; then a little less granola will be needed. Cook for two or three minutes, and serve hot with cream.
Granola Fruit Mush.—Prepare the mush as directed, and stir into it, when done, a large cupful of nicely steamed, seedless raisins. Serve hot with cream. Milk may be used instead of water, if preferred.
Granola Peach Mush.— Instead of the raisins directed in the preceding recipe, add to the mush, when done, a pint of sliced yellow peaches. Finely cut, mellow sweet apples, sliced bananas, or blueberries may be used in a similar way.
Raspberry Granola Mush.— For this, use the freshly extracted juice of red raspberries, diluted with one part of water, or the juice from canned red raspberries. Heat a quart of the juice to boiling, sprinkle in sufficient granola to thicken (about one pint will be needed), cook for two or three minutes, and serve hot, with or without cream.
Grape Granola Mush.— Prepare the same as the preceding, using the juice of grapes for the liquid. Other fruit juices may be used in the same manner.
Granola and Gluten Mush.— Heat a quart of milk to boiling. Into it stir one-half cup of prepared gluten, mixed with one cup of granola. Cook for two or three minutes, beating it lightly meanwhile; then serve.
Granola Crust for Pies.— For one pie take two thirds of a cup of granola, moisten with an equal quantity of thin cream or rich milk, and let it stand a minute; place the moistened mass in the center of the pie-tin, and with a spoon spread it evenly and thinly over the bottom and around the sides of the tin, leaving no holes. Pill with any one of the different prepared fillings given below, and bake ten or fifteen minutes. To form the edge nicely, rest the length of the first finger of the left hand against the edge of the tin, and press the material against it. The shaping of the crust will require but a few moments, and should be done as soon as the granola is well moistened, as it absorbs the liquid and soon becomes dry again.
Source: Every-day Dishes and Every-day Work ©1897

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Food Products at Chicago World's Fair 1893

I found this tidbit while researching for the history of canned soups. I know in the 1890's Campbell's produced condensed soups and I've found "canned soup" mentioned as early as 1870 but I believe the item came into use in stores much earlier than that. However, there is no question I need to do more research on "Canned Soups." I'll share this tidbit I found very interesting with regard to canned, prepared and preserved foods available during the Chicago World's Fair. Below is a paragraph from "A History of the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893." It's quite a list and something historical authors should take note of.

Probably no previous exposition contained so many excellent exhibits of manufactured food products. The entire second floor was given up to this exhibit; but it was found necessary, in order to meet the requirements of the Construction Department regarding weight, to assign space for some of the heavier exhibits on the first floor; those selected were beyond the maximum in weight, required ice, or were of a character that made it impossible to keep them on the second floor on account of the heat. The exhibits comprised the following manufactured food products: Beers, ales, liquors, cigars, cigarettes, tobaccos, snuff, mineral and spring waters, crackers, macaroons, sugar (cane, beet, and maple), confectionery, chocolate, condensed milk, evaporated cream, meat extracts, canned soups, canned meats, pickles and conserves, baking powder, yeast, prepared cereal foods, spices and other condiments, vinegar, gelatin, canned fruit, flour and meal, meat products, tea, coffee, honey, starch, butterine and substitutes for butter, phosphates, vegetable oils, soaps, feathers, wool, dairy implements and machinery, apiary appliances, salt, and axle grease. The installation of these exhibits was very elaborate, expensive, and unique; but the exhibitors were repaid for their efforts by the great number of visitors attracted. On several occasions it became necessary to use additional guards to keep the crowd from congregating around certain exhibits. Manufacturers of cereal food, chocolates, baking powder, pickles, spices, condensed milk, evaporated cream, crackers, beers, etc., kept experts in their employ to call attention to the quality of goods exhibited. The direct benefit from such an advertising method may be realized from the statement that at least four exhibitors gave away daily more than 5,000 cooked, preserved, or prepared samples of their products. From a carefully prepared estimate, the department found that 32 exhibitors of food products, covering fairly each industry represented, occupied 11,496 square feet of floor space—an average of 359 square feet to an exhibitor. The cost of constructing and maintaining the 32 exhibits was $120,031, an average of $3,750.97 per exhibitor, and an average cost per square foot of space occupied of $10.44. This rate per square foot was in excess of the cost in any other part of the building, and illustrates the general excellence of the installation and the thorough manner in which all were maintained.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

1864 Fashions

These images come from 1864 sources.

Crepe Butterfly for Head Dress

Winter Bonnet


Walking Coat

Furred Cloak

Vestvale Cloak

Patti Cloak

Imperatrice Paletut

Children Winter

Girls Dresses

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Quarries were a large part of the industry during the 19th Century, as cities were being made, quarried rock was needed. Paul and I lived in Tuckahoe, NY for several years. Most of Tuckahoe had been a quarry that supplied many of the NYC buildings with their marble. Can you image your characters working in or using a quarry?

Below you'll find a brief description about a quarry then some tidbits about quarries.

QUARRY, an excavation in the ground from whence are extracted marble, stone, or chalk, for the purposes chiefly of sculpture and architecture. The name appears to have been applied to such excavations from the circumstance that the materials obtained from them are there quadrated or formed into rectangular blocks.

This information gives one a brief look into the variety of quarries as well as some info on the various stones.
Explanatory Notes
The map which accompanies this report on building stone is on a scale of fifteen miles to an inch. In the absence of colors, exhibiting the geological formations and their limits, it is impossible to show the quarries of the various geological horizons, as the Potsdam sandstones, Trenton limestones, Lower Helderberg limestones, etc. The number of quarries in some of the quarry districts is so great, and they are so close,, that they cannot be indicated by appropriate signs on a map of this scale. Hence, in some cases, the localities alone are given. Thus West Hurley and Phoenicia, in Ulster county, stand for groups of openings in the blue-stone territory of the Hudson river; Reservation, near Syracuse, for the Onondaga gray limestone quarries; Medina, for the quarries in that vicinity, etc. The quarry localities are distinguished by red lines drawn under their names.
Many small and comparatively unimportant quarries, which are worked occasionally for private use or at long intervals only, are not given on the map — nor referred to in the report. Stone for building can be quarried at so many points that a geological map, with the rock outcrops shown by appropriate colors and signs, is necessary to exhibit the natural resources of the State in stone for constructive work.
The map shows the geographical distribution of the important groups of quarries, and their location with reference to the cities and markets of the State, and the lines of canals and railroads and natural waterways, whereby they are reached.
It may be noted here that the development of openings has been along these lines of communication, and near the cities, as for example, along the Hudson-Champlain and Mohawk valleys, and the Erie canal.
Source: Bulletin of the New York State Museum, Issues 7-10 ©1889

Another tidbit gives some information on what the purpose of the stones were for.
Red and Grey Conglomerate.
This rock is found in almost every part of the sandstone region, and many quarries of it have been opened for the purpose of supplying fire-stone for the hearths of iron furnaces. This stone is shipped to various parts of the country for this purpose, and no stone is known superior to it for durability.
Isaac Van Houten’s quarry is one and one-fourth of a mile north of the New city. This quarry is the first that was worked for obtaining furnace hearths, and was opened about fifty years ago. It has not been worked during the last thirty years, until 1838. Mr. Joseph Bird has reopened it, and pays Mr. Van Houten ten dollars rent for every set of furnace hearths he quarries.‘ The quarry is two and a half miles from the landing; and a set of stones for afurnace hearth delivered there, is worth one hundred dollars. One stratum only is quarried for this purpose, and that is three feet thick. Another stratum above might be used, but it is stated to be too tender. This, and most of the quarries of sandstone, were examined by Prof. Cassels. The stone is very porous, and filled with rounded quartz pebbles. It is tender when first quarried, but becomes harder by exposure to the weather. The furnace men prefer that the stones should “season ” one year before they are put into the furnace.
Another quarry, owned by Mr. Cornelius Depew, is about half a mile north of Van Houten’s. Here the stone is grey at the surface, but red two feet below, so that the blocks contain both colors. The stone is stronger, finer grained, and not so tender as Van Houten’s, but in other respects similar. One stratum only is worked at this quarry. The grandson of Mr. Depew works this quarry, and pays fifteen dollars rent per set of blocks for a hearth. The hearths in the Greenwood, Woodbury, and Coldspring furnaces, in 1838, were from this quarry.
Blauvelt’s quarry, three miles northwest of the New city, was worked in 1838 by Isaac Springstein. It is opened near the summit of the hill. The face exposed is about twenty feet high. The uppermost layer is five feet thick. The stone is soft and friable, and is used for furnace hearths, glass works, and for jambs. The proprietor receives thirteen dollars and twenty cents per set.
Another quarry has been opened three miles north of the New city, by Richard Coe. It is the coarse grey sandstone, and near the junction of the trap and sandstone.
Another quarry, one-fourth of a mile west of Coe's quarry, has been opened by Levi Smith. This stone is also the grey sandstone, from near its junction with the trap rock. A locality was observed on the shore two or two and a half miles below Haverstraw, where the conglomerate looks like a good fire-stone. The stratum is four or five feet thick.
Source: Geology of New-York: Comprising the geology of the first geological district ©1843

Tidbit about Quarry Workers
Most quarries in the United States operate 10 hours a day, as may be seen from the figures presented in Table 40. More than onethird of the plants and more than one-third of the pit workers are included in the 10-hour group. Next in numerical importance are the 8-hour plants and men, although the numbers fall considerably short of the 10-hour class. Only slightly less than the 8-hour group are the number of 9-hour quarries and the number of men employed at those quarries.
Among the States having the largest number of quarry employees the records show that the 8-hour men were the predominant group in California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia; the 9-hour day prevailed in Connecticut, Missouri, and Vermont; while the 10hour men were the largest class in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Source: Bulletin, Issues 335-343 ©1831