Friday, August 29, 2014

Salad Recipes

Here are some salad recipes to go with the salad dressings I mentioned a couple months ago.

Pare the tomatoes, cut in pieces larger than the ingredients in other salads; drain in a colander. Chop onethird as much celery as tomato used. Do not mix or add the dressing until ready to serve as it becomes watery by standing. Dressing. — Yolks of two hard boiled eggs rubbed fine, one tablespoonful of mustard, one tablespoonful of salt, yolks of two raw eggs beaten into the other, one tablespoonful of sugar. Add very fresh sweet oil poured in very slowly and beaten as long as the mixture continues to thicken. Thin it with the juice of one lemon and a ilittle vinegar. The dressing must be thicker than for other salads.—M. E. Brown Waldron.

Dissolve one-half box of gelatine in one can of tomatoes. Add one small onion, sliced. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is tender. Remove from fire and strain into small cups or moulds. (Do not fill the cups.) When hard turn each on a lettuce leaf and serve with a Mayonnaise dressing.—Clara E. Bowes.

Three tablespoonfuls of vinegar, three tablespoonfuls of water, one teaspoonful of salt, one-half teaspoonful of black pepper, one half teaspoonful of mustard, pinch of cayenne pepper, one beaten egg. Stir all together and set over teakettle. Steam until it thickens. When cold, add your bowl of potatoes, and the la&t thing stir in one-half pint of whipped cream.—Mrs. F. Moore.

Boil one pound lean veal; when cold, chop fine. To this add one fresh cucumber sliced and salted, and a few sprigs of water or garden cress chopped. Dressing-—One tablespoonful of sugar, one tablespoonful dry mustard, one tablespoonful salt, two tablespoonfuls flour, one teacupful of vinegar, five eggs well beaten, two tablespoonfuls of melted butter or oil. Strain. Mix all in a bowl and place in a double boiler, stirring constantly to keep it from boiling. When it is the consistency of whipped cream, bottle in a fruit jar, and when used, dilute with cream.—Mrs. S. C. Williams.

Two heads of lettuce prepared as for lettuce salad, one cucumber sliced thin, one ripe tomato, mint or watercress. Put the prepared lettuce leaves on a flat salad dish, spread the slictd cucumber over the lettuce, and the sliced tomatoes on top of the cucumber, scatter leaves and small sprigs of mint or watercress over all. Serve in saucers, putting one or two tablespoonfuls of dressing over each saucerful. There is nothing quite so appetizing as the above on a hot summer day.—E. L. S.

One-fourth medium-sized cabbage, one bunch of small celery, two heads of lettuce, one bunch of small round radishes, onion if desired. Chop the cabbage, onions and all but two of the radishes, fine. Add celery cut across the stalks very thin; lay a number of lettuce leaves together, roll lightly, and slice thin. Mix altogether with a fork. Add dressing enough to moisten nicely. Put lettuce leaves around the edge of a flat salad dish, put on the salad, slice the radishes thin and scatter over the top, p it the tiny center of one of the bunches of lettuce with two pretty leaves of the celery in the center. Dressing.—One-half teaspoonful of mustard, one-half teaspoonful of salt, onefourth teaspoonful of pepper, one even tablespoonful of sugar, one heaping tablespoonful of flour. Add enough vinegar to make a smooth paste, with which beat two eggs thoroughly. Add piece of butter size of an egg and one cupful of vinegar. Put over the fire and cook slowly. If too thick, add milk or cream, pouring in slowly and stirring all the time till it is creamy and smooth.—E. L. S.

Take six good sized beets, well cooked, and two heads of celery and chop very fine. Dressing.—One cupful of rich milk, yolks of two eggs well beaten, sugar to taste, two teaspoonfuls of mustard and one-fourth cupful of vinegar. Let just come to a boil and when cold pour over beets.— Jeanie Thomson.

Chop cabbage very fine. Make dressing of three eggs, one cupful of vinegar, butter the size of an egg, one teaspoonful of salt, one small tablespoonful of mustard, onehalf teaspoonful of white pepper, two tablespoonfuls of sugar. Cook all together and turn over cabbage while hot, stir through thoroughly and cover closely.—Mrs. J. .N. Brown.

One-fourth of a cabbage, one bunch ot celery, one-half dozen good sized olives. Cut olives from the pits, chop fine with cabbage; add celery cut fine and dressing to taste. All salads should be prepared just before serving. If allowed to stand they lose their relish.—is. L. M. S.

One chicken well cooked and seasoned, three bunches of celery. Both chicken and celery cut into small regular pieces. Dressing— Four eggs, one scant teaspoonful of mustard, one teaspoonful of salt, very little pepper, one tablespoonful of hard buiter, six tablespoonfuls of vinegar. Beat the yolks of the eggs. Mix the mustard with a little of the vinegar till smooth and add to the yolks; also the salt and pepper and butter and lastly the vinegar. Put all together into a farina cooker and stir constantly till it thickens and seems quite solid. Have ready the whites of the eggs beaten to a stiff froth, which add to the cooked mixture and beat together very quickly and lightly. Set in a cool place. Before pouring the dressing over the chicken, add a little thick sweet cream. Salad oil may be added if desired.—Mrs. F. D. Andrew.

Boil sweetbreads, putting a little salt in water, then put into cold water, cut in dice, season and add mayonnaise dressing. Celery may be added. Serve on lettuce leaves.— Meda Welcher.
Equal parts of celery and apples chopped. For twc cupfuls of above, one-half pound of English walnut meats with mayonnaise dressing. Serve on lettuce leaves.—Selected by Mrs. H. M. Babcock.

Break up salmon with a silver fork, add salt and pepper, two tablespoonfuls of lemon juice, one tablespoonful of vinegar. Put in ice box two hours, then put salad on lettuce leaves and cover with mayonnaise dressing.—J. Frances Albro.

Put one lobster in a kettle of hot water with a teaspoonful of salt. Boil slowly three-quarters of an hour. Remove meat, rejecting stomach, etc. Season with one tablespoonful of lemon, pepper and salt. Add one-half cupful of mayonnaise dressir g.—M. W.

Slice delicately thin enough white part of celery to make one pint. Sprinkle with chopped ice and set away until needed. Heat one quart of oysters to boiling point in their own liquor, drain, cut each into several pieces and pour over them the following dressing: Beat three eggs, add one-half cupful of vinegar, two tablespoonfuls of butter, one teaspoonful of mustard, one-half teaspoonful of pepper. Cook in double boiler. Stir constantly and do not boilPour over the oysters and set away to cool. When ready to serve, drain the celery, add it to the oysters and salt to taste. Toss it up lightly, garnish with white celery tips and sliced olives, and it is ready to serve.—Mrs. O. W. Dryer.

Peel and slice four bananas. Peel three sweet oranges, cut in thin slices and take out the seeds. Peel a small pineapple and pull in small bits, using a silver fork. Malaga grapes cut in halves and seeded may be added if desired. Arrange the fruit in layers, spreading over each layer the following dressing: Beat the yolks of four eggs until very stiff and light colored; beat into them gradually one cupful of sifted powdered sugar, continuing to beat

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ball Games

Continuing with children's sports we have several ball games listed and described. These come from The Book of Sports ©1834.

The use of the ball was well known to the children, who played many hundred years ago. It is a favorite game still, and offers a good opportunity for the exercise of the limbs and the muscles. The games with the bat and ball are numerous, but somewhat similar. I will mention some of those, which I believe to be the most popular with boys.
This game is known under a variety of names. It is sometimes called 'round ball,' but I believe that ' base,' or ' goal ball' are the names generally adopted in our country. The players divide into two equal parties, and chance decides which shall have first innings. Four stones or stakes are placed from twelve to twenty yards asunder, as o, b, c, b c d, in the margin; another is put at e. One e of the party, who is out, places himself a at e. He tosses the ball gently toward a, on the right of which one of the in-party places himself, and strikes the ball, if possible, with his bat. If he miss three times, or if the ball, when struck, be caught by any of the players of the opposite side, who are scattered about the field, he is out, and another takes his place. If none of these accidents take place, on striking the ball he drops the bat, and runs toward b, or, if he can, to c, d, or even to a again. If, however, the boy who stands at e, or any of the out-players who may happen to have the ball, strike him with it in his progress from a to b, b to c, c to d, or d to a, he is out. Supposing he can only get to b, one of his partners takes the bat, and strikes at the ball in turn. If the first player can only get to c, or d, the second runs to b, only, or c, as the case may be, and a third player begins; as they get home, that is, to a, they play at the ball by turns, until they all get out. Then, of course, the out-players take their places.

Fives may be played either single-handed or with partners. A good wall must be selected, with a round flat piece of ground in front of it. Three lines must be drawn so as to form, with the bottom of the wall, a square, to mark the bounds. A line must also be drawn on the wall, about three feet from the ground. The players toss up for innings. The winner begins by bounding his ball on the ground, and striking it against the wall, above the line, so that it may rebound vigorously. The other player then strikes it, in the same manner, either before it has touched the ground, or hopped from the ground more than once: the first player then prepares to receive and strike it at its rebound; and thus the game goes on, until one of the players fails to strike the ball in his turn, before it has hopped twice, or fails to strike it below the mark, or to drive it out of bounds. If the party who is in do neither of these, he loses his innings; if the other, then the in-player reckons one, on each occasion, towards the game, which is fifteen.

Near a wall where the ground is level, dig nine, or a lesser number of holes, according to the number of players, large enough for a ball to be bowled in without difficulty. Number them, and let each player be allotted a number, by chance or choice, as it may be agreed. A line is drawn about five yards from the holes, at which one of the players places himself, and bowls the ball into one of the holes. The player to whom the hole, into which the ball is bowled, belongs, picks it up as quickly as he can, and endeavors to hit one of the others with it. The latter all run off as soon as they perceive that the ball is not for themselves. If the thrower miss his aim, he loses a point, and is called 'a fifer,' and it is his turn to bowl. If, however, he hit another, he loses nothing; but the party hit, in case he succeeds in striking another with the ball, becomes 'a fifer,' and it is his turn to bowl. Five or six may be struck in succession, and the ball may be kept up, no matter how long, until a miss be made, when the party so missing loses a point and bowls. It is also allowed for one player to accept the ball from another, and run the risk of hitting a third. The second bowling is conducted precisely as the first; but he who bowls three times without passing the ball into the hole, loses a point, and if he have lost one before, becomes 'a tenner.' He must still go on, until he succeed in putting the ball into a hole; it is his own fault, if he bowl into that one, which belongs to himself. A party who misses his aim a second time becomes ' a ten ner;' he who loses a third time, 'a fifteener;' and when four points are lost the player stands out. The game goes on until all the players are out but one; who, of course, wins the game. One of the others then takes the ball in his left hand, places his face toward the wall, and throws the ball over the right shoulder as far as he can. The player who has won stands at the spot where the ball first touches the ground, or, if it be not immediately behind the party who has thrown it, a line is drawn from the place where the ball falls, to a spot directly behind the thrower. The winner then has the privilege of throwing the ball at the loser's back, three times, as soft as he pleases. The other losers throw in the same manner, one after another, and the winner has his three balls at each of their backs.
In some places this game is called 'Hat-ball,' on account of the players using their hats, instead of digging holes, and the ball is tossed into the hats, instead of being bowled into the holes.

This is somewhat similar to the preceding game. Instead of bowling the ball into holes, it is thrown in the air, and the name of the player, for whom it is intended, called out by the thrower. If it be caught, before it has twice touched the ground, by the player so called on, he loses no point, but throws it up again, and calls upon whom he pleases to catch it. If it be not caught in due time, he whose name is called must endeavor to strike one of the others with it; if he miss, he loses a point, and has his throw up.
In the game of rackets the ball is struck against a wall, and returned at the bound to the same wall, each player endeavoring so to strike it against the wall, with his bat, that his adversary may not be able to return it. He who does not return it, either loses a point, or has his ' hand out,' that is to say, forfeits the situation in which he would be able to add to his score of the game. This sport requires considerable skill and activity in the player who must be constantly on the move. Standing still is entirely out of the question; and two or three games at rackets are well calculated to improve the health and invigorate the limbs.

Cricket may be played by eleven persons on each side, though a less number is sufficient. Two umpires, or persons to decide, are sometimes appointed in order to settle all disputes that may arise : they are to take their stations at each wicket, and should be well acquainted with the laws of the game. Full-sized wickets are three stumps, sufficiently long to leave twenty-four inches out of the ground, with a bail, or cross stick, seven inches long, to fit the top. They should be placed directly opposite to each other, at the distance of twenty-two yards for men, but varying according to the size of the player.
Bowling is an important part of the game, and requires great steadiness. Bad bowling is often the cause of losing a game. A bowler should not be too systematic, but vary his balls faster or slower, according to the peculiarities of the striker. He should aim directly at the opposite wicket.
The striker should always be ready for running, but he should be cautious, not to leave the ground before the ball is out of the bowler's hand; for if he do, the bowler may put down his wicket, and he will, of course, be out. As soon as the ball is delivered, the striker may follow it, but should not run too far, so that, if no runs be obtained, he may return in time to save his wicket. The bat should be kept on the outside of the opposite partner, and care taken not to run against him.
The bowler should be careful to toss the ball in such a way, that the striker can play at it; for if he should toss it above the striker's head, or out of the bounds, the party which is in shall be allowed one notch, to be put down to the byes. The striker is out if the bail or cross stick be bowled off, or the stump be bowled out of the ground. Or, if in striking at the ball he hit down his wicket. Or, if he prevent the ball from being caught by the out-players. Or, if the ball be struck, and he wilfully strike it again. Or, if with any part of his person, he stop the ball, which might have hit his wicket. The following are among some of the remaining laws of cricket.
If the players have crossed each other, he that runs for the wicket which is put down, is out. When a ball is caught, no notch is reckoned. If the ball be struck, the striker may guard his wicket either with his bat or his body.
This is, I believe, the old and original method of playing cricket. It is often played in a simpler way. Two wickets are placed at some distance from each other. They consist each of two short stakes fixed in the ground, and a cross stick placed in notches, in the stakes, about the height of the ball from the ground. Two bowlers stand at each wicket and roll the ball along the ground with the view of knocking off the cross stick. The striker endeavors to prevent this by hitting the ball with his bat; but if he strike it so that it is caught by any of the other players, he is out.

A match is made between two sets of players of equal numbers; a large ball made of light materials, — a blown bladder, cased with leather, is the best, — is placed between them, and the object of each party is to kick the ball across the goal of the other, and to prevent it from passing their own. The party, across whose goal the ball is kicked, loses the game. -The game is commenced between the two goals, which are about a hundred yards asunder.
This game admits of very powerful exercise, and, when played with moderation, is healthful and lively. Country boys sometimes use a blown bladder, without the covering of leather, for a football; and they often put peas and horse-beans inside, which occasion a rattling as it is kicked about.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gentlemen's Politeness & Fashions

What I find interesting about this article are the attitudes of the times. These are the kinds of things I like to know when I'm writing a historical novel. In this excerpt from "The American's Gentlemen's Guide to Politeness and Fashion"©1860 we find a letter written to a nephew about the proper way to act as well as appear.

To descend to particulars designed to include all the minutiae of a gentleman's wardrobe, were as futile as useless ; but a few hints upon this point, may, nevertheless, not be wholly out of place in epistles so frank, practical and familiar as these are intended to be.
The universal partiality of our countrymen for black, as the color of dress clothes, at least, is frequently remarked upon by foreigners. Among the best dressed men on the continent, as well as in England, black, though not confined to the clergjr, is in much less general use than here. They adopt the darker shades of blue, brown and green, and for undress almost as great diversity of colors as of fabrics. An English gentleman, for instance, is never seen in the morning (which means abroad all that portion of the twenty-four hours devoted to business, out-door amusements and pursuits, &c.;—it is always morning until the late dinner hour has passed) in the half-worn coat of fine black cloth, that so inevitably gives a man a sort of shabby-genteel look; but in some strong-looking, rough, knock-about "fixin," frequently of nondescript form and fashion, but admirably adapted both in shape and material for use—for work. Of this, by the way, every man, worthy of the name, has a daily portion to perform, in some shape or other—from the Duke of Devonshire, with a fortune that would purchase half-a-dozen consort-kinggrowing German principalities, and leave a princely inheritance for his successors, to the youngest son of a youngest son, who, though proud of the "gentle blood" in his veins, earns, as an employe in the service of the government,—in some one of its ten thousand forms of patronage and power—the limited salary that barely suffices, when .eked out by the most ingenious economy, to supply the hereditary necessities of a gentleman. But this is a digression. As I was saying in the morning, during work-hours, whatever be a man's employment, and wherever his outside garb should be suited to ease and convenience, its only distinctive marks being the most scrupulous cleanliness, and the invariable accompaniment of fresh linen.
Coming to the discussion of matters appertaining to a toilet, elaborate enough for occasions of ceremony, I think of no better general rule than that laid down by Dr. Johnson (in his character of a shrewd observer of men and manners, rather than as himself affording an illustration of the axiom, perhaps)—" the best dressed persons are those in whose attire nothing in particular attracts attention."
There is an indescribable air of refinement, &je na sais quoi, as the French have it, at an equal remove from the over-washed look of your thorough Englishman (their close-cropped hair always reminds me of the incipient stage of preparation for assuming a strait-jacket!) and the walking tailor's advertisement that perambulates Fifth Avenue, Chestnut-street, the Boston Mall, and other fashionable promenades in our cis-Atlantic cities, in attendance upon the locomotive milliner's show-cases, yclept "belles"—God save the mark!
The essentials of a gentleman's dress, for occasions of ceremony are—a stylish well-fitting cloth coat, of some dark color, and of unexceptionable quality; nether garments to correspond, or in warm weather, or under other suitable circumstances, white pants of a fashionable material and make; the finest and purest linen, embroidered in white, if at all; a cravat and vest, of some dark or neutral tint, according to the physiognomical peculiarities 6f the wearer, and the prevailing mode; an entirely fresh-looking, fashionable black hat and carefully-fitted modish boots, white gloves, and a soft, thin, white handkerchief.
Perhaps, the most arbitrary of earthly divinities permits her subjects more license in regard to the arrangement of the hair and beard, than with respect to any other matter of the outer man. A real artist, and'such every man should be, who meddles with the "human face divine" or its adjuncts, will discern at a glance the capabilities of each head submitted to his manipulation. Defects will thus be lessened, or wholly concealed, and good points brought out.
If you wear your beard, wear it in moderation— extremes are always vulgar! Avoid all fantastic arrangements of the hair—turning it under in a huge roll, smooth as the cylinder of a steam-engine, and as little suggestive of good taste and comfort as would be the coil of a boa constrictor similarly located, parting it in Miss Nancy style, and twisting it into love [soap ?] locks with a curling-tongs, or allowing it to straggle in long and often, seemingly, "uncombed and unkempt" masses over the coat-collar. This last outrage of good-taste is so gross a violation of what is technically called " keeping," as to excite in me extreme disgust. HI, indeed, does it accord with the trim, compact, easily-portable costume of our day, and a miserable imitation, it is of the flowing hair that, in days of yore, fell naturally and gracefully upon the broad lace collar turned down over the velvet or satin short-cloak of the cavaliers and appropriately adorning shoulders upon which, with equal fitness, drooped a long, waving plume, from the wide-brimmed, steeple-crowned, picturesque hat that completed the costume.
While on this subject of collars, etc., let us stop to discuss for a moment the nice matter of their size and shape. Just now, like the " life " of a " poor old man," they have "dwindled to the shortest span," under the pruning shears of the operatives of the mode. Whether this is the result of a necessity growing with the lengthening beards that threaten wholly to ignore their existence, you must determine for yourselves, but I must enter my protest against the total extinction of this relieving line of white, «o long, at least, as the broad wristband, now so appropriately accompanying the wide coat-sleeve, shall remain in vogue.
The mention of this last tasteful appendage naturally brings to mind the highly ornate style of sleevebuttons now so generally adopted. Eschew, I pray you, all flash stones for these or any other personal ornament. Nothing is more unexceptionable for sleeve-buttons and the fastenings of the front of a shirt, than fine gold, fashioned in some simple form, sufficiently massive to indicate use and durability, and skillfully and handsomely wrought, if ornamented at all. Few young men can consistently wear diamonds, and they are, if not positively exceptionable, in no degree requisite to the completion of the most elaborate toilet. But those who do sport them, should confine themselves to genuine stones of unmistakable water, and never let their number induce in the minds of beholders the recollection that a travelling Jew—whether from hereditary distrust of the stability of circumstances, or from some other consideration of personal convenience, usually carries his entire fortune about his person! Better the simplest fastenings of mother-of-pearl than such staring vulgarity of display. And so of a watch and its appendages. A gentleman carries a watch for convenience, and secures it safely upon his person, wearing with it no useless ornament, paraded to the eye. It is, like his pencil and purse, good of its kind, and if he can afford it, handsome, but it is never flashy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Corn Husk Doll

We've all heard about them, and many of us have seen them but do you know how to make them? Here are the directions to make a corn husk doll that one of your characters might find themselves doing for a variety of reasons.


O such beautiful dolls as delight the hearts of the children of to-day, ever peeped forth from the Christmas-stockings of our grandmothers or great-grandmothers when they were little girls. In those times there were not, as there are now, thousands of people doing nothing but making toys for the entertainment and pleasure of the little ones, and the motherly little hearts were fain to content themselves with lavishing unlimited affection and care upon a rag, wooden, or corn-husk baby, made and dressed at home. Since then almost every child tired of, and surfeited with handsome and expensive toys, has been glad at times to get grandma to make for her a real old-fashioned dollie which might be hugged in rapturous moments of affection without fear of dislocating some of its numerous joints, or putting out of order its speaking or crying apparatus; and might in times of forgetfulness be dropped on the floor and suffer no injury thereby. Such a doll is just the kind to adopt for the summer. The fine French doll with its delicate wax or china face, silky hair, and dainty toilets, is more suited to the elegances of the parlor than to the wear and tear of out-door life, and everyone knows that summer holidays spent in the country are far too precious to be wasted taking care of anyone's complexion, let alone a doll's; so it is best to leave the city doll in her city home, safe out of harm's way, and manufacture, from materials to be found in the country, one more suited to country surroundings.
Corn-husks, corn-cobs, and ordinary garden flowers can be made into dolls which, although not quite so pretty nor so shapely as those produced from more costly material, yet possess a charm of their own which the children are not slow to perceive.
Little Indian girls, to whom store babies are unknown, make the most complete and durable corn-husk dolls, and the following directions tell just how to construct them:
Provide yourself with the husks of several large ears of corn, and from among them select the soft white ones which grow closest to the ear. Place the stiff ends of two husks together, fold a long, soft husk in a lengthwise strip, and wind it around the ends so placed as in Fig. in.
Select The Corn Husk the softest and widest husk you can find, fold it across the centre and place a piece of strong thread through it (as in Fig. 112), draw it in, tie it se-
curely (Fig. 113), place it entirely over the husks you have wound, then bring it down smoothly and tie with thread underneath (Fig. 114); this will form the head and neck.

To make the arms, divide the husks below the neck in two equal parts, fold together two or more husks and ins e r t them in the division (Fig. 115). Hold the arms in place with one hand, while with the other you fold alternately over each shoulder several layers of husks, allowing them to extend down the front and back. When the little form seems plump enough, use your best husks for the topmost layers and wrap the waist with strong thread, tying it securely (Fig. 116). Next divide the husks below the waist and make the legs by neatly wrapping each portion with thread, trimming them off evenly at the feet. Finally, twist the arms once or twice, tie, and trim them off at the hands. The features can be drawn on the face with pen and ink, or may be formed of small thorns from the rose-bush. Fig. 117 shows the doll complete, minus its costume, which may be of almost any style or material, from the pretty robe of a civilized lady.
Source: How to Amuse Yourself and Others ©1887

Monday, August 25, 2014

Amelia Bloomer the gal we get the term bloomers from

Last Wednesday I had a post on 19th century fashions and at the tail end there was a comment about bloomers along with four images. Here is a link back to that post. I had not realized that bloomers were actually designed by Mrs. Amelia Bloomer and her name has been attached to what we've used for years. This had me wondering about this woman, who she was and why she designed the outfits that she did. First misunderstanding she did not invent the outfit but Libby Miller from New England did in 1851. Amelia stopped wearing it in 1859. She was the author and editor of a lady's magazine called "LILY" which talked about women's rights and fashion. I have not found a copy of the magazine online but her husband wrote that a full copy of the editions were at the Albany, NY library.

Wikipedia gives a short overview of her life. Here's the link to that post.

But the real gem came in finding this book Life and Writings of Amelia Bloomer This book was published the year after her passing by her husband Dexter Bloomer. I have not read the entire book but what I have read is really touching as he writes about a woman he loved and their lives together and his encouragement to her to begin her writing, political life.

In this book are also excerpts from her letters and when she was out visiting various areas of the country she'd write descriptions of the areas. For example on page 291 she describes Colorado. She was huge advocate for the suffrage and temperance movements. Her husband even includes a brief conversation they had when he attempted to give her a glass of wine at their wedding reception.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

On Proper Dress & Ornaments

As I was searching for the appropriate attire for a ballroom dress for men and women, I came across this gem and thought I'd share it with you.

A man is judged of by his appearance, and seldom I incorrectly. A neat exterior, equally free from extravagance and poverty, always proclaims a rightminded and sensible man: To dress appropriately, and with good taste, is to respect yourself and others.
A black coat and trowsers are indispensable for a visit of ceremony, an entertainment, an evening party, or a ball. The white or black vest is equally proper in any of these cases. Very ceremonious visits require a dress shoe and a white vest. The hand should always be gloved on such occasions. Always wear kids in dancing. A gentleman, when in dress and out of his business, should also walk out gloved.

One hand may be uncovered; the one you will extend if you meet an acquaintance.
If it be not well-bred for a gentleman out of business hours to appear in the street or at church without gloves, it is still less so for a lady.

Rings and heavy gold chains are not in good taste. Some young persons, of both sexes, have a strong desire to sport gold and jewels; but let them remember that such is the taste of gamblers and courtesans, and they may realize how really vulgar is too much jewelry.

To a woman, the toilet is indeed a study, to which she should devote a proper portion of her time; and, sure of being well-skilled in the art, she is impatient of the observations of the critic. All do not, however, escape the charge of vulgarity. We sometimes see dresses in which the ill-assorted or showy colors spoil the effect of the richest material. The various articles of dress must be well-chosen, so as to produce an agreeable Imrrnony. Kever put on a dark-colored bonnet with a light, spring costume. Avoid uniting colors Which will suggest an epigram—such as a straw-colored dress, with a green bonnet. [Of the last-named style of head-gear you must especially beware, unless you have an extremely fair complexion; otherwise your malicious rivals will assert that your face resembles a citron, surrounded by its foliage.] The arrangements of the hair is an important affair. Bands are becoming to faces of a Grecian cast— while ringlets better suit those lively and expressive heads which resemble the beautiful Ninon. But, whatever be your style of countenance, avoid a cumbrous edifice of lace mixed with hair, and let your flowers be few and choice. A spray or two of heath, the delicate blossoms of the jessamine, violets—orange blossoms, a white rose—these simple ornaments are most suitable to a young girl, and even of these she should not be too prodigal, for beauty unadorned is adorned the most.

In a married woman, a richer style of ornament is admissible. Feathers in her bonnet, a necklace, a camellia or jewels in her hair are allowable in the wife, but for a young girl, a style of modest simplicity is far more impressive and becoming. We shall state what is known to be a fact, when we say ladies who attract most observation, are those dressed with the most studied simplicity, while those with most ornament are treated with less deference, and excite less compliment.

An important maxim to be observed is, that the most elegant dress loses its merit, if it is not worn with grace. Young girls often have an air of constraint, and their dress seems to partake of their want of ease. The celebrated Sappho is said to have attended to the arrangement even of the folds of her mantle. She is indeed fortunate, who can give an easy flexibility to her figure, and graceful movements to her head: she will always appear graceful and well-dressed.

There are women whose dress is extravagant—folly of this kind should be avoided: a simple .style of dress is ever proof of modesty, and one never loses by appearing to be modest.
For many valuable recipes for the toilet, and hints and suggestions in reference to the complexion, the hair, the teeth, etc., see "beadle's Dime Recuse Book."
Source: Beadle's Dime Book Of Practical Etiquette for Ladies & Gentlemen ©1859

Friday, August 22, 2014

Corn Recipes

Not to be corny...I know bad pun. Anyway, here are some recipes where the primary ingredient is corn.

One teacupful of milk, three eggs, one pint of green corn grated, a little' salt and as much flour as will form a batter. Beat the whites and yolks of the eggs separately. To the yolks add the corn, salt, milk and flour enough to form a batter. Beat the whole hard, stir in the whites and drop the batter, a spoonful at a time, into hot lard and fry to a light brown color.—Mamie E. Brown Waldron.

One pint of flour, one-half cupful of milk, two eggs, onehalf can of corn, one and one-half teaspoonfuls of baking powder, a little salt. Drop from spoon into hot fat.— Mrs. S. D. Raymond.

Scrape frcm the cob one pint of corn. Cream one teaspoonful of butter, work into it one heaping teaspoonful of flour, one teaspoonful of sugar, one of salt and one-fourth teaspoonful of pepper. Stir in slowly one cupful of milk, then turn in the corn. Add the beaten yolks of three eggs, then the whites beaten to a stiff froth, spread on top after turning into a well-buttered baking dish. Bake for twenty minutes.—Elizabeth Williams.

One can corn chopped fine, three eggs, salt and pepper, two tablespoonfuls of flour (good sized ones). Fry in butter.—Mrs. B. C. Macomber.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Sucker & The Hoop

Here are two more children sports from the 19th Century.

Cut a circular piece of stout leather; bore a hole through its centre, and pass a string, with a knot to prevent the end escaping, through this hole. Soak the leather well in water before you use it; when thoroughly soaked, place the leather on a stone, press it well down with your foot, and then taking the string, you may, by your sucker, raise a considerable weight.
You have often observed the ease and security with which flies walk upon a smooth wall, or a pane of glass, or even along the ceiling, with their bodies downward. The fact is, that their feet are provided with little cups, or suckers, which they alternately exhaust and fill with air; by which means they are enabled to walk in every position, over the most slippery surfaces. In like manner, the walrus, or seal, is capable of climbing the masses of slippery ice with perfect security.

The trundling of the hoop is an old, but healthful pastime. It was as common with the Greeks and Romans as it is with boys of the present generation. It has the advantage of being a sport, which may be played by one person, although several players sometimes engage in it, and try who can keep their hoop rolling longest. Several tin squares are sometimes nailed to the inner part of the hoop, which produce, in the opinion of some lads, an agreeable jingle; but it is apt to frighten the horses, whom they meet.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fashions of the 19th Century

Below is an excerpt from The Chautauquan ©1895 which gives the opinions of those from the end of the century evaluating the fashions of that century.

FROM 1860 to 1875 was a terrible epoch in hairdressing. Heavy Cadogan1 braids, stuffed to unnatural size with yarn or jute or false hair; high clumsy rolls on the top of the head; a single long curl, called an Alexandra, and usually false; all made a hideous chignon, on which at various dates reposed ribbons, flowers, feathers, and metal ornaments. The hair was confined during some years in nets of silk or chenille, often in high colors, or even of gold braid. They were ornamented with beads of gold, silver steel, pearl, or jet. Nets of narrow black velvet ribbon were also worn. A specially grotesque and ugly net, worn about 1867, had woven into it little curls and loops of fiber to imitate curls of hair, and could be purchased in any color to match the natural locks.
1863 Bonnets

1866 Dress
In 1866 peplums were worn, not Roman garments, but a little corslet with ungainly undraped skirts square across front and back, and hanging very long in points at sides. Its popularity is said to have dealt a fatal blow at crinoline, with which it was certainly anomalous.

1860 Custome

1870 Dresses
After the fall of the Second Empire and the empress,2 dress slowly assumed a new form in 1870. Crinoline was gradually shrinking, but full kilted frills were placed all over the dress, on skirt, sleeve, and bodice. The short waists were very unBONNETS OF 1863. weather and seasons show in dress. The history of contemporary times might be traced in the names and fashions of garments and stuffs. Often also the pettiest events gave distinguishing names. These, of course, were given in France or England, whence all our fashions originated. Ourika bonnets, gowns, and caps were named from the romance "Ourika," of Duchess de Ducas, printed in 1824. Crape and turbans were named Ipsiboe from the book of that name. Trocadero ribbons indicate the campaign in Spain. Scotch plaids were popular through the opera, La Dame Blanche; bodices were worn d la Se'vignd. In 1827 France first possessed a living giraffe. Crowds of sight-seers rushed to the Jardin des Plantes, and soon we read of bonnets a la giraffe, gowns a la giraffe. The victory of Marshal Bugeaud,3 in 1844, over the armies of the emperor of Morocco, brought to notice Algerian finery, and the burnous in many materials was worn; in light colors as a ball wrap its popularity lasted in America over a decade — indeed, almost to our own becoming with all these frills and plaits and the outdoor jackets were ungraceful, very long in front and very short in back. Dresses of two colors and materials, the underskirt of one and the polonaise of another, were much worn, and were certainly economical.
1873 Dress
I must note the unbounded popularity in 1872 of the Dolly Varden polonaise. It was made of pretty flowered materials, usually of cotton, such as calico and chintz. The skirt was open in front and looped high on the side, almost in Watteau shape, usually with bows and loops of black velvet. Sometimes the garment had a plait from the shoulders, oftener the back was fitted. It was a coquettish, picturesque fashion, too cheaply obtainable, however, to remain exclusive, and hence doomed to extinction, as Swift said, "to descend from those of quality down to the vulgar, and then be dropped and banished."
The polonaise still clung to us, and for a time was sleeveless, or had black velvet sleeves. The puffed out tournure gave an angle to the carriage of the wearer which for a long time was caricatured under the name of the "Grecian bend."
The princesse dress of 1875 wascertainly graceful in its conception, but in execution it was far from comfortable ; for its flowing
folds were bound around the knees by a tight drapery which made the figure seem as if in a bag, or, as a contemporary said, "two shy knees tied in a single trouser." In this narrow bag the wearer could scarcely sit down, was forced to walk with constraint, and even on direst emergency could not run. From under the confining drapery a mean little tail or train untidily swept the streets and floors.
I think many will remember with pleasure the "Leopold Robert" bonnet of 1872, so artistic in shape, so simple, so becoming. It was a wreath of flowers, usually of crimson silk roses, placed on a band of velvet, with ribbons and strips of lace falling over the chignon. It had no strings, but a veil, often of Spanish lace, with long

DRESS OF 1866.
ends which were crossed in the back, brought forward and tied under the chin. Sometimes a square of lace was placed over the bonnet, one corner in front and the other three brought over the chignon with a jet pin.
A curious trait of fashion is the prevalence of certain colors at certain times. One year it is Magenta, another green, next year Nile green. In 1876 cardinal red was seen everywhere to the most glaring excess. Last year we had crimson, this year bluet; four years ago heliotrope, then eminence purple. Before that we had sage green. Old rose clung long to its supremacy, so did ecru. Often the color is unbecoming to many complexions, as when orange velvet trimmed every bonnet; often it is crude, as a superb new brocade seen last week, of purplish magenta with orange-colored crescents six inches long—so vivid in color that an esthete would have been blinded by the shock.
The quality of goods varies in fashion; one year smooth glossy fabrics like alpaca, the next the hairy camel's hair, then coarse homespun. A particularly objectionable mode four years ago introduced a smooth ground with large hairy spots two inches in diameter scattered over it, which bore a hideous resemblance to hairy moles. One year we wear vast plaids, the next year they are plebeian. Brocaded velvet, an old time favorite, is absolutely unsalable to-day. Satin this year is sold—a trying fabric it is. Tarletan, beloved in the ball-gowns of our youth, is seen in no ballroom to-day. Watered silk wears in and out of fashion. Plush, a beautiful textile for many uses, is obsolete or hopelessly bucolic. We change our strings of beads as does an Indian squaw; and our furs. Seal alone, too costly and now too scarce to be common, holds its own; though fine seal-brown plushes, through a spurious relationship and resemblance, almost ruined the seal trade and re-established our pelagic glories.
A curious detail of fashion is the reign of various furs. We have seen this year the revival of chinchilla, a soft frail fur absolutely unsalable two years ago. The fur of the Astrakhan lamb is another example; it was of such high fashion in 1861 as materially to benefit the Russian town of Astrakhan. It was used with day. These garments were often trimmed with Thibet tassels and fringe. When made of plush or plaid velvet and trimmed with fur they were truly elegant and graceful.
1875 Walkin Dress
The spencer was in high fashion for fifty years for the first half of the century. The name is sometimes still used by old fashioned folk. It was originally a man's garment, an overcoat so short that the skirts of the body coat could be seen hanging below it. It was named for Earl Spencer. Hence the epigram on that nobleman and on Lord Sandwich:
"Two noble lords, whom if I quote
Some folks might call me sinner,
The one invented half a coat,
The other half a dinner.

'The plan was good, as some will say,
And fitted to console one,
Because in this poor starving day
Few can afford a whole one."

The spencer was adapted to women's wear a year or two later, and on feminine forms became a little over-jacket. A certain green sleeveless spencer was for a long time in high vogue among fashionable dames. It was an important article of dress—as was the pelisse—when winter gowns were of book-muslin or cambric.
A popular article ^•V of wear first donned in 1864, in Paris, was a Garibaldi waist. In America they were universally worn and were usually made of scarlet cloth, cashmere or flannel. They were gathered very full at the neck, and into a shoulder band, and around the waist. The sleeves were full and gathered into a wristband. They were an ideal waist for young girls' and children's wear, loose and warm, but rather shapeless for elegant dames; and in order to make them fit with any trimness around the waist, they had to be worn with a very tight belt. Our present shirt waists, and certain dotted Swiss muslin waists worn twenty years ago, were the summer successors, in modified shape, of the Garibaldi.
An influence must be noted which was brought to bear on women's dress about the middle of the century, not a lasting influence nor a beautifying one. It came through the writings and example of Mrs. Amelia Bloomer, who recently died in New York State. She advocated a dress reform which was certainly phenomenally ugly. The Bloomer has been variously caricatured and represented in comic press, on comic stage. I give four engravings of it which were printed at the time of its inception; these are not beautiful, but nothing can equal the Bloomer in shapelessness in reality. I well recall two women of intelligence and mental culture who wore this Bloomer costume in Worcester, Mass. One woman wore it until the time of her death, ten years ago. A man's dress on feminine form would have been comparatively beautiful and attractive. Shapeless, straight trousers of flimsy cloth flopped to the ankles; over these a miserable, scanty little skirt hung halfway to the knee. An illshaped waist and over-jacket, and a flat, low-crowned hat with large ear pieces and slimsy strings of ribbon, completed this depressing gear. I recall one specially offensive suit of black and white rather large Rob Roy check; no caricature on minstrel or farce stage ever exceeded that Bloomer in hopeless ugliness. Yet out of this hated and jeered-at fashion, the smart jackets known as polkas came into favor both here and in England. Indeed, in England the Bloomer had a more marked influence, was accorded more attention than in America, as I can plainly see from the publications of the times. The various dress reforms which have succeeded the Bloomer pioneer have been chiefly in regard to underclothing, and are of varying popularity and doubtful convenience. Nothing has yet been invented for a gown more comfortable, more sensible for women's outdoor wear, for their "working dress," than the straight stuff skirts now worn with full waists—shirt waists in summer; while for extra warmth is the detached jacket—which may be termed and shaped as a blazer one year, a jersey the next, a skirted coat the next, and then an Eton jacket. This suit neither offends the eye, the fashion, nor the health. The convention which attempted to shape and decide upon a reform dress suitable for wear at the Columbian Exposition planned nothing as appropriate or as becoming.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Introductions, manners,

In continuing with manners below is a chapter on Introductions from Manners, Culture and Dress of the Best American Society ©1894


IN the introduction of one gentleman to another, great prudence and caution must be used by the really polite man; but in the introduction of ladies to each other, and to gentlemen, infinitely more care is necessary, as a lady cannot shake off an improper acquaintance with the same facility as a gentleman can do, and her character is much easier affected by apparent contact with the worthless and the dissipated.
It is incumbent, therefore, on ladies to avoid all proffers of introductions, unless from those on whom from relationship or other causes, they can place the most implicit confidence.

Introductions By Relatives.
As a general rule, ladies may always at once accord to any offers of introduction that may proceed from a father, mother, husband, sister or brother; those from intimate cousins and tried friends are aiso to be considered favorably, although not to be entitled to the same implicit reliance as the former. Formerly it was the habit for the ladies to curtsey on being introduced, but this has latterly been changed into the more easy and graceful custom of bowing.

Saluting And Shaking Hands.
The habit of saluting and shaking hands is now quite obsolete, except in some country towns where ladies at first introductions salute other ladies by kissing them on the cheek, and fervently shake the hands of the gentlemen.

First Introduction.
At present, in the best society, all that a lady is called upon to do, upon a first introduction either to a lady or a gentleman, is to make a slight, but gracious inclination of the head.

Second Or Subsequent Meeting.
Upon one lady meeting another for the second or subsequent times, the hand may be extended in supplement to the inclination of the head; but no lady should ever extend her hand to a gentleman, unless she is very intimate,—a bow at meeting and one at parting, is all that is necessary.

The Obligations Of Introduction.
Two persons who have been properly introduced have in future certain claims upon one another's ao quaintance which should be recognized unless there are sufficient reasons for overlooking them. Even in that case good manners require the formal bow of recognition upon meeting, which of itself encourages no familiarity. Only a very ill-bred person will meet another with a vacant stare.

After An Introduction.
If you wish to avoid the company of any one that has been properly introduced, satisfy your own mind that your reasons are correct; and then let no inducement cause you to shrink from treating him with respect, at the same time shunning his company. No gentleman will thus be able either to blame or mistake you.

Introductions While Traveling.
If, in traveling, any one introduces himself to you and does it in a proper and respectful manner, conduct yourself towards him with politeness, ease, and dignity; if he is a gentleman, he will appreciate your behavior—and if not a gentleman will be deterred from annoying you; but acquaintanceships thus formed must cease where they began. Your entering into conversation with a lady or gentleman while traveling does not give any of you a right to after recognition. If any one introduces himself to you in a manner betraying the least want of respect, either towards you or himself, you can only turn from him in dignified silence,—and if he presumes to address you further, then there is no punishment too severe.

Introductory Letter To Ladies.
Be very cautious of giving a gentleman a letter of introduction to a lady; for remember, in proportion as you are esteemed by the lady to whom it is addressed, so do you claim for your friend her good wishes,—and such letters are often the means of settling the weal or the woe of the parties for life. Ladies should never themselves, unless upon cases of the most urgent business, deliver introductory letters, but should send them in an envelope inclosing their card.

Receipt Of Introductory Letters.
On receipt of an introductory letter, take it into instant consideration; if you are determined not to receive the party, write at once some polite, plausible, but dignified cause of excuse. If the party is one you think fit to receive, then let your answer be accordingly, and without delay; never leave unanswered till the next day a letter of introduction.
If any one whom you have never seen before call with a letter of introduction, and you know from its appearance who sent it, desire the person to sit down, and at once treat them politely; but if you do not recognize the hand-writing it is quite proper, after requesting them to be seated, to beg their pardon, and peruse the letter in order that you may know how to act.

Requesting A Letter Of Introduction.
If any one requests a letter of introduction, and you do not consider that it would be prudent, eithei in respect to your situation with the person so requesting it, or with the one to whom it would be addressed, refuse it with firmness, and allow no inducement whatever to alter your purpose.

Introduction To Society.
On your introduction to society, be modest, retiring, unassuming, and dignified; pay respect to all, but most to those who pay you the most, provided it is respectful and timely.

Bestowing Of Titles.
In introducing a person be sure to give him his appropriate title, as some persons are jealous of their dignity. If he is a clergyman, say "The Rev. Mr. Forsyth." If a doctor of divinity, say "The Rev. Dr. Forsyth." If he is a member of Congress, call him "Honorable," and specify to which branch of Congress he belongs. If he be governor of a State, mention what State. If he is a man of any celebrity in the world of art or letters, it is well to mention the fact something after this manner: "Mr. Ellis, the artist, whose pictures you have frequently seen," or "Mr. Smith, author of 'The World after the Deluge,' which you so greatly admired."

Proper Forms Of Introduction.
The proper form of introduction is to present the gentleman to the lady, the younger to the older, the inferior to the superior; Thus you will say: "Mrs. Cary, allow me to present to you Mr. Rhodes: Mr. Rhodes, Mrs. Cary;" "Mrs. Wood, let me present to you my friend Miss. Ewing;" "General Graves, permit me to introduce to you Mr. Hughes." The exact words used in introductions are immaterial, so that the proper order is preserved.
It is better, among perfect equals, to employ the phrase, "Permit me to present you to than "Permit me to present to you * *;" there are men in this world, and men, too, who are gentlemen, who are so sensitive that they would be offended if the latter of these forms was employed in presenting them to another.

Ceremonious Phrases.
These ceremonious phrases, "Permit me to present, &c.," are not to be employed unless the acquaintance has been solicited by one party, under circumstances of mere ceremony; and when you employ them, do not omit to repeat to each distinctly the name of the other.

Casual Introductions.
When two men unacquainted meet one another where it is obviously necessary that they should be made known to each other, perform the operation with mathematical simplicity and precision, -"Mr. A., Mr. A.\ Mr. A.\ Mr. A."

Speak The Name Distinctly.
When, upon being presented to another, you do not feel certain of having caught his name, it may be worse than awkward to remain, as it were, shooting the dark; say, therefore, at once, without hesitation or embarrassment, before making your bow, "I beg your pardon, I did not hear the name."

Introduction Of A Lady To Gentlemen.
When you are presented to a gentleman, do not give your hand, but merely bow, with politeness: and, if you have requested the presentment, or know the person by reputation, you may make a speech,— indeed, in all cases it is courteous to add, "I am happy to make your acquaintance," or, "I am happy to have the honor of your acquaintance." I am aware that high authority might be found in this country to sanction the custom of giving the hand upon a first meeting, but it is undoubtedly a solecism in manners. The habit has been adopted by us, with some improvement for the worse, from France.

Introductions In Other Countries.
When two Frenchmen are presented to one anoth. er, each presses the other's hand with delicate affection. The English, however, never do so; and the practice is altogether inconsistent with the caution of manner which is characteristic of their nation and our own. If we are to follow the French in shaking hands with one whom we have never before seen, we should certainly imitate them also in kissing our intimate male acquaintances. There are some Americans, indeed, who will not leave this matter optional, but will seize your hand in spite of you, and visit it pretty roughly before you recover it. Next to being presented to the Grand Jury, is the nuisance of being presented to such persons. Such handling is most unhandsome.

Introductions With Permission.
A gentleman should not be presented to a lady without her permission being previously asked and granted. This formality is not necessary between men alone; but, still, you should not present any one, even at his own request, to another, unless you are quite well assured that the acquaintance will be agreeable to the latter. You may decline upon the ground of not being sufficiently intimate yourself. A man does himself no service with another when he obliges him to know people whom he would rather avoid.

Introductions Without Permission.
There are some exceptions to the necessity of applying to a lady for her permission. At a party or a dance, the mistress of the house may present any man to any woman without application to the latter. A sister may present her brother, and a mother may present her son, upon their own authority; but they should be careful not to do this unless where they are very intimate, and unless there is no inferiority on their part. A woman may be very willing to know another woman, without caring to be saddled with her whole family. As a general rule, it is better to be presented by the mistress of the house, than by any other person.

Meeting On The Street.
If you are walking down the street in company with another person, and stop to say something to one of your friends, or are joined by a friend who walks with you for a long time, do not commit the too common, but most flagrant error, of presenting such persons to one another.
Morning Visitors. If you are paying a morning visit, and some one comes in, whose name you know, and no more, and he or she is not recognized by, or acquainted with, the person visited, present such a person, yourself.

If on entering a drawing-room to pay a visit, you are not recognized, mention your name immediately; if you know but one member of a family, and you find others only in the parlor, present yourself to them. Much awkwardness may be occasioned by want of attention to this.

Assisting A Lady In Difficulty.
If you see a lady whom you do not know, unattended, and wanting the assistance of a man, offer your services to her immediately. Do it with great courtesy, taking off your hat and begging the honor of assisting her. This precept, although universally observed in France, is constantly violated in England and America by the demi-bred, perhaps by all but the thorough-bred. The ' mob of gentlemen" in this country seem to act in these cases as if a gentleman ipso facto ceased to be a Man, and as if the form of presentation was established to prevent intercourse and not. to increase it .

Monday, August 18, 2014

Let's go Fly a Kite

I love that seen in Mary Poppins when they Sing, Let's go Fly a Kite. Last Thursday I posted some of the games from the 19th century then I stumbled on this great little book about Kites, making them and flying them. The variety is very interesting, so I've put a link at the bottom of this post to the source in Google books.

Several years ago the story was current in Kennebec County, Maine, of a boy who succeeded in launching into the air a twelve-foot kite, was borne across a large brook and set down so frightened that he let the kite go.

n 1895 the western papers reported that a citizen of Winona, in exploiting a huge kite, was, by a gust of wind, jerked two hundred feet up in the air, then let down and ducked in the river.
But Ben Franklin did better than this; for once, while bathing, he caused his kite to draw him across the river, thus saving himself the exertion of paddling and kicking.

The taste of the American boy does not usually run into such vagaries as the foregoing. He wants a kite that will operate in the same easy round, in its turn, with his base ball, his sled, his skates and his bow and arrow. There are several forms of these boys' kites which are easy to make and jolly to fly.
In making a kite there are three essentials,— strength, lightness and balance. The first two of these depend on the construction of the frame. Small tubes of thin steel, and also of aluminum, have been tried for this purpose, but have not given so good results as spruce wood. Next to this in strength, lightness and elasticity is whitewood, then straight-grained white pine. For small kites, strips of split bamboo will do very well; but they bend too easily if long. For bow kites or other curving forms, black ash or oak basket strips and split bamboo are good. Split rattan will not often prove satisfactory, because of its twist and its lack of uniform elasticity.
In selecting the material for a frame, care should be taken that the sticks are straight, with grain running in the direction of the length of the stick, and that the wood is thoroughly dry.
For a kite three feet long and two and a half feet wide, the sticks should be in the form of a slightly flattened square, not so thick as a common lead pencil,— that is, they should be less than half an inch wide and a quarter of an inch thick. The corners should not be rounded, but may be rubbed slightly to remove the sharpness.
The newspapers now made are not strong enough for kite coverings; thin, tough manila being the only cheap paper which is suitable. Bond paper, nainsook muslin and tracing cloth are also good; but the cheapest of them is more than twice as costly as manila paper. Tissue paper makes a good covering for kites not over three feet in length,—if they can be kept away from all bushes and stubble, which would rend them into tatter* in short order.
Very thin Chinese silk makes one of the best coverings for flying in brisk winds, which hold it in place; but in light winds (when the covering is properly loose) the fulness is given to sliding from one side to the other, thus destroying the balance of the kite.
To prepare a kite for flying in wet weather, cloth coverings should be varnished, and paper ones should be saturated with melted parafline wax brushed on lightly and evenly. The paper in these should be folded from back to front,— the reverse of the folding of the margin for fair-weather flyers. Oiled silk is also good. These treatments, by closing the spaces between the threads, prevent the wind from passing through the covering, so that the lifting power of the kite is increased; but, because of the added weight, the kite will not ascend as readily in light winds. Only paper and the thinnest silk are light enough for small kites; but a four-foot kite would bear a nainsook muslin or a thin silesia in a fresh and steady wind.
The color of kite coverings is worth considering. Black is the color most easily distinguished at all heights. The changes of color in the sky are quite curious.
Dark blue, in a cloudy sky, appears black, but regains its color partially in sunshiny spaces.
Cherry red against a blue sky is usually surrounded by its complementary color in the form of fringes extending from its edges. The color darkens at great heights, but at a certain angle to the sun-rays it shows to the eye its real color.
Light green becomes invisible at a less height than pale blue.
A paper kite covering which had received one application of a butt stain —which proved insuflioient to saturate the paper — showed a soiled green tint in the sunshine.
Source: Kites: How to Make and How to Fly Them ©1897

Friday, August 15, 2014

Clam Chowder

Okay so I was raised on Martha's Vineyard and for me there is not other clam chowder than the milk based chowder. However, I have friends from New York who love the other. Vive la difference, and apparently the difference was back in the 19th Century as well.

Wash twelve clams and put on a pan in the oven until the shells open. Drain off the juice, remove the clams from the shell and chop fine. Season the juice with salt, pepper and butter, and let it boil slowly. Heat to the boiling point in a double boiler, one quart of milk. Just before serving, put a little baking soda in the clam juice and pour in the milk.—Anna B. Grover.

Six potatoes, six onions, one-half pound of salt pork, four sea-biscuits, one pint of clams, one quart of milk. Chop pork in half-inch squares, put in pot until browned, then onions (chopped fine), potatoes (cut in dice), clams (chopped), one quart of water. Boil one-half hour, then break in sea-biscuits. Cook for two or three hours slowly, the longer the better. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Just before serving, add one quart of hot milk.— Sarah F. Davis.

Two dozen clams chopped fine, four potatoes, two onions, a small cupful of tomatoes, six Boston crackers (broken in small pieces), one-fourth pound of salt pork. Slice pork and fry in a kettle, remove and chop fine. Add one quart of water and the juice of the clams, alternate layers of vegetables sliced very thin. Season to taste. Stew three hours. Just before serving, add one quart of hot milk.—Mrs. J. T. Morrison.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tops, Slings & Kites

Here are three more games/activities that children played during the 19th Century.

Humming-tops are easily used. After the string is wound about the upright piece, one end of it is taken in one hand, and the handle of the fork-piece in the other. The string is then pulled off with force, and the top is set a-going. Whip-top is an excellent amusement. The top is easily set up by twirling it with both hands on a smooth surface, and applying the whip with gentleness at first, increasing the vigor of the blows, as the top gets firm on the peg. The peg-top is spun by quickly pulling away the string wound round it.

To make a sling, you must cut out an oval piece of leather, about two inches wide at the broadest part. At each of the ends, fasten a leathern thong, or piece of cord. One of these cords, or thongs should be longer than the other. Place a stone in the broadest part of the leather, twist the longest thong twice or thrice round your hand, hold the other lightly between your thumb and fore-finger, whirl it round several times, let go the shorter thong, and the stone will be shot to a great distance. Great care should be taken in using the sling, lest mischief is done.

The best form of constructing a kite is the following. The only pieces of wood necessary in the making of this, are a bow made of oak or walnut, and a straight lath. These are fastened together by twine, and when the frame
is completed, it is pasted over with paper. The tail, which should be from ten to fifteen times the length of the kite, is made by tying bobs on a string, with a larger bob at the end of it. Kites may be made of various shapes and sizes. Indeed they probably first received their name from having been originally constructed in the form of a bird of prey, called the kite. In China the flying of kites is much more practised than in this country ; and it is said, that their shape is always that of some bird.
I remember to have seen, some years ago, a kite which resembled a man. It was made of linen* cloth, cut and painted for the purpose, and stretched on a light frame, so constructed as to resemble the outline of the human figure. It stood upright, and was dressed in a sort of jacket. Its arms were stretched out on each side, and its head was covered with a cap. The person who owned this kite could raise it, though the weather was calm, to a great height. The wind gave to it a slight motion, which made it look like a man skating on the ice. It had altogether a very queer appearance, and did not fail to attract a great crowd of spectators.
Kites are often made square, as they are easiest to construct of that form. Boys frequently send up messengers, when their kite is safely balanced in the air. The messenger is a round piece of paper or pasteboard, which on being fixed upon the string, is blown along the line up to the kite.
The kite sometimes pulls so violently that it breaks the string, or twitches away from the hand, and is lost. Dr Franklin has said, that, with a good kite a man, unable to swim, might be sustained in the water, so as to pass from Dover to Calais. I have heard of a man, who travelled many miles along the road in a carriage drawn by two kites.
But the kite has served the cause of science as well as that of amusement. It was by means of the kite that Dr Franklin was able to make his great discoveries in electricity, and to draw it from the clouds.
Did you ever hear the story of the sailors who mounted to the top of Pompey's pillar? If you have, it will bear repeating. Some English sailors once laid a wager, that they would drink a bowl of punch on the summit of Pompey's pillar, in Egypt. Now, this pillar is almost a hundred feet high, and it is quite smooth, so that there was no way of climbing to the top, even for sailors. In this dilemma, they obtained a kite, and flew it exactly over the pillar, so that when it came down on the opposite side, the string lay across the top of the capital.
By means of this string, they pulled a small rope over, and by this a larger one, that was strong enough to bear the weight of a man. A pully was then fastened to the end of the large rope, and drawn close up to the upper edge of the column; and then, you see, they could easily hoist each other up. They did more; for they hoisted a flag on the top, drank their bowl of punch, and won their wager.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

1867 Fashions

It's Historical Fashion Wednesday again and today we're highlighting mostly women's clothing but there is an everyday outfit and some children's outfits on the bottom. Enjoy!







Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Manners for a Young Man entering Society

Below is chapter two of Manners, Culture and Dress of the Best American Society ©1894 As a writer it gives me some possibilities to add to a character, not to mention knowing the social norms of the time.

TO become accepted in society, a young man must win the good will of the few ladies of assured position who are the ruling spirits in their charmed circle, and whose dictum determines thceocial standing of the young aspirant. It is of less importance to be in favor with the young girls who are themselves just entering society than with these older women, who can countenance whom they will and whose approbation and support will serve the novitiate better than fortune, talent or accomplishments.
The Good Will Of Women. A young man in entering society cannot be too attentive to conciliate the good will of women. Their approbation and support will serve him instead of a thousand good qualities. Their judgment dispenses with fortune, talent and even intelligence.
Social Connections. The desire of pleasing is, of course, the basis of social connection. Persons who enter society with the intention of producing an effect, and of being dis languished, however clever they may be, are never agreeable. They are always tiresome, and often ridiculous. Persons, who enter life with such pretensions, have no opportunity for improving themselves and profiting by experience. They are not in a proper state to observe. Indeed, they look only for the effect which they produce, and with that they are not often gratified. They thrust themselves into all conversations, indulge in continual anecdotes, which are varied only by dull disquisitions, listen to others with impatience and heedlessness, and are angry that they seem to be attending to themselves. Such persons go through scenes of pleasure, enjoying nothing. They are equally disagreeable to themselves and others.

Being Natural.
Young men should content themselves with being natural. Let them present themselves with a modest assurance: let them observe, hear, and examine, and before long they will rival their models.

With Whom To Associate.
The conversation of those women who are not the most lavishly supplied with personal beauty, will be of the most advantage to the young aspirant. Such persons have cultivated their manners and conversation more than those who can rely upon their natural endowments. The absence of pride and pretension has improved their good nature and their affability. They are not too much occupied in contemplating their own charms, to be indisposed to indulge in gentle criticism on others. One acquires from them an elegance in one's manners as well as one's expressions. Their kindness pardons every error and to instruct or reprove, their acts are so delicate that the lesson which they give, always without offending, is sure to be profitable, though it may be often unperceived.
Women observe all the delicacies of propriety in manners, and all the shades of impropriety, much better than men; not only because they attend to them earlier and longer, but because their perceptions are more refined than those of the other sex, who are habitually employed about greater things. Women divine, rather than arrive at proper conclusions.

What To Tolerate.
The whims and caprices of women in society should of course be tolerated by men, who themselves require toleration for greater inconveniences. But this must not be carried too far. There are certain limits to empire which, if they themselves forget, should be pointed out to them with delicacy and politeness. You should be the slave of women, but not of all their fancies.

Common Place Speech. Compliment is the language of intercourse from men to women. But be careful to avoid elaborate and common-place forms of gallant speech. Do not strive to make those long eulogies on a woman, which have the regularity and nice dependency of a proposition in Euclid, and might be fittingly concluded by Q. E. D. Do not be always undervaluing her rival in a woman's presence, nor mistaking a woman's daughter for her sister. These antiquated and exploded attempts denote a person who has learned the world more from books than men.

The quality which a young man should most affect in intercourse with gentlemen, is a decent modesty: but he must avoid all bashfulness or timidity. His flights must not go too far; but, so far as they go, let them be marked by perfect assurance.
Respectful Deference.
Among persons who are much your seniors behave with the most respectful deference. As they find themselves sliding out of importance they may be easily conciliated by a little respect.

Ease Of Manner.
By far the most important thing to be attended to, is ease of manner. Grace may be added afterwards, or be omitted altogether: it is of much less moment than is commonly believed. Perfect propriety and entire ease are sufficient qualifications for standing inrsociety, and abundant prerequisites for distinction.

Distinctions In Conduct.
There is the most delicate shade of difference between civility and intrusiveness, familiarity and common-place, pleasantry and sharpness, the natural and the rude, gaiety and carelessness; hence the inconveniences of society, and the errors of its members. To define well in conduct these distinctions, is the great art of a man of the world. It is easy to know what to do; the difficulty is to know what to avoid.
Long Usage.
A sort of moral magnetism, a tact acquired by frequent and long associating with others—alone give those qualities which keep one always from error, and entitle him to the name of a thorough gentleman.

Selecting Company.
A young man or woman upon first entering into society should select those persons who are most celebrated for the propriety and elegance of their manners. They should frequent their company, and imitate their conduct. There is a disposition inherent in all, which has been noticed by Horace and by Dr. Johnson, to imitate faults, because they are more readily observed and more easily followed. There are, also, many foibles of manner and many refinements of affectation, which sit agreeably upon on man, which if adopted by another would become unpleasant. There are even some excellences of deportment which would not suit another whose character is different.

Good Sense.
For successful imitation in anything, good sense is indispensable. It is requisite correctly to appreciate the natural differences between your model and yourself, and to introduce such modifications in the copy as may be consistent with them.

Qualities Of A Gentleman.
Let not any man imagine, that he shall easily acquire those qualities which will constitute him a gentleman. It is necessary not only to exert the highest degree of art, but to attain also that higher accomplishment of concealing art. The serene and elevated dignity which mark that character, are the result of untiring and arduous effort. After the sculpture has attained the shape of propriety, it remains to smooth off all the marks of the chisel. "A gentleman," says a celebrated French author, "is one who has reflected deeply upon all the obligations which belong to his station, and who has applied himself ardently to fulfill them with grace."

Whom To Imitate.
He who is polite without importunity, gallant without being offensive, attentive to the comfort of all; employing a well-regulated kindness, witty at the proper times discreet,indulgent,generous,who exercises,in his sphere, a high degree of moral authority; he it is, and he alone, that one should imitate.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Brick Road Versus Steel Roads

I recently had an experience of riding along an 11 mile stretch of the "Old Brick Road" in Florida. It was built in 1914 so it's too late for this blog. However, the experience had me thinking about the development of roads during the 19th Century. Below is an article from Industrial Management ©1897 talking about whether a steel road was better than a brick road.

The General Government Fostering Good Roads.
IN an elaborate article in Brick (July 15) the subject of good roads is treated: first, historically, beginning with the ancient Roman roads and their builders; second, from an engineering standpoint; and, lastly, in its present aspects in the United States. What the general govemment is doing to further good-road building is also set forth at considerable length, in a quotation from a letter written by W. E. Curtis to the Chicago Record. The department of agriculture has directed General Roy Stone, chief of the bureau of good roads, to construct and exhibit an example of a steel road at the Nashville Exposition. The use of this material for roads in regions where stone and gravel are scarce and where the soil is deep and sticky will, in the opinion of Secretary Wilson, be "the easiest solution of the good road problem" for such localities. At present prices these steel roads can be cheaply constructed. Flat, or slightly trough-shaped, bars of steel are to be used as supports for the wheels of vehicles, and, to prevent the slipping of horses, the rails will be transversely indented sufficiently to afford a foothold for the calks of horseshoes without materially affecting the smoothness of the surface for the wheeltreads. The joints of the flat bars. or rails, will be made strong enough to prevent them from giving way under use, and thus forming depressions. While forty pounds per ton is the average required to pull a load on a level macadam road, it is claimed that eight pounds will do this about $2,000 per mile work on a steel road. In this respect, however, a good brick road can be scarcely inferior to steel. It is believed that a good brick road will outlast a steel road. Another way in which the government is helping on the cause of good roads is by using the agricultural experiment stations as sources of instruction in road-building to the public at large. On this point Mr. Curtis says: “ The limited funds at command have not encouraged any practical work in this direction, but cobperation has now been established by the director of roads, under which the manufacturers of road machinery furnish the necessary plant free of charge, the county or city authorities provide the material and the labor of men and teams, and the government furnishes an engineer to oversee the work and instruct students and visitors, and pay for one or two skilled operators for the machines. In this way avery slight outlay of public funds accomplishes a large amount of instructive work." Experiments with brick roads are already in progress in some of the western States. At Monmouth, in central Illinois, a road of vitrified brick set on edge in a single course on a bed of sand between oak plank curbs is now undergoing probation, _and is regarded with favor. Brick trackways, with intervening gravel paths for horses, have been proposed. Where macadarn roads are practicable. and under the most favorable c0nditions,—z'.e., where laborers can be obtained for seventy-five cents per day, where fuel for steam power is cheap, and where suitable road metal is close at hand,—they may be constructed and bridged for $100 per mile for each foot -of width. Thus a road thirty feet wide would cost 3,000 per mile. Good gravel roads cost from $1,000 to $2,000 per mile. The material for the heaviest class of steel roads costs, at present prices, $3,500 per mile; for lightest steel roads the cost of material is estimated at $1,000. For long lines of the heavier class of roads, it is thought, the steel will ultimately cost Brick for roadbuilding will cost more per mile than steel for tramways, but, taking the intermediate path for animals and the side ways into account–for these must be well built and maintained also, we are inclined to agreed with Brick that a road paved from curb to curb with vitrified brick, is in proportion to its costs, the best road known to modern engineering.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Scotch Broth

This is a soup rarely heard about today but was quite common in the 19th Century even into the 20th Century. In a way it makes sense that it is called Scotch Broth since lamb or mutton is the primary source for the soup. Most of the recipes I found were very similar so I'm only putting a select few for today's post.

Take about eight pounds of the neck and bone parts of lamb or mutton. Trim off all the outside or skin parts. Cut off the lean portion (being careful not to take any fat), cut in small bits and save for the next day. Put to boil all the trimmed parts. Boil several hours, strain and keep until next day. Remove all the fat, add one-half cupful of pearl barley, cook four hours. Add two onions, one-half carrot and one turnip chopped fine. .Also cook the small bits of meat and add to the broth. Season to taste with salt, pepper and parsley chopped fine.—Lyda McKinley.
The Puritan Cook-Book ©1898

Scotch Broth.—Cut the neck mutton into chops and put it in a saucepan with 4 pints of water, as soon as it boils taie off the scum, and then add 2 turnips cut in small 8 squares, 1 large carrot, and 3 onions also cut, 3 tablespoonsful of mushroom ketchup. Cover it closely, and let it stew for four or five hours gently. Then take out the meat and cut it in small pieces, and after skimming all the fat from the broth return the meat to it, season it and send it to table with the addition of a small quantity of light dumplings the size of a walnut or suet dumpling.
Source: Tried & Approved Recipes ©1878

Scotch. Broth.—Take some middle cutlets from neck of mutton; trim them ; then take the trimmings and put them into a stewpan, with some of the scraps and small pieces of knuckle of veal; moisten well with good boiling broth, and season with some sticks of celery, leeks, parsley, a very large onion stuck with two cloves, a few slices of turnip cut into dice, and one or two carrots also cut into dice. Let this broth boil gently for three hours, season with salt and pepper, and skim off the fat. When it becomes a good flavour drain it over the chops, which must be put in a large enough stewpan to contain the soup. Have some well-washed barley which has been boiling for a long time, and put it into the soup with the chops to boil for one hour. Skim before sending to table. Chop a little parsley very fine and add just before serving.
Source: Housewife's Referee ©1898

Thursday, August 7, 2014


I don't know about you but I loved marbles and playing marbles when I was a kid. There was a time when I lost most of my marbles, but I practiced and practiced until I ended up with a large amount of marbles that I'd won from other children.

Below is an excerpt from 1834 The Book of Sports.

The best marbles are imported from Holland, where, as I have been informed, they are manufactured, by grinding fragments of alabaster and of other stones, in an iron mill of a peculiar construction. In this mill there are several partitions furnished with rasps, which turn with great velocity, by means of a stream of water; and thus having rounded the stones, project them out of different holes for which their size may adapt them. Thus manufactured they are sent to America and other countries. There are as you know, inferior kinds of marbles, which are of home manufacture, and consist of baked clay, or vitrified earth. The marbles made of pink marble, with dark red veins, 'blood allies,' are preferred to all others.
One of the most common games at marbles is that of knock-out. Two or more may play at this game. He who begins, throws a marble gently against a wall, so that it rebounds to a distance not exceeding a yard; a second player throws another marble against the wall, endeavoring to make it rebound, so as to strike or come within a span of the first; if he can do neither, the first player takes up his own marble, and, in turn, strives to snop or span that of the second. The marble that is thus snopped or spanned, is won, and the winner begins again. Where only two play, it is best to knock out two or three marbles each, alternately, before they begin to use those on the ground. In this case, a player may win his own marbles, as they are common stock when down, and take up which he pleases, to play with. Sometimes instead of throwing the marbles against a wall, the players shoot them along the ground. The winner is he who shoots his marble within a span of the other's. This game is called ' spans and snops.'
The game of ring-taw used to be a very popular sport some years ago. It is played in the following manner. A circle is drawn, on which each player puts as many marbles as may be agreed on. A line, called the offing, is then drawn at some distance, from which each in turn shoots at the ring. Shooting a marble out of the ring, entitles the shooter to go on again, and thus the ring may be sometimes cleared by a good player, before his companion or companions have a chance. After the first fire, the players return no more to the offing, but shoot, when their turn comes, from the place where their marbles rested on the last occasion. Every marble struck out of the ring, is won by the striking party; but if the taw, or marble, at any time remain in the ring, the player is out.
In the game of arch-board or nine-holes, the marbles are bowled at a board set upright, resembling a bridge, with nine small arches, all of them numbered; if the marble strike against the sides of the arches, it becomes the property of the boy to whom the board belongs; but, if it go through any one of them, the bowler claims a number equal to the number upon the arch it passed through.
Sometimes holes are dug in the ground, into which the players try to drive their marbles. Sometimes a little pyramid of marbles is erected within a small circle, and the boy who shoots at it, has as many as he can drive out of the circle. One marble is given, for each time of shooting, to the owner of the pyramid. Those games at marbles which depend entirely upon chance, I hope are beneath your notice.