Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Tidbits about the Walnut, scroll down to the bottom for an interesting recipe. Can you say ketcup?

The walnut-tree is a native of the Himalaya, Persia, and the southern provinces of the Caucasus. It was introduced into Greece and Italy some centuries before the Christian era. The walnut is now grown throughout temperate Europe.
Unripe walnut fruits, when the shell is still soft, make an excellent pickle; a delicate sweetmeat is prepared by boilingv them in sirup.
Walnuts contain a sweet oil much used in Southern Europe for food, and, under the name of nut-oi], for painting. The mate of walnut-kernels, or walnut-cake, is a good cattle food.
Walnuts in the shell yield one-third their weight (about 36 percent.) of peeled kernels, which are the crumpled cotyledons, or seed-leaves.

Storing Walnuts
During the summer shelled walnuts are kept in cold storage, but not ordinarily in large quantity. The in-shell stock seems to keep well enough in ordinary storage, particularly if fumigated occasionally against insects. Moreover, English buyers taking shelled walnuts from carryover stocks in September-October want the kernels to be freshly shelled just before shipment.
A product strange to Americans, but which accounts for sizable French tonnages, is the in-shell walnut in its fresh or green state. The crop is knocked off the trees as soon as the green hulls can be removed, and is rushed to market while the kernels are still moist and pliable. Western Europeans, particularly the English, relish these walnuts as a delicacy to be served with or in lieu of fruit at the end of a meal. They are cracked at the table and the moist pellicle, rather bitter at this stage, is peeled off before the pearlywhite and delicately flavored kernel is eaten.
The fresh walnut is a more important trade item in the Grenoble area than elsewhere, and large quantities, as much as 20 to 25 percent of the area's in-shell sales, are shipped to England, Belgium and the Netherlands, and Germany. The walnuts are bleached with sulfur, washed in a light chlorine solution (largely to check mold), size-graded, and packed in attractive 6-kilo burlap and 10-kilo mesh bags. They are then rushed to market through the fresh fruit and vegetable trade--entirely different channels from those through which dried walnuts are handled. Early in October 1955, wellgraded and packed fresh walnuts were quoted at 125 francs per kilo (about 16 cents per pound) f. o.b. packing plant, while dried walnuts of the same type were quoted at 190 francs (nearly 25 cents per pound).
Source: Filbert Bulletins ©1898

Harvesting the walnut is very simple, as most of the nuts do not have to be picked, for they, of their own accord, drop to the ground at maturity; yet considerable attention must be paid to the gathering of the crops so as to have clean, bright nuts that may command a high price and ready sale. The walnut harvest begins in September and ends in November. In some sections the crop comes in quite early and is gathered in September, overlapping into October; in others, the crop is not harvested so early; but October is the principal month, sometimes overlapping into November.
Some of the growers collect the nuts from the ground as they fall every day, others collect them every other day, and some every third day, until most of the crop has fallen of its own accord, and those remaining on the trees are knocked down by means of a pole. Boys and men are also employed to climb the trees and shake the nuts down; others agitate the limbs with a long pole having a hook at the end. The nuts that are ready to drop come down easily, and are picked up and dried on trays in the sun. It generally takes from three to four pickings to gather all the nuts from a tree. When the husk inclosing the nut shows no signs of cracking it is an indication that the nut is yet unripe, and when knocked down the kernels of many of these generally dry away and do not fill well. Then, again, if the nuts are allowed to hang on the trees or remain on the ground too long after falling, they absorb moisture and rapidly deteriorate in flavor, color, and keeping qualities. In the walnut sections along the coast damp fogs and dew prevail during the harvest time, rendering the husks quite moist, and the nuts contained inside become stained by the acid juice of the husks, which, if not removed, renders the nuts quite black, and lessens their market value. This acid is very strong and adhesive, and to remove it the nuts have to be washed and afterward dried. Hon. Ellwood Cooper, of Santa Barbara, has a most perfect apparatus for washing and drying the walnut, which is an invention of his own. It consists of an iron cylinder with a long opening on the top side, where the nuts are put in. When the nuts are washed the cylinder will turn with the opening down, thus letting the walnuts and water out. As with all other apparatus of this kind, it has to be seen to be appreciated. They are made by the Fulton Iron Works, of San Francisco, and cost from $125 to $140.
* "The 'hard' shells should and the 'soft' and 'paper' shells must be gathered as soon as possible after dropping from the trees, as it injures the quality and appearance of the nuts to remain long on the ground. They are usually dried on trays about 3 feet wide by 6 feet long, holding about one hundred pounds each. 'Soft' and 'paper' shells should be dried in the shade, and many of the growers have buildings for that purpose. After they are thoroughly dried they are bleached and then run over a screen with a one-inch mesh, into strong sacks of uniform size, each sack bearing the registered trademark of the 'Los Nietos and Eanchito Walnut Growers' Association,' and also the name of the individual grower, thereby settling the question of responsibility in case the nuts are not up to the required standard."
t "There are different modes of gathering: some clean the trees at once, and others go over them several times. I pick what has fallen without knocking. I then tap those limbs lightly on which the nuts are ripest, and the third time over I aim to clean the trees. The walnuts are picked up and put in sacks and barrels, so as to be easily
* A. Downer, of Rivera.
t Joseph Sexton, essay before Ninth State Fruit-Growers' Convention, 1888. handled, and hauled to a sunny place to dry, and should he placed on elevated platforms made of narrow boards, with spaces of one fourth of an inch between each board. The platform should be about 8 feet wide and 40 feet long, or as long as two men can handle a canvas to cover the beds, which should be done every night the dew falls. The nuts should be stirred in these beds once or twice each day, and with favorable weather they will dry sufficiently in three days, and are ready for market. I have always dried my walnuts by the sun and they have given good satisfaction, and for small orchards I think it is the cheapest and best way. Some dry by evaporation and claim it is preferable to the sun; that it sets the oil quickly and prevents the nut from becoming rancid. Others claim that it makes them so ; but be this as it may, those having large orchards cannot depend on drying all by natural heat, and the drier will have to be used, even if it is not so good for the nut."
*" In handling the nuts, I cure in dry-houses by artificial heat, heating sufficient to evaporate the water and set the oil of the nut. When this is done the nuts will keep sweet for an indefinite time. I have kept them as an experiment, in my store-house, which is of concrete, for five years, and at the end of that time they were as sweet as when first cured. With my facilities, I cure them in eight hours. In preparing them for market, I have a washing apparatus—invented by Mr. Cooper—which I use if the nuts are discolored, as they often are by coming in contact with leaves or shucks when there is dew or rain. Directly after washing they are thoroughly dried and cured in the dry-house."
t " In gathering soft-shells, the nuts should not be left long on the ground, as the sun and fog will cause the shell to crack and the nut to become ruined. They should not be left long in the gathering-sacks, as they will then sweat and turn black. If the nuts are to be washed it should be done as soon as emptied from the picking-sacks, as they will then clean much easier. After this, spread in trays for drying, if to be bleached they should be thoroughly dry before. We use trays 3 by 6 feet, with sides 4 or 6 inches high, and a slat bottom with J^-inch space between slats. For the past few years all walnuts grown in Rivera have been scoured by placing them in a wire cylinder, washing them and revolving it for five or ten minutes, or longer if necessary to make them clean, then throw on water enough to wash clean before taking out of washer. This greatly improves their appearance, removing all fiber and pieces of hull that might be sticking to them. It also gives them a much smoother appearance. Now place them in trays, and dry."
Source: California Walnut Industry ©1896

WALNUTS. Make a brine of salt and water, in the proportion of a quarter of a pound of salt to a quart of water; put the walnuts into this to soak for a week; or if you wish to soften them so that they may be soon ready for eating, run a larding pin through them in half a dozen places— this will allow the pickle to penetrate, and they will be much softer, and of better flavor, and ready much sooner than if not perforated: put them into a stewpan with such brine, and give them a gentle simmer; put them on a sieve to drain; then lay them on a fish plate, and let them stand in the air till they turn black—this may take a couple of days; put them into glass, or unglazed stone jars; fill these about three parts with the walnuts, and fill them up with the following pickle.
To each quart of the strongest vinegar put two ounces of black pepper, one of ginger, same of eschalots, same of salt, half an ounce of allspice, and half a drachm of cayenue. Put these into a stone jar; cover it with a bladder, wetted with pickle, tie over that some leather, and set the jar on a trivet by the side of the fire for three days, shaking it up three times a day, and then pour it while hot to the walnuts, and cover them down with bladder wetted with the pickle, leather, &c.
WALNUTS AND BUTTERNUTS. Gather them for pickling when the head of a pin will pierce them easily; run a large needle through them here and there, or score them on one side with a knife; lay them into a brine of salt-and-water for twelve days, changing the brine twice in that time; strain, and put them into a jar, and sprinkle a little salt over them. Boil four quarts of
vinegar for a hundred walnuts, allowing to each quart one ounce of whole pepper, and one of ginger, half an ounce each of sliced nutmeg and whole allspice, a table-spoonful of mustard seed, and one of scraped horseradish, one head of garlic, or a small onion; pour it boiling hot over the nuts, and put a plate on the jar; when cold, tie it closely down. Alter the nuts are used, the liquor may be boiled, strained, and bottled, to use as a pickle.
WALNUT KETCHUP. (1) Thoroughly well bruise one hundred and twenty young walnuts; put to them three quarters of a pound of salt, and a quart of good wine vinegar; stir them every day for a fortnight; then stram aitd squeeze the liquor from them through a cloth, and set it aside; put to the husks half a pint of vinegar, and let it stand all night; then strain and squeeze them as before, adding the liquor which is obtained from them to what was put aside the preceding day, and add to it one ounce and & quarter of whole black pepper, forty cloves, half an ounce of nutmegs bruised, or sliced, half an ounce of ginger, and five drachms of mace, and boil it lor half an hour; then strain it off-from the spices, and bottle it for use.
WALNUT KETCHUP. (2) Take six half-sieves of green walnut-shells, put them into a tub, mix them up well with common salt, (from two to three pounds,) let them stand fur six days, frequently heating and mashing them; by this time the shells become soft and pulpy; then by banking it up on one side of the tub, and at the same time by raising the tub on that side, the liquor will drain clear off to the other; then take that liquor out: the mashing and bankineup may be repeated as often as liquor ts found. The quantity will be about six quarts. When done, let it be simmered in an iron boiler as long as any scum arises; then bruise a quarter of a pound of ginger, a quarter of a pound of allspice, two ounces of long pepper, two ounces of cloves, with the above ingredients; let it slowly boil for half an hour; when bottled, let an equal quantity of the spice go into each bottle; when corked, let the bottles be filled quite up: cork them tight, seal them over, and put them into a cool and dry place for one year before they are used.
WALNUT KETCHUP, FOR FISH SAUCE. Take a quart of walnut pickle, add to it a quarter of a pound of anchovies and three-quarters of a pmt of red Port, and let it boil till reduced to one-third; then strain it, and when cold, put it into small bottles, and keep them closely corked.
WALNUT PICKLE. Put any quantity of the outside shells or green rinds of rtpe walnuts into a tub in which there is a tap-hole; sprinkle them with water, raise the tub on one side, that it may stand in a sloping direction, place another vessel under it to receive the juice as it drops from the tap-hole; this it will soon begin to do; and, when a sufficient quantity has been obtained, to one gallon of this black liquor add two large table-spoonfuls of salt, one large onion, a stick of horseradish, a bunch of sweet herbs, two bay leaves, a quarter of an ounce of black pepper, the same of allspice and of bruised ginger. Boil it slowly for twenty minutes; strain it, and, when cold, stir tt and bottle it for use, putting the spice info the bottles.
WALNUTS, TO PICKLE. Gather the nuts before the inside shell is hard, which may be known by trying them with a pin; lay them into salt and water nine days, changing the liquor every three days; then take them out, and dry them in the air on a sieve or mat; they should not touch each other, and they should be turned, that every side may become black alike; then put them into a jar. When half the nuts are in, put in an onion, with about thirty cloves stuck into it. and add the rest of the nuts. To one hundred walnuts allow half a pint of mustard seed, a quarter of an ounce of mace, half an ounce of peppercorns, and sixty bay leaves; boil all the spice in some good common vinegar, and pour it boiling upon the nuts, observing that they are entirely covered; stop the mouth of the jar with a cloth, and when cold, cover it with bladder or leather. In about six weeks they will be fit for use, when they should be examined, and if they have absorbed the vinegar so much as to leave any of the nuts dry, more should be added, but it need not be boiled.
Source: The Cook's Own Book ©1832

Monday, March 30, 2015

When to Plant?

March 21st was the first day of Spring this year. I was up north and it snowed. However, down in Florida it hit the low 80's so planting is dependent on the area your story is set. Below you'll find a couple excerpts about when to plant. Most planting is done in the spring but it is amazing how many items were planted in the fall.

3655. The seasons for planting are autumn and spring; the former when the soil and situation are moderately good, and the plants large; and the latter, for bleak situations. Necessity, however, is more frequently the guide here than choice, and in extensive designs, the operation is generally performed in all moderately dry open weather from October to April inclusive. "In an extensive plantation," Sang observes, " it will hardly happen but there will be variety of soil, some parts moist and heavy, and others dry and light. The lighest parts may be planted in December or January; and the more moist, or damp parts, in February or March. It must be observed, however, that if the ground be not in a proper case for planting, the operation had better be delayed. The plants will be injured, either by being committed to the ground when it is in a sour and wet, or in a dry parched state. At a time when the soil is neither wet nor dry, the operation of planting is most successfully performed. The mould does not then adhere to the spade, nor does It run in; it divides well, and is made to intermingle with the fibres of the plants with little trouble; and in treading and setting the plant upright, the soil is not worked into mortar, which it necessarily must be, if in a wet state, evidently to the great detriment of the plants. It is therefore improper to plant on a retentive soil in the time of rain, or even perhaps for some days afterwards, or after a fall of snow, until it has for some days disappeared. Whereas, on a dry absorbent soil, it may be proper to plant in the time of gentle showers, immediately after heavy rains, or as soon as the snow is dissolved." (Plant. Kai. 157.)
3656. Pontey is a decided advocate for autumn preparation of the soil, and spring planting. "Autumn planting," he says, " is advisable only in few cases, while spring planting may properly apply to all."
3657. According to Sang, the proper time for planting the pine and fir tribes, and all evergreens, is April, or even the first fortnight in May. "Attention should be paid, that no greater number of plants be lifted from the nursury than can be conveniently planted on the same day. Damp weather is the best. When very dry, and the plants rise destitute of earth at their roots, their roots should be dipped in mud (puddle) so as to be coated over by it. In all cases, care should be taken not to shake off any adhering earth from plants at the time of planting." (Plant. KaL 341.)
Source: An Encyclopedia of Agriculture ©1825

When to plant—There is much difference of opinion as to the relative merits of fall and spring planting1 My own opinion is that fall planting is generally preferable to spring planting upon thoroughly drained soils, particularly for the hardy tree fruits, like apples, pears and plums ; and if the ground is in good condition and the stock well matured, peaches can sometimes be set in October with success1 The advantages of fall planting are several1 The trees become established during the open weather of fall and they usually make a start in spring before the ground is hard enough to allow of spring planting1 This early start not only means a better growth the first season, but,'what is more important, trees which get a very early hold upon the soil endure the drouths of midsummer much better than trees planted in spring1 Planting is nearly always better done in the settled weather and workable soil of fall than in the capricious days and in the hurry of springtime ; and the orchardist is free to begin cultivation at a time when he would otherwise be planting his trees1 Again, it is generally better to buy trees in the fall, when the stock of varieties is full and when the best trees are yet unsold : these trees must be kept until planting time, and it is about as cheap and fully as safe to plant them directly as to heel them in until spring.
Source: Hints on the planting of Orchards ©1894

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Woman's Column from The Railroad Trainman 1890

Below is a copy of the "Women's Department" in an 1890 Railroad Trainman journal. Please note this was a two column article, which will make sense of the order and wording of some of the text below.

In the recent election of School Board in Boston, over six thousand ladies cast ballots.
The veil is said to have originated with the Hebrews, and was made of silk instead of lace.
The color of the Eiffel tower will have its influence in the world of fashion. Its brownish red will be conspicuous in French novelties this season.'

Mes. Ellen M. Giffoed, of New Haven, has given over 1116,000 to institutions and societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals. $30,000 of it was donated to a home for suffering animals in Boston.
We desire to again call attention to the necessity of sending all contributions for the Woman's Department directly to this office. They must reach Galesburg early in the month to appear in the following issue.

Conteirutions of several pages must possess unusual merit to be accepted. Observe that no long articles now appear in the Journal. We prefer those which make less than a page in print, and which never exceed two pages.

The Trainmen's Journal has undertaken to present each month the portrait of a remarkable woman. It is not possible, of course, to always give our readers the likeness and sketch of a woman conspicuous in labor circles. Such an undertaking would not only be impossible, but would confine us to a circle too limited to be thoroughly interesting. The intention is to have the range of subjects such as will give the life and variety that is pleasing.

Advice For American Women.
"I say to American girls who want to marry English dukes and marquises, earls and barons, lords and honorables and sirs, preserve your beauty; wear your veils and broad brimmed hats; keep out of the sun and wind: dread tan and freckles as you would the bite of a rattlesnake; retain your peach-like skins and your fragile figures. English dukes and marquises, earls and barons, lords, and honorables, and sirs, have enough bronze, leather-faced young women to choose from in Engiand without wanting any more from America. Give up tennis, unless beneath a wideawake, and even then just think of your poor hands! A backhander, which skims the net may cause you a thrill of delight, but it adds to the circumference of your wrist every time.
"It is my belief that in their endeavor to be rough and mannish, brawny and brown-skinned, the American girls are overdoing it. It is a fad that will soon fade. It is too hot to last. There is really no stay in it. Unaccustomed to exercise, as exercise and for exercise's sake, these American girls will presently tire of their muscle and brown skins. Muscle and brown skins will then cease to be the fashion, and the pale faces and pink-and-white complexions will 'come in' again. In England, however,there will be no change."—[A London Press Correspondent.

It is fortunate for American women that the writer of the above advice lived to get across the Atlantic. Had anything prevented him studying the tastes of English noblemen American girls might have gone on indefinitely taking a little exercise, venturing out into the open air,and occasionally allowing a stray sunbeam to peep into their windows. It is quite unfortnnate this information didn't come months ago. The young women have been encouraged to ride and row and tramp through the woods, and even to play tennis, never dreaming, poor things, that it is dreadfully coarse and vulgar to increase the strength and circumference of their white wrists. They have even ventured to become florists and cultivate roses in the greenhouse without suspecting that it was foolish to bring the roses of health to their cheeks. And more; they have even dared to be gardeners and actually take right hold of a common hoe and massacre the -weeds in an onion bed. Ugh! The horrid creatures! And all this time they were unconscious of the fact that this was all wrong—that it is not what English nobility wants them to do, at all. This is a truly dreadful state of affairs and must be stopped instanter. The Journal hastens to assure tha London correspondent that the advice is fully appreciated on this side of the pond, and that it will leave nothing undone to hasten the "pink-and-white" millennium. And venturing to speak for the ladies, we further assure him that their only desire is to please Englishmen, and that the ambition of their lives is to lessen the frowns of English disapproval. In fact they don't give any other excuse for being in existence at all.

The correspondent may rest assured that all these awful practices will be promptly stopped. He did the proper thing by springing right into the gap. These relics of barbarism must be stamped out. Tennis must be tabooed. The sidesaddle must go. The hoe must be everlastingly banished. It may be a little unpleasant for the girls to stay out of the open air all the time, but they will have it to do. It may seriously injure their health, but that is a small matter if they can win an English smile. It may kill half of them off. What of it? The survivors will be sure of "pale faces and pink-and-white complexions," and it shall be done. Just let the nobility have a little patience and feminine barbarism over here will get a black eye.

A Woman with a record is Mrs. Emma Bull, of Maple, Maine, now ninety years old. She was one of the first settlers on the Aroostook river, and during the first three months did not see even an Indian woman.

On the opposite page we present the portrait (recently published by Leslies') of a young woman who has performed a remarkable feat. Without employing any unusual mode of conveyance—without chartering any fast special trains or using any other than the ordinary mode of transportation at the command of every traveler, and being subjected to the same delays as the regular tourist, she circumnavigated the globe in seventy-five days — the best record ever made without employing special facilities. In this remarkable trip the courageous young woman traveled entirely alone, and whiled away her time by preparing a description of what she saw and learned, for publication in the Cosmopolitan upon her return.
Miss Bisland is a native of the South, and made her first appearance as a writer by occasional sketches in the New Orleans newspapers. After attracting some attention by literary ability she went to New York city about three years ago and became a contributor to a number of excellent publications. About three months ago the Cosmopolitan made an arrangement whereby her entire time is to be devoted to that rising star in the literary firmament, and her first work written while circumnavigating the globe, will be eagerly awaited by everybody who longs to see the strange sights of foreign countries as pictured by her pen.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

1872 Fashions

Below are links to previously posted fashions from 1872 with a few other images tossed in since most of the previous links were male fashions.

1872 Men's Fashions

1872 Fashions

1872 Fashions

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Death in the Family

Hi all,
There will be no posts for the next ten days, apart from two that are already scheduled for tomorrow and Friday this week. My husband's sister past away and we're traveling to New England for the service. Posts should resume around the 30th of March.
In His grip,

Monday, March 16, 2015

1897 Border Designs

Continuing with design elements from last week's wallpapers I have some selections of various borders. Some are paper and some are stencils.

Some Additional Designs

Earlier today I posted the borders to go with last week's wallpapers. This afternoon I thought I'd add some detail designs that are stencils for decorative purposes from 1897 as well.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Railroad Correspondence from Workers

Below are several letters to the editor, you might call them. But in reality they are a bit different that what we see today when writing to the editor of a magazine. I trust you'll enjoy these tidbits and might help your creativity. I tried to correct all the 'b's and 1 to 'I's but I may have missed a few. Enjoy!

It has been more than a year since I have seen anything in the Journal from No. 8. So l will take the pleasure of writing a few lines in behalf of No. S and No. 170.
Several of the brothers have left here trying to better themselves, and we wish them all success in their new place of duty.
Brother Riggs is working out of Dodge City, Kansas; and Brother Thomas is working at St. Louis. Sister Riggs has gone to her hushand to see that he is taken care of and that his lunch hasket is well tilled with good things to eat. I think the railroad boys are the ones who need lots of good things to eat, for they work hard enough to get them. We miss Sister Riggs, for she has heen a faithful memher of our lodge. Sister Fifer has also left us; and we expect to see Sister Thomas leave here, to go to her hushand at St. Louis.
We had three applications to work on at our last meeting, and have the promise of several more.
No. 170 is getting new memhers right along, and that gives us a chance to get more memhers for our lodge.
Several of the boys have been on the sick list, but are daily reporting for work.
The brothers have rented another hall. I think it is as nice a hall as any of the B. R. T. hoys have. I hope that the hrothers will attend meetings more regularly than they have, for they cannot find a hetter place to go to spend Sunday afternoons. I like to see my hushand go to lodge. I also wish to say that all visiting brothers and sisters are welcome here, for one will not find a better set of members to entertain people than those of No. 8 and No. 170.
May the guiding angel watch over us all.
I remain yours in sisterly love,
Fireside Companion.

Mccook, Neb.
It is with pleasure I take this opportunity of writing to the Journal. I have been waiting for some time to see if some one would write a few lines in behalf of C. W. Bronson Lodge, No. 487, and as I have a few spare moments while waiting for the return of my hushand from his run, I will, for the first time, try and let its readers know that No. 487 is progressing nicely, they are taking in new memhers at nearly every meeting; and we have as fine a set of B. of R. T. hoys here as you will find am where, and I am proud to say that my hushand is one of the Order, and I think all trainmen ought to belong.
No. 487 gave its third annual ball New Year's eve., and it was a grand success both socially and financially.
There is no Auxiliary here, but I hope there will he soon. There has heen some talk ahout it, and if they should organize, I shall be a memher.
I will close, wishing the B. of R. T. boys a happy and prosperous New Year, and may God bless all the railroad boys, is my prayer.
A Trainman's Wife.

I have been a reader of the Journal for a long time, but have not seen anything from No. 456, of which my hushand is a memher, so l felt it my duty to write a few lines. I enjoy reading the Journal, and am always anxious for the first of the month to come, so I can get it.
My hushand is a switchman and works very hard, like all the rest of the railroad men.
Bidding you all good-bye until some future date, I remain an interested reader of the Journal.
A Switchman's Wife.

To the boys of Monett Lodge No. 513:—It is with much pleasure l take the opportunity of writing to the Journal, as I feel interested in the hoys and the grand Order to which they belong. Organization tends to hind the memhers together as one, and makes their interests identical.
Now, dear boys, you are exposed to danger every day; he watchful and prayerful and kind to one another. Be always on your guard and put your trust in Him, who doeth all things well.
Wishing you all prosperity, I am,
A Brakeman's Mother.

l have watched the pages of the Journal, hoping to find something interesting from the hoys of No. 436, hut find no one speaking its praise. l would like to say a few words in regard to the hoys. My hushand is a memher of this lodge, and he says they are getting along splendidly and have u good set of hoys. He don't get to attend lodge meeting very often, hut 1 hope things will he arranged soon, so he can attend regularly.
May God protect the railroad hoys, and may they learn to know it is His watchful care that guides them safelv home to their loved ones, who watch and wait their return, is the prayer of, MRs. E. B. D.

Having a few spare moments I will pleasantly employ them by writing to the Journal. I am a memher of the Auxiliary, and finding many letters from No. 4, I at last began to think it was my turn to let our sisters and the Brotherhood know that we are alive and doing nicely. We should write often and thus encourage others to do so.
We have twenty-nine members, all of them interested and working hard to increase the membership. We have not as many members as we ought to have, considering the numher of Brotherhood men in this vicinity. We shall have to throw out our net and see if we cannot make No. 4 the largest in the Auxiliary.
Wishing all the lodges a prosperous New Year, I remain, in S. L., - A Member.

I will devote a few minutes to writing to the Journal, in behalf of the hoys of Lodge No. 411. This lodge has not heen organized more than two months, but it has a splendid start.
It is a new year, and let's welcome it with a cheerful heart.
I hope the boys will take an interest in their lodge and attend as often as possihle.
I hope those who have not joined will do so at their first opportunity. Only a short time ago l heard a man say he had never seen on any road, a set of men to surpass our hoys on the M. & C, for generosity; and, indeed, everything which goes toward making them a true set of God's noblemen.
With hest wishes and a happy New Year, I remain, your true friend, M. B. S.

FOR NO. 540.
My hushand is a memher of this lodge, and I thought it very proper to say a word or two in reference to the good work the lodge has heen doing. Everything appears to be going on very nicely with the memhers, and the lodge is in a very prosperous condition. I have read the Journal for the past four years, and am very much interested in it.
Hoping that the members of No. 540 will stand by their organization, and with best wishes to them, I am, A Brakeman's Wife.
Source: The Railroad Trainman

Thursday, March 12, 2015

On Women's Rights

Women's Rights came into the forefront during the later part of the 19th Century. Below is an article in response to another article that the writer totally disagreed with. Personally, I agree with the writer of this article but that's my own personal opinions and those of a 21st Century woman. However, it is always good to hear from those who were living at the time their opinions on Women's Rights. Enjoy!

The Husband Question.
[Written for the Journal.] Not long since, my eye fell upon an article in the Ladies' Home Journal, which struck my bump of combativeness, and aroused me to pass all former bounds and express myself on paper. The article mentioned was in answer to the question, "How shall I keep my husband at home?" and the answer in substance was that a woman should give her husband to understand that she knows nothing—therefore nothing must be expected of her; then he will be surprised and pleased should she give any evidence of possessing a little intellect and finally, if well entertained with all the neighborhood gossip and well fed, he will find his home attractive.
Now, I consider such an article [as that as just so much of a hinderance to the progression of woman. Through all the centuries since Adam and Eve, woman has been gradually lifting herself up to the plane upon which she will be recognized as the equal and natural companion of man, and every word which advises a woman to accept a position less than this has, in a measure, a tendency backward toward barbarism.
In this stage of civilization, and more especially in our own land of freedom, where young men and women mingle in society without the restraint of a chaperone and where marriages are founded on mutual attraction and without the services of a "go-between," it is reasonable to suppose that, as a rule, a man chooses one whom he regards as his equal to be his companion through life. Hence I say, the inequalities of married life are not intellectual inequalities, but differences arising from uncontrolled tempers and appetites, or from diversities of tastes.
If this be true, no amount of humbling one's self before one's husband is going to restore the lost congeniality. The man of the nineteenth century is prone to accept his wife's own estimate of herself, and if we give our husbands to understand that we are know-nothings, who can blame them if they treat us as such? If we entertain our husbands with neighborhood gossip and society scandal, can we blame them if they think us capable of nothing higher or better?
Since the beginning of civilization, homes have been held as sacred places. If a man be but one degree above a savage he expects the home influence to be elevating. If he be disappointed in this—if he feels that the sanctuary is desecrated, can he be blamed if he turn from it? Though he may go where a worse influence prevails, it will be where nothing better is expected; where he will not feel that there is a perversion of that which should be holy. Sister Lit.
Source: The Railroad Trainman ©1890

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

1871 Fashions

Below are a series of links to earlier post regarding 1871 Fashions. My St. Augustine Historical Series was set during that time period so I have quite a few links and info to share. Please note when writing in the couple years following you're more likely to see these fashions on your characters because, well let's face it, it took a while to come across the pond and then travel from the East to West.

1871 Fashions

1871 Fashions Part 1

1871 Fashions Part 2

1871 Women's Fashions

1871 Men's Fashions

1871 Fashion Accessories

1871 Fashion Accessories

Etiquette in Dress Fashion

1871 Fashion An Article.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

1890 Birdie's Diary Excerpts

Historical Fiction Writers all love it when we find diaries written during the time period we're working on. I stumbled on these excerpts in The Railroad Trainman 1890 from a young wife named Birdie. Some of the comments are wonderful. I think I would have liked to have met Birdie. I believe she has a great sense of humor. Enjoy!

Extracts from Birdie's Diary.
Some Valuable Hints on Housekeeping.
She was the sweetest little girl in the whole city and when she and George were married, the wedding was one of the most brilliant social successes of the season. After they had settled down to housekeeping in an elegant new house. Birdie concluded to keep a diary, and happening to peep inside of it one day we copied the following quaint and curious extracts:
May 10.—George said last week that we must economize, for trade seemed to be paralyzed. It is funny that trade should have waited till we got married and then get paralyzed. But we must do all we can, George says, to save our money; I am trying every way to save what he makes.
May 13.— For three days I have been making my husband a pair of the cutest night-shirts that anybody ever saw. They are long and graceful and trimmed with pink embroidery. George put one of them on last night and we had our first harsh word.
George said that anyone with brains enough to soil a silk handkerchief ought to know that the buttons should be on the right side.
I also made a mistake in putting in the sleeves, so that they pointed back into the dim past. George said he felt all the time as if he had been turned around in a cyclone, and that while struggling to peer into the future his arms were striving to lay hold on the dear, dead past. He can be quite eloquent when he feels like it, and he writes just too lovely for anything for the papers, and those who have read his pieces say he is bound to be one of the most brilliant amateur writers some day. I think nobody can equal him now.
May 15.—I can see now that if I had put in more time at home in
learning to sew and cook, and less time thumping a piano and studying elocution it would have been better for Georte. Poor, dear George, I believe I love him more and more every day and I am going to commence learning everything right away for his sake.
May 17.—Yesterday I bought a little red receipt book of a pleasing young man who called at the door. The book is a very useful one and is bound in the same color of my new dress. It tells how to make custards, blanc manges and floating island. It also tells you in the back part how to cure heaves, glanders and botts. I can hardly wait till George gets the botts so that I can bring out my little red volume and win him back to life and joy again. It also gives away other information. Any one with this book in the house can go to work and take a person right through a long siege of croup or yellow fever without a doctor, and there is a whole lot of law in it so that George can use it in his business and we won't ever have to have a doctor either. Why will people fritter away their money on doctors, when they can get one of these books so cheap?
May 20.—George promised me last night that I could have a new dress. I know what kind I will have. It will be of white flannel, trimmed with wide bands of white satin, and white hat to match, I know that will look lovely. He is is a dear.
I bought some rhubarb at the drug store this morning and to-morrow I will make a couple of pies. George is passionately fond of rhubarb pies. There would be far less connubial unhappiness if wives would study their husbands' wants and supply them, I think.—Frog.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Design Details of 1897 Wallpaper & Stencil

Below are some images from 1897 trade magazine of various wallpaper designs. Next week I'll highlight some border designs.

Wall Stencil

Friday, March 6, 2015

Interior of Gentlemen's Railroad Car, Ladies' Parlor Car & Dining Car

Once in a while I come upon an illustration and description that I find would be helpful for period information. Today's tidbit is just that. A description of a couple of cars along with an illustration of the Gentlemen's Car, Enjoy!

A model of railroad excellence is the Chicago & Alton's Sunset Limited, which runs hetween Chicago, lllinois, and San Francisco, California. The route is through the most heautiful part of the country into nature's own perfumed California. The train, interior views of which are given, is one of the finest in the world and is the finest train hetween Chicago and the Coast. The cars are of the highest type of the car huilder's art and demonstrate the excellence of the modern railroad system.

Following the locomotive the first car is appropriately called "composite," a small compartment in the forward end heing set apart for the storage of haggage, the center heing fitted with harher shop, hath rooms, toilet apartments and huffett, while the rear contains an ample apartment given up to men as a smoking, reading and writing room. Wide plate-glass windows light this particularly comfortahle apartment, which, with its sofas, hig easy chairs, etc., closely resemhles the lounging room of a metropolitan club. The finish of the composite car is in polished oak; the upholstering, fawn colored plush.

This, the second car in the train, is an innovation, heing the first time in the history of travel that a parlor, lihrary and reading room has heen especially provided for ladies. Here is given the same opportunity for restful existence which gentlemen enjoy in their smoking and lounging apartment. The lihrary is well selected, the dally papers, magazines and weekly periodicals are gratuitously furnished, and writing tahles with special stationery are installed. The apartment is really an expansive ladies' parlor and ohservation room, for the chairs, lounges, etc., are luxuriously comfortahle, and long plate-glass windows occupy most of the walls. An unohstructed view of the scenery on either side can he had. ln addition to the parlor there are seven private compartments, arranged to he occupied singly or en suite. Entrance is from an outside aisle, securing strict privacy, and each of the compartments has its own lavatory and toilet appurtenances. The ladies' parlor is finished in vermilion wood with slate-green plush upholstering, while the seven compartments are finished in woods of different colors — red and white mahogany, vermilion and walnut, with harmonizing tints of hlue and maroon plush, upholstering to match.

Two douhle drawing-room ten-section sleeping cars come next. The drawing rooms are finished in white mahogany, with red plush upholstery. Each has toilet room and lavatory. The hody of the cars, containing the standard sleeping car sections, is finished in vermilion wood, the upholstery heing fawn-colored plush.

Completes the train. lts woodwork is in quartered oak, stained to a fine color. ln alcoves along the sides are potted plants and ferns. lndividual chairs are at the mahogany tahles, and the sparkle of cut glass, the glitter of silver, and the sheen of snowy linen add charm to a perfect meal perfectly served.
Source: The Railroad Trainman ©1898

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Shepherd's Betrothal

This week my latest novel "The Shepherd's Betrothal was released. Below is a copy of the Book Cover and the back cover copy.
In this arranged marriage story I wanted to do something a bit different and I hope I've achieved it. If you're looking for a fun read, take a moment and check it out, or better yet, purchase a copy. ;-)

by Lynn A. Coleman
ISBN: 978-0373487714
Not an arranged marriage to a man she's never met. Hope scorns such old-fashioned ideas, until she meets the man she once refused as her groom. Soon she's falling for the rugged yet caring Irishman.

Ian McGrae's determined to make a success of his new Florida homestead—not grapple with the woman who rejected him. But when the ownership of his land is disputed, Hope works by his side to uncover the threat. As Ian gets to know Hope, he finds she's his perfect match. And if they can forgive and forget the past, they just might have a future together.

The Shepherd's Betrothal is a Historical Romance set in St. Augustine, FL.

Paper Back at Amazon
Kindle Version

Barnes & Noble and Nook Version is on the same page.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

1880 Ladies Fashions

1880 Fashions
Visiting Dress & Traveling Dress
Walking Dresses
Walking & House Dress
Walking & House Dress
Walking Dress
Walking Dress
Summer Dresses
Bathing Dress
Bathing Dresses

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Jelly Making and Recipe Posts

Below are links to previously posted tidbits on Jelly making and recipes. As I was putting this list together I noticed I didn't have the common grape jelly so below you'll find a few additional recipes for grape jelly. Enjoy!

Jelly Making 1837 Part 1

Jelly Making 1837 Part 2

Different Preserves


Preserving Cherries

Fig Recipes

Take grapes before they are fully ripe and boil them gently with a very little water; then strain and proceed as with currant jelly. Wild grapes will not make as firm a jelly as cultivated ones.
Source: Dr. Clark's Recipe Book ©1895

Grapes half-ripe are nicer for jelly than when fully ripe. Stem them; put them over the fire with a very little water, Ripe Grapa. JELLY. Peach.
just enough to keep them from burning. Let cook, and mash with a silver spoon until the juice is pretty well extracted. Then strain, and to every pint allow about | pound sugar. Boil 20 minutes. In the meantime have the sugar heating. Then pour over the hot sugar. Stir well, and fill your glasses.
Mrs. H. M. Ball, Normal, 111.
Pick the grapes from the stems; wash; to 2 quarts grapes add about £ cup water. Cover closely in a preserving-kettle, and boil for 5 minutes; then pour into a jelly-bag, and squeeze out the juice. To each pint of juice add 1 pound crushed or granulated sugar. Boil 15 minutes. Skim well. Fill your glasses while the jelly is hot, and tie them over with paper which should be previously saturated with unbeaten white of egg.
Ripe Grape Jelly.
Mrs. E. K. Owens, Minerva, Ky.
Take grapes fully ripe. Remove the skins first. Then heat till scalding hot. Then strain, and to 2 measures of juice put 3 of sugar. Boil, and it will jelly in about 5 minutes. Let stand in glasses 3 days before tying up.
Source: Mrs. Owens Cook Book ©1884

Monday, March 2, 2015


Signs, signs, everywhere are signs...and so the song goes. The truth is that signage is not something new to our time, or the time period with which the song was written. In fact, there are some historical signs and signage that can bring big bucks for collectors today. However, as a historical tidbit, I'd like to post ten signs from the late 19th century. These come from a journal for painters and decorates from the 19th century. In the weeks to come I'll be posting some other details from this same source.

Several of these signs were made for the sides of wagons. Today we find them on buses or in subways. A fun one for me to stumble on was Poland Water.