Friday, January 29, 2016

1899 Japanese Ashore in San Diego, CA

Here's an interesting tidbit from the 19th Century. This was reported in Harper's Weekly July 1899.


THE Japanese gunboat Heiyi carries sailors and marines who are well up to the mark in point of discipline, and
who can row cleverly. Proof of these facts was offered at San Diego, California, towards the end of June, when the United States government showed its friendship for Japan by making an exception to the rule that no foreign power may place armed forces on American soil. The illustrations above show the men who were landed at San Diego for the purpose of drill. Evidence of the careful attention paid to shore drill by the Japanese navy was afforded to Americans on the Atlantic coast on the occasion of the launching of the Japanese cruiser Kasagi. While the Heiyi was at San Diego its boat crew won a very exciting six-oar barge-race from a crew representing our Naval Reserves.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tools for Killing Weeds

Don't have much luck with growing plants however that was a serious problem if you lived in the 19th Century and grew up on a farm. Below are a couple of tidbits regarding killing weeds.

Weeds are easily killed when they are first seen, and more easily still, before they are seen at all. A heavy rake is better than a hoe for this work, and will do more in ten minutes, than can be done with a hoe in an hour. An implement made as in will do this work of
weeding in an excellent manner. This is made of a heavy rake head, with a handle attached as Siiowd, and furnished with a number of teeth placed about an inch apart. The teeth may be made of forty-penny nails, or one-quarter inch round iron, the weight of which will bury them in the soil without any effort. It is much more easy to work with this implement, than with a lighter rake. The beds may be cleaned close to the plants, and it should be used as soon as the weeds begin to appear.
For killing perennial weeds, a spud is a convenient implement with which to cut off the roots below the surface.

A good spud may be made from a carpenter's chisel of large size. This should be attached to a handle sufficiently long to allow it to be used without stooping. By thrusting this diagonally against the root, that may be cut off as far below the surface as desired. Some weeds, however, such as dandelion, plantain, etc., are not killed by merely cutting them, but need the application of some destructive liquid to make complete work. In England, oil of vitroil (sulphuric acid) is used for this purpose, but that is dangerous to handle, and must be kept in glass. Strong brine or coal-oil is sometimes applied to the roots to destroy them. We give an illustration of a vessel for the application of liquids, which is attached to the spud, and allows the cutting and killing to be done at one operation. Figure 205 shows the spud, a, with its attachment, a tin vessel with a tapering nozzle and holding about a quart, at b. At c, is a valve, which covers a small air-hole, against which it is pressed by a spring, and which may be raised by the cord, e. After cutting the root, a pull of the cord will raise the valve, allow air to enter the vessel, and a small quantity of the liquid will pass out and come in contact with the root.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

1880 Fashions

House Dress

Visiting Dress
Visiting Dress with Cape

Walking Dress


Children & Necktie


Tuesday, January 26, 2016


I've used parsnips in stews but not for much else. However, my characters might just find them useful. This information comes from "Science in the Kitchen." ©1893

Description. — The common garden parsnip is derived by cultivation from the wild parsnip, indigenous to many parts of Europe and the north of Asia, and cultivated since Roman times. It is not only used for culinary purposes, but a wine is made from it. In the north of Ireland a table beer is brewed from its fermented product and hops.
The percentage of nutritive elements contained in the parsnip is very small; so small, indeed, that one pound of parsnips affords hardly one fifth of an ounce of nitrogenous or muscleforming material. The time required for its digestion, varies from two and one half to three and one half hours.
Preparation and Cooking. — Wash and trim off any rough portions: scrape well with a knife to remove the skins, and drop at once into cold water to prevent discoloration. If the parsnips are smooth-skinned, fresh, and too small to need dividing, they need only be washed thoroughly before cooking, as the skins can be easily removed by rubbing with a clean towel. Reject those that are wilted, pithy, coarse, or stringy. Large parsnips should be divided, for if cooked whole, the outside is likely to become soft before the center is tender. They may be either split lengthwise or sliced. Parsnips may be boiled, baked, or steamed; but like all other vegetables containing a large percentage of water, are preferable steamed or baked.
The time required for cooking young parsnips, is about forty-five minutes; when old, they require from one to two hours.
Baked Parsnips.—Wash thoroughly, but do not scrape the roots; bake the same as potatoes. When tender, remove the skins, slice, and serve with cream or an egg sauce prepared as directed for Parsnips with Egg Sauce. They are also very nice mashed and seasoned with cream. Baked and steamed parsnips are far sweeter than boiled ones.
Baked Parsnips No. 2. — Wash, scrape, and divide; drop into boiling water, a little more than sufficient to cook them, and boil gently till thoroughly tender. There should remain about one half pint of the liquor when the parsnips are done. Arrange on an earthen plate or shallow pudding dish, not more than one layer deep; cover with the juice, and bake, basting frequently until the juice is all absorbed, and the parsnips delicately browned. Serve at once.
Boiled Parsnips. — Clean, scrape, drop into a small quantity of boiling water, and cook until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly, cut the parsnips in slices, and mash or serve with a white sauce, to which a little lemon juice may be added if desired.
Browned Parsnips. — Slice cold parsnips into rather thick pieces, and brown as directed for browned potatoes.
Creamed Parsnips.— Bake or steam the parsnips until tender; slice, add salt if desired, and a cup of thin sweet cream. Let them stew slowly until nearly dry, or if preferred, just boil up once and serve.
Mashed Parsnips. —- Wash and scrape, dropping at once into cold water to prevent discoloration. Slice thinly and steam, or bake whole until perfectly tender. When done, mash until free from lumps, removing all hard or stringy portions; add salt to taste and a few spoonfuls of thick sweet cream, and serve.
Parsnips with Cream Sauce. — Bake as previously directed. When tender, slice, cut into cubes, and pour over them a cream sauce prepared as for Turnips with Cream Sauce. Boil up together once, and serve.
Parsnips with Egg- Sauce. — Scrape, wash, and slice thinly, enough parsnips to make three pints; steam, bake, or boil them until very tender. If boiled, turn into a colander and drain well. Have ready an egg sauce, for preparing which heat a pint of rich milk or very thin cream to boiling, stir into it a level tablespoonful of flour rubbed smooth with a little milk. Let this boil a few minutes, stirring constantly until the flour is well cooked and the sauce thickened; then add slowly the well-beaten yolk of one egg, stirring rapidly so that it shall be well mingled with the whole; add salt to taste; let it boil up once, pour over the parsnips, and serve. The sauce should be of the consistency of thick cream.
Parsnips with Potatoes.—Wash, scrape, and slice enough parsnips to make two and a half quarts. Pare and slice enough potatoes to make one pint. Cook together in a small quantity of water. When tender, mash smoothly, add salt, the yolks of two eggs well beaten, and a cup of rich milk. Beat well together, put into an earthen or china dish, and brown lightly in the oven.
Stewed Parsnips. — Prepare and boil for a half hour; drain, cover with rich milk, add salt if desired, and stew gently till tender.
Stewed Parsnips with Celery. — Prepare and steam or boil some nice ones until about half done. If boiled, drain thoroughly; add salt if desired, and a tablespoonful of minced celery. Turn rich boiling milk over them, cover, and stew fifteen or twenty minutes, or till perfectly tender.

Monday, January 25, 2016

1881 Brass work designs for Furniture

These are fancy English Brass work Designs for Cabinets.

One cannot but be struck with the manner in which ornamental metal-work was displayed in old German and Flemish coffers, &c, and in contrasting them with similar articles of modern date, one naturally realises that we are decidedly far behind those good old craftsmen. In this old work of theirs, if we meet with a hinge there is no attempt at concealment, but the opportunity is at once availed of for a display of the maker's art. A lock-plate, or even a nail, seems to have been regarded as affording the artist a cban'e of showing his skill and ingenuity. It would be well if our cabinet-makers were to follow
in the footsteps of these handicraftsmen, and bear in mind that it is not necessary for a lock to be hidden, but that there is every reason why it should display charms of its own. The sketches shown on one of our Separate Vlates have been designed with this object in view, and we would advise manu facturers to give up the use of plain, polished surface brasswork, replacing it by hammered, ribbed, or punched articles. The substitution of the latter for the former would add greatly to the charm of many an article of furniture. The ten designs for drawerhandles, scutcheons, &c, referred to are from the pencil of Mr. R. A. Boyd, of 5, Poplargrove, West Kensington-park.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Proper care of farmlands in the event of black rot on Cabbages

These are some interesting tidbits that could cause your characters a bit of frustration and hardship should their cabbage develop this black rot.

The field observations described above, taken in connection with the characters of the disease as previously worked out, lead the writer to believe that this trouble may be successfully combated by means of what he has frequently designated as field hygiene. If he were asked to give in concise terms a few rules for avoiding this disease they would be about as follows:
1. Plant the cabbage seed on land where this disease has never appeared. When the plants are ready to set out inspect the seed bed very carefully, and if any cases of the disease are found reject all the plants and set from some other bed. One can not afford to run any risk of infecting his land by the use of seedlings from suspicious beds. It would be better to plant some other crop than to take this risk. A good practice is to strew the land to be used for seed bed with straw or dry brush and burn it over before plowing. The seed bed should be made in a different place each year.
2. Set the plants on land which has not been in cabbages or other cruciferous plants for some time. If it is impossible to avoid following cabbages by cabbages, at least take the precaution to plant only on land which has never suffered from this disease. To follow any other course is simply to invite the trouble. The practice of planting cabbages after cabbages for a long series of years also invites other parasites, and must as a rule be considered very bad economy.
3. As a matter of precaution avoid the use of stable manures, since these may possibly serve as a means of carrying the disease into uninfected fields, that is, through cabbage refuse fed to animals or thrown into the barnyard or onto manure piles. As far as possible make use of commercial fertilizers in place of barnyard manures, both in the seed bed and in the field, at least until it shall have been shown conclusively that there is no danger in the manure pile. Too much stress can not be laid on the necessity of keeping the germs out of the soil, and consequently on the avoidance of practices which, if not absolutely proved to be dangerous, are at least questionable.
4. Do not turn animals into diseased fields and then allow them to wander over other parts of the farm. Cattle or other stock should not be allowed to roam in cabbage fields where this disease prevails.
5. All farm tools used on infected land should be scoured bright before using on uninfected land. The transfer of soil from infected to healthy fields ought in all cases to be reduced to a minimum.
6. Keep up a constant warfare against insect enemies, especially the cabbage butterfly and the harlequin bug.
7. As a palliative remove badly affected plants from the field as fast as they appear. In early stages of the disease—i. e., while it is still confined to the margins of the leaves and has not yet entered the head or stump—go over the fields systematically about once every ten days and break off and remove all the affected leaves. Do not throw this refuse into cultivated fields, or into ditches from which it can be washed to other fields, or on roadways to be tracked about. It should be burned or put into a deep pit in some fence corner or other out-of-theway place.
8. Weeds which harbor the disease, especially the wild mustards, must be destroyed systematically.
9. Store cabbages from diseased fields only when it is impossible to sell them in the fall, and in such cases take particular care to reject all heads showing any trace of black in the stump and to keep all parts of the houses below 40° F. If any affected heads are stored tliey should be put by themselves in the lowest, coolest part of the house.
Source: The Black Rot of Cabbage ©1898

Thursday, January 21, 2016

1888 Political Cartoons

Below are half a dozen political cartoons taken from an 1888 publication called "The Public." Politics were talked about during the 19th Century as often as they are today.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

1879 Fashions

Garden Party Dress

Seaside Dress & Bonnet

Morning Dinner Dresses


Carriage & Walking Dresses



Tuesday, January 19, 2016


I know a lot of folks aren't all that excited by this vegetable however they were a good and hearty vegetable that preserved well through the winter months. The information that follows comes from "Science in the Kitchen." ©1893

Description. — The beet is a native of the coasts of the Mediterranean, and is said to owe its botanical name, beta, to a fancied resemblance to the Greek letter B. Two varieties are in common use as food, the white and the red beet; while a sub-variety, the sugar beet, is largely cultivated in France, in connection with the beet-sugar industry in that country. The same industry has recently been introduced into this country. It is grown extensively in Germany and Russia, for the same pose, and is also used there in the manufacture of alcohol.
The beet root is characterized by its unusual amount of sugar. It is considered more nutritive than any other esculent tuber except the potato, but the time required for its digestion exceeds that of most vegetables, being three and three fourths hours.
Preparation and Cooking. — Beets, like other tubers, should be fresh, unshriveled, and healthy. Wash carefully, scrubbing with a soft brush to remove all particles of dirt; but avoid scraping, cutting, or breaking, lest the sweet juices escape. In handling for storage, be careful not to bruise or break the skins; and in purchasing from the market, select only such as are perfect.
Beets may be boiled, baked, or steamed. In boiling, if the skin is cut or broken, the juice will escape in the water, and the flavor will be injured; for this reason, beets should not be punctured with a fork to find if done. When tender, the thickest part will yield readily to pressure of the fingers. Beets should be boiled in just as little water as possible, and they will be much better if it has all evaporated by the time they are cooked.
Young beets will boil in one hour, while old beets require from three to five hours; if tough, wilted, and stringy, they cannot be boiled tender. Baked beets require from three to six hours.
Baked Beets. — Beets are far better baked than boiled, though it takes a longer time to cook properly. French cooks bake them slowly six hours in a covered dish, the bottom of which is lined with well-moistened rye straw; however, they may be baked on the oven grate, like potatoes. Wipe dry after washing, and bake slowly. They are very nice served with a sauce made with equal quantities of lemon juice and whipped cream, with a little salt.
Baked Beets No. 2.— Wash young and tender beets, and place in an earthen baking dish with a very little water; as it evaporates, add more, which must be of boiling temperature. Set into a moderate oven, and according to size of the beets, bake slowly from two to three hours. When tender, remove the skins and dress with lemon juice or cream sauce.
Beets and Potatoes. — Boil newly matured potatoes and young beets separately till tender; then peel and slice. Put them in alternate layers in a vegetable dish, with salt to taste, and enough sweet cream nearly to cover. Brown in the oven, and serve at once.
Beet Hash.—Chop quite finely an equal quantity of cold boiled or baked beets and boiled or baked potatoes. Put into a shallow saucepan, add salt and sufficient hot cream to moisten. Toss frequently, and cook until well heated throughout. Serve hot.
Beet Greens.— Take young, tender beets, clean thoroughly without separating the tops and roots. Examine the leaves carefully, and pick off inferior ones. Put into boiling water, and cook for nearly an hour. Drain, press out all water, and chop quite fine. Serve with a dressing of lemon juice or cream, as preferred.
Beet Salad, or Chopped Beets. — Cold boiled or baked beets, chopped quite fine, but not minced, make a nice salad when served with a dressing of lemon juice and whipped cream in the proportion of three tablespoonfuls of lemon juice to one half cup of whipped cream, and salt if desired.
Beet Salad No. 2. — Chop equal parts of boiled beets and fresh young cabbage. Mix thoroughly, add salt to taste, a few tablespoonfuls of sugar, and cover with diluted lemon juice. Equal quantities of cold boiled beets and cold boiled potatoes, chopped fine, thoroughly mixed, and served with a dressing of lemon juice and whipped cream, make a palatable salad. Care should be taken in the preparation of these and the preceding salad, not to chop the vegetables so fine as to admit of their being eaten without mastication.
Boiled Beets. — Wash carefully, drop into boiling water, and cook until tender. When done, drop into cold water for a minute, when the skins can be easily rubbed off with the hand. Slice, and serve hot with lemon juice or-with a cream sauce.
Stewed Beets. — Bake beets according to recipe No. 2. Peel, cut in slices, turn into a saucepan, nearly cover with thin cream, simmer for ten or fifteen minutes, add salt if desired, and thicken the gravy with a little corn starch or flour.

Monday, January 18, 2016

1881 Wardrobe & Cabinet

The illustrations below are English design and if your characters were to purchase them more than likely they wouldn't have been able to in 1881. However, if your character is living in America and stumbles upon this magazine "The Furniture Gazette" it could inspire him or her to build one like it. Just a couple random ideas you could make use of these tidbits with.

The Wardrobe that forms the subject-matter of one of our sheets of illustrations belongs to the Bedroom Suite shown in our last issue. In style, it partakes somewhat of the Chippendale character. It is made both in walnut and in pitch pine, with bevelled plate-glass in the centre. The wardrobe, as well as the above cabinet, have been manufactured by Messrs. Bamett Moss & Co., of Great Eastern-street, Old-street.

An Ebonised Early English Cabinet is illustrated on our third Plate. It is of solid construction, without being massive in appearance. Cupboard, drawer, and shelf room have been provided in such a manner that almost every nook of the Cabinet has been turned to good advantage.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Wax Dolls

When I stumbled on the term of a wax doll I just had to look it up and find more information on them. Enjoy!

To make a real wax doll or one of papier-mache is quite a long process. First of all the limbs have to be made. The legs, either of pot or cotton, have to be filled out with moss and sawdust, and the same process is gone through with the body and arms, the task being entrusted to a number of young women. The head is more diflicult to make. First comes the moulding, from a kind of whity-brown paste, which when hard is almost indestructible. The head is moulded in two halves, the back and the front, and then the two parts are joined together with the same sort of paste. The heads are made by the thousand, of all shapes and sizes, and left for the moment unpolished and sickly looking. Then these frame pasteboard heads are carried to the wax room, where they are passed through some severe ordeals. The papier-mache model heads are dipped in boiling wax, and thus have the appearance of wax dolls. But the genuine article, the real dolls of wax, are made thus:—The boiling wax is poured into a plaster mould; it adheres to the sides as it becomes cold, and when the mould is taken apart there is the beautiful wax head, but simply a shell, and of course very weak. The head is cast complete, and only a small opening is left in the crown of the head. Then a workman takes the wax shell and very carefully lines it throughout with a kind of soft paste about the thickness of cardboard, which soon hardens and gives the head its strength and durability. After this process the head is placed over a hot furnace, the wax is permitted to melt to a very slight degree, whereupon it is dusted with powder made of potato meal and alabaster, to give it a delicate flesh tint. In another room the head is provided with a pair of eyes, and it is no easy thing for the workman to select two exactly alike.

Sometimes, as the children know, dolls squint, and this proves that the workman who put them in was not very careful in his work. Another very skillful workman then receives the head, and finishes off the front appearance of the eyes, scooping off all the wax and aflixing the lids in a charming manner. Then eyelashes have to be aflixed, and then the little lady has to be provided with teeth, which are put in by a skillful workman one by one. A still more interesting study is in the hair dressing room of a doll manufactory. All the dolls that come into this room are complete as far as their heads. The hair for these heads is first worked on to a mesh, which fits the dolls heads so nicely that one cannot tell but that it is a natural growth. Then the rough head of hair, with the doll, is sent to the female hair dressers, who are armed with combs and brushes and hot curling tongs, have no small amount of good taste, and would make excellent ladies’ maids. The hair is made up in the most beautiful manner, in imitation of the very newest fashions; and then when the doll is thus combed and curled, it is provided with a delicate little chemisette, and placed, with a hundred or more little companions, in a huge basket, and transported either to the great store—rooms or to the doll milliner who provides it with clothing and costumes fitting it to appear in the great world. This will only give a faint idea of how wax dolls are made. There are other interesting parts of the process such as how the baby dolls are made to open and shut their eyes and to cry 'papa' and 'mamma' but nearly all children at one time or another looked into these mysteries of doll life, and a description would be superfluous. NY Tribune.
Source: The People's Condensed Library ©1877

Wax dolls have undoubtedly become the favourites of our little English maidens. They have the disadvantage of being perishable, but that is a mere detail in these days of cheap toys. No doll made of other material can be given such a natural expression or such a rich peach-like complexion as the wax doll which is made by the hundred and thousand in German factories. For, alas! although 125 years ago this business was in the hands of Englishmen, it has long since passed over to foreigners. Our photographs of doll-making were taken in one of the half-dozen surviving manufactories in London, and the various operations portrayed will be manifest to the reader. The most tedious work in the perfecting of a wax doll is the insertion of the eyelashes and eyebrows, and consequently these details are omitted in all but the most expensive varieties. There is a wonderful similarity in the features of wax dolls of one make, which is accounted for by the fact that their faces are cast in a uniform mould. When, however, a doll is to be made for Royalty, a far more elaborate task falls to the duty of the workman. As a rule, Royal dolls' faces have to be made according to certain photographs sent with the orders. This year it is said that most of the dolls made for the use of our little Princes and Princesses bear a wonderful resemblance to Queen Wilhelmina, although whether her youthful Majesty feels flattered by the multiplicity of her effigies is a question open to doubt.
Source: The Royal Magazine ©1899

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Budget

While working on gathering some interesting tidbits for this blog I was searching for some basic household budget ideas. What I didn't expect to find was that the more common use of the word budget wasn't related to money matters but rather: "archaic a quantity of material, typically that which is written or printed." (From Google search)

This led me to discover collections or rather budgets of various stories compiled together in books.

So, here again we find a word that wasn't used the way we use it today. Would you share with us some of the words you've stumbled upon and what their meanings are? I look forward to reading and sharing your comments.

Please note: I approve all comments that come to this blog because there are so many sales comments that aren't really comments at all.

Check out Google Books and use the search tools selecting 19th Century and see all the ways "Budget" was used then.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

1882 Fashions

These Historic Fashions from 1882 come from 1882 publications.

House Dress

House Dress & Hat

House Dress Parasol

Walking Dress

Bonnet & Mantle

Bathing Bag


Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Rhubarb is a vegetable that is sour to the taste but with a bit of sugar becomes a great treat. Below are some recipes and some tidbits about canning rhubarb. One of my husband's favorite pies is Strawberry Rhubarb. You don't find it in warmer states like Florida. It prefers climates that don't go over 75 in summer or above 40 in winter.

To one quart of stewed Rhubarb add three-fourth pounds of granulated sugar, five eggs, five ounces of pulverized crackers, after the Rhubarb is stewed put through a seive. The other ingredients should be mixed well. Use only a bottom crust and bake three-quarters of an hour.

Peel and stew Rhubarb. Add juice of half a lemon, well beaten yokes of two eggs, and sweeten with a half cup full of granulated sugar. Line pie tins with a good crust, and fill the tins with Rhubarb; bake until the crust is a light brown, beat the whites of the eggs to a froth adding three tablespoonsful of powdered sugar. Flavor with nutmeg or vanilla and spread over the top of the pies, place in the oven and leave till a delicious brown.

Wash and peel. Place in a chopping bowl and chop up fine, turn off the juice. Line your tins with pie crust, fill up the pan with chopped plant, and one tea cup full of sugar, three tablespoonsful of cream cr a piece of butter size of a hickory nut, cut in small pieces and place around on the plate, cover with pie crust and bake in hot oven.

Wash Rhubarb. Cut in small pieces stew to a soft pulp, squeeze out the juice. To a pound of juice add a pound of granulated sugar, place again on the stove and stew until thick enough for jelly, put in tumblers, cover top of jelly with a round piece of tissue paper saturated with whisky or white of an egg, cover top of tumblers with paper tying tightly.

Wash the stalks and let them dry, do not pare them. Cut the stalks up in pieces of one or one-half inches long. Place them in a porcelain lined kettle. To every eight pounds of Rhubarb add one and onehalf pints of water. Boil until the small pieces are soft. Place in a jelly bag, do not squeeze the juice out, but place over something and let it drip. Add to every pint of this juice three-quarter pound of sugar, boil and fix same as other jelly.

A palatable sauce may be made by cutting up the the stalks into inch pieces, put in a porcelain lined kettle. To a quart of the plant add one tea cup full of sugar, stew slowly and stir at intervals to keep from burning; stew to a soft pulp and let cool.

Always wash the stalks, do not pare them, cut into pieces an inch or so long. Weigh the Rhubarb. To every pound of Rhubarb, add one pound of granulated sugar; place in a porcelain lined kettle; let it come slowly to a boil, then stir continually for half an hour; place in jars or cans and seal tight.

And here are a couple tidbits about canning the vegetable for winter use.

Wash Rhubarb. Cut in small pieces. To every pound of Rhubarb add one-half pound of granulated sugar, bring slowly to a boil, stir at intervals to keep from burning. When thoroughly cooked through pour in cans hot and seal tightly.

To put up Rhubarb for winter use wash the stalks, cut in small pieces, peel, and place in cold water in jars and seal tightly.

Source: Rhubarb Or Pie Plant Culture ©1894

Monday, January 11, 2016

1881 Furniture Chair Back Designs

Below are 12 illustrations of various chair back designs from 1881, as included is the brief description from the original source.

IT has been well observed that a slavish imitation of antique styles, probably unsuited in some of their solid qualities to the lighter and more variable tone of modern society, is not desirable. This remark applies with special force to chairs, for, without being disposed to dispute the merits of many a fine old specimen that has been handed down to us from the days of Chippendale and Sheraton, there can be no doubt that in m.iny particulars such seats are not suited to exact reproduction in the nineteenth century. That novel ideas may, however, be evolved from the old JBateriftl is forcibly illustrated by the dozen Chair-backs delineated on one of our Separate Hates. They are not by any means all of an equal degree of merit, and yet there is, perhaps, not one of them but may be turned to useful account by the cabinet-maker of our own day. There is, indeed, ample room for improvement in this particular direction, for too much of a family likeness is apparent in many modern chairs. The designs in question are from the pencil of Mr. A. Weatberstone.

Friday, January 8, 2016

1882 Straw Cradle aka baby carrier

Below is some information on a wicker cradle what we would call a baby carrier today. There are two illustrations, the wicker alone and the covered carrier.

A great advantage in this wicker cot is that is so light to carry, that its transportation from one room to another is an easy matter. The cradle is given trimmed and untrimmed. In the untrimmed model, the head lining only is given, which is of white glazed chintz; but silk can be used, if preferred. The outside is covered with chintz, having a white ground, with a tiny pattern of rosebuds. The ruche around the head and foot is of the same material, and the handles are worked over with wools to match the colors in the chintz. Some cover these cradles with colored silesia, and over that dotted white moulin, and frills of lace, and bows of ribbon.

Any basket-maker can make the foundation, from this model, by giving the proper size required.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Self Rocking Bassinette

Here's a simple tidbit but something you might find handy for your stories. The illustration below is a self rocking bassinette (which today we spell it as bassinet). This comes from an 1881 publication.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

1881 Ladies Fashions

Traveling & Walking Dress

House & Evening Dress

Seaside Costume

Walking Dresses


Garden Party

Visiting Dress Back & Front