Monday, October 31, 2016


Whaling was a huge industry in the 19th century. There are many products that came from the whales today we don't need whale products because we can artificially manufacture many of the items.

Here's a list of some of the products gathered from the whaling industry:
From the blubber (fatty part of the whale) the seamen would boil it down and fill barrels of oil on board the ship. This oil was used for:
From the sperm whale a pricey oil was obtain called Spermaceti. It was a highly prized oil, it was waxy and could be used to make candles. These candles burned with a very clear flame. It was also used in lamps. The Spermaceti oil was also refined for lubrication of precision machinery. And last but not least many perfumes were produced with some of this highly prized oil.

Whale bone also produced several products:
Scrimshaw is probably the best known. Jewelry, Sculptures, etc.
Corsets (the ribs of the corset) also collars this particular whale bone was called baleen and is what the whale uses to strain it's food out of the sea water. Other products from baleen were umbrella ribs, riding crops, buggy whips and hat brims.
Ivory for piano keys
Chess pieces
Walking sticks
inlays in furniture
Practical kitchen tools it has been said that the whale bone was the plastics of the household in the 19th century.

If you want to find more information on the Whaling industry you can go to New Bedford, Mass. and visit the Whaling Museum there.

Turnpike Travel

First I'd like to give a definition of what a Turnpike is: Taken from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: turn·pike
Pronunciation: \ˈtərn-ˌpīk\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English turnepike revolving frame bearing spikes and serving as a barrier, from turnen to turn + pike
Date: 1678
1 : tollgate
2 a (1) : a road (as an expressway) for the use of which tolls are collected (2) : a road formerly maintained as a turnpike b : a main road; especially : a paved highway with a rounded surface

During the 19th century you can find the development of many turnpikes. Here's an excerpt from a History of Western Massachusetts © 1855 that will give you an idea of how so many turnpikes came into being and the moods of the people in the 19th century regarding these turnpikes.

Turnpikes were largely multiplied after the close of the Revolutionary War and the Shays Rebellion, to meet the exigencies of increasing business and population, and the general poverty of the towns and counties. On the 8th of March, 1797, Asaph White, Jesse King and their associates were incorporated as " The Second Massachusetts Turnpike Corporation," for the purpose of laying out and making a turnpike road from the west line of Charlemont, to the west foot of Hoosac Mountain in Adams, with the privilege of collecting tolls of passengers. On the 19th of June, 1801, Ezra Marvin, Elihu Stow and a hundred others, more or less, were incorporated as " The Eleventh Massachusetts Turnpike Corporation," for the purpose of building a road, " to begin at the south line of Massachusetts, at or near the ending of the turnpike road lately established by the Legislature of the State of Connecticut; thence into and through the East parish of Granville to Blandford meeting house, and from thence through the town street in Blandford, by the usual Pittsfield road, so called, and into the town of Becket by the same road, until it connects with the road of the Eighth Turnpike Corporation." This latter corporation was established on the 24th of February, 1800, Joseph Stebbins, James S. Dwight, and George Bliss, being the leading names in the act. The road began at the line between Westfield and Russell, near Westfield River, running near the river through parts of the towns of Russell and Blandford, to a point then known as Falley's store; thence by the West Branch of the river through parts of Blandford and Chester, until it reached what was known as the Government road, by which it ran to Becket, connecting with the road from Blandford to Pittsfield; thence by the usual road from Becket meeting house to Pittsfield line. The Third Massachusetts Turnpike Corporation was established March 9th, 1797. The leading names in the act of incorporation were Jonah Brewster, Elisha Brewster, Jonathan Brewster, Samuel Buffington and Tristram Browning, and their road commenced on the East side of Roberts' Hill in Northampton, and ran to the Eastern line of Pittsfield, passing through Westhampton, Chesterfield, Worthington, Pern (then Partridgefield) and Dalton.

There never was a Fourth Massachusetts Turnpike Corporation, but the Williamstown Turnpike Corporation legitimately comes in its place. This was established on the 1st of March, 1799, for the purpose of building and keeping in repair a road from the West side of Hoosac mountain, commencing at the termination of the road of the 2d Corporation, (from Charlemont over the mountain) and running thence through Adams and Williamstown to the line of Petersburg, Rensselaer County, N. Y. The Fifth Corporation was established on the 1st of March, 1799. This was for the building of a road from Northfield, through Warwick and Orange to Athol, and also from Greenfield through Montague and unimproved lands to Athol, where the roads were to join, and proceed through Tcmpleton, Gardner, Westminster and Fitchburg, to Leominster. The Sixth Massachusetts Turnpike Corporation was established on the 22d of June, 1799, their road commencing on the East line of Amherst, and passing through Pelham, Greenwich, Hardwick, New Braintree, Oakham, Rutland, Holden and Worcester, "to the great road in Shrewsbury, leading from New York to Boston." The road was ordered to be not less than four rods wide, and the traveled path not less than eighteen feet wide, in any place. The Tenth Turnpike Corporation was established on the 16th of June, 1800, for the_ purpose of laying out, making and keeping in repair a road from the point where the Farmington river crosses the line between Massachusetts and Connecticut, by the side of the river through Sandisfield, Bethlehem, (now a part of Otis) Becket and Lee, to Lenox Court House; thence over the mountain, through Richmond and Hancock, to the New York State line. The Twelfth Turnpike Corporation received its charter on the 19th of June, 1801. Its road commenced on the Connecticut line, in Sheffield, at the termination of a turnpike leading to Hartford, and ran Northwesterly to meet the Hudson River Turnpike, at the line of New York. The Thirteenth Corporation, established June 19th, 1801, built a road from the Connecticut line through Granville, to the Northwestern part of Loudon, now a portion cf the town of Otis. The Fourteenth Corporation was chartered on the 11th of March, 1802, to build a road from the West end of the Fifth Turnpike in Greenfield, through that town, Shelburne, Buckland and Charlemont, to the Eastern terminus of the Second Turnpike, leading over Hoosac Mountain. The Fifteenth Turnpike Corporation was established on the 12th of February, 1803, for the purpose of building a road from the Connecticut line in Southfield (now a part of Sandisfield) to connect with a turnpike from New Haven; thence through Sandisfield, New Marlboro and Great Barrington, to the Southern line of Stockbridge. The Sixteenth Corporation was chartered on the 14th of February, 1803, to build a road from the West line of West Springfield, through Southwick, Granville, Tolland and Sandisfield, to the turnpike route passing through Sheffield, from Hartford, Ct., to Hudson, N. T.

The Petersham and Monson Corporation was established February 29th, 1804, its road leading from the Fifth Turnpike in Athol, through the towns of Athol, Petersham, Dana, Greenwich, Ware, Palmer and Monson, to connect with the turnpike leading to Stafford in Connecticut. The Becket Turnpike Corporation received its charter on the 22d of June, 1803, for building a road from Becket, connecting the turnpike from Hartford to Lenox with the turnpike leading from Pittsfield to Westfield. The Springfield and Longmeadow Corporation was established on the 7th of March, 1804, for the purpose of building a road from the Southern extremity of Main Street, by a direct route through Longmeadow to the Connecticut line. The Tyringbam and Lee Corporation, established on the 15th of March, 1805, built a road between specified points in those towns, and the Williamsburg and Windsor Corporation, established on the 16th of March, 1805, built a road through Williamsburg, Goshen, Cummington and Windsor to the East line of Cheshire. Besides these, there were the Belchertown and Greenwich, the Blandford and Russell, the Chester, and, perhaps, a few other minor turnpike corporations. In fact, nearly all the turnpikes established by the Legislature were located in the Western part of the State.

The tedious list of turnpike corporations which has been enumerated, the list of bridge corporations given, and the ■statements in connection -with the construction of the locks and canals for the purpose of rendering Connecticut River navigable, will show the nature of the enterprises that engaged the attention of the people in the years of peace, industry and enterprise that followed the Shays Rebellion. The turnpike fever was equal to the railroad fever of later times. Turnpikes were everywhere, and the taxation of transport was universal, but that taxation was not, for many years, felt to be a grievance. The turnpike roads greatly facilitated access to markets, and, in the same degTee, increased the value of real estate on every route through which they passed. It is, comparatively, but a few years since the towns, made competent and populous through their assistance, took the large majority of them from the hands of their proprietors, and assumed their support at the public charge. That they had a decided effect in the development of the resources, the healthy stimulation of the industry, and the establishment upon the soundest basis, of the prosperity of Western Massachusetts, is evident alike from their popularity as investments, the regions through which they passed, and the points of production and exchange which they connected.

The Tallest Man of Modern Era 1887

From Houghtaling's Handbook ©1887

There appeared at the London Pavillion in January, 1887, the tallest man whose height has been recorded in modern times.

The new giant is an Austrain named Winkelmeier, and his height is 8 feet 9 inches, which is over one foot more that of Chang, the Chinese giant. Winkelmeier was born at Freidburg, near Salsburg, upper Austria, in 1865, his parents being in a humble station in life. He is the youngest of a family of five children, none of whom are of abnormal stature, nor are his parents or grandparents unusually tall. His fingerss span two octaves on a piano, an the stretch of his arms are enormous.

He showed no development of this extra ordinary growth up to the age of fourteen, but since then he has been growing rapidly, and medical authorities in Berlin and Paris have expressed the opinion that he is likely to increase till he is twenty-five. The young man is healthy, strong and intelligent. Beyond doubt he is one of the greatest curiositites of the day.

End quote from Houghtalings.

And no this is not an April Fool's joke. Franz Winkelmeier was 27 when he died of TB. You can read more and see Franz's pictures at Franz Winkelmeyer - The tallest man

Fish Chowder

This recipe comes from The Appledore Cook Book ©1880 This is the second edition.


Take either a cod or haddock ; skin it, loosen the skin about the head, and draw it down towards the tail, when it will peel off easily. Then run your knife down the back close to the bone, which you take out. Cut your fish in small pieces, and wash in cold water. Put the head on to boil in about two quarts of water, and boil twenty minutes. For a fish weighing six pounds, pare and slice thin five good sized potatoes, and one onion. Place a layer of potatoes and onion in the pot, then a layer of fish, dredge in a little salt, pepper, and flour. Keep puting in alternate layers of potatoes and fish until all is used. Use about one tablespoonful of salt, one teaspoonful of pepper, one teacup of flour, in all.

Have ready half a pound of salt pork fried brown. Pour this over the mixture ; add about two quarts of cold water, then strain on the water in which the head h:^1 been boiled If this is not water enough to cover, add more cold. Cover tight, and boil gently thirty minutes. If not seasoned enough, add what you please. When it has boiled twenty minutes, put in six crackers which have been soaked three minutes in cold water. If you wish to add milk and butter, you can do Bo about five minutes before taking it up; but for my taste, it is much nicer and more natural without either.

Fish Chowder. Mrs. T. Leigliton.
Four pounds of fish, half cod and half haddock, if you can get the two kinds, two onions, six potatoes, eight white browns, one quarter of a pound of salt pork, salt, pepper. Prepare the chowder as directed in the preceding rule ; split the crackers and lay on the top, pour over the whole hot water enough to cover, and boil fifteen minutes ; then wet two tablespoonfuls of flour with one-third of a cup of cream. Stir this into the boiling chowder, let it boil up once, and serve. When you cannot get the white browns, pilot bread will answer. When a very strong flavor of onion is desired, use four onions.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Block Planes

Hi all,

My dad has an incredible antique tool collection. I was hoping to photograph these tools to show on my blog but that wasn't possible without taking apart his display. I managed to pick up a couple of his planes and was surprised to find the bottoms weren't all flat.

Okay, some of you probably knew this but I didn't. My dad went on to explain that the various designs in the planes were for different cuttings, in much the same way we use a router today. This made me think back on the numerous door casings I'd seen over the years in older and Victorian homes and gave me a greater appreciation for all the hard work that went into making them. Think of the crown molding, the chair rails, etc. All of those curves were done by hand.

There's an article in American Woodworker Jun 1999 about Hand-Planned Moldings if you'd like to read further. There are a couple of photographs in which you'll see Wooden Block Planes.

I hope to have some photographs in the future but that will be quite a few months away. In the meantime you can search for Wooden Block Planes and find some images. Few show the bottom of the plane, the actual working edge, but you'll get the idea. And the articles gives you a greater appreciation for how the intrigue molding was made.

Wooden Block Planes have been around for centuries, in 1860 a cast iron bodied planes were developed by Leonard Bailey who sold his patents to Stanley Rule & Level in 1869. This design is still produced today.

If you'd like more information about Block Planes there is a great book out there "The Handplane Book" by Garrett Hack, John S. Sheldon, several pages of which are available for preview at Google books.

Here are a couple of pages from the 1894-1985 Fall Montgomery Ward Catalogue in full scan so you can read the details.
Pages 1 & 2
Pages 3

Boots & Shoe Care

This post comes from A dictionary of Every-day wants ©1872

BOOTS AND SHOES, Care of—Boots and shoes, if taken care of properly, will last two or three times longer than they usually do, and, at the same time, fit the feet far more satisfactorily, and keep them dry and more comfortable in wet and cold weather. The upper leather should be kept soft and pliable, while the soles need to be hard, tough, and impervious to water.

The first thing to be done with any pair of new shoes, is to set each one on a platter or a dinner-plate, and pour on boiled linseed-oil sufficient to fill the vessel to the upper edge of the soles. Allow the leather to absorb as much oil as it will for eight hours. Linseed oil should not be applied to the upper leather, as it will soon become dry, rendering the leather hard and tough. But if the soles be saturated with this oil, it will exclude the dampness and enlarge the pegs, so that the soles will never get loose from the upper leather.

If the shoes be sewed, the linseed oil will preserve the thread from rotting. Now wet the upper leather thoroughly when the boots or the shoes are to be put on the feet, so that those parts which are tight may render a trifle, and thus adapt the form of the shoe to the foot far more satisfactorily than when the upper leather is not wet. Keep them on the foot until nearly dry. Then give the upper leather a thorough greasing with equal parts of lard and tallow, or tallow and neat's foot oil.

If shoes be treated in this manner, and a row of round-headed shoe nails be driven around the edge of the soles, they will wear like copper, and always set easy to the feet. Boots and shoes should be treated as suggested, and worn a little several months before they are put to daily service. They should be cleaned frequently, whether they are worn or not. and should never be put to stand in a damp place, nor be put too near the fire to dry. In cleaning, be careful to brush the dirt from the seams, and not to scrape in with a knife, or you will cut the stitches. Let the hard brush do its work thoroughly well, and the polish will be all the brighter. Do not put on too much blacking at a time, for if it dries before using the shining brush the leather will look brown instead of black.

BOOTS AND SHOES, India Rubber, Water Proof for.—Spermaceti, 4 parts; India rubber (small), I part. Melt with a gentle heat, then add tallow or lard, 10 parts; amber or copal varnish, $ parts. Well mix and apply the composition to the leather with a paint-brush. Cut the rubber into very small pieces, and let it take its time to dissolve, say four or five hours.

BOOTS (White Jean) To Clean.—-If you have not boottrees, stuff the boot as full as possible with common cotton wadding or old rags, to prevent any creases; then mix some pipeclay with water to rather a stiff paste, wash the jean boots with soap and water and a nail-brush, using as little water as possible to get the dirt off. When they look tolerably clean rub the pipeclay with a flannel well over them and hang them to dry. When dry beat out the superfluous clay with the hand and rub them till they look smooth. Flake white may also be used.

BOOTS, KID, To Clean.—-If the kid boots are not very soiled they may be cleaned in the following manner:—Put half an ounce of hartshorn into a saucer, dip a bit of clean flannel in it and rub it on a piece of white card soap ; rub the boots with this, and as each piece of flannel becomes soiled, take a fresh piece; the boots will look like new.

BOOTS, KID, To Restore color of.—Take a small quantity of good black ink, mix it with the white of an egg, and apply it to the boots with a soft sponge.

BOOTS, KID, To Soften.—Melt a quarter of a pound of tallow, then pour it into ajar, and add to it the same weight of olive oil, stir, and let it standstill; apply a small quantity occasionally with a piece of flannel. Should the boots be very dirty, cleanse with warm water. It will soften any leather.

BOOTS, PEGGED, To Prevent Ripping.— Pegged boots, it is stated, if occasionally dressed with petroleum between the soles and the upper leather, will not rip. If the soles of boots or shoes are dressed with petroleum they will resist wet and wear well. The pegs, it is said, are not affected by dryness after being well saturated with this liquid.

BOOTS, (PATENT LEATHER), Care of. —The old plan of washing them with milk is simply absurd—a waste of time. If they crack, brush a little blacking into the cracks, and then rub them over with French polish, or common furniture polish, using the finger to lay on the polish, and a soft dry rag to finish off with. In lieu of furniture polish, a mixture of sweet oil and turpentine will answer. This treatment will preserve their bright polish until they are utterly worn out.

BOOT LEATHER, Preservation

BOOTS AND SHOES(Summcr) ToPreserve though the Winter.—Wash the blacking off; let them dry; then oil them with castor or neatsfoot oil. When you wear them they will be soft and pliable, and will last longer if preserved in this way. After you have worn them a few days they are ready for blacking.

BOOTS AND SHOES, (RUBBER), To Mend.—I. Get apiece of pure rubber—an old shoe—vulcanized rubber will not do; cut it into small bits. Put it into a bottle, and cover to twice its depth with spirits of turpentine or refined coal tar naphtha—not petroleum naphtha. Stop the bottle and set one side, shaking it frequently. The rubber will soon dissolve. Then take the shoe and press the rip or cut close together, and put on tlie rubber solution with a camel's hair brush. Continue to apply so fast as it dries until a thorough coating is formed. Spirits of turpentine dissolves the rubber slowest, but forms the most elastic cement.—2. Purchase a can of rubber cement, which can be found in large cities at rubber stores; also some rubber for patches, as new rubber is much better than old boots or shoes. To make the patches adhere, it is necessary to remove the cloth from them. To do this, moisten the cloth with benzine and remove immediately. Cut the patches the proper size to cover the hole in the boot. Make the boot around the hole rough, the size of the patch, with a wood or shoemakers file; apply the cement to the boot, and the patch with a case knife, and let them lie in a warm, dry room from thirty to sixty minutes; then put the patch on the boot, and press it down firmly. Be very particular about the edges of the patch. After it has been on a short time examine it again, to see that it has not started off; if it has, press it down again. Do not use the boot under forty-eight hours after the patch is put on. One fifty cent can of cement will last a family several years. Keep the cover on the can when not in use, as it dries up very quickly. If the cement becomes dry, cut it with benzine.

BOOTS,SQUEAKING,ToPrevent.—Squeaking boots or shoes are a great annoyance, especially in entering a sick room, or a church after the service has commenced. To remedy it, boil linseed oil and saturate the soles with the same.

BOOTS AND SHOES, (Soles of) To Make Waterproof.—Experience has proved that a coat of gum copal varnish applied to the soles of boots and shoes, and repeated as it dries, until the pores are filled and the surface shines like polished mahagony, will make the soles waterfiroof, and also cause them to last three times as ong as ordinary soles.

BOOTS AND SHOES, oof-composition for.—Boiled oil 1 pint; oil of turpentine, black rosin, and bees' wax, of each 3 oz. Melt the wax and rosin, then stir in the oil, remove the pot from the fire, and when it has cooled a little, add the turpentine.

Montgomery Ward Catalogues

Mail order catalogues came into vogue in the late 19th century. In 1872 Montgomery Ward started the first mail order business. Aaron Montgomery Ward started out as a traveling salesman working in many rural areas. He believed that the rural customer wanted what the city customers had but they had no guarantee of quality. He decided he could take the orders and have them delivered to the nearest train station. His first catalog was a single sheet of paper with the price list of 163 items. By 1875 he had a money back guarantee and a growing catalog.

By 1883 he had 10,00 items in the catalog.

By 1896 Ward had serious competition from Sears & Roebuck.

And by the end of the century Wards sales were $8.7 million.

There's no question Aaron Montgomery Ward had a huge impact on the 19th century. Today, we historical fiction writers use his catalogs for pricing of items, fashion design, etc. All to help us understand what our characters from this time period were looking experiencing.

1875 Montgomery Ward Catalog Online


The use of leather was an important part of the 19th century. Primarily they tanned their leather with a "vegetable" tanning process, that means they used bark, vegetable scrapes, etc. to make their tannic to tan the leather. I found this web page that is for re-enactors about the care and the use of leather during the civil war. It has a lot of good information in there and if you're wondering how your character took care of their leather saddles, boots, etc. you might find this a very helpful website.

Article on leather in 19th Century by David Jernigan & Ken R. Knopp

Friday, October 28, 2016

Bloody Nose

This information is taken from "The Family Medical Guide" ©1871

Haemorrhage from the nose is often troublesome, and sometimes dangerous, being increased to an alarming extent by persons holding the head down, and thus causing a greater determination of blood to the part. In many instances I have found patients lying in bed, with their heads hanging over a basin seated on the floor, literally wasting their life's blood.
Treatment.—Persons taken with bleeding from the nose should stand erect, have a towel wet with cold water tied around their heads, and a piece of ice or cold steel applied to the nape of their necks. The object in making them stand erect is twofold, it lessens the flow of blood to the head, and it causes faintness, which makes the bleeding cease.
Should these means not be sufficient to stop the loss of blood, the nostrils should be plugged with a pledget of soft calico or surgeon's lint, about an inch long, and thick enough to fill the nostril. This pledget, before it is introduced, should be soaked in a saturated solution of alum ; and if the case be severe, and the loss of blood considerable, it may be necessary to allow the plugs to remain in the nostrils for three days, to prevent a relapse.
Persons who are prone to haemorrhage from the nose should live abstemiously, avoiding all alcoholic drinks, also rich food, and suppers. They should also eschew violent exercise, and be careful to keep the head cool and the feet warm.

Toys - Dolls

Here's a great resource that has quite a few pictures of dolls from 1860 to 1980. Jennifer McKendry has done a great job on this and I believe those of you who are writing during this time period and have female characters, will enjoy browsing through her site.

Jennifer McKendry's A History of Dolls for Dollhouses from 1860 to 1980

Slave Narratives from Library of Congress

Hi all,

Slave Narratives can be found at the Library of Congress, there are nearly 10,000 pages in this collection. They are the written recordings of former slave interviews.

Below is an interview with Silas Abott in Brinkley Ark. at the age of 73.

"I was born in Chickashaw County, Mississippi. Ely Abott and Maggie Abbott was our owners. They had three girls and two boys - Eddie and Johnny. We played together till I was grown. I love em like if they was brothers. Papa and Mos Ely went to war together in a two-horse top buggy. They both come back when they got through.

"There was eight of us children and none was sold, none give way. My parents name Peter and Mahaley Abbott. My father never was sold but my mother was sold into the Abbott family for a house girl. She cooked and washed and ironed. No'm, she wasn't a wet nurse, but she tended to Eddie and Johnny and me all alike. She whoop them when they needed, and Miss Maggie whoop me. That the way we grow'd up. Mos Ely was 'ceptionly good I recken. No'm, I never heard of him drinkin' whiskey. They made cider and 'simmon beer every year.

"Grandpa was a soldier in the war. He fought in a battle. I don't know the battle. He wasn't hurt. He come hom and told us how awful it was.

"My parents stayed on at Mos Ely's and my uncle's family stayed on. He give my uncle a home and twenty acres of ground and my parents same mount to run a gin. I drove two mules, my brother drove two and we drove two more between us and run the gin. My auntie seen somebody go in the gin one night but didn't think about them settin' it on fire. They had a torch, I recken, in there. All I knowed, it burned up and Mos Ely had to take our land back and sell it to pay four or five hundred bales of cotton got burned up that time. We stayed on and sharecropped with him. We lived between Egypt and Okolona, Mississippi. Aberdeen was our tradin' point.

"I come to Arkansas railroading. I railroaded forty years. Worked on the section, then I belong to the extra gang. I help build this railroad to Memphis.

"I did own a home but I got in debt and had to sell it and let my money go.

"Times is so changed and young folks different. They won't work only nough to get by and they want you to give em all you got. They take it if they can. Nobody got time to work. I think times is worse than they ever been, cause folks hate to work so bad. I'm talking about hard work, field work. Jobs young folks want is scarce; jobs they could get they don't want. They want to run about and fool around an get by.

"I get $8.00 and provisions from the government."

Time on Ship divided by 3 Watches

From Houghtalings Handbook ©1887

A Watch is that part of the officers and crew of a vessel who together attend to working her for an allotted time.

1st Watch
1 Bell. . . .12:30 o'clock
2 Bells. . . .1:00 "
3 Bells. . . .1:30 "
4 Bells. . . .2:00 "
5 Bells. . . .2:30 "
6 Bells. . . .3:00 "
7 Bells. . . .3:30 "
8 Bells. . . .4:00 "
2nd Watch
1 Bell. . . ..4:30 "
2 Bells. . . .5:00 "
3 Bells. . . .5:30 "
4 Bells. . . .6:00 "
5 Bells. . . .6:30 "
6 Bells. . . .7:00 "
7 Bells. . . .7:30 "
8 Bells. . . .8:00 "
3rd Watch
1 Bell. . . ..8:30 "
2 Bells. . . .9:00 "
3 Bells. . . .9:30 "
4 Bells. . . .10:00 "
5 Bells. . . .10:30 "
6 Bells. . . .11:00 "
7 Bells. . . .11:30 "
8 Bells. . . .12:00 "

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fastest Time Crossing the Oceans by Steamship

From Houghtaling's Handbook ©1887

Oct 1875 Steamer City of Berlin crossed from NY to Queenstown in 7 days, 15 hours and 48 minutes.

Aug 1877 Steamer Britannic crossed from Queenstown to NY in 7 days, 10 hours and 52 minutes.

Oct 1877 Steamer City of Berlin crossed from Queenstown to NY in 7 days, 14 hours and 12 minutes.

Sept 1881 Steamer Arizona crossed from NY to Queenstown in 7 days, 7 hours and 46 minutes.

June 1882 Steamer Alaska crossed from NY to Queenstown in 6 days, 18 hours and 37 minutes.

Oct. 1882 Steamer Alaska crossed from Queenstown to NY in 6 days, 22 hours and 3 minutes.

Apr 1883 Steamer Alaska crossed from Queenstown to NY in 6 days, 23 hours and 48 minutes.

July 1883 Steamer City of Rome crossed from NY to Queenstown in 7 days and 1 hour

Aug 1883 Steamer Werra crossed from Southhampton to NY in 7 days, 21 hours.

Sept 1883 Steamer Fulda crossed from NY to Southhampton in 7 days and 22 hours.

Oct 1883 Steamer Servia crossed from NY to Queenstown in 6 days 21 hours and 38 minutes.

Dec 1883 Steamer Servia crossed from NY to Queenstown in 7 days 2 hours and 38 minutes.

Apr 1884 Steamer Eider crossed from Southhampton to NY in 7 days, 4 hours and 8 minutes.

Apr 1884 Steamer Oregon crossed from Queenstown to NY in 6 days, 10 hours and 10 minutes.

May 1884 Steamer Oregon crossed from NY to Queenstown in 6 days, 16 hours and 57 minutes.

Wax in the Ear

This is taken from The Family Medical guide ©1871

Any person suffering from this hears unusual sounds, as of the sea roaring, or gas escaping by a small orifice, and, by looking into the ear, with the aid of a reflector, the obstruction of dark-coloured wax is seen at the bottom of the ear.
Treatment.—Indnrated wax is easily removed by syringing the ear with a four-ounce syringe, which every family should have.
When syringing the ear, the point of the syringe should not be inserted into the passage, so as to block it up and prevent the water from flowing out, for by doing so the drum of the ear might be ruptured. But by holding the syringe a short distance—about half an inch—from the ear, it can be syringed any number of times with perfect safety : and to remove indurated wax requires repeated applications of the syringe.
If the wax be very hard, it can be softened by dropping a little brandy or other spirit into the ear, and stopping the passage with wool or cotton, to retain the moisture: but syringing with warm water and soap is generally sufficient.
After the wax is removed the ear is more than usually susceptible of cold, and should not be exposed to it for a few days.
occasionally get into the ear, and should be removed by dropping into the ear a saturated solution of salt and water, and then syringing them out with warm water.

Railroad Growth

Hi all,

Here's a link found by an author friend, DiAnn Mills that I thought was great for those of us who are visual. These maps show the development of the railroads throughout the 19th century. It's a quick overview for anyone to check and see if the railroad reached the area they are researching, or how soon the railroad reached them.

Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum

Thoughts about the Railroads from 1856

Here's an excerpt from the "Incidents of Western Travels" by Rev. George Pierce. The letters were written in 1856 and published in 1857.

Here are his thoughts on railroad travel:
I should cheerfully resign all my interest, as a traveller, in horses, buggies, and steamboats, to be assured on every route of a railroad. It is a grand invention. A pyramid is a regal toy compared with this modern contrivance for getting along. I trust that all which have been built will last for ever; that all in progress will go on to completion; that those which have been talked about will become realities, and that thousands more will be projected and finished. Success to them all! Highways of travel and commerce, they facilitate intercourse, enrich the country, save time, and enable a man to see as much—to go as far in a few months—as in the ordinary lifetime of our grandfathers. What a boon to a man who has been long from home ! How swiftly they bear him on his way! The iron horse seems to sympathize with his impatience, and, breathing smoke and fire, bounds along his destined track as though he were glad to confer a favor. I acknowledge my indebtedness for his help on many a weary journey.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Nails from Scientific American

Below is an article on cut nails, in other words the nail industry in America. The initial invention was built in 1790 the patent was granted 1795 to Jacob Perkins but changes as well as a valuable industry was created in the United States.

Take from Scientific American Volume 10 ©1864

Wilkinsons and Others.
Among tbe appliances which have multiplied a thousand fold the power of man in molding the substances of nature into forms adapted to the gratification of his wants, there are few that rank higher in importance than the humble little instrument which is named at the head of this article. In numbers, nails far surpass any other thing which is employed in any of the arts, and the part that they play in the construction of our dwellings, ships, furniture and other fabrics is so great that, if they were annihilated, the whole order and movement of life would be changed.

In the old plan of making nails by hand, the end of the nail rod was heated, hammered down on an anvil into the required form, pointed, cut off and headed. In the neighborhood of Manchester alone, 60,000 persons were employed in this occupation, and great numbers in all other parts of the civilized world. By the present plan of cutting the nails, one steam engine drives several machines, and each machine makes a hundred nails per minute; the workman having nothing to do but to lay on the plates, and to put the finished nails into the kegs.

The saving of labor is also very great to those who use the nails. With the wrought nail it was necessary to bore a hole in most kinds of wood before the nail was driven; but the cut nail is so formed that it can be driven into the solid wood without danger ol splitting. Probably five or ten cut nails are driven in the same time as one wrought nail. The cut nail, too, from two of its sides being parallel, and from the roughness of its edge, retains its hold more firmly in the wood.

The machinery for making cut nails Is wholly of American invention, and is the result of a series of efforts by several different Inventors. About the time of the close of the Revolutionary war, two brothers of the name of Wilkinson, who had Iron-works in Cumberland, R. I., cut a lot of nails from some old barrel hoops—" Spanish hoops," as they were called; and these are supposed to have been the first cut nails ever made. The first patent for a nail-cutting machine was granted on the 23rd of March, 1791, to Josiah G. Person, of New York, and from that time to 1817,more than 100 patents were Issued. In 1810, Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury, made an elaborate report on this subject, and he estimated that a million of dollars had then been expended in bringing nailmaking machinery to perfection. The machines arc now models of simplicity and effectiveness, and they release a vast number of hands to be employed in the production of wealth in other forms.


Some may be wondering why I take up so much time with food and recipes. There are several reasons, refrigeration was non existent for most of the 19th century, Food preparation was also different, and yet we find some of the recipes are very similar to ones we use today. Preparing for the winter wasn't having so much money in hand to go to the grocery store once a week. As a fiction writer, I'm always looking for unique tidbits that help the reader be sent back to that time period. With that in mind, here is a post about Apples.

This is taken from "A cyclopaedia of several thousand practical reciepts:" ©1846

APPLE. The apple is a wholesome and pleasant fruit when perfectly ripe, and may be eaten either raw, roasted, or boiled. The more aromatic and flavored varieties are well adapted for dessert fruit, and are especially useful to persons of a full or confined habit of body.

APPLE-FOOL. Put the peeled and cored fruit into a jar, with moist sugar to render it palatable, and a very little cider or perry ; place the jar in a saucepan of water over the fire, and continue tho heat until the apples become quite soft, then pulp them through a colander, and add a sufficient quantity of milk, a little cream, und sugar to complete the sweetening. Mix well.

APPLES A LA CREMONA. Prep. Cut the best cooking apples into small squares, until you have about 1 1/2 lb., strew over them 1 lb. of good moist sugar and several long strips of lemonpeel, then cover them up close in a bowl. Next day put the apples, piece by piece, into a small stewpan, with 3 or 4 tablespoonfuls of cider or perry, and simmer gently until they become clear : then take them out, and when cold build a wall round a small dish with the square pieces, place the strips of lemon-peel on the top, and pour the sirup into the middle.

APPLES, DRIED. Syn. Baked Apples. Prep. Place any quantity of apples in a cool oven, 6 or 7 times in succession, flattening them each time by gentle pressure, gradually applied, as soon as they are soft enough to bear it; then take them out, and as soon as cold put them on clean dishes or glass plates. The sour or tart variety of apples is the best for baking.

APPLES And PEARS, PRESERVATION OF. One of the best ways to preserve valuable fruit of this description, is to wrap each in a piece of clean dry paper, and to fill small wide-mouthed jars or honey-pots therewith, and to pack them in the following manner, in a dry and very cold place, (as a cellar,) but where the frost cannot reach them. The pots, of the shape of fig. 1, are placed in rows one in the other, as in fig. 2, and the space (a) between the two pots filled up with plaster of Paris made into a paste with water; the joint is thus rendered air-tight, and the fruit will i keep good for a long time. The mouth of the top jar should be covered with a slate.

Remarks. The fruit should not be too ripe for the purpose of being preserved; and the later sort is the best. The jars may be taken one at a time from the store-room, us wanted, and the fruit exposed for a week or ten days in a warm dry room before being eaten, which will much improve the flavor. Another plan, which is a modification of the above, is to place alternate layers of bran or clean dry sand and apples, either naked or wrapped in paper, in jars, until they are full, then to shake them well to settle the bran between the fruit, and to add more if required; they are then packed away as before described.

II. Fruit is kept in the large way for the London market by placing in a cool situation, first a layer of straw or paper, then a layer of apples, next a layer of straw, and so on alternately, to the bright of 20 to 25 inches, which cannot be well exceeded, as the weight of the superincumbent fruit would be apt to crush or injure the lower layers. This plan is frequently modified by placing alternate layers of fruit and paper in baskets or hampers, and covering them well over before placing them in the fruit-room. The baskets may then be piled one over the other without injury to the fruit.

Remarks. Apples or other fruit intended for preserving in the above way should never be laid in heaps or allowed to touch each other, as they thereby acquire a bad flavor. They should be gathered in dry weather and immediately carried In the fruit-room, when they should be laid, if not singly, at least thinly, on the floor or shelves, on paper, and packed away as soon as possible. The use of brown paper is inadmissible, as it conveys its peculiar flavor to the fruit. Thick white brown paper is the cheapest and the best.

III. (American Method) The apples or pears, after being peeled, are cut into eighths, the cores extracted, and then dried in the sun or in a kiln or oven until they are quite hard. Remarks. In this way fruit is kept in the United States for two or three years.
For use, wash the fruit in water, then pour boiling water on it; let it stand for a few minutes, and use it as fresh fruit. The water it has soaked in is an excellent substitute for fresh juice.

APPLE SUGAR. Prep. Express the juice, and add chalk until the whole of the acid is saturated ; pour off the clear liquor; then clarify by boiling in a clean pan with some white of egg; skim off" the dirt; and lastly evaporate by a gentle heat to a proper consistence. Remarks. 1 cwt of apples yield about 84 lbs. of juice and 12 lbs. of crude sugar.


This is taken from "The Family Medical Guide" ©1871

This delicate organ is subject to many forms of disease, both internal and external.
is the most frequent of these. It is a small boil that forms on the edge of the eyelid, and has been called hordeolum, because it is about the size of a barleycorn.
Like other boils it denotes a deranged state of the blood, and is often annoying to children of a scrofulous tendency, and to those who have been injured by improper food or exposure to cold.
Treatment.—These boils should be encouraged to suppurate by fomenting them constantly with folded linen moistened with warm water, or by a light bread-and-water poultice, and as soon as matter forms, it should be allowed to escape by puncturing with a needle or lancet.
The child's health should be attended to, and its digestive organs improved, by giving it five to ten drops of the solution of the perchloride of iron in a wineglassful of water after breakfast and dinner, to be taken through a glass tube ; or, if preferred, a teaspoonful of cod-liver oil after food twice a day, the bowels being regulated by one grain of aloes and five of Epsom salts, given in a little syrup at night, when required.
The child's food should be light and easily digested, and it should be warmly clothed, to prevent chills.

Origin of Names of Month

From Houghtaling's Handbook of Useful Information ©1887

January - The Roman Janus presided over the beginning of everything; hence the first month of the year was called after him.

February - The Roman festival Februs was held on the 15th day of this month, in honor of Lupercus, the god of fertility.

March - Names from the Roman god of war, Mars.

April - Latin Aprillis, probably derived from asperire, to open; because spring generally begins and the buds open in this month.

May - Latin Maius, probably derived from Maia, a feminine divinity worshiped at Rome on the first day of this month.

June - Juno, a Roman divinity worshiped as the Queen of Heaven.

July - (Julius). - Julius Caesar was born in this month.

August - Named by the Emperor Augustus Caesar, B.C.30, after himself, as he regarded it a lucky month, being that in which he had gained several victories.

September (septem, or 7) - Septemeber was the seventh month in the old Roman calendar.

October (octo) - Eighth month of the old Roman year.

November (novem, or 9) - November was the ninth month in the old Roman calendar

December (decem, or 10) December was the tenth month of the early Roman year. About the 21st of this month the sun-enters the Tropic of Capricorn, and forms the winter solstice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How to Rent a Farm

From Houghtaling's Handbook of Useful Information ©1887

In the rental of property, the greater risk is always on the landlord's side. He is putting his property into the possession and care of another, and that other is not unfrequently a person of doubtful utility. These rules and cautions may well be observed.

1. Trust to no verbal lease. Let it be in writing, signed and sealed. Its stipulations then become commands and can be enforced. Let it be signed in duplicate, so that each party may have an original.

2. Insert such covenants as to repairs, manner of use and in restraint of waste as the circumstances call for. As to particular stipulations, examin leases drawn by those who have had long experience in renting farms, and adopt such as meet your case.

3. There should be covenants asainst assigning and underletting.

4. If the tenant is of doubtful responsibility, make the rent payable in installments. A covenant that the crops shall remain the lessor's till the lessee's contracts with him have been fulfilled, is valid against the lessee's creditors. In the ordinary case of renting farms on shares, the courts will treat the crops as the joint property of lord and tenant, and thus protect the former's rights.

5. Every lease should contain stipulations for forfeiture and re-entry in case of non-payment of breach of any covenants.

6. To prevent a tenant's committing waste, the courts will grant an injunction.

7. Above all be careful in selecting your tenant. There is more in the man than there is in the bond.

Galveston 1856

Below is an excerpt from the "Incidents of Western Travels" by Rev. George Pierce ©1857 These letters were his reflections on his travels from GA to Nashville, to Oklahoma, to Arkansas, to Texas and back to GA.

Galveston, the " city of cottages," is a charming place. Open to the winds on every side, with wide streets and sandy soil, and a soft and balmy climate, it is eligibly located for a great and nourishing mart. Orange and lemon trees are found in almost every garden. They grow luxuriantly, and were laden with fruit when I was there in December last. The oleander is the common ornamental shrub in the town. It flourishes even along the sidewalks. The plantain, too, with its clustering fruit, is successfully cultivated. What the temperature may be in summer, I know not; but a visitor in winter would conclude that the good people had the productions of the tropics, without the accompanying fervor of a tropical climate. It is wellnigh impossible to conceive of a finer beach than the one around Galveston. An evening ride on these surf-beaten sands is a delightful recreation. The beautiful and the sublime, nature and art, the works of God and the inventions of men, combine in panoramic order. The island, with its human habitations; the Gulf, with its ever-heaving waters; the steamship, bannered with smoke, proudly defying wind and wave; the sea-birds, with tireless wing fanning the air, or descending to ride upon the billows ; the merry voices of the gay and the glad, as they gather shells upon the shore, mingling with the everlasting roar of the tide in its ebb and its flow, constitute a scene where one may well pause to think and feel, to admire and adore.

Galveston cannot be a sickly place, unless it be by the criminal.carelessness of the city authorities, or the bad habits of the people. Yellow-fever certainly cannot originate there, and if it prevail at all, it must be by importation. When Texas shall count her citizens by the million, and communication with the interior by railroads shall be opened, this city on the Gulf of Mexico will become an emporium of wealth and commerce.

Coffee on the Trail

Below is an impression about Coffee taken from the "Incidents of Western Travels," letters written by George Pierce a Methodist Minister on a trip out to the Indian Mission in Oklahoma in 1856 and published in 1857. I'm supplying the context for you to enjoy his comments about coffee.

A little before dark we came to an Indian cabin, and by signs and gestures made known our wish to tarry for the night. By signs and gestures we were made to understand that we could stay. We were left, of course, to wait upon ourselves; so we stripped our horses and led them to water; and when we returned, our host had brought to the lot a turn of corn and fodder, and as he let his own horses out, we put ours in and fed them to our hearts' content. Now we marched to the house t* see about our own prospects for food and rest. There was but one room, but this was neat and comfortable, save that there was about it an undefinable odor, any thing but pleasant. It is common, I learned, to Indian habitations. The man, his wife and children, were well clad, and were attentive and polite according to their notions. N"ot a word of English could we get from any of the household. They could speak it, for they understood us very well in much of our talk: that was very obvious. My good friend, McAlister, undertook to secure us a good supper by giving special directions, more particularly about the coffee—with me, when good, a favorite article. But, alas ! he succeeded better with every thing else than with this necessary beverage. By the way—pardon a little digression on this interesting theme—bad coffee is one of the afflictions of the land, and it is one of the miseries of travel. We find it everywhere—in taverns and private houses—among the rich and the poor. Often, when every thing else is clean and well prepared, the coffee is execrable stuff. Weak, or black, or unsettled, it is enough to make a well man sick. Why is this ? It is not stinginess, for there is often enough of the raw material, if it had been boiled and cleared. Sometimes, it is true, a man has to drink a good deal of wate» to get a little coffee ; but, generally, the difficulty is that the fluid is.muddy, the grounds all afloat; and then "the cup cheers" not, but sadly offends sight, smell, and taste. The country needs a reform. It is more necessary to the welfare of the people than some other things that agitate the nation. In these days of Womens' Rights I will not invade their province by pretending to give a recipe. I will only say, there must be good grains, well parched—not burnt—well boiled, and well settled; and then, as the cookery-books say, cream (not milk) and siigar "according to taste." A lady of my acquaintance says it takes a tablespoonful of coffee to every cup; a little more would not hurt to make the article decently good. I wish the people—Indians and all—would try her proportions.

Green Corn Pudding

From the Cooking for Profit cookbook ©1893

1027—Green Corn Pudding.
Shaved cooked corn off the cob, or use canned corn pounded to a halfpaste. To a quart add one cup milk, i half a cup butter and four eggs and salt i and white pepper to season. Bake in a pudding pan; serve as a vegetable entree in flat dishes. This can be made much richer if wanted so, with more mUk and yolks of eggs and is a very popular dish.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Chicken Pox

From the family medial guide:©1871 a description and treatment for the disease.

This is another eruptive fever, which is also infectious, but of a very mild character. Like the last-mentioned fevers, it attacks persons once only during life, and is a disease of youth.

The premonitory symptoms are very slight, the eruption being preceded by little fever or derangement of the general health. Children may be less disposed to play than usual, but their appetite is scarcely impaired, nor do they complain of pain or suffering; while youths at school or public offices are first made aware of something being amiss with the constitution, by a crop of small pustules appearing on the shoulders and chest.

This eruption is sometimes mistaken for modified small-pox, with which it has no affinity; nor does the one give any protection against an attack of the other. The preference of locality in each is also well marked.
Small-pox commences on the forehead and the face, which it farrows badly.

Chicken-pox, on the contrary, spares the face, and begins on the shoulder and chest; but it appears abundantly on the hairy scalp. It affects also the mucous membrane of the mouth, causing pustules on the palate and throat.

The vesicles formed by this disease do not suppurate, as in smallpox. They soon dry up, and in about a week exfoliation takes place, and the eruption goes off without leaving any trace of its former presence.

The most distinctive test is, however, obtained by inoculation. The fluid taken from the vesicle of modified small-pox readily communicates the disease to another person inoculated with it; but chicken-pox cannot be propagated in this way.

Treatment.—This disease requires little medicine. The general rule of confinement to bed in fever cannot be dispensed with; nor should we neglect to unload the liver and bowels. A youth should get half a grain of podophylline and ten grains of Epsom salts, in syrup, at night, the bowels being regulated afterwards by two grains of aloes and ten of Epsom salts, taken at night, as required. Half of these doses would be sufficient for a child of six years.

The food should be rice, arrowroot, or maizena, boiled in water and made palatable with milk; and the drink should be toast-, barley-, or rice-water, with ten grains of cream of tartar given in each drink.

After the fourth day chicken broth or beef- or mutton-tea, with stale bread, may be given once a day for children; but while confined to bed, children do not require animal food in any form, and solid animal food is injurious, until they can take exercise with it.

In this and every other cutaneous disease exposure to cold or chills should be avoided, and sufficient clothing ought to be worn for some time after recovery.

Over Worked Women Advertisement Medicine from the past

Below is a copy of an advertisement that was in "The Current" June 1887

Over Worked Women
For "worn-out," "run-down," debilitated school teachers, milliners, seamstresses, housekeepers, and over-worked women generally, Dr. Pierce's Favorite Prescription is the best of all restorative tonics. It is not a "Cure-all," but admirably fulfills a singleness of purpose, being a most potent Specific for all those Chronic Weaknesses and Diseases peculiar to women. It is a powerful, general as well as uterine, tonic and nervine, and imparts vigor and strength to the whole system. It promptly cures weakness of stomach, indigestion, bloating, weak back, nervous prostration, debility and sleeplessness, in either sex. Favorite Prescription is sold by druggists under our positive guarantee. See wrapper around the bottle.
Price $1.00, or six bottles for $5.00
A large treatise on Diseases of Women, profusely illustrated with color plates and numerous wood-cuts, sent for 10 cents in stamps. Address. World's Dispensary Medical Association, 663 Main Street, Buffalo, N.Y.
Sick Headache, Bilious Headache and Constipation, promptly cured by Dr. Pierce's Pellets. 25 cents a vial, by druggists.

The medicine had a huge amount of opium in it. He wrote a medical reference book "The people's Common Sense Medical Advisor." but it primarily promoted his products. You can go here to learn a little more about Dr. Pierce.

Scarlet Fever

From the The family medical guide: ©1871 a description and treatment for the disease.

This is another very infectious fever, causing an eruption on the skin, and ulcers in the throat.
Some wish to limit the term scarlatina to the severe forms of the disease, but as this and scarlet fever are generally considered synonymous, we shall take them as being so.

This disease, like measles, occurs generally only once during life, but there are exceptions to this rule, and it is noticed that second attacks are mild.

The poison of scarlatina is exceedingly virulent, and it is impossible to say at what stage it may cease to be contagious. An instance occurred in the circle of my own acquaintance, in which the trunk of a medical student who died in Edinburgh, which contained part of his dress that had never been worn by him during his fever, communicated scarlatina to a family in Ireland, although the clothes were freely exposed to the open air before they were worn, and might be supposed to have been purified by the sea voyage.

A high temperature, I believe, is the only certain means of destroying the contagion that lurks in apparel of any kind, especially of the woollen fabric. It should be steamed in an oven heated to 220° Fahr. for two hours, and this does not singe or injure the material.

Scarlatina appears in three forms: the first, or mildest, affecting the skin with slight rash, and merely a blush on the fauces, or throat; the second, more severe, affecting the skin, and with slight ulcers in the throat; and the third, called malignant, in which the throat is deeply ulcerated.

The most suddenly fatal cases under my care were those in which the disease commenced with inflammation of the membranes of the brain, and violent delirium, in which the dose of the poison seemed to be so great that the constitution was overpowered, and could not rally.

The first symptoms of the disease are a sensation of chilliness, amounting in some cases to a rigor or shivering, accompanied with nausea, irritability of temper, and depression of spirits.

The eruption on the forehead and face appears earlier than in measles—about the second day ; and it is distinguished from measles by being less florid in colour.

In scarlet fever, also, the eyes are not weak, nor have we the hoarse cough as in measles, while the throat is always more or less affected, the tonsils being generally ulcerated at an early period.

Treatment.—In the treatment of this and every other fever, the first thing to be done is to put the patient to bed, for the reasons given in the article on measles. And as the cuticle exfoliates very largely in this fever, the patient should remain in bed until the cuticle is tolerably restored, which will be two weeks after the eruption disappears from the surface.
Those who are exposed to changes of temperature earlier than that are always subject to anasarca (dropsy of the cellular membrane), or else to fatal dropsy of the chest.

Most of the unfavourable recoveries in my practice were from cases so mild that parents could not be persuaded to confine their children to bed a sufficient length of time to allow the cuticle to grow again, or the poison of the fever to be perfectly eliminated from the constitution. And to the same cause, together with the use of solid animal food before the stomach is in a fit state to receive it, may be attributed the relapses and bad consequences resulting from fevers.

In mild attacks, having given half a grain of podophylline with ten grains of Epsom salts, to carry off the bile, the bowels should be regulated afterwards with two grains of aloes and ten of salts given in treacle, at night, when required. The patient should be confiued to bed in a well-aired room, with covering sufficient to retain warmth ; and get toast-, barley-, or rice-water, or rennet whey, with five grains of nitre, and half a teaspoonful of the acetate of ammonia, in such drink, every three hours, alternately, if the patient be below ten years; and ten grains of nitre, and one teaspoonful of the acetate of ammonia, every three hours, alternately, if above ten years of age.

In severe cases, when the throat is ulcerated, in addition to the nitre and ammonia, the carbonate of which is preferable, being given in two- to five-grain doses, sufficiently diluted, the ulcers in the throat should be brushed with a solution of nitrate of silver, ten grains to the ounce of water, applied by a large camel's-hair pencil night and morning; and if the salivary glands below the jaw become enlarged and painful, they should be covered with a plaster of iodideof-lead ointment (two drachms of the iodide to the ounce of rendered suet), spread on soft leather, and supported by a narrow ribbon or tape over the head.
Toast-, barley-, or rice-water, or rennet whey, is sufficient muris-hment for the first three or four days; but after that the patient requires to be supported with chicken broth, beef- or mutton-tea, given once or twice a day, the former drink being continued, together with the nitre and ammonia, which latter acts as an antidote to the poison of scarlatina.

When the throat is much affected the fever is always higher, and determination to the brain is apt to supervene. As soon as heat of head or delirium indicates this, the hair should at once be shaved off entirely. Any attempt to retain it is futile, as it must fall after the fever, and its presence imperils life.

After being shaved the head should be elevated a little, and kept constantly cool by rags wet with cold water often renewed, or by ice in a bladder or oiled silk. The feet should be carefully attended to, and kept warm by a footpan of hot water rolled in flannel; and care must be taken that the bladder and bowels be emptied at proper intervals—the bladder every six hours, and the bowels once in twenty-four hours. Sponging the patient frequently with tepid water is very serviceable.

In the malignant form, when the throat is deeply ulcerated, and of a livid hue, with little appearance of eruption on the skin, the solution of the nitrate of silver should be stronger (thirty grains to the ounce of water), to be applied by a camel's-hair brush to the throat, night and morning; and before applying the caustic the discharge on the ulcers and throat should be carefully cleaned off by a piece of sponge or soft rag.

In severe cases, when the brain suffers, some apply leeches, others take blood from the arm, and a few blister. From two to six leeches applied behind or below the ears, on each side, relieve the head symptoms, and are serviceable ; but the lancet and blisters I would dissuade, having never been convinced of their benefit.

The prostration of strength in this form of the disease is always alarming, and should be counteracted by nourishing drinks or fluid food, as beef-tea, mutton-tea, chicken well bruised and boiled in vacuo, in a bottle without water and well corked; and Liebig's essence of meat. One of these should be given every three hours; with five grains of the carbonate of ammonia for an adult, and two grains for a child.

Stimulants, as wine and brandy, are preferred by many; but they are fur inferior to the ammonia, which has a specific effect in counteracting the poison of this fever.

The amount of poison in the system seems, however, so great in many cases that it must prove fatal in despite of remedies; and none but the best constitutions can recover from the malignant form of this fever, which often destroys life on the third or fourth day.

The longer the patient holds out after that, our hopes of recovery increase; and after the ninth day we may calculate on convalescence.

The consequences of this fever are always to be dreaded, and too much care cannot be taken.

The inflammation often extends from the throat to the ear by the internal passage behind the tonsils, and causes inflammation of the drum of the ear, which is destroyed, and with it the power of hearing.

An ichorous discharge from the nostrils also irritates the upper lip, and the eyelids suffer from discharge from the eyes, while the lips and mucous membrane of the mouth are often excoriated. To improve these a saturated solution of borax (as much as water will dissolve) applied by a camel's-hair brush to the excoriated parts, and injected into the ear by a small syringe, is efficient.

Tonics in some form are always necessary for patients recovering from scarlatina. For children, the solution of the perchloride of iron (five drops in a wineglassful of sugar and water), after breakfast and dinner, generally suits well; and ten or twenty drops would be the dose for adults with whom quinine disagrees. But for the latter quinine is preferable unless it gives headache, which is seldom produced by half-grain doses, thrice a day after food.

The food should be light and easily digested, commencing with roast pullet or white fish; then the lean of good beef or mutton, with stale bread or a mealy potato ; care being taken not to overload the stomach, than which nothing is more certain to retard recovery.

As sopn as the cuticle is restored, and the patient has got new boots and gloves (for the old scarf-skin is frequently cast off like a slipper or old glove), if the weather be fine and the strength sufficient, to drive out in the open air is salutary; but an attempt to walk must not be made too hastily.

A shower bath, tepid at first and cooled down gradually, is the best means of preparing the patient for exposure to the open air and for change, which is very desirable ; the sea coast being preferable, if the season be suitable. But sea-bathing should not be commenced sooner than a month after the eruption disappears. Up to that period the shower bath or sponging, followed by friction, is much safer, and equally beneficial.

Some never recover perfectly after a severe attack of any fever; while others, formerly delicate, become stout, and seem to get a new constitution; their nervous irritability, which formerly made them too susceptible of both internal and external impressions, being reduced by the poison of the fever.

To prevent the spreading of this virulent fever is very important, and should be studiously attended to.
Because belladonna, when taken into the stomach, produces, by sympathy, a rash on the skin, Hahnemann, the homoeopathist, on his principle of like curing like, proclaimed belladonna a prophylactic for this fever, or a medicine which, if taken by persons exposed to the disease, would render them proof against its contagion.

After many trials of this remedy, and much attention to its effects when given by others, I am obliged to say that I place no confidence in it for this purpose. Indeed it seems equally consistent to imagine that diseased fish or bad mushrooms, which, when eaten, produce a rash on the skin, should be a preventive for this fever.

Free ventilation in the sick apartment, perfect attention to cleanliness, and care not to inhale the breath or vapour from the patient, are the surest means of escaping contagion.

The use of Condy's Disinfecting Fluid is also highly commendable, as it destroys unpleasant perfumes arising from perspiration or otherwise ; but it should not be allowed to supersede attention to cleanliness, which must include not only frequent changes of linen, but also the immediate removal of the patient's dejections and urine, which are always offensive, and, no doubt, calculated to spread the contagion.

Quicksand from a travel journal

Below is an excerpt from Incidents of Western Travels by a Methodist Minister, George Pierce in 1856 and published in 1857. These letters are a brief account of a trip he took from Georgia to the Indian Mission (Oklahoma) to Texas then Arkansas and back to Georgia. I've found it fascinating reading. Here's a brief description of an account about quicksand.

On Monday morning, the 15th of October, we left North' Fork with Brother McAlister and Brother Ewing, for the Choctaw Agency. The latter brother was expecting to be transferred from the Arkansas Conference, and to take work among the Indians. Tahlequah was left to be supplied by him. The brethren were on horseback, and the roads being very rough, they outwent us a little. By-and-by we saw them ahead on the bank of a river. Brother McAlister dismounted, punching about in the edge of the water up and down the stream with his umbrella. "What is the matter— what do you mean ?" said I. " We are looking for a place to cross." "What, you are not afraid to plunge into this little branch! Why, it is not knee-deep !" "Ah !" said Brother McAlister, "the quicksand—the quicksand: all these streams are dangerous. Be sure you do not let your horses stop to drink, or you may be swallowed up. Once sink a little, and you are gone." Thus admonished, we drove quickly over the wide but shallow stream. Our travelling companions entertained us with several stories about these quicksands—some serious, some ludicrous. We passed them all in safety; but I will say I never saw such sand-bars and beds anywhere else.

Saturday, October 22, 2016


I've come to realize that a great deal of emphasis was put on poetry during the 19th century. My understanding is that poetry is very difficult to sell to publishers today but this didn't seem to be the case in the 19th century. Admittedly, I've never been a huge fan of poetry, in large part because I didn't understand it. However, my husband was raised hearing and reading it and when he reads a poem it does come to life for me.

All of that is to say that I find these two poems interesting. They were published in 1847 by Rev J.L. Merrick. The two poems below express his arrival to Charleston, SC and his departure.

Hail, Charleston! there you stand as when
I saw you first from ocean ;
I view your spires and domes again,
With thrilling deep emotion.

An invalid, from northern climes,
How kindly you received me ;
My grateful heart recalls the times
Your friendly hand relieved me.

A cloud upon my prospects then
With angry brow was low'ring,
That very cloud, like vernal rain,
Rich blessings on me show'rmg,

Has overpassed, and now the bow,
On its dark bosom glowing,
Betokens good the way I go,
Eternal life-seed sowing.

Farewell, dear Charleston friends, farewell!
I may no more return,
Yet e'er for you this heart will swell,
This grateful bosom burn.

When orient suns shall light my way
Through distant Moslim lands,
For you I still will fervent pray
Mid flowers or barren sands.

We'll meet each other at the throne
Where grace and joy are given ;
And when our pilgrim course is done,
We'll meet to dwell in heaven.

Office of Indian Affairs Salaries

This selection comes from Houghtaling's Handbook of Useful Information ©1887
Salaries of United States Officials
Office of Indian Affairs
Commissioner . . . . $4,000
Chief Clerk . . . . . . .$2,000
Financial Clerk . . . . $2,000
Chief of Division . . .$2,000
4 Clerks, each . . . . .$1,800
10 Clerks, each . . . .$1,000
15 Clerks, each . . . .$1,400
8 Clerks, each . . . . .$1,200
9 Clerks, each . . . . . .1,000
12 Copyists, each . . . . 900
Messenger . . . . . . . . . .840
Assist. Messenger . . . . 720

Cooking for Business Omelets Part 2

from Cooking for profit: ©1893 What I find fun about this cookbook is not only the recipes but also the comments about cost. Which is very helpful imho when working on our historical novels.

87—Plain Omelet.
Two eggs and one teaspoonful of railk. Add a pin«h of salt, beat in a bowl enough to thoroughly mix but not make il too light, as if the omelet rises like a souffle it will go down agaiu, so much the worse.
Pour into a small frying pan, or omelet pan, in which is one Tablespoonful of the clear part of melted butter, and fry like fried eggs But when partly set run a knife point around to loosen it and begin to shake the omelet over to the further side of the pan until the thin further edge forced upward falls bick into the omele'.. When (he under side has a good color, and the middle is nearly set, roll the brown side uppermost, with a knife to help, and elide the omelet on to a hot dish. Serve immediately while it is light and soft.

88—Omelet with Parsley.
Mix a tablespoouful of minced parsley with the omelet mixture while beating it op. Make as directed in the preceding article.

89—Omelet with Onions and Parsley.
Mince two tablespoonfuls of onion and fry it in a little lard in a frying-pan with a plate inverted upon it. In five minutes take up the minced onion without grease and add it to the omelet mixture made ready with parsley in it; stir up and fry as directed in plain omelet.

90—Omelet With Ham.
Have ready on the table some grated or minced lean ham in a dish. Four a plain omelet of two eggs into the fryingpan and strew over the surface about a tablespoonful of the grated ham.

91-Omelet with Cheese.
Make in the same manner aa ham •>melet, with grated cheese instead of ham.

92—Omelet with Tomatoes.
Stew tomatoes down nearly dry, season with butter, pepper and salt. Inclose a spoonful in the middle of an omelet according to the preceeding examples.

Cost of omelets. Omelets are kept off the bill of fare more on account of the time and attention required to cook them properly than because of their cost whkh is only from 1/2c to Ic more than the eggs alone would be. This is speaking of hotel and family orders where the added seasoning is but about a tablespoonful, and not of omelets with asparagus, points or other rarities. Eggs vary in price from G cents per dozen in country places to 6O cents in the cities at midwinter.

Cooking for Profit 1893

In this post the author Jessup White head gives an example of a meal and the cost of the various items.

August 18.
Soup—Consomme paysanne (7 qts 42 cents.)
Fried sunfish, a la Margate (string of 30 panfish, 5 Ib 40 cents."
Potatoes stuffed.
Sliced cucumbers, potato salad, olives (20 cents.)
Boiled leg of mutton, caper sauce (4 Ibs 55 cents.)
Roast beef (loin 4 Ibs 52 cents.)
Chicken pot pie (5 fowls 125, with trimmings, 140 cents.)
Small fillecs of beef a la Creole (2 Ibs and sauce, 30 cents.)
Virginia grated corn pudding (25 cents.)
Lima beans 7, mashed turnips 4, browned carrots 5, tomatoes 12, pctatoe^ 15 (46 cents.)
Steamed cabinet pudding (36 orders, 50 cents.)
Sweet potato pie (5 pies 43 cents.)
Vanilla ice cream (3'^ qts 75 cents.)
Cocoanut macaroons (same as No. 457; doubled, 26 cents.)
Apple, peaches, nuts, crackers, cheese (53 cents.)
Milk, cream 66, coffee, tea, sugar, bread, butter 53 (irg cents.)
Total, $8 13; 54 persons; 15 cents a plate.

Friday, October 21, 2016


In the Medical Lexicon of 1865 Measles is described as:
MEASLES, ( [G.] Mase, 'a spot,' masern, 'spotted.') Rubeola. Also, a diseased condition of pork — measly pork — which bus been ascribed to the presence of cysticcrcus collulossc; and may be owing to trichina); see Trichiniasis.

In the The family medical guide: ©1871 a description of the disease and treatment is:
This is an infectious fever, affecting the skin and also the mucous membrane, especially that of the eyes, nostrils, throat, and air-tubes.

This disease is met with chiefly in youth, but it may occur in advanced age. It is one of those diseases to which, as a rule, we are subject once only during life; but to this, exceptions occur occasionally, and we meet with patients having measles who are reported to have suffered from it before. But as the first attack had not been seen by me in any of the cases I allude to, and as they were said to be very mild, without cough, or weakness of the eyes, it seemed possible that the special fever was also absent; and that the former disease had been more allied to rose-rash than measles.

The fever does not set in immediately after the person is exposed to contagion. The poison generally remains latent in the system from ten to fifteen days, which period is called the term of " incubation."

The first symptoms of the effects of the poison acting on the blood are a feeling of lassitude, sensation of chilliness, loss of appetite, and a rigor or shivering fit, followed by a hoarse cough, discharge from the nostrils, and weak eyes.
Most patients complain also of pain of back or head, and some of both, while the skin is hot and dry, and the pulse full and quick.

Next we notice an eruption or rash upon the forehead and face, but so little distinctive, that but for the weakness of the eyes, and tendency to cough, we could not yet recognize the disease to be measles. The eruption, however, soon extends to the chest and extremities; the small, dry vesicles coalesce; the face becomes swollen; and the peculiar purple colour of the skin declares the nature of the disease.

In some cases the eruption appears only partially, and the inexperienced fancy, therefore, that the disease is mild ; but the reverse is the fact, for either a slight eruption or the sudden disappearance of the eruption is always the harbinger of evil.
Treatment.—In this and every other fever, the patient, from the first symptoms, should be confined to bed. The horizontal position does much to quiet the action of the heart, and equalize the circulation of the blood, while complete exemption from muscular exertion places the constitution in a favourable position to contend with the disease.
A uniform temperature, suited to the nature of the case, can only be ensured in bed; and, in measles especially, to avoid chilling draughts is necessary.

On account of the weakness of the eyes, the room should be kept darkened by a green shade to the windows ; and, owing to the irritability of the air-tubes, currents of cold air must be guarded against; because weakness of eyes, hoarseness, or loss of voice, remaining after convalescence, is almost certain to be permanent for life.
The quantity of bed-covering should be regulated by the feelings of the patients ; just enough to keep them comfortably warm; while the feet should be carefully attended to, and a footpan of hot water applied, if it be necessary, or bags of heated salt.

To drink freely of toast-, barley-, or rice-water, or rennet whey, or apple-tea, made by pouring hot water on raw apples, sliced, is sufficient nourishment for the first two or three days, till the cough and fever abate ; ten grains of nitre, and three grains of the carbonate of ammonia, being given in such drink, alternately, every four hours.
The popular idea is that persons when sick require to eat to be able to bear the disease, but this impression is very erroneous ; for while fever is in the system, the power of digesting food is held in abeyance, and, consequently, solid food taken into the stomach must aggravate the disease, and increase the weakness of the sufferer. It is only by fluids such as can be absorbed without being digested, that patients can be nourished during the continuance of fever.

When fever abates, the tongue cleans, and appetite begins to return, farinaceous food, as ground rice, arrowroot, sago, or maizena, boiled in water, and eaten with a little milk, is proper food; but tea, coffee, and all alcoholic stimulants are injurious.
At the commencement of fever, it is always salutary to unload the biliary ducts, liver, and bowels. Calomel was formerly the medicine for this purpose, but podophylline does the same service, and is a safer remedy. Half a grain of the latter, with ten grains of Epsom salts, in syrup or pills, taken every night, for two nights in succession, is sufficient; the bowels being afterwards regulated by two grains of aloes and ten of Epsom salts, given as often as required. But as the fever subsides, diarrhoea generally sets in, and renders aperients unnecessary.

In mild cases, with proper care, the nitre and carbonate of ammonia, in which I place great confidence, are all the medicine that is required, except for the bowels. For children, the acetate of ammonia does equally well, and it is more palatable. It is made by dropping the carbonate of ammonia into a two-ounce bottle of table vinegar, until effervescence ceases, when the bottle should be corked for use, and a teaspoonful should be given in place of the carbonate to a child of twelve years, and half that quantity to one of six years.

But if the cough be troublesome, six grains of Dover's powder should be given in a little syrup, at night, to a male adult, five grains to a female, and less in proportion to age ; one grain being sufficient for a child of two years. And if pain of chest be present, a mustard plaster should be applied, kept on till the skin is red, and repeated evening and morning till pain is relieved.

After fevers causing an eruption on the surface, the cuticle or scarf skin exfoliates, and the true skin, in which so many nervous fibrils terminate, is denuded of its wonted covering. Getting out of bed too soon, or any chill, is therefore calculated, owing to sympathy with the skin, to increase the irritability of the air-tubes, and cause determination also to the lungs, which may destroy life.

A week after the eruption disappears is soon enough for the patient to get up ; and during that week the diet should be altered to a lightly-boiled egg, with a cup of tea and dry toast for breakfast; chicken broth, beef or mutton tea, with stale bread, for dinner ; and ground rice or maizena, boiled in water, and eaten with milk, in the evening.
When the patient gets out of bed, solid animal food can be returned to, taking care that it be light and easily digested at first, and only in moderate quantity ; and half a grain of quinine should now be taken after breakfast and dinner, unless it causes headache, and if so, a wineglassful of infusion of chiretta or quassia should be substituted for it.
To prepare the patient for exposure to the open air, a tepid shower bath should be taken every morning, and cooled down gradually to a cold bath.

Olympics 1896

The Olympics are currently playing in Vancouver, Canada. So, in light of this games I thought I'd point out that the current Olympics had their roots in the 19th Century. Truth is the real roots go back to the old Greek culture 776 BC. Our modern day Olympics date back to the Summer Olympics of 1896 from April 6th -15th.

14 nations participated.
122 total medals were given.
USA earned the most gold at a count of 11.
Greece earned the most medals with a total of 46.
Sports represented: Athletic basically our Track & Field today, Cycling, Fencing, Gymnastics, Shooting, Swimming, Tennis, Weightlifting, and Wrestling.

Links with additional information.
1896 Summer Olympics This site also has some pictures of from the event.

Facts from 1880 Census

Taken from Houghtaling's Handbook of Useful Knowledge ©1887

Facts from the Census of 1880
Number of families in the United States . . . . . 9,945,916
Number of dwellings in the United States . . . . 8,955,842
Number of persons to a square mile . . . . . . . . . . . 17.29
Number of families to a square mile . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.43
Number of dwellings in a square mile . . . . . . . . . . .3.02
Number of of acres to a family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .186.62
Number of persons to a dwelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.60
Number of persons to a family . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.04

Valentine's Day

The roots of this holiday extend further back than the 19th century. However, there are a few events that happened during this century that add to the texture of this holiday. And to many of the traditions we now use today.

The primary figure that we should recognize is Esther Howland who received her first Valentine card in 1847. Her family owned and operated one of the largest book and stationery stores in Worcester, MA. She decided she could make similar cards to market in the United States. Esther ordered her supplies from England and started selling her cards the next year. In 1850 she advertised these cards and hired staff to help her keep up with the orders. She retired in 1881 and sold her business to George C. Whitney Company.

Commercial cards took over the hand-made single card from folks around 1880.

St. Valentine's Eve was celebrated in the earlier part of the century for many years. Different countries would have different customs. One such custom was in England where the single men and maids would be gathered, each with a card they'd made. Here's a quote from "The Book of Days" by Robert Chambers ©1864
'On the eve of St Valentine's Day,' he says, 'the young folks in England and Scotland, by a very ancient custom, celebrate a little festival. An equal number of maids and bachelors- get together ; each writes their true or some feigned name upon separate billets, which they roll up, and draw by way of lots, the maids taking the men's billets, and the men the maids'; so that each of the young men lights upon a girl that he calls his valentine, and each of the girls upon a young man whom she calls hers. By this means each has two valentines ; but the man sticks faster to the valentine that has fallen to him than to the valentine to whom he is fallen. Fortune having thus divided the company into so many couples, the valentines give balls and treats to their mistresses, wear their billets several days upon their bosoms or sleeves, and this little sport often ends in love.'

I'm not aware of any of events, such as the one previously mentioned, today. However, our children today give Valentine's Cards to all of the classmates in school parties.

I can't find any direct information on when flowers and chocolates started to become a part of the tradition but I did find sources that mentioned small gifts being given.

If you'd like to see some of Esther Howland's cards here's a link for you.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Below you'll find an excerpt from The Handy Horse Book ©1867 This book is great for tidbits on how the animals were looked at during the 19th century. In most cases you'll find that horses were considered tools in much the same way we consider a car today. They had extreme value and were a very important part of people's lives during the 19th century. Here's a tidbit about saddling a horse.

A Saddle should be made to fit the horse for which it is intended, and requires as much variation in shape, especially in the stuffing, as there is variety in the shapes of horses' backs.* An animal may be fairly shaped in the back, and yet a saddle that fits another horse will always go out on this one's withers. The saddle having been made to fit your horse, let it be placed gently upon him, and shifted till its proper berth be found. When in its right place, the action of the upper part of the shoulder-'blade should be quite free from any confinement or pressure by what saddlers call the " gullet" of the saddle under the pommel when the animal is in motion. It stands to reason that any interference with the action of the shoulder-blade must, after a time, indirectly if not directly, cause a horse to falter in his movement.

N.B.—A horse left in the stable with his saddle on, with or without a bridle, ought always to have his head fastened up, to prevent his lying down on the saddle .and injuring it.

Girths.—When girthing a horse, which is always done upon the near or left-hand side, the girth should be first drawn tightly towards you under the belly of the horse, so as to bring the saddle rather to the off side on the back of the beast. This is seldom done by grooms ; and though a gentleman is not supposed to girth his horse, information on this as well as on other points may happen to be of essential service to him; for the consequence of the attendant's usual method is, that when the girths are tightened up, the saddle, instead of being in the centre of the horse's back, is inclined to the near or left-hand side, to which it is still farther drawn by the act of mounting, so that when a man has mounted he fancies that one stirrup is longer than the other—the near-side stirrup invariably the longest. To remedy this he forces down his foot in the right stirrup, which brings the saddle to the centre of the animal's back.

All this would be obviated by care being taken, in the process of girthing, to place the left hand on the middle of the saddle, drawing the first or under girth with the right hand till the girth-holder reaches the buckle, the left hand being then disengaged to assist in bracing up the girth. The outer girth must go through the same process, being drawn under the belly of the horse from the off side tightly before it is attached to the girth-holder.

With ladies' saddles most particular attention should be paid to the girthing.

(It must be observed that, with some horses having the knack of swelling themselves out during the process of girthing, the girths may be tightened before leaving the stable so as to appear almost too tight, but which, when the horse has been walked about for ten minutes, will seem comparatively loose, and quite so when the rider's weight is placed in the saddle.)

Stirrup-Irons should invariably be of wrought steel. A man should never be induced knowingly to ride in a cast-metal stirrup, any more than he ought to attempt to do so with a cast-metal bit.

Stirrup-irons should be selected to suit the size of the rider's foot; those with two or three narrow bars at the bottom are decidedly preferable, for the simple reason, that in cold weather it is a tax on a man's endurance to have a single broad bar like an icicle in the ball of his foot, and in wet weather a similar argument may apply as regards damp ; besides, with the double bar, the foot has a better hold in the stirrup, the rings being, of course, indented (rasp-like), as they usually are, to prevent the foot from slipping in them.

This description of stirrup, with an instep-pad, is preferable for ladies to the slipper, which is decidedly obsolete.
Latchford's* ladies' patent safety stirrup seems to combine every precaution for the security of fair equestrians.
A balance-strap to a side-saddle is very desirable, and in general use.

Where expense is no object, stirrups that open at the side with a spring are, no doubt, the safest for gentlemen in case of any accident.

With regard to Stirrup-Leathers, saddlers generally turn the right or dressed side out for appearance ; but as the dressing causes a tightness on that side of the leather, the undressed side, which admits of more expansion, should be outside—because, after a little wear, the leather is susceptible of cracks, and the already extended side will crack the soonest. The leather will break in the most insidious place, either in the D under the stirrup-iron, where no one but the servant who cleans it can see it; or else, perhaps, where the buckle wears it under the flap of the saddle. Stirrupleathers broken in this manner have caused many accidents.

Invariably adjust your stirrup-leathers before mounting.
To measure the length of the stirrup-leathers of a new saddle, place the fingers of the right hand against the bar to which the leathers are attached, and, measuring from the bottom bar of the stirrup up to the armpit, make the length of the leathers and stirrups equal to the length of your arm, from the tips of the fingers to the armpit. Before entering the field, in hunting or crossing country, draw up the leathers two or three holes shorter on each side; and when starting on a long journey it is as well to do the same, to ease both yourself and your bearer.

Curing Pork

Preserving food was a changing art in the 19th century, and very different from today. Today we simply go to the market and purchase whatever variety of meat we'd like for our dinners. Butcher Shops were not uncommon in the 19th century but many also had to prepare their own meat from the farm. Below is a section from Mrs. Hale's new cook book: By Sarah Josepha Buell Hale ©1857 It's a good description of the various ways to prepare pork.

Curing Pork.—The pork being killed, several points require attention —first, the chitterlings must be cleaned, and all the fat taken off; they are then to be soaked for two or three day* in four or six waters, and the fat may be melted for softening shoes, &c.; the inside fat, or flare, of pork must be melted for lard as soon as possible, without salt, if for pastry. The souse should be salted for two or three days, and then boiled till tender ; or fried, or broiled, after being boiled. The sides for bacon must be wiped, rubbed at the bone, and sprinkled with salt, to extract the blood : the chines, cheeks, and spare-ribs, should be similarly salted. On the third day after pork is killed, it may be regularly salted, tubs or pans being placed to receive the brine, which is useful for chines and tongues. December and January are the best months for preparing bacon, as the frost is not then too severe.
The hog is made into bacon, or pickled.
Bacon—(The method of airing Malines Bacon, so much ad mired for its fine flavor).—Cut off the hams and head of a pig, if a large one; takeout the chine and leave in the spare-rib, as they will keep in the gravy and prevent the bacon from rusting. Salt it first with common salt, and let it lie for a day on a table that the blood may run from it; then make a brine with a pint of bay-salt, one-quarter peck of common salt, about one-quarter pound of juniper-berries, and some bay-leaves, with as much water as will, when the brine is made, cover the bacon; when the salt is dissolved, and when quite cold, if a new-laid egg will swim in it, the brine may be put on the ba con, which after a week must be rubbed with the following mixture:—Half pound of saltpetre, 2 oz. of sal-prunella, and 1 pound of coarse sugar; after remaining 4 weeks, it may be hung up in a chimney where wood is burned; shavings, with •awdust and a small quantity of turf, may be added to the fire at times.
Westphalia Hams—Are prepared in November and March. The Germans place them in deep tubs, which they cover with «vers of salt and saltpetre, and a few laurel-leaves. They ar« left four or five days in this state, and then are compk-tcly covered with strong brine. At the end of three weeks, they are taken out, and soaked twelve hours in clear spring water • they are then hung for three weeks in smoke, produ"-.ed from the branches of juniper-plants.
Another method is to rub the leg intended for a bun with half a pound of coarse sugar, and to lay it aside for a night. In the morning, it is rubbed with an ounce of saltpetre, and an ounce of common salt, mixed. It is then turned daily for throe weeks, and afterwards dried in wood and turf-smoke. When boiled, a pint of oak saw-dust is directed to be put into the pot or boiler.
Obs.—Dried meats, hams, &c., should be kept in a cold bui not damp place.
Smoked provisions keep better than those which are dried on account of the pyroligneous acid which the former recei\v from the smoke.
Hams superior to Westphalia.—Take the hams as soon as the pork is sufficiently cold to be cut up, rub them well wit! common salt, and leave them for three days to drain; throw away the brine, and for a couple of hatns of from fifteen to eighteen pounds' weight, mix together two ounces of saltpetre, a pound of coarse sugar, and a pound of common salt; rub the hams in every part with these, lay them into deeppieklinf;paus with the riud downwards, and keep them for three days well covered with the salt and sugar; then pour over them a bottle of good vinegar, and turn them in the brine, and baste them with it daily for a mouth; drain them well, nib them with bran, and let them be hung for a month high in a chimney over a wood-fire to be smoked.
Hams, of from 15 to 18 Ibs. each, 2; to drain, 3 days. Common salt and coarse sugar, each 1 Ib.; saltpetre, 2 ozs.: 3 jays. Vinegar, 1 bottle: 1 month. To be smoked 1 month.
Obs.—Such of our readers as shall make trial of this admirable receipt, will acknowledge, we doubt not, that the hams thus cured are in reality superior to those of Westphalia. It was originally given to the public by the celebrated French cook, Monsieur Ude, to whom, after having proved it, we are happy to acknowledge o'tr obligation for it. lie directs that the hams when smoked should be hung as high as possible from the fire, that the fat may not be melted ;—a very necea. sary precaution, as the mode of their being cured renders it peculiarly liable to do so. This, indeed, is somewhat perceptible in the cooking, which ought, therefore, to be conducted with especial care. The hams should be very softly simmered, and uot over-done. They should be large, and of finely-fed pork, or the receipt will not answer. We give the result of out first trial of it, which was perfectly successful.
Leg of farm-house pork, 14 to 15 Ibs.; saltpetre, 1^ oz. • strong coarse salt, 6 ozs.; coarse sugar, 8 ozs.: 3 days. Fine white-wine vinegar, 1 pint. In pickle, turned daily, 1 month. Smoked over wood, 1 month.
Obs.—When two hams are pickled together, a smaller proportion of the ingredients is required for each than for one which is cured by itself. .