Monday, July 31, 2017

Big Bonanza

The Big Bonanza was the events surrounding the Silver Mines in Nevada in the 19th Century. Dan deQuille, History of the Big Bonanza wrote the book in 1876 giving an account of the lives and people of Nevada.

Below I'm sharing the foreward written by Mark Twain, it is quite an endorsement.

One easily gets a surface-knowledge of any remote country, through the writings of travellers. The inner life of such a country is not very often presented to the reader. The outside of a strange house is interesting, but the people, the life, and the furniture inside, are far more so.

Nevada is peculiarly a surface-known country, for no one has written of that land who had lived long there and made himself competent to furnish an inside view to the public. I think the present volume supplies this defect in an eminently satisfactory way. The writer of it has spent sixteen years in the heart of the silver-mining region, as one of the editors of the principal daily newspaper of Nevada; he is thoroughly acquainted with his subject, and wields a practised pen. He is a gentleman of character and reliability. Certain of us who have known him personally during half a generation are well able to testify in this regard.
Hartford, May, 1876.

Friday, July 28, 2017

1851 Pistol Gallery

Okay today I have an advertisement from the Burlington Free Press Oct. 3, 1851 edition. At first glance I was thinking that a pistol gallery was an early name for bowling alley. But as I researched further I'm wondering if it was in fact a pistol gallery. Here's the ad, let me know what you think it is:

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Western Travel 1851

I found this ad in the 1851 Burlington Free Press. What I found interesting is the offer to bring their belongings at no charge. Today we can't even fly with a suitcase without paying extra to see this offer for families going west with all of their possessions was quite something. Also the opening paragraph lays out the way to head West. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

1862 Adjustable Handcuffs

In 1862 W. V. Adams invented an adjustable handcuff. Prior to this date all handcuffs were a one size fits all item. Adams invented a ratchet mechanism allowing them to be adjustable. He received his patent on June 14, 1862.

Here is the report of the file patent:
No. 1,650.—George W. Reeo, assignor to W. V. Adams, New York, N. Y.—Handcuff.— Patent dated June 14, 1862; reissued April 5, 1864.
Claim.—First, a handcuff or shackle composed of the two sections A and B hinged together and constructed substantially as described, and provided with the lock C, or its equivalent
Second, in combination with the shackle as above described the clevis, or staple, substantially as set forth.

Another report:
No. 35,576.—W. V. Adams, of New York, N. Y.—Improvement in Shackles or Handcuffs.— Pateut dated Juno 17, 186'i.—This device consists of two curved sections pivoted together at their upper ends and provided with a locking apparatus, so arranged as to render the shackle adjustable in size. Upon the pivot that secures the two sections together is a hasp, through the eye of which passes the link of tho connecting chain.
Claim.—The combination of the hasp E with the sections A and B, for the purpose of allowing to each one of a pair of shackles a motion independent of tho other when in use, as described.

Here's a picture of a pair of Adams Handcuffs that went on sale on the internet a while back.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Rattle Root - Black Cohash

This is an herb still used today the material below comes from "The Indian Household Medicine Guide" ©1883

Macrotys Racemosa. Black Cohosh. Rattle Root. Rattle Root is one of the finest remedies known in the Indian and Eclectic practice. Its medical powers and actions on the human system are simply wonderful. I have used it in over two thousand cases in which it was indicated, and it gave myself and the patient's satisfaction. It grows in most parts of the United States. It has a long stalk that grows into several branches, and each branch has a long plume-like cluster of little round pods, which are full of seeds. When the stalk is shaken the seeds will rattle, producing a sound like that of a rattlesnake, from which it takes the name of rattle root. The root is the medicinal part, and is best gathered during the months of July, August, and September. The main body of the root should be cut into several pieces carefully, as you will find it full of dirt, and then dried, watching that it does not mold before it dries out.

Medical properties and uses.—Without this plant or root the Indian squaw-doctor or midwife would feel that she had lost her king of female remedies. It is called by the Indians, squaw root. It is a very active remedy, in its proper administration, on the serous and mucous tissues, and for many cases of rheumatism, especially that of a muscular character. It acts on the nerves, and quiets nervous excitability. The Indian squaw doctors have their patients take this remedy two or three months before confinement, and it has that marked effect on them that they are never troubled with false rheumatic pains, hemorrhages, or lengthy labors. An Indian squaw, when following her tribe, if confined, will stop by the wayside for that day and wait upon herself, and the next day will proceed and overtake her tribe, while but few of our civilized women can get out of bed under the ninth or fourteenth day, and even after that they have to use strict care for a month or six weeks, and even longer. I know of no remedy that is better to overcome suppressed menstruation, or in words that are understood by all, the checked monthly flow, when it is caused by cold or nervous weakness. It is one of our very best remedies in a great many womb troubles, Girls, at the age of twelve, thirteen, or fourteen years, the time they usually enter womanhood, or the time when their monthlies become established, have often serious trouble with irregularity of flows; some flowing to a great extent, some not enough. In such cases as these this remedy is almost a certain relief, and cures if properly given. I prepare my tincture in this manner: Take the fine crushed root and fill a pint or quart bottle half full, and add whisky or diluted alcohol until full; keep it well corked, and shake once or twice every day for fourteen days. In female troubles I give from five to ten drops of the tincture in a teaspoonful of water four times a day. The largest dose should never exceed thirty drops; the smallest is one. In the treatment of rheumatism it is always better to combine the tincture of Prickly Ash with it in equal portions.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Chocolate Cake

This recipe comes from "Six Little Cooks" By Elizabeth Stansbury Kirkland ©1877 Note the debate about the one cup measurement at the end of this entry.

No. 5—Chocolate Cake.
One cup butter, two of sugar, three and a half of flour, one scant cup sweet milk, five eggs, omitting two whites, one teaspoonful cream tartar, one-half do. soda, one do. extract vanilla.

Meringue for the same. Beat the whites of the 'two eggs very light with one and a half cups powdered sugar; six tablespoon fills grated chocolate, two teaspoonfuls vanilla. Put the meringue on while the cake is hot, and leave it in the pan to cool.

"I don't see how any one can judge of what a 'cupfull ' is, Aunt Jane," said Hose, "cups are of such different sizes. Papa's coffee-cup is a perfect monster, and' mamma's tea-cup is a mite, small enough'for a fairy."

"Kitchen cups are not apt to vary much in size^" replied Aunt Jane, "and those are what are taken as a measure. If there is a great difference, we should choose one of a medium size. Then, you must remember, that when there are several things measured in cups, they will be proportioned to one another; so if you find after one experiment that your cake has not enough eggs in proportion to the other ingredients, you will know that your cups are too large; if the egg is too predominating, it will be because the cups are too small; so you will-'sbon . learn the happy medium."

"Besides," said Edith, "I suppose every little girl will have some grown person to show, her about these things , the first time, and then, after that she can remember. Won't you give us some more receipts, Mrs. King?"

Friday, July 21, 2017

1837 Stoves

In the interest of what kinds of stoves existed and when in the 19th century I'm posting an advertisement that appeared in the Nov. 3, 1837 newspaper "Burlington Free Press" It has some hand drawings of the stove they are advertising.
For those who are having a hard time reading the advertisement it states:
The Subscriber would inform their friends and the Public that they have just received a general assortment of Stoves, of various kinds and most approved patterns, which they are determined in selling the very lowest prices; among which are the
Improved Rotary, Cooking, 2 sizes,
Best Premium, (Troy) do. 5 sizes,
Various kinds Box
Elegant parlor Stoves &c
also Stove pipe of various sizes and qualities, wholesale and Retail. Stove furniture constantly on hand or made to order on short notice. A small assortment of hollow ware suitable for Stoves. Persons wishing to purchase are invited to call and look at their assortment, as they have xxxx of Superior Castings,
Burlington, October 20th,
Opposite the Jail Church St.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Lost Horse

In the Jan. 5, 1836 in Rutland, Vermont's newspaper "The Rutland Herald" I stumbled across two notices of where folks had found horses. In the first the gentleman found one stray that came into his property. In the other the poster found three horses that came into his property. Each were asking the owners to identity their horses and pay for the damages that came from these horses entering their properties. I found this interesting because of the request that the owner pay for the damages. We've all heard of the value of a horse and even death by hanging for stealing a horse in some places. But the owner being responsible for damages their livestock has done...well that just gets the creative juices flowing, doesn't it?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Poplar Indian Medicine Herbal

I've only known of poplar as a type of hard wood that my dad used to make our hutch with. But apparently the bark was used for medicinal purposes. This comes from "The Indian Household Medicine Guide." ©1883

Populus Tremuloides.
This is a very valuable remedy, and should be used more than it is, and would be if everybody knew of its valuable properties. It is a plant common to this country, and is best gathered in the fall of the year, and is within the reach of everybody.

Medical properties and uses.—There are two kinds of barks, white and yellow; one is as good as the other. It is a very valuable remedy in all stomach troubles. It is a fine tonic, and should be used in cases of general debility with feeble digestion. It is good for convalescents when the appetite is deficient. My brother, some few years ago had a severe spell of continued fever. After the fever broke his convalescence was very slow; he had no appetite, and was swarthy, weak, and melancholy; the smell of victuals was that of disgust rather than a pleasure. Our family physician, and a good one, gave him tonics, but without the desired effect. I chanced to be at home at the time, and my mother being alarmed about his condition, asked me if I could recommend anything in our line of practice that would be good for him, give him an appetite and build him up. I recommended equal parts of the inner barks of poplar and dogwood and sarsaparilla root, cut up fine and put in a quart bottle until it was half full, then add whisky till full, and take a large tablespoonful, or a common swallow, before each meal. She did so, he took it, and in four weeks gained fifteen pounds. It immediately increased his appetite, strengthened his nerves, and restored his complexion to its natural color. He now lives twenty miles east of Cincinnati, Clermont county, Ohio. I will give you an Indian formula still better than the above:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

1867 Costs in Montana

The information below comes from "The Montana Post" (Virginia City, Montana Territory Jan. 5, 1867 newspaper. What I found is a market report of the costs of various products. They state theprices in gold or large lots from first hands, unless otherwise stated, and that in filling orders, higher rates have to be paid. I've enlarged the column and it is in several parts.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Children's Games

I stumbled on this paragraph while reading "The Home: a Fireside Monthly"©1858. The paragraph includes various games played by the adults in the conversation. If you know of any source that explains these games I'd love for you to share them with us.

"Why not? What is your objection?" asked my brother from Iowa, who had come for a few days' visit. "I am sure I should like myself, to see a children's party, such as we used to have at home. Don't you remember the famous plays in Mr. Reed's dining-room, and at Squire Dickinson's ? — Button, and Hunt the Slipper, and Blind Man's Buff, and Here we go around the Barberry Bush! I should be very sorry to be without such recollections, or to have my children grow up without them."

Note: Blind man's buff not bluff at this time. And I'm wondering if Button is the same as Button, Button, Who's Got the Button? Hunt the Slipper could have been played this way. Also, Here we go around the Barberry Bush or Mulberry Bush as we tend to know it today.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Necktie or Neck-Dressings as they were called in the late 19th Century

There were a variety of ties represented in the 1894 The Clothier & Furnisher but I've included a picture of this rather unique neck-dressing from the Muldaur Company. A company finding themselves in the forefront of various new styles. I can imagine a gentleman big on fashion wearing this tie and other men scratching their heads wondering why. Below the picture is the excerpt from the magazine.

Very remarkable is the display of neck-dressings that has marked the career of the Muldaur Company. Each season finds them to the fore with a multiplicity of new styles such as is the wont of every first-class retailer to see. The revival of the flat scarf for winter wear has been one of the predictions of neckwear connoisseurs this season. The Muldaur Company is one of the first to bring ti out in their line of samples. The illustration herewith given is one of the many pretty shapes to be found in their offerings. The ground is a handsome dark blue silk, and is relieved by polka dots in white. This live concern introduced, this season, a new clasp for fastening the ends of the neck band at the back of the collar. This device is not only more sightly in appearance than any other that has ever been introduced in the trade, but it is also the most practicable. The retailer will do well to watch for this in the display that will be shown them by the Muldaur Company.

Below is the illustration of the tie clasp.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Clothing Cartoon 1894

Below you will find a cartoon that appeared in an 1894 magazine called "The Clothier and Furnisher" I selected the cartoon for two reasons. One to share the sense of humor. Two to show the style of clothing depicted as well as the hair style of the tailor.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Chicken Pot-Pie

This is one of my family's favorite meals. I put chicken, a broth-gravy, potatoes, carrots, peas an various spices cover with biscuits or pie crust. However, as I searched recipe books from the 19th century there were no vegetables added to the dish. Personally, we love our veggies.

Below are various recipes:

Veal and Chicken Potpie. Joint the chickens, if made of them, and boil them till half done ; take them out; put them, dry, into a pot, making alternate layers of crust and fowl, seasoned with pepper and salt; then, pour in the liquor in which the fowls were boiled, upon the upper layer of crust, which covers the fowls. If a brown crust is desired : with a heated bake pan lid, keep the pot covered. Add, from the teakettle, boiling water, as that in the pot wastes. Raised piecrust , *- * is preferable to that made for fruit pies, though, if but, little
shortened, that is good. For raised crust, mix a teaspoonful of salt, and a teacup of melted butter, with three pints of flour, and then pour in half a teacup of yeast, adding cold water to make it stiff enough to roll out; placing it where warm, it will require from se'ven to eight hours to rise, unless you use brewer's yeast. Roll it out, when risen, and cut it into small cakes.
Potato pie crust is good. Peel and mash fine eight boiled potatoes ; mix with them half a pint of milk, a teaspoonful of salt, a hen's egg size piece of butter, and flour enough for rolling out. Put with the meat, the cakes after rolled out and cut.
By working into unbaked wheat dough, a little melted lukewarm butter, nice crust may be made. Before putting it with the meat, let it lay ten or fifteen minutes, after it is cut and rolled into cakes.
Source: The Improved Housewife ©1847

Chicken Pot Pie.—Cut a chicken in pieces; if it is not a young chicken parboil it in water enough to cover it, with half a pound of salt pork cut in slices, or a tea-spoonful of salt in it. Skim it carefully. Make a paste with half a pound of sweet lard rubbed into one pound of flour and a tea-spoonful of salt; add enough water to work it to a smooth paste ; roll the crust about half an inch thick, and line with it the sides of n stew-pan nearly to the bottom. Lay the chicken in the crust, and add a piece of butter the size of an egg rolled in flour; put in the water the chicken was parboiled in, and if necessary add more hot water till the stew-pan is nearly full. Cut part of the paste in small diamonds, and put them in the pie. Put on the top crust, first laying skewers across the top of the stew pan. Cut a slit in the centre. Put on the lid of the stew-pan, and let it boil slowly three-quarters of an hour, or more, if necessary. When the crust is well done the dish can be served.
Source: Mrs. Hale's New Cook Book ©1857

Mrs. F. D. J.
Cut in small pieces one chicken, not too young; wash and put into a stone or earthen basin with sufficient water to cover, set this on the stove and let it cook until quite tender; then add to this broth (which will have cooked away a little,) half a pint of sweet milk, (perhaps not quite so much,) and one-half a can of fine oysters; season with pepper and salt, and mace if liked; put in bits of butter, and two tablespoons of flour. Now make a nice soda biscuit crust; roll out about an inch-thick and cover the meat; cut a hole in the middle of the crust, and put in the oven. When the crust is baked a rich brown set the dish on the stove, where the meat will gently simmer in the gravy, and steam the crust, (with a tin cover over,) for about ten minutes. Serve in the dish in which it is cooked, with a knitted cover.
Source: The Home Cook Book ©1876

Chicken Pot-pie.—Clean, singe, and joint a pair of chickens. Pare and slice eight white potatoes; wash the slices and put with the pieces of chicken into a stewpan lined with pie-crust; season with salt and pepper, dredge with flour, and cover with water. Cover with-paste, making a hole in the centre; cover the kettle, and either hang it over the fire or set it in the oven. If in the oven, turn occasionally to brown evenly. Two hours' cooking is sufficient. When done, cut the upper crust into moderate-sized pieces and place them on a large dish; with a perforated ladle take up the potato and chicken, put it upon the crust; cut the lower crust and put on the top. Serve the gravy hot in a gravy tureen.
Source: Our New Cook Book ©1883

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Elephant Rusks in Vermont

Below is an article from Country Gentleman ©1865 Vol.26

The Tusk of an Elephant found in Brattleboro'
The tusk of a fossile elephant was found in a muck bed about five feet below the surface, on the farm of D. S. Pratt, in this town, on Saturday, Sept. 2, by a workman who was digging muck. The tusk is 44 inches in length, and 18 inches in circumference at the largest end, and 11 inches at the smallest. It is in a fair state of preservation, although some parts of it crumbled after being exposed to the air. The workman on discovering it took a piece to Mr. Pratt, remarking as he handed it to him. that he had found a curious piece of wood. Mr. Pratt on looking at it discovered its true nature. This tusk belonged to a species of elephant long since extinct, supposed to be the Elephas Primogenius (or mamir»th) Bhimeitback, that inhabited the northern parts of North America, having wandered across the Siberian plains to the Arctic Ocean and Behring Straits and beyond to this country south to about the parallel of 40°. Their bones show them to have been about twice the weight and one-third taller than our modern species.

The remains, (tusks, teeth, and several bones.) of one of these elephants were found at the summit of the Green Mountains, at Mount Holly, in 1848, by workmen engaged in building the railroad from Bellows Falls to Rutland. These remains were found in a muck-bed, 11 feet below the surface and at an elevation of 1415 feet above tide water. Most of the bones found, including a molar tooth, were taken by the workmen and others and carried out of the State. The most perfect tusk was secured by Prof. Zadock Thompson and is lodged in the State Cabinet at Montpelier. This tusk was 80 inches long and four inches in diameter. The molar tooth, now in possession of Prof. Agassiz, weighs 8 pounds and presents a grinding surface of 8 inches long and 4 broad. A plaster cast of it is on exhibition with the tusk at our State Cabinet.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mason Jar Ad 1865

This ad was in an 1865 publication of Country Gentleman, Vol. 26. Note that they looked a little different than what we are used to today.
Mason Jars were actually patent Nov. 30 1858.

John L. Mason also filed in Nov. 19, 1872 this:
Improvement in Screw-Neck Bottles, granted to Johs L Mason, November 30, 1858.
Claim.—1. A screw nock or nozzle of a jar or bottle, in combination with a groove separating the thread from the shoulder of the bottle or jar, as described.
2. A screw on the exterior of the neok of a bottle or jar, In which the neck extends above the screw-thread and tbe thread vanishes into the neck of the bottle or jar, substantially as described.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Aaron Burr Treason

We are all aware of Burr's famous duel with Hamilton but were you aware of the treason charges brought against him? The charge trying to steal land in the Louisiana Purchase. The evidence was a letter "supposedly" written by Burr. In the end the grand jury discovered the letter was written by Wilkinson in an attempt to frame Burr. Wilkinson defended his letter saying it was a copy he made because he'd lost the original. In the end Burr was not guilty and was never convicted of anything but the damage had been done.

You can read more about this trial at Reports of the trials of Colonel Aaron Burr

You can also read the subpoena given to Thomas Jefferson to testify at the trial. Located at the Library of Congress.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

19th Century Medical Books

Below is a resource list of Medical books folks had available to them during the 19th century. This is not a complete list but something to start from.

1827 The Medical Companion

1831 A Treatise on Family Medicine

1845 A Family Medicine Directory

1860 Homoeopathic Family Medicine

1865 Household Medicine Surgery Sick Room

1871 The Family Medical Guide

1883 The Indian Household Medicine Guide

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

1811 Heat wave

Here are some headlines and tidbits from Medford Mail Tribune, July 5th edition, about a heat wave that hit the east in 1811.
120 Deaths in Windy City
in this article it mentions 750 people were sleeping in the city parks. They weren't homeless they were trying to combat the heat.
Temp was recorded at 100 degrees.
64 Perish in the past 3 Days in New York
in this article it also mentions crops drying up in the middle west
Iowa Fruit and Vegetables destroyed
Omaha, Neb temps reached 105, deaths reported but no number given.

The source was 1911 Medford Mail Tribune, July 5th.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

4th of July Happy Independence Day

I've selected four addresses delivered during the first half of the 19th century regarding Independence Day. I find it fascinating to see what was said and thought of by those who were actually living during the time period I'm writing about. Even the choices of the language they use. Anyway, for those of us who are Americans, enjoy our Independence Day.

In 1810 an Oration was given by Dr. George Cumming at the Presbyterian church in East Rutger Street, New York.

In 1822 John Quincy Adams delivered this message in Washington, DC.

In 1833 Rev John Budd Pitkin delivered this address in Richmond, VA.

In 1854 David Ramsey delivered this message in Cincinnati, OH.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Greene River Flooding 1880

Below is a clipping from Keowee Courier, Feb. 19, 1880 that started me on the journey of discovering more about this flooding. My question was, why was it Flooding in Feb.? Here's the article:

On further research I answered my question with this information: "the warm Chinook Wind from the north" would come during the winter months and melt the heavy snowfall in the mountains and also cause heavy rains.

The loss of business makes for interesting writing material. I also found a business who built above the highest flood water for their building to avoid the nearly constant river floods.