Tag Archives: 19th century
Spring Cleaning with Godey's Lady's Book

Spring Cleaning with Godey’s Lady’s Book

Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine was intended to entertain, inform and educate the women of America. In addition to extensive fashion descriptions and plates, the early issues included biographical sketches, articles about mineralogy, handcrafts, female costume, the dance, equestrienne procedures, health and hygiene, recipes and remedies and the like.

Miscellaneous Tips

These tips on the cleaning and maintenance of the home appeared in an 1855 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

  • TO CLEAN FURNITURE— An excellent method of cleaning mahogany furniture, which is not French polished, is this: Put into half a pint of linseed oil, a small quantity of alkanet-root, and a little rose-pink. Let this mixture stand for three days in a vessel that will allow stirring it, and stir it three or four times each day, and then put it into a bottle for use. If the furniture is very dirty, wash it with soap and warm water, and then rub with vinegar, and before the vinegar is thoroughly dried off, lay on, with a bit of old flannel or rag a covering of the mixture, and continue rubbing until the oil is well soaked in. Then rub with a clean soft cloth until it is quite dry and bright. If the furniture is not very dirty, the vinegar may be used without the soap and water.
  • TO CLEAN FEATHERS — Take for every gallon of clear water one pound of fresh-made quicklime; mix them well together, and let it stand twenty-four hours, then pour off the clear liquid. Put the feathers into a tub, and pour over them enough lime-water to thoroughly cover them. Stir them round and round, briskly and rapidly, for a few minutes, and leave them to soak for three days. Then remove them from the lime-water, and thoroughly rinse in clean water, and spread them to dry. They will dry better where a drought of air can reach them; and should be spread very thinly, and frequently moved, until they are quite dry. This plan may be used, either for new feathers or for such as have become heavy or impure by age or use.
  • TO CLEAN DECANTERS — Cut some raw potatoes in pieces, put them in the bottle with a little cold water, rinse them, and they will look very clean.
  • TO RENOVATE BLACK SILK — Slice some uncooked potatoes, pour boiling water on them; when cold, sponge the right side of the silk with it, and iron on the wrong.
  • TO CLEAN CARPETS — After all the dust is taken out, tack your carpets down to the floor. Then mix half a pint of bullock’s gall with two gallons of soft water; scrub it well with soap and this gall-mixture; let it remain till dry, it will then look like new. Be careful your brush be not too hard.
  • STRAW MATTING — Straw matting should be cleaned with a large coarse cloth dipped in salt and water, and carefully wiped dry. The salt prevents the matting from turning yellow.
Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.


Capture-New-Orleans-OG

The Capture of New Orleans

The Civil War Collection Part I: A Newspaper Perspective contains major articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.  Since all major events are described in detail by both Union and Confederate newspapers, opposing perspectives are readily available for comparative evaluations.

This news item appeared in the The New York Herald on May 1, 1862.

The Capture of New Orleans – Its Effect Upon the Present War

The New York Herald - May 1, 1862

The New York Herald – May 1, 1862

The earlier accounts of the capture of the city of New Orleans were subject to grave doubt and speculation in Wall street, and stock operations were consequently very carefully carried on. The subsequent despatches have, however, so fully confirmed the fact that all the doubts of the Wall street men have vanished into thin air, and now they are among the staunchest believers in the return of the Crescent City to its old allegiance. The financiers have given the most practical proof of their belief by the rapid upward movement of stocks – the unfailing indicator of public confidence – which have ascended from ninety-three some days ago to nine-eight, at which point they now stand. This is the most decisive evidence that can be given of the satisfaction with which the cheering news is now received. Public confidence was never stronger in the final success of our arms, and the loss of New Orleans to the rebels is regarded as one of a fatal and concluding blow.

We are now only awaiting the full details of this most important victory, which will doubtless reach us in a very short time. As yet we have had no tidings of General Butler, who, nevertheless, must be somewhere in the neighborhood. At the proper time the people will hear from him. The great feat of the capture of the city seems to have been accomplished by Commodore Farragut, one of the most distinguished and accomplished naval officers of the United States. It is seldom that the annals of naval warfare record so brilliant and successful an exploit, conducted under circumstances of the greatest disadvantage, but resulting in honor and glory to the brave men who participated in it.

Part I of our Civil War collection, A Newspaper Perspective, contains articles gleaned from over 2,500 issues of The New York Herald, The Charleston Mercury and the Richmond Enquirer, published between November 1, 1860 and April 15, 1865.
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Average Woman

The Average American Woman (1878)

“Now is the time when the average American woman begins to negotiate for a handsome Christmas present for her husband —at some store where his credit is good.”— The Boone County (Iowa) Republican.

Exactly! It is the “average American woman” who tends the babies, washes, cooks, scrubs, washes dishes, irons, bakes and sews, and sits down in the evening tired and discouraged, to take up the weekly paper and read such cruel and insulting taunts and jeers, because in spite of her care and toil, she is unselfish enough to wish to give her husband a Christmas present.

It is the ‘average American woman” who takes ten cents worth of flour and converts it into thirty-five cents worth of bread.

Who earns the bread for the family, the husband who gives ten cents worth of labor, or the wife who gives twenty-five?

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Newspapers Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily, The Revolution, and the National Citizen and Ballot Box.

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Hayes-Lost

President Hayes: A Lost Opportunity

President Hayes has lost another opportunity of reminding the country of its injustice toward woman. Again a message has gone before Congress, and no mention made of the women citizens of the country.

The Chinese have a saying, that “even the gods cannot help those who lose an opportunity.”

Two years ago, a committee from the National Woman Suffrage convention was appointed to call upon President Hayes, and remind him that no women had been appointed as commissioners from this country to the Paris Exposition, while many of the departments the commissioners were to investigate could much more satisfactorily be reported upon by women—as laces, embroideries, &c. The president received this committee, of which the editor of the NATIONAL CITIZEN was one with due courtesy, even reading from among his private papers those duties of commissioners which he recognized as more likely to be satisfactorily performed by women. “But, ladies, you are too late,” said he. “You should have petitioned Congress a year ago; these appointments have been settled a long time.”

This item, and others like it, can be found in Accessible Archive’s Newspapers Collection. We can provide access to fully searchable newspapers by and for women including The Lily, The Revolution, and the National Citizen and Ballot Box.

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How to Cook Potatoes

How to Cook Potatoes in Godey’s Lady’s Book

Godey’s Lady’s Book magazine was intended to entertain, inform and educate the women of America. In addition to extensive fashion descriptions and plates, the early issues included biographical sketches, articles about mineralogy, handcrafts, female costume, the dance, equestrienne procedures, health and hygiene, recipes and remedies and the like.

Our collection provides the complete run of Godey’s Lady’s Book, and is the only one containing the color plates as they originally appeared.

These potato recipes appeared in the February 1867 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

BOILED POTATOES — There are really so many ways of even boiling potatoes that it is difficult to satisfy one’s mind which is the best, each being good, providing it is well done. The French, however, hold that by using too much water the flavor of the potatoes becomes seriously impaired; but it depends entirely upon the quality of the potatoes whether they are better done in their jackets or peeled: though towards the end of spring, when they get old, it is greatly preferable to pare them, as the skins then contain a narcotic property which gives the potatoes a strongly disagreeable flavor. In any case, potatoes should be boiled quickly, care being taken to choose them of an equal size, and cutting them in half when they are large. Rather small-sized potatoes are to be chosen in preference to those of overgrown proportions, and it is at all times in better taste to have potatoes rather underdone than boiled to pieces.

The following is the most generally received method of boiling potatoes. Thoroughly wash and pare them, place them in a small saucepan with sufficient cold water to cover them, place them upon a clear fire, and bring them to a boil as speedily as possible. Good potatoes of a proper size will be done in about fifteen or twenty minutes after beginning to boil. Strain off the water and serve as soon as possible, without sprinkling salt over them, or adding any to the water in which they were cooked. One thing against the addition of salt is that careless cooks generally use it with such a heavy hand. Some housekeepers advocate placing the saucepan of potatoes over the fire again after the water has been poured away, but if the potatoes are done as they should be, this process, instead of being an improvement, only tends to give the potatoes a bad flavor. When intended to be mashed or converted into a made-dish, potatoes should invariably be boiled without salt being employed, as it deadens them both in flavor and quality; but for made-dishes generally potatoes are preferable steamed instead of boiled.

Godey’s Lady’s Book— Louis Antoine Godey began publishing Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1830. He designed his monthly magazine specifically to attract the growing audience of literate American women. The magazine was intended to entertain, inform, and educate the women of America.

(more…)