Tag Archives: Odds and Ends
household

Hints for Home Comforts from 1855

This list appeared in the November 1855 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book. The 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.

Hints for Home Comforts

  • A short needle makes the most expedition in plain sewing.
  • When you are particular in wishing to have precisely what you want from a butcher’s, go and purchase it yourself.
  • One flannel petticoat will wear nearly as long as two, if turned behind part before, when the front begins to wear thin.
  • People in general are not aware how very essential to the health of their inmates is the free admission of light into their houses.
  • A leather strap, with a buckle to fasten, is much more commodious than a cord for a box in general use for short distances; cording and uncording is a nasty job.
  • Sitting to sew by candlelight by a table with a dark cloth on it is injurious to the eyesight. When no other remedy presents itself, put a sheet of white paper before you.
  • People very commonly complain of indigestion; how can it be wondered at, when they seem, by their habit of swallowing their food wholesale, to forget for what purpose they are provided with teeth.
  • Never allow your servants to put wiped knives on your table, for, generally speaking, you may see that they have been wiped with a dirty cloth. If a knife is brightly cleaned, they are compelled to use a clean cloth.
  • There is not anything gained in economy by having very young and inexperienced servants at low wages; they break, waste, and destroy more than an equivalent for higher wages, setting aside comfort and respectability.
  • No article in dress tarnishes so readily as black crape trimmings, and few things injure it more than damp; therefore, to preserve its beauty on bonnets, a lady in nice mourning should in her evening walks, at all seasons of the year, take as a companion an old parasol to shade her crape.
  • A piece of oil-cloth (about twenty inches long) is a useful appendage to a common sitting-room. Kept in the closet, it can be available at any time to place jars upon, etc, which are likely to soil your table during the process of dispensing their contents; a wing and duster are harmonious accompaniments to the oil-cloth.
  • In most families many members are not fond of fat; servants seldom like it—consequently there is frequently much wasted; to avoid which, take off bits of suet fat from beefsteaks, etc, previous to cooking; they can be used for puddings. With good management, there need not be any waste in any shape or form.
  • Nothing looks worse than shabby gloves; and, as they are expensive articles in dress, they require a little management. A good glove will last six cheap ones with care. Do not wear your best gloves to concerts or assemblies where full dress is not required— the heat of the gas, etc, gives a moisture to the hands, that spoils the gloves; do not wear them in very wet weather; as carrying umbrellas, and drops of rain, spoil them.
  • A given quantity of tea is similar to malt— only giving strength to a given quantity of water, as we find therefore any additional quantity is waste. Two small teaspoonfuls of good black tea, and one three parts full of green, are sufficient to make three teacupfuls agreeable, the water being put in, in a boiling state at once; a second edition of water gives a vapid flavor to tea.
  • It may sound like being over particular, but we recommend persons to make a practice of fully addressing notes, etc, on all occasions; when, in case of their being dropped by careless messengers (which is not a rare occurrence), it is evident for whom they are intended, without undergoing the inspection of any other parties bearing a similar name.
  • Children should not be allowed to ask for the same thing twice. This may be accomplished by parents, teacher (or whoever may happen to have the management of them), paying attention to their little wants, if proper, at once, when possible. The children should be instructed to understand that, when they are not answered immediately, it is because it is not convenient. Let them learn patience by waiting.
  • We know not of anything attended with more serious consequences than that of sleeping in damp linen. Persons are frequently assured that they have been at a fire for many hours, but the question is as to what sort of fire, and whether they have been properly turned, so that every part may be exposed to the fire. The fear of creasing the linen, we know, prevents many from unfolding it, so as to be what we consider sufficiently aired; but health is of more importance than appearances; with gentleness, there need be no fear of want of neatness.
  • If the weather appears doubtful, always take the precaution of having an umbrella when you go out, particularly in going to church; you thereby avoid incurring one of three disagreeables: in the first place, the chance of getting wet— or encroaching under a friend’s umbrella— or being under the necessity of borrowing one, consequently involving the trouble of returning it, and possibly (as is the case nine times out of ten) inconveniencing your friend by neglecting to return it. Those who disdain the use of umbrellas generally appear with shabby hats, tumbled bonnet ribbons, wrinkled silk dresses, &c. &c., the consequence of frequent exposure to unexpected showers, to say nothing of colds taken, no one can tell how.
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.

brass-bed

Sleep Talking – Godey’s Lady’s Book May 1832

This is merely a modification of somnambulism, and proceeds from similar causes, namely, a distribution of sensorial power to the organs of speech, by which means they do not sympathize in the general slumber, but remain in a state fit for being called into action by particular trains of ideas.

If, for instance, we dream that we are talking to some one, and if these organs are endowed with their waking share of sensorial power, we are sure to speak. Again, the mere dream, without a waking state of the organs, will never produce speech; and we only suppose we are carrying on conversation, although, at the time, we are completely silent. To produce sleep talking, therefore, the mind, in some of its functions, must be awake and the organs of speech must be so also. The conversation, in this state, is of such subjects as our thoughts are most immediately occupied with; and its consistency or incongruity depends upon that of the prevailing ideas being sometimes perfectly rational and coherent: at other times full of absurdity.

The voice is seldom the same as in the waking state. This I would impute to the organs of hearing being mostly dormant, and consequently unable to guide the modulations of sound. The same fact is observable in very deaf persons, whose speech is usually harsh, unvaried, and monotonous. Sometimes the faculties are so far awake, that we can manage to carry on a conversation with the individual, and extract from him the most hidden secrets of his soul. By such means things have been detected, which would otherwise have remained in perpetual obscurity.

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Swearing Oath

The Boy on the Witness Stand

Judge Grosh, of Pennsylvania, communicates the following:

After the plea “not guilty” was entered, and the jury was sworn or affirmed, a small, very intelligent-looking boy, was called to the witness-stand. The defendant’s attorney objected to his testifying, on account of his age, etc…

The attorney for the Commonwealth said the boy was unusually intelligent, and requested the Court to examine his competency; and I proceeded accordingly, very mildly:

Judge: What is your name, my son?

Boy: —– ——. (Giving his name very distinctly, which I do not now remember.)

Judge: Where do you reside, my little man?

Boy: In this city, sir.

Judge: Have you a parent or parents alive and residing here?

Boy: Only one; my mother.

Judge: Do you attend school, my son?

Boy: Yes, sir.

Judge: I presume, from your intelligent and praiseworthy conduct here, that you will soon be allowed to attend the High School, and become a useful man, and (if necessary) assist your good mother. (This drew tears of pleasure to his eyes, and he replied that, by the favor of the School Directors, he had attended the High School for the last six months.)

Judge: How old are you, my good boy?

Boy: My mother says that on tomorrow I will be thirteen years old.

Judge: Are you here to give evidence to the court and jury in this case?

Boy: Yes, sir; if required so to do.

Judge: Do you know the solemnity of the obligations of a judicial oath, my son? Reflect before you answer.

Boy: (Very modestly.) I think I do.

Judge: What will be your punishment, my dear boy, if you swear falsely, or speak a lie on oath?

Boy: I will be sent to the penitentiary, (weeping) and thus break my dear mother’s heart. (There were other eyes besides his in that house overflowing with tears.)

Defendant’s attorney: (frowning) Boy, don’t you know that if you tell a lie, on your oath, when you die you will be endlessly tortured in a fiery pool?

Boy: That would be an additional inducement to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; but that punishment can be avoided by a timely repentance; but repentance will avail nothing to keep me out of the penitentiary.

Judge: You are a noble boy! Who gave you these excellent instructions?

Boy: My mother, sir.
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revolvers

Scenes at the South from National Anti-Slavery Standard

Fatal Rencontre
We learn from the Yeoman, the particulars of a melancholy affray which took place in Scottsville, Allen county, Ky., on the 9th instant. It appeared that a man named Borden had put in circulation disreputatable reports concerning a woman of that town, in consequence of which he was called upon by David A. Porter and his three sons, to give him the alternative of signing a retraction, or of leaving the town.

On his refusing to do either, they assaulted him, but were prevented from doing injury, and left him. On meeting him in the street, subsequently, one of them armed with a pistol, and the others with clubs and stones, they again assaulted him. The old man and one of the sons struck him, upon which he discharged a pistol with which he had armed himself previously, which took effect, lodging three balls in the old man’s breast, who died in two minutes. Borden fell at the same time, and after he was so severely beaten that his scull was fractured in several places. Hopes of his recovery were entertained.
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Poison

Poisons and Antidotes from Godey’s Lady’s Book 1854

We have before published poisons and antidotes; but we find, in Mrs. Hale’s “Household Receipt-Book,” directions so plain and short that we are induced to give them again. In fact, they cannot be published too often.

NOTE: These are from an 1854 publication and should not be used without first consulting with a physician – if at all.

Acids — These cause great heat, and sensation of burning pain, from the mouth down to the stomach. Remedies, magnesia, soda, pearlash, or soap, dissolved in water; then use stomach-pump or emetics.

Alcohol — First cleanse out the stomach by an emetic, then dash cold water on the head, and give ammonia (spirits of hartshorn).

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