Practical Housekeeping :: Tips from 1883

Historic family photo circa 1883Here are some rather charming housekeeping hints from a book called Practical Housekeeping, Buckeye Publishing Co., 1883 that I picked up at one of the super secondhand bookshops around here. These hints seem as good now in 2016 as they were in the year before our Deerfield bed and breakfast was built.

And read on down the best way to preserve a husband and children. Very dear!

Practical Housekeeping Hints

  • To prevent cupboard door hinges from creaking, rub with a feather dipped in oil.
  • A copper tea kettle may be kept looking bright and new by washing in sour milk followed by clear water.
  • To clean a coffee pot: put a mixture of wood ashes and water in pot bring to gradual boil and let stand till water cools. Then scrub in hot water and soap, then scald 2 or 3 times. When wood ashes are lacking substitute baking soda. Rub bad stains with sand or brick dust.
  • To toughen new glassware, place in cold water, bringing it gradually to a boil and boil for 4 hours. Allow to cool slowly in the water. Hot water will never subsequently crack it.
  • To remove old tea and coffee stains, wet spot with cold water; cover with glycerine and let stand.
  • Pieces of gum camphor placed near books on shelves will protect them from mice.
  • To brighten silk hose, when washing add a tablespoon of vinegar to the rinse water.
  • To prevent rust on garden tools, wipe off with a rag soaked in coal oil.
  • To remove iron rust from delicate fabrics, cover the spot thickly with cream of tartar, then twist the cloth to keep cream of tartar over the spot. Place in a saucepan of cold water and heat the water to boiling point.
  • To clean pie tins and remove rust scour with raw potato dipped in cleanser.
  • Silverware, when set away, keeps best wrapped in blue tissue paper.
  • Brick tiles can be cleaned with a vegetable or small paint brush dipped in white vinegar then sponged off.

How to preserve a husband
Be careful in your selections. Do not choose one too young and take only such varieties as have been reared in a good moral atmosphere. When once decided upon and selected, let that part remain forever settled and give your entire thoughts to preparation for domestic care.

Some insist on keeping them in a pickle, while others are constantly getting them in hot water. Even poor varieties may be sweet, tender and good by garnishing them with patience, well-sweetened with smiles, and flavored with kisses to taste. Wrap well in a mantle of charity. Keep warm with a steady fire of domestic devotion and serve with peaches and cream. When thus prepared they will keep for years!

How to preserve children
Take 1 large grassy field, 1/2 dozen children, 2 or 3 small dogs, a rippling brook and some pebbles. Mix the children and dogs well together and put them in a field, stirring constantly. Pour the brook over the pebbles and sprinkle the field with a variety of flowers. Spread over all a deep blue sky and bake in the hot sun. When golden brown remove and set away to cool in a bath tub.