French Polish

June 6th, 2017

Take a quarter of an ounce of gum sandarac and a quarter of an ounce of gum mastic; pick the dirt and black lumps out very carefully, and pound them in a mortar quite fine; put them into a bottle, and add to them a quartern (old measure) of strong spirit of wine; cork it down and put it in a warm place; shake it frequently till the gum is entirely dissolved, which will be in about twenty-four hours.

Before using it, be careful to ascertain that no grease is on the furniture, as grease would prevent its receiving the polish. If the furniture has been previously cleaned with bees’-wax or oil, it must be got off by scraping, which is the best way, but difficult to those who do not perfectly understand it, because if you are not very careful, you may scratch the surface, and create more expense than a workman would charge to do it properly at first. Or it may be done by scouring well with sand and water, and afterward rubbed quite smooth with fine glass paper, being careful to do it with the grain of the wood. To apply the polish, you must have a piece of list or cloth twisted, and tied round quite tight, and left even at one end, which should be covered with a piece of fine linen cloth; then pour a little of the polish on the furniture, and rub it well all over till it is worked into the grain of the wood, and begins to look quite smooth; then take a soft fine cloth, or what is better, an old silk handkerchief, and keep rubbing lightly until the polish is complete, which will take two or three hours. It will greatly help the polish if it is done near a fire.

If it does not look so smooth and clear as it should, a little sweet oil rubbed lightly over, and cleaned off directly, will greatly heighten it. If any part of the furniture has carving about it, where it will be impossible to polish, it must be done with mastic varnish, and a camel’s hair brush, after the rest is finished.

When the polish begins to look dull, it may be recovered with a little spirit of wine.

Source: The Cook’s Oracle and Housekeeper’s Manual, W.M. Kitchener

Bran Tea: a Remedy for Colds, etc.

February 8th, 2017

Boil a large handful of bran in a quart of water for ten minutes, then strain off the water into a jug, sweeten it with one ounce of gum arabic and a good spoonful of honey; stir all well together, and give this kind of drink in all cases of affections of the chest, such as colds, catarrhs, consumption, etc., and also for the measles.

Source: A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes, C.E. Francatelli

Sore Gums

December 30th, 2016

Brandy and salt will remove soreness of the gums.

Source: Valuable Receipts, J.M. Prescott

For the Teeth

December 12th, 2016

A very agreeable dentifrice is made from an ounce of myrrh in fine powder, and a little powdered green sage, mixed with two spoonfuls of honey. The teeth should be washed with it every night and morning. Spite of all that is said against it, charcoal holds the highest place as a tooth-powder. It has the property, too, of opposing putrefaction, and destroying vices of the gums. It is most conveniently used when made into paste with honey.

Source: The Housekeeper’s Friend: A Practical Cookbook

Mac’s Pile Ointment

September 19th, 2016

Gum Camphor 2 drams.

Citrine Ointment 3 drams.

Oxide of Zinc 2 drams.

Powdered Opium 1 dram.

Powdered Galls 1 dram.

Tannic Acid 1/2 dram.

Vaseline to make 2 ounces.

I have put up above for hundreds of sufferers, and have never known a case where great relief has not been experienced, and almost invariably a complete cure wrought.

Source: Tested Formulas and Useful House and Farm Recipes, T. Kenny

For Toothache

August 18th, 2016

The worst toothache, or neuralgia, coming from the teeth may be speedily and delightfully ended by the application of a bit of clean cotton saturated in a solution of ammonia to the defective tooth. Sometimes the late sufferer is prompted to momentary laughter by the application, but the pain will disappear.

Alum reduced to a powder, a teaspoonful of the powder and an equal quantity of fine salt well mixed, applied to the gums by dipping your moistened finger in the mixed powder; put some also in the tooth, and keep rubbing the gums with it; it scarcely ever fails to cure.

Source: The White House Cookbook, F.L. Gillette

To Keep The Hair In Crimp

August 16th, 2016

Ladies are annoyed by the tendency of their hair to come out of crimp or curl while boating, or horse-back riding. Apply the following bandoline before putting the hair in papers or irons : A quarter of an ounce of gum-tragacanth, one pint of rose-water, five drops of glycerine ; mix and let stand over night. If the tragacanth is not dissolved, let it be for a half a day longer ; if too thick add more rose-water, and let it be for some hours. When it is a smooth solution, nearly as thin as glycerine, it is fit to use. This is excellent for making the hair curl. Moisten a lock of hair with it, not too wet, and brush round a warm curling-iron, or put up in papillotes. If the curl comes out harsh and stifle, brush it round a cold iron or curling-stick.”

Source: The Housekeeper’s Friend: A Practical Cookbook

To make a rare Medicine for the Chine-Cough

June 3rd, 2016

Make a Syrrop of Hysop-water and white Sugar Candy, then take the Powder of Gum Dragon, and as much of white Sugar Candy mixed together, and eat of it several times of the day, or take the above-named Syrrop, either of them will do the Cure.

Source: The Queen-like Closet or Rich Cabinet, Hannah Wolley

Ointment to Soften the Hands

March 25th, 2016

One and a half pound of mutton tallow, one ounce of camphor gum, one ounce of glycerine, melted; when thoroughly mixed put away to cool. Rub on at night.

Source: Audel’s Household Helps, Hints and Receipts

Preservatives against the ravages of Moths

September 19th, 2015

Moths are very apt to eat woollen and fur garments early in the summer. To keep them from the garments, take them late in the spring, when not worn, and put them in a chest, with considerable camphor gum. Cedar chips, or tobacco leaves, are also good for this purpose. When moths get into garments, the best thing to destroy them is to hang the garments in a closet, and make a strong smoke of tobacco leaves under them. In order to do it, have a pan of live coals in the closet, and sprinkle on the tobacco leaves.

Source: The American Housewife