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

To prevent Moths

April 1st, 2017

In the month of April beat your fur garments well with a small cane or elastic stick, then lap them up in linen without pressing the fur too hard, and put between the folds some camphor in small lumps; then put your furs in this state in boxes well closed.

When the furs are wanted for use, beat them well as before, and expose them for twenty-four hours to the air, which will take away the smell of the camphor.

If the fur has long hair, as bear or fox, add to the camphor an equal quantity of black pepper in powder.

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

Method of cleaning Paper-Hangings

March 16th, 2017

Cut into eight half quarters a quartern loaf, two days old; it must neither be newer nor staler. With one of these pieces, after having blown off all the dust from the paper to be cleaned, by the means of a good pair of bellows, begin at the top of the room, holding the crust in the hand, and wiping lightly downward with the crumb, about half a yard at each stroke, till the upper part of the hangings is completely cleaned all round. Then go round again, with the like sweeping stroke downwards, always commencing each successive course a little higher than the upper stroke had extended, till the bottom be finished. This operation, if carefully performed, will frequently make very old paper look almost equal to new.

Great caution must be used not by any means to rub the paper hard, nor to attempt cleaning it the cross, or horizontal way. The dirty part of the bread, too, must be each time cut away, and the pieces renewed as soon as it may become necessary.

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

To prevent Beer becoming Flat after it is drawn

March 6th, 2017

Put a piece of toasted bread into it, and it will preserve the spirit for twelve hours after, in a very considerable degree.

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