To Keep Flies Out of a Room

April 12th, 2018

Put a few drops of oil of lavender on a sponge placed in a saucer of hot water. This will give out a scent which flies dislike. If you do not wish to try it in the house, put the sponge on a table on the porch if the flies are troublesome there.

Source: 1001 Household Hints, Ottilie V. Ames

Phalon’s Instantaneous Hair Dye

March 1st, 2018

To one ounce of crystallized nitrate of silver, dissolved in one ounce of concentrated aqua ammonia, add one ounce of gum arabic and six ounces of soft water. Keep in the dark. Remember to remove all grease from the hair before applying the dye.

There is danger in some of the patent hair dyes, and hence the Scientific American offers what is known as the walnut hair dye. The simplest form is the expressed juice of the bark or shell of green walnuts. To preserve the juice a little alcohol is commonly added to it with a few bruised cloves, and the whole digested together, with occasional agitation, for a week or fortnight, when the clear portion is decanted, and, if necessary, filtered. Sometimes a little common salt is added with the same intention. It should be kept in a cool place. The most convenient way of application is by means of a sponge.

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

To Eradicate Corns

January 17th, 2017

Bathe the corn in warm water, with a sponge, on going to bed, until it has become tender ; then wet the corn with a bit of slackened potash, or some caustic of potash, or with a very strong ley. Repeat two or three times.

Source: Valuable Receipts, J.M. Prescott

The Burning of Sponge, Burnt Sponge

March 13th, 2016

Cut the sponge in pieces, and bruise it, so as to free it from small stones; burn it in a close iron vessel, until it becomes black and friable; afterwards reduce it to a very fine powder.

This medicine has been in use for a considerable time, and employed against scrofulous disorders and cutaneous foulnesses, in doses of a scruple and upwards. Its virtues probably depend on the presence of a little alkali. It also contains charcoal; and its use may be entirely superseded by these substances, which may be obtained in other manners, at a much cheaper rate.

Source: The Edinburgh New Dispensatory, Andrew Duncan