Suits of Jactitation and hot clay tobacco pipes…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s unusual pencil sharpener is the one shaped like two baboons playing a game of chess.

Hm, I’m thinking of repositioning the speakers for my music system so that they’ll be closer to my drawing table; I will have to get some new good quality speaker cables though; I really need information on the best type to buy, apparently ‘low oxygen copper multi-strand’ ones are best, whatever that means… What I could do with now is a handy book, packed with useful information for modern life… How about the Daily Express Enquire Within from 1934?… I don’t think so…

DSCN4009But back in 1934 it had everything that a nice British middle-class family could ever wish to know – no wonder this junk shop copy has its spine cracked and is so well-thumbed…
There are several entries on each page, and every page has a few words of wisdom, or a proverb across the top to lift your spirits as you wade through. I will include these in today’s selection:

Page 22. (Love me little, love me long.)
The Meat Hook and Jack.
The joint or article to be cooked is suspended before the fire. For roasting in this manner the lintel of the mantelpiece is furnished with a brass or iron arm, turning on pivots in a plate fastened to the lintel, and notched along its upper edge. From this arm, which is turned back against the lintel when not in use, the meat is hung and turned by means of a Jack, an instrument containing a spring, which when wound up keeps the joint revolving…

Page 417. (The noble mind has no resentments.)
To Clean Gas Globes.
These should be scrubbed with a nail brush, curd soap, soda, and water. Rinse them in warm water, and let them drain without wiping them. They should not be touched until quite dry on the outside. Then lift them with a soft towel and wipe the insides dry. If the outsides are wiped, they will be smeared…

Page 420. (Trust not the man who promises with an oath.)
Remedies for Damp Walls.
The following method is recommended to prevent the effect of damp walls on paper in rooms. Line the damp part of the wall with sheet lead, rolled very thin, and fastened up with copper nails. It may be immediately covered with paper. The lead is not to be thicker than that which is used to line tea chests.

Page 421. (Money is a good servant but a bad master.)
Easy Method of Breaking Glass to Any Required Shape.
Make a small notch by means of a file on the edge of a piece of glass, then make the end of a clay tobacco pipe, or of an iron rod of the same size, red hot in the fire; apply the hot iron to the notch, and draw it slowly along the surface of the glass in any direction you please; a crack will follow the direction of the iron.

Page 210. (One watch set right will do to set many by.)
By Suits of Jactitation of Marriage is meant suits which are brought when a person maliciously falsely asserts that he or she is already married to another, whereby a belief in their marriage is spread abroad, to the injury of the complaining party.


About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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7 Responses to Suits of Jactitation and hot clay tobacco pipes…

  1. I love this kind of book. It seems to promise an orderly, calm life in which all crises can be met and overcome. There is a solution! it promises. A nice feeling, even if maybe not true. And the practical info is a nice look at what people thought everyday life needed to be, back when. I feel I need to write this kind of book for myself and then follow it.

  2. Oh here we are, on page 678, Section 8, paragraph 4(a) – “One may fashion oneself some speaker cables, by mean of twisting a piece of waxed string through the ends of two aluminium cans. Please ensure the cans are emptied and cleaned before use. Place around the music box as close as possible to ensure good audio. One may also place smaller music boxes inside empty pringle cans for even better acoustics. It is relatively amusing to watch the crumbs dance merrily in tune with the bass.

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Gosh Scribbler! You must write a page for ‘What Hi-Fi’ – I’ll bet there is a paragraph in ‘Enquire Within’ on that sort of thing – ah yes, there is, it’s on page 468 – “The Phonograph or Gramophone” This marvellous contrivance was invented by…

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