The wires may be passed through the fire to burn off the flies…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s simple, easily missed typing error is, East Yorkshite. (EY)

Come on! You like period dramas don’t you?
Let’s get strapped into my new time machine and go back to visit Britain in the 1930s. Well, actually no, we are just going to thumb through that crusty old junk shop book of mine, The Daily Express Enquire Within from 1934.
Anyway, my time machine isn’t due to be delivered until next Tuesday. I could have had it earlier, but it would have involved being sucked in to joining Amazon Prime, whatever that is!…
Anyway, here’s a photo of the title page of the book – nice globe emblem eh?…

This book has information on everything!
Pages and pages of the stuff covering a wide range of things that every nice middle class family in Britain of the 1930s might need to know. At the head of each page there is a proverb or some pithy words of wisdom to keep you going as you plough through. I will include some of these with today’s selection:

Page 267. (Never open the door to a little vice, lest a great one should enter also.)
To Search for Wills.
For a fee of one shilling all the indexes at Somerset House (or at the district registries) may be consulted, and the will, if found examined. They are arranged by years, and it is important to know the date of the testator’s death. A note may be taken of the names and addresses of the executors and the date and number of the will.

Page 63. (Half a loaf is better than no bread.)
Culinary Economy.
The English, generally speaking, are very deficient in the practice of culinary economy; a French family would live well on what is often wasted in an English kitchen. The bones, dripping, pot-liquor, remains of fish, vegetables, &c., which are too often consigned to the grease pot, or the dust heap, especially where pigs or fowls are not kept, might by a very trifling degree of management on the part of the cook, be converted into sources of daily support and comfort, at least to some poor pensioner or other, at an expense that even a miser could scarcely grudge.

Page 402, (Short reckonings make long friends.)
To Kill Flies.
Tanglefoot. – Papers coated in sheets or strips are to be had anywhere, or may be made at home. Take five parts of castor oil to eight parts of powdered resin, and heat together till the resin is dissolved. Apply while hot to the surface of the paper, or to wires suspended vertically, or stretched across a room. Tanglefoot is effective only so long as it is ‘tacky’. The wires may be passed through the fire to burn off the flies, and then may be recoated.

Page 271. (Every day in your life is a page in your history.)
Collyria or Eye Washes.
Ordinary. – Add half an ounce of diluted acetic acid to three ounces of decoction of poppy heads. Use as an anodyne wash.

Page 38. (Use a book as bee uses a flower.)
Beef Tea (Raw).
Take equal quantities of raw beef and cold water, scrape the meat finely across the grain, add the scraped meat to the water and let it stand for one hour, stirring occasionally, then strain, and serve in a coloured glass. (Silvester’s Sensible Cookery.)

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...
This entry was posted in academia, archeology, books, food, history, humour, information, instruction, learning, serendipity, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The wires may be passed through the fire to burn off the flies…

  1. Sharon Mann says:

    Lol, I’ll pass on the Beef Tea!

  2. Dana Doran says:

    A zillion things I could say about page 271…suffice it to say that opium cured a lot of problems…until it didn’t!

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