Also, a treatise on bees
October 3, 2004 10:49 AM   Subscribe

The Household Cyclopedia - a book of general knowledge printed in 1881.
posted by Orange Goblin (19 comments total)
Wish there was a contemporary book like this.
posted by xammerboy at 10:55 AM on October 3, 2004

i love this stuff--thanks! Figure 1 represents a shoulder of mutton, which is sometimes salted and boiled by fanciful people...
posted by amberglow at 11:03 AM on October 3, 2004

If bees swarm upon the head, smoke tobacco and hold an empty hive over the head, and they will enter it.

Good to know. I almost threw out my extra empty hive.
posted by sageleaf at 11:09 AM on October 3, 2004

Wish there was a contemporary book like this.

You mean like this?
posted by jbrjake at 11:28 AM on October 3, 2004


Hysteric Fits.

This complaint, called also the hysteric passion, appears under various shapes, and is often owing to a lax, tender habit, obstruction of the menses, fluor albus, etc.

In the fit the patient is seized with an oppression in the breast, and difficult respiration, accompanied with a sensation of something like a ball ascending into the throat, which puts her under great apprehensions of being suffocated. There is a loss of speech, and generally violent convulsive motions. These, with a train of hypochondriac symptoms, are sufficient to determine the disease. to which may be added frequent laughing and crying, and various wild, irregular actions: after which a general soreness all over the body is felt, the spirits are low, the feet are cold. The urine is clear and limpid, and discharged in great quantity. The hysteric fit may be easily distinguished from fainting; for in this the pulse and respiration are entirely stopped; in that they are both perceivable.

Nothing recovers a person sooner out of the hysteric fit than putting the feet and legs in warm water.

When low spirits proceed from a suppression of the piles or the menses, these evacuations must be encouraged, or repeated cuppings substituted. When they take their origin from long-continued grief, anxious thoughts, or other distresses of mind, nothing has done more service, in these cases, than agreeable company, daily exercise, and especially long journeys, and a variety of amusements.
posted by quonsar at 11:31 AM on October 3, 2004

OMG. I used to own this, and it was fantastic. That which was not useful for the hobbyist permaculturist was fascinating anyway.

Unfortunately, my puppy was teething, and destroyed it one sad afternoon.

I've never seen another copy since.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:46 AM on October 3, 2004

So very happy to have not lived back then.
posted by fluffycreature at 11:57 AM on October 3, 2004

When a person is wet he ought never to stand, but to continue in motion till he arrives at a place where he may be suitably accommodated. Here he should strip off his wet clothes, to be changed for such as are dry, and have those parts of his body which have been wetted, well rubbed with a dry cloth.

I have apparently been doing this all wanton and out-of-order.
posted by moonbird at 1:34 PM on October 3, 2004

Wow. Advice for those without enough sense to come in out of the rain.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:47 PM on October 3, 2004

Damn, I gots to get me a flesh brush. That thing sounds useful as hell.
posted by Hildago at 2:57 PM on October 3, 2004

I see that there is nothing about what to do if you have broken glass in your underwear drawer.
posted by crunchburger at 3:21 PM on October 3, 2004

Oil of Cloves.

Oil of cloves is imported from the spice islands; it is stimulant, and added to purgative pills to prevent griping; it is externally applied to aching teeth.

I just had a bad tooth repaired, and the dentist packed it with an oil of clove preparation before he put in the temporary filling. And to think I thought my grandma was whackadoo for giving us a rag soaked in clove oil to chew on when we had a toothache.
posted by headspace at 3:24 PM on October 3, 2004

Oil of cloves is what Dr. Szell recommended.
posted by crunchburger at 3:36 PM on October 3, 2004

My dad has a bunch of these. One of the texts is on practical chemistry and how to make a variety of concoctions to simplify or shorten life. As a kid any time we had a problem, even those "if mom finds out she'll kill us for this stain" problem my dad would reach for the chemical formulary and whip something up.

In hindsight I am amazed we're not dead because I've looked at some of the things I know he made and they contain a variety of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals.
posted by substrate at 4:05 PM on October 3, 2004

Wish there was a contemporary book like this.

Also, the foxfire series has some of the same kinds of things.
posted by milovoo at 6:05 PM on October 3, 2004

One of the texts is on practical chemistry

Young's Demonstrative Translation of Scientific Secrets?
posted by milovoo at 6:15 PM on October 3, 2004

>A Natural Dentrifice.
>The common strawberry is a natural dentifrice, and its juice, without any preparation, dissolves the tartareous incrustations on the teeth, and makes the breath sweet and agreeable.

...tartareous incrustations. What a vivid phrase.
posted by philfromhavelock at 8:06 PM on October 3, 2004

4. Keep the body open by the free use of the syringe, and remove superior obstructions by aperient pills.

It sounds so quaint, doesn't it?
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:42 PM on October 3, 2004

Whatever you do, don't overlook Miscellaneous.
posted by dhartung at 9:07 PM on October 3, 2004

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