Spons' Household Manual A treasury of domestic receipts and a guide for home management
Footnote anchors are denoted by [number], and the footnotes have beenplaced at the end of the book. There are only 3 in this book.
Quantities are separated from the unit by a space, for example ‘3 ft.’or ‘12½ lb.’ Some quantities had a linking - such as ‘12½-lb.’ Forconsistency this - has been removed in the etext.
The cover image was created by the transcriberand is placed in the public domain.
Numerous minor changes to the text are noted at the end of the book.
A TREASURY OF
And Guide for
E. & F. N. SPON, 125 STRAND.
SPON & CHAMBERLAIN, 12 CORTLANDT STREET.
Time was when the foremost aim and ambition of the English housewifewas to gain a full knowledge of her own duties and of the duties of herservants. In those days, bread was home-baked, butter home-made, beerhome-brewed, gowns home-sewn, to a far greater extent than now.
With the advance of education, there is much reason to fear that theessentially domestic part of the training of our daughters is being moreand more neglected. Yet what can be more important for the comfort andwelfare of the household than an appreciation of their needs and an abilityto furnish them. Accomplishments, all very good in their way, must,to the true housewife, be secondary to all that concerns the health, thefeeding, the clothing, the housing of those under her care.
And what a range of knowledge this implies,—from sanitary engineeringto patching a garment, from bandaging a wound to keeping the frost out ofwater pipes. It may safely be said that the mistress of a family is calledupon to exercise an amount of skill and learning in her daily routine suchas is demanded of few men, and this too without the benefit of any specialeducation or preparation; for where is the school or college which includesamong its “subjects” the study of such every-day matters as bad drains, orthe gapes in chickens, or the removal of stains from clothes, or thebandaging of wounds, or the management of a kitchen range? Indeed,it is worthy of consideration whether our schools of cookery might notwith very great advantage be supplemented by schools of general householdinstruction.
Till this suggestion is carried out, the housewife can only refer to booksand papers for information and advice. The editors of the present volumehave been guided by a determination to make it a book of referencesuch as no housewife can afford to be without. Much of the matter is, ofcourse, not altogether new, but it has been arranged with great care in a[iv]systematic manner, and while the use of obscure scientific terms has beenavoided, the teachings of modern science have been made the basis of thosesections in which science plays a part.
Much of the information herein contained has appeared before inlectures, pamphlets, and newspapers, foremost among these last being theQueen, Field, Lancet, Scientific American, Pharmaceutical Journal, Gardener’sChronicle, and the Bazaar; but it has lost nothing by repetition, and hasthis advantage in being embodied in a substantial volume that it canalways be readily found when wanted, while every one knows the fate ofleaflets and journals. The sources whence information has been drawnhave, it is believed, in every case been acknowledged, and the editors takethis opportunity of again proclaiming their indebtedness to the very largenumber of lecturers and writers whose communications have found a placewithin these covers.
Hints for selecting a good House, pointing out the essential requirementsfor a good house as to the Site, Soil, Trees, Aspect, Construction, andGeneral Arrangement; with instructions for Reducing Echoes, Water-proofingDamp Walls, Curing Damp Cellars
Water Supply.—Care of Cisterns; Sources of Supply; Pipes; Pumps; Purificationand Filtration of Water
Sanitation.—What should constitute a good Sanitary Arrangement; Examples(with illustrations) of Well- and Ill-drained Houses; How to Test Drains;Ventilating Pipes, &c.
Ventilation and Warming.—Methods of Ventilating without causing colddraughts, by various means; Principles of Warming; Health Questions;Combustion; Open Grates; Open Stoves; Fuel Economisers; Varieties ofGrates; Close-Fire Stoves; Hot-air Furnaces; Gas Heating; Oil Stoves;Steam Heating; Chemical Heaters; Management of Flues; and Cure ofSmoky Chimneys
Lighting.—The best methods of Lighting; Candles, Oil Lamps, Gas, IncandescentGas, Electric Light; How to Test Gas Pipes; Management of Gas
Furniture and Decoration.—Hints on the Selection of Furniture; on the mostapproved methods of Modern Decoration; on the best methods of arrangingBells and Calls; How to Construct an Electric Bell
Thieves and Fire.—Precautions against Thieves and Fire; Methods ofDetection; Domestic Fire Escapes; Fireproofing Clothes, &c.
The Larder.—Keeping Food fresh for a limited time; Storing Food withoutchange, such as Fruits, Vegetables, Eggs, Honey, &c.
Curing Foods for lengthened Preservation, as Smoking, Salting, Canning,Potting, Pickling, Bottling Fruits, &c.; Jams, Jellies, Marmalade, &c.
The Dairy.—The Building and Fitting of Dairies in the most approved modernstyle; Butter-making; Cheese-making and Curing
The Cellar.—Building and Fitting; Cleaning Casks and Bottles; Corks andCorking; Aërated Drinks; Syrups for Drinks; Beers; Bitters; Cordialsand Liqueurs; Wines; Miscellaneous Drinks
The Pantry.—Bread-making; Ovens and Pyrometers; Yeast; German Yeast;Biscuits; Cakes; Fancy Breads; Buns
The Kitchen.—On Fitting Kitchens; a description of the best Cooking Ranges,close and open; the Management and Care of Hot Plates, Baking Ovens,Dampers, Flues, and Chimneys; Cooking by Gas; Cooking by Oil; theArts of Roasting, Grilling, Boiling, Stewing, Braising, Frying
Receipts for Dishes.—Soups, Fish, Meat, Game, Poultry, Vegetables, Salads,Puddings, Pastry, Confectionery, Ices, &c., &c.; Foreign Dishes
The Housewife’s Room.—Testing Air, Water, and Foods; Cleaning andRenovating; Destroying Vermin
The Dining-Room.—Dietetics; Laying and Waiting at Table; Carving;Dinners, Breakfasts, Luncheons, Teas, Suppers, &c.
The Drawing-Room.—Etiquette; Dancing; Amateur Theatricals; Tricksand Illusions; Games (indoor)
The Bedroom and Dressing-Room.—Sleep; the Toilet; Dress; BuyingClothes; Outfits; Fancy Dress
The Nursery.—The Room; Clothing; Washing; Exercise; Sleep; Feeding;Teething; Illness; Home Training
The Sickroom.—The Room; the Nurse; the Bed; Sickroom Accessories;Feeding Patients; Invalid Dishes and Drinks; Administering Physic;Domestic Remedies; Accidents and Emergencies; Bandaging; Burns;Carrying Injured Persons; Wounds; Drowning; Fits; Frostbites; Poisonsand Antidotes; Sunstroke; Common Complaints; Disinfection, &c.
The Bathroom.—Bathing in General; Management of Hot-Water System.
The Laundry.—Small Domestic Washing Machines, and methods of gettingup linen; Fitting up and Working a Steam Laundry
The Schoolroom.—The Room and its Fittings; Teaching, &c.
The Playground.—Air and Exercise; Training; Outdoor Games andSports
The Workroom.—Darning, Patching, and Mending Garments
The Library.—Care of Books
The Farmyard.—Management of the Horse, Cow, Pig, Poultry, Bees, &c.
The Garden.—Calendar of Operations for Lawn, Flower Garden, and KitchenGarden
Domestic Motors—A description of the various small Engines useful fordomestic purposes, from 1 man to 1 horse power, worked by various methods,such as Electric Engines, Gas Engines, Petroleum Engines, Steam Engines,Condensing Engines, Water Power, Wind Power, and the various methodsof working and managing them
Household Law.—The Law relating to Landlords and Tenants, Lodgers,Servants, Parochial Authorities, Juries, Insurance, Nuisance, &c.
It is both convenient and rational to commence this volume with a chapter on theconditions which should guide a man in the choice of his dwelling. Unfortunately thereis scarcely any subject upon which ordinary people display more ignorance, or to whichthey pay so little regard. In the majority of instances a dwelling is chosen mainly withregard to its cost, accommodation, locality, and appearance. As to its being healthy orotherwise, no evidence is volunteered by the owner, and none is demanded by theintending resident. The consequences of this indifference are a vast amount of preventiblesickness and a corresponding loss of money. The following remarks are intendedto educate the house-seeker in the necessary subjects, being subdivided under distinctheadings for facility of reference.
Site.—Of modern scientists who have studied the great health question, none hasmore ably treated the essentials of the dwelling than Dr. Simpson in his lecture for theManchester and Salford Sanitary Association. This Association has done wonders inimproving sanitation in the Midlands, and we cannot do better than follow Dr. Simpson’steaching.
Soil.—He insists, first of all, on the great importance of the soil being dry—either drybefore artificial means are used to make it so, or dry from drainage. To this end someelevation above the surrounding land conduces. A hollow below the general levelshould, as a matter of course, be avoided; for to this hollow the water from all the adjacenthigher land will drain, and if the soil be impervious the water will lodge there. Itwill thus be damp, and, as is well known, it will be a colder situation than neighbouringones which are a little raised above the general level. Those who live where they canhave gardens will find the advantage of the higher situation in its being much less subjectto spring and early autumn frosts than the hollow just below. This is due not onlyto the former being damper, but to the fact that the heat of the ground on still nightspasses off into space (is “radiated”) more rapidly than from the higher situation, wherethere is more movement in the air. The soil should not be retentive of moisture, as clayis when undrained; nor should it be damp and moist from the ground water (concerningwhich a few words will be said farther on), as is much alluvial soil, i.e. soil which hasbeen at some former time carried down and deposited by rivers or floods. On the whole,sand or gravel, if the site be sufficiently elevated, is probably the best, as it allows allwater to get away rapidly. Then come various rocks, as granite, limestone, sandstone,and chalk.
Towns often present one specially dangerous, and therefore specially objectionablesoil—that where hollows have been filled up with refuse of all kinds. This refuse ismade up of all kinds of vegetable, and, more or less, animal matter, often of the mostnoxious character, together with cinders, old mortar, and no one knows what besides.This becomes a foul fermenting mass, which is often built upon and the houses inhabitedbefore the process of decomposition is completed, and the noxious gases cease to be givenoff. Many outbreaks of disease have been traced most unmistakably to this criminalact of putting up jerry buildings on pestilential sites. It is easy for any one to understandhow this may be when he thinks of the way the house acts on the soil it is builtupon, or rather on the moisture and gases contained in the soil. The house is warmedby the fires and by the people living in it, and the heated air has a tendency to rise.The pressure on the gases in the soil is lessened, and they are drawn up into the house,which acts as a suction pump. This could not happen if the foundation were air-tight;but this is rarely the case, and too often indeed “cottage property” is built without anyfoundation at all. Drs. Parkes and Sanderson recommended that such soil should notbe built upon “for at least two years,” but it would be well to give it another year.Attention must also be paid to the “ground water”—the great underground sea of whichwe find evidences almost anywhere that we seek for them. Sometimes it is found evena foot or two only from the surface, in other places at 15, 20, or 40 ft. This water risesand falls in some places rapidly, rising after heavy rains, and falling in dry weather.If