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Friday, January 27, 2017

Great grandmother’s scrapbook/poetry/recipe book


My great grandmother, Rebecca Chambers, died when I was 4 1/2 mos. old so I never had a chance to know her.  However I have a book she must have spent some time working on. It appears to have been a book with blank pages and there is writing on some of the pages but she pasted newspaper clippings over most of them. I can distinguish isolated words but can make no sense of what the whole sentences are.

This appears to have been something she worked on between 1900 and 1915 as I have dates for some obits pasted among all the tidbits she found important.  There are many, many recipes from newspapers, cut out and carefully glued onto each page. Since she lived in Winthrop, MA and worked for a Dr. in Boston, there is no telling what newspapers she cut these from.

Interspersed with the recipes are other cut outs, some of news, poetry she must have found enjoyable, and others of homemade remedies. This last one caught my interest and I wondered just what concoctions were brewed up in the family kitchen 117 years ago.

Thought I’d share some of these. The first one I found was:

An Old Fashioned Cough Remedy
“In case of an obstinate cough or cold in the throat, so often among little children in the winter, take a 5-cent package of hops, steep one half in a cup and a half of water.  When cooked down to one half the amount strain and mix with one cup and a half of molasses and allow this mixture to just come to a boil. When cool it is ready and will keep any length of time. The hops soothe and quiet the throat and is not unpleasant to take. It saves buying cough syrups, which often take the child’s appetite away and upsets the stomach. In my own family, I have used this and found it helpful with myself as well as my little ones.
Dose – One teaspoonful after coughing spells. Mrs. Robert Treadwell, 19 Bellevue Ave. Cambridge
                                                                                                                                                  Cough Medicine
Boil four tablespoons of flaxseed in one quart of water, strain, add a cents worth of rock candy, half a cup or more of brown sugar and the juice of two lemons. Boil again, let cool and drink freely. If this remedy is given when the cough first appears it will afford immediate relief.   Zetland

Chapped Hands
If you are troubled with chapped and face this cold weather, fill a bottle with one-third glycerin, one-third water and one-third witch hazel. Use on hands and face at night. It is much better than rose water and glycerin and witch hazel is both healing and whitening to the skin. Many people can’t use rose water at all. They say it seems to burn the skin.  Eternal Progress

Treatment for Croup
Take the white of 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and beat well, then give to patient 1 teaspoonful every 15 minutes till all is taken. This has been known to stop a very croupy cough. Mrs. George Bourret. 22 Daniel St., Fitchburg

Remedy for Chapped Hands
Boil one pint of rain water, when cold add 1 heaping tablespoonful of rochelle salts, 1 teaspoonful of tincture of benzoin, perfume if desired. Mrs. Earnest Morse, Box 195, West Acton

To Strengthen a Child’s Legs
When a child’s legs seem weak, bathe them every night in warm water in which potatoes have been boiled.

For Sore Throat
Wring a flannel out of hot vinegar and sprinkle with pepper and bind on neck.
Emily F. Noyes, Woodsville, NH

There were many other ‘helpful hints’ about washing clothes, washing your hair, remedies for all sorts of ailments, but were repetitious to some degree. So I thought I would close this blog and get back to my other research, post haste.

I close with this:

Which month are you?

A January bride will be a prudent housekeeper and very good tempered.

A February bride will be a kind and affectionate wife and tender mother.

A March bride will be a frivolous chatterbox, somewhat given to quarreling.

An April bride will be inconsistent, not very intelligent but fairly good looking.

A May bride will be handsome, amiable and likely to be happy.

A June bride will be impetuous and generous.

A July bride will be handsome and smart, but a trifle quick tempered.

An August bride will be amiable and practical.

A September bride will be discreet, affable and much liked.

An October bride will be pretty, coquettish, loving but jealous.

A November bride will be liberal, kind, but of a wild disposition.

A December bride will be fond of novelty and entertainment.

And now for those of us in the USA – it is TAX Season, never my favorite time of year.


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