Saturday, 31 May 2014

Bibliophilia: Forgotten Household Crafts – John Seymour

One of many books that John Seymoura fervent proponent of self-sufficiency, wrote. Very opinionated, and some might say his views are a bit backwards, but I think he’s on the right track. I’ve mentioned before that I tend to find the mundane day to day aspects of history, i.e. how regular people lived, a lot more absorbing than the broad sweeps of politics and warfare.

Filled with many line drawings, of things that would baffle most people if they came across one in an antique store. Sugar nippers, ale mullerfluting iron, curd agitatorwooden peg dollyhemming bird, wooden standing rushlight holder, and many other weird and wonderful things of domestic life of decades and centuries past.

The section on hearths and various stoves I personally found fascinating. The section on ice houses (and the Raplin ice maker), as well as ale houses and dairies were also really interesting. 

(And I was aware of this, but seeing as I have no connection in life with wooden barrels, I only dimly recalled it. A barrel is only correctly a barrel if it holds 36 gallons. A Pin holds 4.5 gallons, a Firkin 9 gallons, a Kilderkin 18 gallons, a Barrel 36 gallons, a Hogshead 54 gallons, a Puncheon 72 gallons, and a Butt 108 gallons.)

Most of the entries here are at best an introduction. If you want an in-depth look at anything, you’ll need to turn to another source. If there is a criticism of this book is that it deals more with tools than skills.

1 comment:

  1. These sound like great old-time insults:

    Sugar nippers, ale muller, fluting iron, curd agitator, wooden peg dolly, hemming bird, wooden standing rushlight holder.

    My favorite might be 'Curd Agitator'.