Sunday 10 March 2013


Found this great old book late last year at an Aladdins Fair. It's called "The Concise HOUSEHOLD ENCYCLOPEDIA" and contains everything you would need to know to run a household in the 1930s. I know it can't be any earlier than 1930 as it refers to a 1930 Traffic Act in the section about maintaining and driving an automobile.

It was in extremely good condition for a book of its type and age. Generally these books look rather tired due to the many fingers thumbing through them for advice over the years. Not sure if fingers can actually thumb through anything but you know what I mean. Maybe the previous owner of this book knew everything and didn't need to refer to it very often.

It's the sort of book that could appeal to anybody as there are not only articles on household management but also on all types of hobbies, pets, cars, etc.. It even tells you how to stuff a squirrel. This is the sort of book that many would remember seeing at their grandmother's place.

 Below is a random selection of pages from the book.

Details on how to make arches for the garden. I like the rustic one made from branches.

Typically English house plan. It always amuses me how they put hand basins in the bedrooms. I suppose this is  a legacy of the days of having a washstand with a jug and bowl in the bedroom.

Lots on how to look after baby. This page interested me as I am an avid collector of Baby Feeding Bottles and accessories. This baby feeder looks like an "Allenbury's" feeder. Allenbury's were the first to really make the double ended boat shape or banana type feeder. This type of feeder could be hygienically rinsed out under running water, unlike many of its predecessors.

Even a section on which is the best chicken for your situation. And in colour too!

Plans to make a nursery or playground swing. And even a short note on what to do if your pigs get swine fever.

How to maintain and repair your mangle. And we complain about doing the washing now. By the way, I am looking for a mangle to go with my kitchenalia and laundry collection. Please let me know if you know of someone who wants to get rid of one.

How to build a practical and pleasing dining table.

Another colour plate. Suggested colour schemes for you house. I suppose this page would have lost its impact if it was in black and white.

And of course, how to stuff a squirrel (or taxidermy). Just what everyone needs to know.
There is so much more in this book to look at. I hope you liked the small selection that I have shown you. Oh well, it must just about be time for me to make a cup of tea, settle into a comfy chair and go through the book from cover to cover to see what other gems I can find.

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