Outdated Handy Hints

           Image by Marie Vonow

I enjoy reading handy hints and have also sent some in to magazines and been rewarded with a few dollars and some prizes. However, I was reminded how quickly times change when I was reading hints in a book printed in the seventies. Although many of the hints are still practical there were some that are irrelevant now. Then I came across a book of household hints from the early 1900s and that was quite an eye opener.

Outdated hints from the seventies
  • Remove a cheque from your cheque book and keep it in your purse in case you forget your cheque book.
  • Line your medicine cabinet with blotting paper to absorb any cosmetic or medicine spills.
  • Store photographic film in the fridge so it stays fresh for longer
  • Label your slides with the place, date, names of people etc as soon as they are developed to make slide evenings more enjoyable
  • Involve the children when moving house. Encourage school aged children to look up information about your new home town at the library. Look at the map together and let them help you plan the most convenient route.
Outdated hints from the early 1900s
  • Boil two sugar bags and dye them dark brown or navy blue and use to make overalls for a young boy to wear when playing in the back yard.
  • Use unbleached calico to make children's sun hats as they wash well and can be starched to the desired degree of stiffness.
  • Pop a sealed tin of condensed milk in the copper on washing day along with the clothes. The boiling water will turn the condensed milk into a lovely caramel filling for tarts. Alternatively it can be thinned with a small quantity of hot milk and used as a sauce to pour over a plain pudding.
  • Use a large bead such as the type used on milk jug covers as a replacement shoe button if you do not have a spare shoe button.
  • Cut an old felt hat into strips to make wicks for your hurricane lamp. The strips should be soaked in oil until needed.
Youngsters today may need to use the internet to look up some of the terms such as copper, hurricane lamp, blotting paper, slides and perhaps even cheques.


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