Monday, October 18, 2021



Let’s Talk about Time

By Annee Jones

          In conducting the research for my upcoming book, A Child’s Faith, Book #16 in the Keepers of the Light series, I became curious about the history of timekeeping, as the father of my main character is a clockmaker.  I found this subject also quite “timely” for a Christmas story, especially since the archetype of Father Time has played so strongly in classic literature set during this time of year (consider Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, for example).    

          In early civilizations, farmers sectioned time into quadrants for planting, growing and harvesting.  However, the actual day or hour was not important.  As communities grew and life became more complex, the need for order increased.  Egyptians realized the parts of day could be marked via the positioning of obelisks and the shadows they cast.  Other early methods of keeping time included the hourglass, water-powered devices, and candles that burned at a fixed rate.

          Early modern clockmakers were master craftsmen who designed and built clocks by hand.  Clockmaking was considered the most technically advanced trade throughout the 15th to 17th centuries.  Thus, the best clockmakers also often built scientific instruments, since they were the only ones trained in the fabrication and assembly of precision mechanical apparatus. 

          Clocks were first brought to the American colonies in the early 1600s. Owning and displaying a clock or timepiece was considered a status symbol, an indication of wealth and relative importance in society.

          The standardization of working hours and train schedules that were hallmarks of the Industrial Revolution brought about the need for ever more precise timekeeping.  By the 19th century, wooden casings and individual clock parts were beginning to be mass-produced in small factories. The skilled work of assembling and synchronizing the parts, however, still had to be done by hand by master clockmakers.  

          By the 20th century, interchangeable parts and standardized designs allowed the entire clock to be assembled in factories, and clockmakers have since only specialized in repair.

          Because early clockmakers had to fashion all the intricate parts and wheelwork of clocks by hand, they developed specialized tools to help them.  Some of these include the following:  

Balance Truing Caliper: This device was used in fashioning the wheels and gearwork of the clock, to make sure the wheel, particularly the balance wheel was balanced and circular. The pivots of the wheel were mounted in the caliper. An index arm was moved next to the edge and the wheel was spun to see if the edge was true.

Die/Screw Plate: The die plate was used to cut threads on small screws. It had a number of threaded die holes of different sizes for making different threads. A piece of wire was inserted in a hole and turned to cut a thread on the end. Then a head would be formed on the other end of the wire to make a screw.

File: Hardened steel files were used to shape the metal before it was used to make and fit wheels or plates. There were many variations of files.

Rivet Extracting Pliers: Made of brass or steel, rivet extracting pliers were used to remove rivets from assorted clock parts.

Jeweler’s Piercing Saw: The blade of the saw was released by undoing the thumbscrew adjacent to the handle. To start an interior cut, a hole was drilled and the blade was inserted and reattached to the saw. This device was popular among clockmakers to repair the ends of clock hands.

Staking tool: An iron vertical plunger was used with an array of stakes for placing rollers and balanced wheels on staffs.

Turns: The "turns" was a small bow-operated lathe used for furbishing parts and for working gear blanks to size. During use, the device was clamped in a vise and the worker held a cutting or polishing tool on a tee-shaped tool rest with one hand, and shifted the bow back and forth to spin the part.

Cross Peen Riveting Hammer: The flat end of the tool was for general use, whereas the radiused peen end was used for flattening rivet heads. This tool was used for forging, riveting, striking steel, etc.

    Watch for more books from me next year featuring clockmakers and the theme of time! 

About Me:

Annee Jones is an inspirational romance novelist who enjoys sharing her heart and imagination with others.  She is passionate about writing stories that offer hope and encouragement and likes to think of her books as “romance filled with faith and a sprinkle of fairy dust!”

Professionally, Annee works as a disability counselor where she helps her clients navigate through complex medical and legal systems while rediscovering their wholeness in Spirit.

Annee also enjoys professional freelance writing for Publishers Weekly in the genres of faith-based fiction and Christian living.  

Connect with Annee here:

A Child’s Faith









Thursday, October 14, 2021

Spice Cake and a Giveaway


Since Santa brought me an Easy-Bake oven when I was six, I've had a love of baking treats for family and friends. 

Over the years, I've collected many cookbooks and perused many recipes. 

Recently, my husband's aunt sent me a hand-written cookbook his grandmother had made goodness only knows how many years ago. The covers are both missing, but it made my heart so full to see Grandma Nell's recipes written in her hand. (And it made me miss her, too). She was always so good about sharing her recipes with me, and her cookbooks! 

My mom was another one who greatly influenced my joy of baking. And I learned so much about cooking from watching her churn out one delicious meal after another. 

In honor of the women who shared their love, and love of baking, with me, I thought I'd share an old-fashioned spice cake recipe with you today. 



1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cold milk
4 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch pan.
Whisk together flour, spices, salt, baking powder, and soda. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugars together until creamy. Gradually beat in oil. Add eggs, one at a time, beating  after each addition.
Stir buttermilk and vanilla together then add to batter, alternating with flour mixture. Mix until just combined. 
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.
Once cake is just barely warm, make frosting. Beat butter and cream cheese together until no lumps remain. Mix in vanilla, milk, and powdered sugar on low speed. Once combined, increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy.
Spread frosting cake. Serve.
Makes approximately 16 servings.

Also, I'm giving away an autographed copy of my A Cowboy Christmas cookbook. Just click on the button below to enter for a chance to win! 

If you'd like to purchase a copy of the cookbook, all book sales (this includes ANY of my books in ANY format) now through Christmas Eve help the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. 

I donate ten percent of my profits to them in support of a fabulous organization. You can learn more about my Read A Book, Help a Cowboy campaign here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Staying Dry At Sea by Zina Abbott


Oilskin Jacket
Once I started writing my book, Lighthouse Escape, I quickly realized I was no longer dealing with gold, silver, dirt, grass, horses, cows, buffalo, and cowboy gear. I was dealing with seamen. Whether the men worked on a river steamboat or one that plied the ocean, they were around water ― a lot. Not only was there water beneath them and river or ocean spray that blew up on them as they sailed and worked, there was often plenty of rain. Especially in the cooler climes, what did mariners in the nineteenth century wear to stay both warm and, hopefully, dry?

My first mental vision involved a yellow slicker with what is known as a Sou’wester hat. A little research revealed that the classic yellow oiled cloth neck to ankle coat and its accompanying hat with the back brim wider than the front was not developed until the end of the century. My book was set in 1881.

For starters, seamen in Ireland, Scotland, and other northern European countries have relied on wool clothing to keep them warm. An additional benefit was that the natural lanolin in the wool acted as a water repellent. Many fishermen and other seamen from colder climes wore heavy, tightly-knit pullover sweaters for that very reason.

Waterproofed cloth garments were in use from the late 1700s. Various methods of waterproofing were used over the years. Seamen also relied on cotton clothing coated with melted wax. Early innovations for foul weather gear was to wear oil-treated cloth jackets which used resin or fat to repel the water and keep their woollen clothing dry underneath.


Crab fisherman wearing Sou'wester hat

Some early Sou'Wester hats and rain capes were handmade of sailcloth waterproofed with a thin layer of tar. Traditional black or “tarred” Sou’Wester hats were developed in the 1800s. The tar was eventually replaced with linseed oil and lampblack.


Fisherman with Sou'Wester Hat- Vincent Van Gogh

Other methods involved canvas duck. Canvas duck, as opposed to regular canvas has threads that are more tightly woven. The term “duck” comes from the Dutch word for cloth, doek. This canvas was then coated with multiple applications of linseed oil and paint. These garments, although waterproof, were heavy and did not “breathe.” As dying processes became more available, many foul weather garments were made from yellow, orange, or red fabrics which stood out more should a man fall overboard.

Both of these methods of waterproofing. Although quite durable, did not possess the breathable qualities of the process developed by New Zealander, Edward Le Roy, in 1898. He used a mixture of linseed oil and wax to coat the fabric several times. Garments created using this process were called oilskins.

However, I know from reading numerous historical sources that oilcloths were made as early as the eighteenth century. Historically, pre-19th century, oilcloth was one of very few flexible, waterproof materials that were widely available. For some families, it was a home industry. Also known as enameled cloth or American cloth, its base was a close-woven cotton duck or linen fabric which was coated with boiled linseed oil to make it waterproof. The linseed oil was boiled with lead and manganese salts, known as metal salts. (Personally, now we better understand the toxic nature of lead, I’m grateful for my plastic tablecloths.) Sienna and umber pigments were used to create a cure more resistant to humidity.

With this understanding, in my story I referred to a oiled tablecloth my hero’s mother made into rain hats for her husband and sons who worked on the water. Here is an excerpt from Lighthouse Escape:

           John next found his yellow oilcloth cap with its down-sloping brim attached around the crown. He shook it to snap it into shape.

              “Bright yellow, huh?”

              John paused and his gaze met Jacko’s. “Before her death almost two years ago, yellow oilcloth hats from an old tablecloth were the last items my mother made with her Singer sewing machine. All four men in my family have one. Her belief was, people usually get injured or fall overboard in bad weather when fog and rain washes out the surrounding color. She decided that bright-colored hats would make us easier to spot.” Still holding the brim of the yellow hat in one hand, he pulled his watch cap snugly over his ears.

              Jacko cocked his head and lifted a shoulder. “Makes sense.”

              “Her other oilcloth tablecloth was yellow with red roses printed on it. We were grateful she did not sacrifice that one for her project.” John rolled his eyes and shook his head. “So, until the captain finds the lighthouse, we just follow the shoreline?”

              “Not that easy. Due to it being high tide, there’s a cluster of reefs—mostly submerged rocks surrounding that spit of land that holds the lighthouse. Some of them barely show above the surface when the tide’s out and the water’s calm. When the waves get this high, they can do a disappearing act, only to show up when we’re on top of them. A few have bell buoys anchored to them, but sometimes it’s hard to hear them in a storm like this. Besides, it’s what you’ll find several feet below those rocks that we worry about most.”

              “Sounds like a good place to avoid.” John donned his waterproof hat over his knit cap and tied the straps under his chin.

              “Didn’t figure you’d be this prepared.”

              “Rains on the river, too.” John pulled on his leather gloves. 

To find the book description and link for Lighthouse Escape, please CLICK HERE.

You might also wish to check out my other recently-published books on my Amazon account.




Wikipedia regarding oilskin, canvas, oilcloth, Sou’wester, and waxed cotton


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Yellow Fever Pandemics - The Plague of the 19th Century by Kimberly Grist

 Yellow Fever Pandemics- The Plague of Memphis in the 19th Century

Diseases and epidemics of the 19th Century included smallpox, typhus, scarlet fever, cholera, and yellow fever. Yellow fever accounted for the largest number of 19th-century epidemic outbreaks. Yellow fever earned many nicknames, including Yellow Jack, the Yellow Plume of Death, Yellow Terror, and Bronze John, based on its symptoms. 

Nashville Tennessean Magazine, Jan. 22, 1956, Newspapers on Microfilm Collection.

During the 1800s, the city of Memphis was a swampy area and held the reputation as one of the filthiest and most foul-smelling cities on earth. Open sewers, thousands of privies that emptied into the Mississippi River, decaying wooden walkways, and no organized service to dispose of garbage for thousands of residents combined, creating a terrible aroma and the perfect breeding ground for Yellow Fever. 

In 1828, 1855, 1867, and 1873, Yellow Fever was brought north from New Orleans to Memphis, by steamers. In July of 1878, it hit again, after a man who escaped a quarantined steamboat visited a restaurant on the shore of the Mississippi. On August 13th, restaurant owner, Kate Bionda became the first Memphis resident to die of yellow fever and the infection spread rapidly. 
Most of the residents who were able to leave left within a week and approximately twenty-five thousand people fled to other cities and spreading the diseases as far away as Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Kentucky.

In the heat of the summer, those who were left to take care of the sick believed that the disease was spread by bad air. Even though the temperatures were close to one hundred, residents boarded the windows and kept fires burning. When people died, their clothing and beds were dragged into the streets and burned. An average of two hundred people died every day through September and almost half of the city's doctors perished. 

Dr. John Erskin was one of 110 doctors who tended the sick and dying in 1878 and was one of the thirty-three physicians who died from the disease. 

The epidemic ended with the first frost in October leaving twenty-thousand people in the Southeast dead. In the aftermath, open sewers and privies were cleaned up, which destroyed the breeding grounds for mosquitos thus preventing further epidemics. 

After researching the pandemic of 1878, I was surprised that I had very little recollection from my history lessons about this 19th Century pandemic. My imagination turned to the plight of orphans during this time period, and I was inspired to begin writing about the lives of women and specifically children affected, and left to raised by family members and in orphanages.  

Best Friends Bound by Tragedy

Selah Anderson and Alice Connelly were orphaned as a result of the Yellow Fever Epidemic in 1878 and raised in an orphanage outside Memphis. As adults the prospects for employment of young women are bleak, and between the yellow plague epidemic and gold fever, young men are scarce, even in the surrounding counties. With no other options available, they agree to participate in a new matrimonial venture begun by the matron of the orphanage and local pastors.

Shoo-Fly Pie by Selah - Can this mail-order bride handle the diversity that comes with her husband's dangerous vocation? Together will they blend their 
opposing desires to create a recipe for love?

Apple PanDowdy by Alice - Can an itinerant mail-order bride find her recipe for her happily ever after? 

About Kimberly Grist:

Kim has enjoyed writing since she was a young girl. However, she began writing her first novel in 2017, "
Despite my best efforts, sometimes life just stinks. Bad things happen. I need and want an outlet, an opportunity to relax and escape to a place where obstacles are met and overcome." 
Fans of historical romance set in the late 19th -century will enjoy stories combining, History, Humor, and Romance, emphasizing Faith, Friends, and Good, Clean Fun. 

Connect with Kimberly:

Amazon Author Page:

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Home Town History!


We don’t often think of writing about where we live. We love to write about history and the old west, but for this month’s blog, it occurred to me that I should write about my hometown of Estacada, Oregon. Not that I haven’t written a little about the area before. I’ve shared Philip Foster’s farm with you as it’s a wonderful historical site. But the old Estacada Park, located south of what was once the Estacada Hotel, was built to attract throngs of streetcar-riding city dwellers to what was considered an amusement resort in the mountain foothills.


The Estacada and Cazadero train would leave from the east approach of the Morrison Bridge in Portland every two hours daily. The distance was 36 miles, and the entire ride gave folks an interesting and excellent idea of the Willamette Valley in the vicinity of Portland. People were whirled through a fine suburb and farm country with grain fields, orchards, stock pastures, berry farms, chicken ranches and stretches of forests. The paper described the line running to “new country” where the land is being cleared for new homes.

Estacada is a spanish word and it means staked out or marked with stakes. It was first suggested by George Kelly as a name for the town site at a meeting of the Oregon Water Power Townsite Company directors on December 27, 1903. Kelly had selected the name at random from a U.S. Map which showed Llano Estacado, in Texas. If Kelly’s suggestion had not been drawn from the hat, the town could have been named Rochester, Lowell or Lynn. The name Estacada is also used in Arizona. Having done a report on the history of Estacada back in high school, we found that some folks said the town was named for Esther Cada, the daughter of one of the more prominent citizens back in the day. Some of the older folks in town still say that’s how it got its name!

The Oregon Water Power Railway Co. began streetcar service from Sellwood to Estacada in 1905. In 1907, the name  changed to the Portland Railway Light and Power Co. Passenger service and continued until 1932.

Other than the park and hotel that had its own restaurant, there was also a Confectionary and the Ice Cream Store along with a grocery, the First State Bank and various other businesses. Some of the buildings are still there today including many original houses and churches. When doing my history report, one of the things that stood out was the number of saloons in the tiny hamlet. Fourteen! And that was back in the early 1900s. Today the population of Estacada is about 3600. That was a lot of watering holes for one tiny little town. But as it was considered a tourist spot, I can see the amount.

 Maybe one day I’ll use Estacada as a setting for a book. Quite a few movies and television shows have been shot around here including Kevin Costner’s The Postman, The Librarians, (I remember when Jonathan Frakes of Star Trek the Next Generation was in town directing and gave a special talk at the library. That was in 2015 as I recall), Without a Paddle, Extraordinary Measures, Behind the Mask, and currently, an Amazon production.  There are parking lots full of trailers, movie equipment and catering trucks. Just another day in town ...

Until next time,


Tuesday, October 5, 2021

BOSS OF THE PLAINS by Marisa Masterson

 Hats! I struggle with them. 

Withe every novel I write, I research men's hats to try to find just the right look for my hero. After all, the hat needs to fit with whatever time period I'm recreating. I wish it were as easy as plopping a Stetson on the hero's head. Here's where the problem comes in.

This famous photo of Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch
shows the popular bowler hats.

What you might call the cowboy hat wasn't created until 1865. John Stetson designed the hat for himself while on an expedition in the West. Men at the time typically wore bowler hats. The brim of this was much more narrow than the hat Stetson created. Maybe the sombreros he repeatedly saw inspired the wide brim of his creation.

Stetson created a hat with a high, flat crown. Dents in each side allowed the wearer to remove it by the crown and not the brim. Consider that flat crown. It's not like the cowboy hats we know today. His hat was similar to what an Amish man wears.

Speaking of bowlers and sombreros, those were what cowboys actually wore. While Stetson started manufacturing his hat in the early 1870s, they weren't immediately popular. In fact, the Boss of the Plains (as it was nicknamed) didn't catch on until the late nineteenth century. 

So, do I plop a cowboy hat onto my hero living in 1871. Probably not. Unless of course, he wants to start a whole new fashion trend. 

But, what would the boys in the bunkhouse say?

I've explained the Boss of the Plains. Now, I invite you to consider another "Boss" that's on sale. For the first time, my Proxy Bride novel A Bride for Boss is only $.99!

This miracle child is not Frankie's, so why does she risk her marriage to keep the little girl? Frankie's worry is only about her proxy groom. She has no idea of the danger that follows the child.

What should be a business arrangement quickly becomes a matter of the heart. The three would be a happy family, if only the kidnappers stopped coming at night. 

Who's sending them and how can they keep their adopted child safe?



Friday, October 1, 2021

Marvelous Changes Wrought in the Nineteenth Century by Kristin Holt


Kristin Holt | Marvelous Changes Wrought in the Nineteenth Century

by Kristin Holt, USA Today Bestselling Author
of Sweet Romance set in the Victorian American West


The Good Old Days


Ah, the good old days! Before common items had even been imagined.

If you watch the news at the close of the year (or decade or century) you'll find reviews highlighting developments or significant events. I suppose its no surprise that folks have been looking back in like manner for ages!

In 1895, an unidentified author published a conversational list of advancements achieved over the past 100 years. The following is a careful transcription of a newspaper article highlighting marvelous changes wrought in the nineteenth century. Original source: Omaha Daily Bee of Omaha, Nebraska, dated July 14, 1895.


Nineteenth Century Advancements, Viewed from 1895




"Say Not that the Former Times Were Far Better Than These."




How the Daddies Managed to Live Without the Conveniences of Our Day--The Marvelous Changes Wrought in a Single Century.


It is common with some men, especially those advanced in life, to complain of the present and to contrast it with "the good old times," to the advantage of the latter. The habit of decrying the age in which we live is old; even in the days of Cicero there were croakers who lamented the departure of ancient times and customs, and it may be, so common is this habit to people advanced in years, that even Adam in his old age grumbled to Eve about how the times were changing, and that the world was different from what it was when he and the mother of mankind were young. But nothing is more certain than that the world is wiser, better, happier today than ever before. So rapid has been its progress in all directions that in comparison, the people of even a century ago were savages. It is difficult for us, says the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, accustomed as we are to the conveniences and comforts of modern life, to understand how our grandfathers could have lived without them. The world has moved so fast and gone so far that many things now deemed indispensable and within the means of the poorest, were then regarded as luxuries obtainable only the very wealthy; while by far the greater portion of appliances in everyday use were then absolutely unknown. Their day had not then come. A glance into any history of discoveries and inventions shows that the world has made more progress in the last 100 years than the preceding ten centuries. (emphasis added)

Kristin Holt | Marvelous Changes Wrought in the Nineteenth Century. Heading of article published in Omaha Daily Bee of Omaha, Nebraska on July 14, 1895.


A hundred years ago there was not a mile of railroad track, not a locomotive, not a railroad car, not a railroad invention, not a telegraph line, not a phonograph, not a typewriter, not even an effective system of shorthand in the world. The steamboat was an experiment whose success was greatly doubted; steam engines were looked upon with grave suspicion. In England the common people regarded Watt as a necromancer; in America there were a few steam engines which had been brought from the old country, but not much was thought of their working power. A hundred years ago there was not an accordion nor an apple-parer in existence. Balloons were in their infancy, blast furnaces unknown. There was not a gas pipe, not a gas jet in the world, nor even an Argand lamp, and coal oil, procured in very small quantities, was sold in little vials as a specific for rheumatism. The poor used a "rush" light, made by dipping a dried rush into the most convenient sort of fat or grease; the middle classes used candles of tallow; the rich burned sperm or wax. Chinaware was not in common use; a few years before 1790 a factory was set up by Wedgewood, and was not at that time a success. The circular saw was in the hands of its inventor. The farmer shelled corn by hand and with the assistance of a cob. Whitney was busy with the idea of a cotton gin, which he was completing in 1793. The features of the people were preserved for future generations by means of oil paintings or crayon portraits, for daguerreotypes and photographs were unknown.


Mines were subject to constant danger from explosions, for there were no safety lamps. People left one page of letter paper blank, folded it over the rest, and sealed it with wax, for envelopes were not made. Letters were not stamped; postage was paid at the time; the letter paper was unruled [sic], for there were no ruling machines. No rubber bands were in existence to hold papers together, for India rubber had not yet been brought from the depths of the Brazilian forest; papers were sewed together in place of being fastened with convenient clamps, and were then tied with the traditional red tape. Handkerchiefs were known only to the wealthy, and seldom made use of by them, being first made popular by the Empress Josephine, who had bad teeth, and concealed the deformity by holding a handkerchief before her lips when she laughed. Linen collars and cuffs were unthought [sic] of, and starch was little used by either rich or poor. The farmers cut grain with a sickle, for the scythe and cradle had not been invented, while harvesters, reapers and mowers and twine-binders were undreamed of. There were no horse railroads in the streets, no stages save for long journeys, no ice machines, no ironclads, no rifled guns. The knitting was all done by hand, for stocking machines were not in existence, nor were lightning rods nor lifeboats. There were no road wagons; musical instruments were scarce and costly. There were a few clavichords and harpsichords, and although some of the greatest composers had finished their work, their compositions had not been heard on the instruments best adapted to them. Bach never heard his compositions played on a piano. Nails were made by hand. There was no straw paper; there were no paper bags, nor skates, nor steel pens. Coal tar was not in existence, so there were no aniline dyes nor flavoring extracts. The power press had not come into being; printing was done by hand; nor was there any stereotyping.


There were no revolvers for the use of the criminal classes; highwaymen armed themselves with horse pistols a foot long, giving a report like a young cannon. There were no savings banks, no seed drills, no sewing machines, no machines for making shoes, no steam fire engines, no stem-winding watches, no street sweepers, for sweeping was never done save at crossings. The streets were unpaved; at the corners and on both sides of the way, stepping stones were placed about a foot apart that pedestrians might be kept out of the mire, and these steps, on a rainy day, caused frequent conflicts between citizens anxious to keep their feet out of the mud. There were no tacks, and consequently no jokes about stepping on these instruments of torture. There was no machine-made thread. Vaccination had been in use about ten years, but had not come to America, and in England Jenner sometimes found it necessary to have himself attended by a guard to prevent violence from the common people. There was no wooden pavement, no wood paper; very few rooms in America had carpets on the floors, sand being used instead. There were no factory-made chairs, no water pipes in the streets; there was no water in the houses save what was carried in by hand; nor were there any house furnaces. Cooking in winter was done in iron pots before a mighty hearth, and in the outhouses in summer. The windows would not lift, for window weights had not been invented. The sash sometimes opened outwardly like our shutters, but were not often used in this way, for the importance of ventilation was not understood.


A hundred years ago there were no medical colleges worthy of the name in America; a young doctor learned his trade from an old doctor, and in the course of six months' study acquired the art of mixing the big doses which were then in common use. There were no drug stores, with their long array of bottles labeled with unpronounceable names. Most of the chemicals now in use are of the present century. No patent medicines were employed. In the spring of the year people drugged themselves with huge doses of senna and manna, as well as of rhubarb, of brimstone and treacle. Ague fits were common, but there was no quinine for their alleviation; pounded Peruvian bark, at an enormous price, answered the purpose. There was no morphine, no bromide of any kind, no chloral. There was no mercy for the sick man. "Bleed him till he faints," was the favorite precept of more than one physician. In New England, at least, there was no chance to escape the church service. The preacher often preached for four hours at a time, noted his audience very carefully, and any member of the flock absent without sufficient excuse was waited upon the next day by the constable, hauled before the magistrate, admonished, and upon a second offense, was fined and put in the stocks. A wealthy clergyman was unknown; the preacher was paid in kind, and received during the  year a little of everything that his flock ate and wore. Each parishioner deposited at the door of his spiritual adviser a little corn, a few potatoes, a little wood, a little salt pork, a little hominy, some oats, a fowl or two, some fish, a piece or two of corn beef. Rich editors were as scarce as wealthy preachers; their subscribers paid their dues in wood, corn and wheat; the editors were apparently always asking for money and never getting it.


There were no regular mails, for the mail carrier was never sent out until he had enough matter to pay the expenses of the trip. The mail between New York and Boston, in 1794, was carried in a single pair of saddle-bags, and when its quantity had increased so that two pair were necessary, the carrier rebelled and struck for higher wages. No facilities for traveling existed. A man starting from Massachusetts to Virginia made his will and bade his friends farewell, as though he never was to see them again. Two stage coaches plied between New York and Boston, were from six to nine days on the road, and passed each other on the way. In the cities of 100 years ago there were a few street lamps fed by whale or train oil, but they were seldom lighted, except on gala occasions, for everybody was in bed shortly after dark. A century ago there was no sleep for the boys in the churches of New York or Boston, for a man with a pole stood ready to prod the sleepy youth and thus keep him alive to a sense of the spiritual condition. Nor was there any escape from the collection, for a deacon passed round with a bag at the end of a pole, to which a little bell was attached to call the attention of the drowsy contributors. No organs were used in the churches, and the singing was so slow that one preacher testifies he had time to take a breath twice on one note. Our great-grandfathers had no coal, nor were they fortunate enough to possess matches. When the fire accidentally went out during a long winter's night a boy was dispatched in the morning with a shovel to the nearest neighbors to bring fire. If there were no neighbors an effort was made to kindle a blaze by a handful of whittled shavings, ignited by powder touched off with flint and steel. Stone houses were few, those of brick still fewer. In the country log houses were fashionable, and in cities most of the houses were of frame work. There was not a chromo in America, nor were there any statues; marble cutting was unknown. There were no visiting cards, no engraved invitations, no paper boxes.


Our great-grandfathers had no mercy on prisoners. In Newgate, Conn., an old mine served as a prison. Descent was effected to it by means of a ladder, and, for further security, the prisoner was fastened to the floor by one foot, and to the ceiling by means of a chain passed round his neck. The treadmill, stocks and pillory were in every parish, and hangmen kept knives for cutting off the ears, slitting the lips and trimming the noses of offenders, and also manipulated the branding irons. Counterfeiters were marked with a "C" on the forehead; thieves were marked with "F" for the Latin "fur," or "T" for the English "thief." Swearing in public was not allowed; the oath 'by God,' used in Massachusetts, was punishable by the stocks, ten lashes and a lecture from the preacher. Gradations in profanity were made. "By Christ" was punishable by the stocks and fine, without the lashes; "G-d d--n" by a fine of 10 shillings, and plain, simple "damn" was worth 5 shillings. There was no surgery. The hod carrier today, who falls off a ladder and is carried to a charity hospital, receives better medical and surgical attention than all the money of George III could have purchased, or than all the wheat raised on George Washington's farm could have secured. There were no amusements; the most worldly-minded sinners indulged only in dancing and cards. There were no theaters save in two or three cities, where the play began at 6 o'clock, and the managers stated that they would be obliged for any old plays their patrons did not care to use. In New England, 100 years ago, a bitter controversy was going on as to whether "theater going" should be allowed. Somebody hired a barn in Boston, put up a sing, "Exhibition Room," over the door and sent a bell man up and down the streets to announce that "moral lectures would be given by several performers at one time," but while the "School for Scandal," a moral lecture in several fittes [sic]," was being delivered by a company of lecturers, the players were arrested and the play stopped.


There were no manufactures in New England, and New York was of no importance as a port of entry. All the rice, pitch, tar, wheat and corn exported were sent out from southern ports and the New England states were regarded as too poor to feed their own people. There was not a cotton factory in the world, for the fiber could not be separated from the seed save by hand. Linen factories had not yet come into existence; every housewife raised her own flax and made her own linen. Ready-made clothing stores were unknown; every housekeeper made all the clothing used by her entire family, herself spun the thread, wove the linsey woolsey cloth, borrowed a pattern, adjusted it to her own notions and made every article of clothing worn by herself, husband, sons and daughters. There was no unity of language in this country. Dutch was spoken in New York as much as English; German might be heard in many of the Pennsylvania settlements and Scandinavian was common along the Delaware. Gaelic was spoken along the North Carolina mountains, French in South Carolina, Spanish in Florida and English in Georgia, the Central and New England states. No macadamized roads connected the colonies and no galloping horses were allowed in the city streets under penalty of a fine of 3 shillings and 6 pence. The women did no shopping and the the store keeper sent out no flaming advertisements. Normal schools were yet in the future; Sunday schools with their millions of scholars were unknown. The teacher of the district school boarded around among his neighbors and patrons and impressed ideas on the youthful minds by means of a stick. Educational appliances were of the simplest possible description, consisting of a spelling book and a manuscript arithmetic owned by the teacher. There were no slates, no paper pads, no lead pencils; a copy book was made from half a quire of paper. The copy was sent by the preceptor and the writing done with the pupil's own pen manufactured from the quill of a home-grown goose. There were no base ball games and no boating. Gymnasiums were unknown  and sawing wood was considered appropriate exercise for young men. There were no dude college graduates; the Yale student had no privileges and no dainty dishes were set on his table. In the college boarding house his rations consisted, for breakfast of a pint of coffee, a biscuit and some butter. Mondays and Thursdays were "boiling days," the others were "roasting days." On "roasting days" he had for dinner two potatoes and bread in addition to his roast. On "boiling days" there was cabbage, potatoes and pudding, usually plum duff, boiled dough with a few raisins scattered through it. For supper he had a slice of bread and a bowl of milk. If he wanted more he had to buy it for himself.


Our great grandmothers had few flowers, save such as grew wild. They knew nothing of the hydrangea, which did not come from China until 1840; nor were they familiar with the maurandia vine, the salvia or the tiger flower, which came together from Mexico about 1822. They did not have the thumbergia, which was not brought from the East Indies until 1823; nor the "Wandering Jew," which reached North America from South America at the same date; nor the bleeding heart, which came from Siberia in 1810; nor the coleus, which emigrated from Java in 1861; nor the lemon verbena, which came from Chili [sic] in 1794. The calla lily was not known in America, and was rare in England, though it had come from the Cape of Good Hope in 1731; thes [sic] milax [sic] [Smilax?] was scarcely more familiar, though it had come from the same party of Africa in 1732, and the heliotrope, little better known, though it emigrated in 1757 from Peru. The strawberry geranium was just beginning to attract attention, having come from China in 1771, and the mignonette was unfamiliar though brought from Italy in 1752. The cyclamen had come from Cyprus in 1731, but was not widely diffused, while the dew plant had not yet come from the Cape of Good Hope, nor the dahlia from Mexico, and the petunia had just arrived from South America. The vegetable gardens were hardly better cared from than the flower plats. The tables of our great-grandfathers of 1794 were well supplied with fresh food and groaned under the weight of salt pork, salt beef, dried or jerked beef and venison, bear meat, buffalo, moose and elk beef and salt fish. Their meats  were mostly salt or dried, for no ice was put up and there were no butcher shops. "Killing a beef" was an event; all the neighborhood was invited; each family took a part. For vegetables they had cabbages, onions, leeks, potatoes, dried beans and a few peas. Indian corn was plentiful, but turnips were scarce and little eaten, for they were thought to be bad for the eyes. The egg plant and cauliflower were unknown, although the latter had come to England from Cyprus in 1603, but they had not yet reached America. Tomatoes were grown among the flowers, called "love apples," and thought to be poisonous. Radishes were known, but little used. Lettuce and cucumbers were used in England, but not in America. There was no sweet corn; the succulent snapbean was not yet developed, and asparagus was not in favor. Parsnips were occasionally grown, but not liked.


For fruits they had apples dried for winter use, pears used fresh, and a few trees of peaches. The grape, the strawberry, the raspberry, the dewberry and blackberry grew wild, and were sometimes picked for use, but the fruit was small, sour and inferior, and there was no thought of cultivating these plants. The watermelon, cantaloupe and muskmelon were unknown, while oranges, bananas, pineapples and other tropical fruits would not bear the long ocean voyage, and consequently were not seen once in a decade. A hundred years ago there was not talk about political parties, for, aside from Whig, understood to mean a man in favor of American independence, and Tory, a man in favor of the continuance of British rule, political parties had no existence. Slaves were held in all the states and slave trading was considered a legitimate form of business enterprise in which the pious New Englanders engaged as earnestly and zealously as did the natives of the south. Human beings were openly bought and sold, and kidnaping [sic] Indian children for slaves was a lucrative business. The multiplicity of religious denominations was yet a thing of the future. The faiths of the colonists were few and simple. The New Englanders were Congregationalists, the Virginians were Church of England members, the Catholics were most numerous in the Carolinas and the Methodists were just making a start. The morning papers were yet in the future. Boston had the News-Letter, founded in 1704; the Boston Gazette, established in 1719; the New England Courant, 1721, and the Columbian Sentinal, 1775. Philadelphia had the American Weekly Mercurie, 1719. New York had the Gazette, 1773, and the Royal Gazette, founded in the same year, and Worcester, Mass., had The Spy, established in 1775. All were weekly, had consisted of shipping news, local matters and an occasional very cautious expression of opinion on matters of public interest. There were no telegrams, of course, and the news letters, when dealing with political matters, rarely ventured on publishing names, but darkly hinted at the persons alluded to. The advertisements consisted mostly of legal notices and rewards offered for lost animals and runaway slaves. The printing press was manipulated by hand, for steam was not applied to printing until 1814. The editor was called the printer and was liable, civilly and criminally, for everything that appeared in his paper, and was held to an accountability so strict that a few years of the business generally made him anxious to find another job. Such were the good old days--days when every man raised his own tobacco in his front  yard and smoked it in a pipe, the cob of which grew in his own field; when every woman made her own soap with lye from the ash hopper, mixed with vile smelling grease saved for a year in her "fat barrel;" kept her butter in a bucket hung in the well and her milk in the spring house; days when the young gentlemen had neither cigarettes nor canes, and the young lady neither her candy nor chewing gum, and the small boy could not make the immortal Fourth hideous with firecrackers, because he had none. Men may praise the good old times for their simplicity, but not even the veriest croaker would be willing to see them return.


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