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Sunday, February 01, 2009

More Odd Books

More odd and interesting books that I've collected over the years.

The Owen book was one of many that I bought in a box for $2.00 in a yard sale in the early 70's when I lived in Paradise. I have a lot of other interesting books of a similar time period from this great find. Ah yard sales!! The junk, the treasures.

Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World. 1860 R D Owen


From Wikkipedia: "Robert Dale Owen (November 7, 1801June 24, 1877) was a longtime exponent in his adopted United States of the socialist doctrines of his father, the Welshman Robert Owen, as well as a politician in the Democratic Party.
Born in
Glasgow, Scotland, Owen emigrated to the United States in 1825, and helped his father create the Utopian community of New Harmony, Indiana. After the community failed........"

As socialism always will fail.

Owen became a politician and was actually quite progressive for the time "was instrumental in securing to widows and married women control of their property, and the adoption of a common free school system. He later succeeded in passing a state law giving greater freedom in divorce"

I've tried to read the book, but just can't get past the flowery language that was used at the time.


Eve's Daughters 1882 Marion Harland

Probably one of the first seimi-feminist books. She had the unorthodox ideas that exercise and the outdoors were not completely unsuitable for the young woman. Although she didn't consider herself a "feminist" (who did? ...the word hadn't been invented then) I believe she was a pioneer for women.
She wrote a slew of other books on domesticity, cooking and household management.

Odd Books: Kitchen Garden

In response to Ann Althouse's request for interesting and strange books:

I have been collecting cookbooks for years and came upon this very strange book that was wrongly filed in the cookbook section.

It isn't a cook book AT ALL. Copyright 1878 by Emily Huntington. New York City. The book is actually a 'primer' to teach little children how to be maids, servants and to work in the houses of the rich.

QUOTED "To My Friends and the Young Ladies of New York City. Whose noble and persevering efforts have enabled me to deveop this scheme.

And to the MUSICIAN (she capitalizes it this way) Whose inspiring accompaniments have ever fanned our enthusiasm" Um....yeah. I bet the MUSICAN was fanning more than just Ms. Huntington's enthusiasm.

It contains music scores and rhymes and games to teach the children how to lay a fire, set the table, clean the dishes and answer the door!!

Evidently this was shortly after the Civil War and with all the orphans and immigrants from Europe pouring into the City there was a lot of poverty. Poor sweet wealthy Ms. Huntington pondered and pondered on how to fix this.......

I know!! she said.....let's make all these children into servants. "In schools they are taught to read in class; why not to cook, sweep, make beds, and wash dishes?" Don't bother to teach them skills that might help them rise above poverty. Nah..... we need servants and LOOK a whole crop that we can train properly.

Hilarious... even then the elites in New York City were completely out of touch with the "common" people. Some things never change.

They have songs, piano scores and learning exercises. Here is part of one song for Washing the Dishes.

  • Washing dishes, washing dishes
  • Suds are hot, suds are hot,
  • Work away briskly, work away briskly;
  • Do not stop, do not stop.

  • First the glasses, first the glasses;
  • Wash them well, wash them well
  • If you do them nicely, if you do them nicely
  • All can tell, all can tell

  • Then the silver, then the silver
  • Must be bright, must be bright
  • Work away swiftly, work away swiftly
  • With your might, with your might

And so on until the dishes were done. to sweep the floor.