History Matters

October 05, 2012

100 Years Ago

Pegasus wannabe

A couple of items from the news briefs:

"Too much of the news going to the Baltimore papers from Howard county relates only to crimes and misdemeanors, creating a bad reputation for this law abiding county.

"At Ferry Bar last Sunday, a horse who toppled over a high bank landed in the top of a tree and had to be raised clear out of the tree and lowered to the ground by a block and tackle."

If the Ferry Bar was open, that incident could have ultimately been bad for business. Inebriated customers exiting the bar spying a horse atop a tree would swear off booze for life!

75 Years Ago

Recipes and remedies

From the "Ridin Round Howard County" column:

"The question of Cook Books having been brought to mind by the review of a new one in a Baltimore paper, an old one proved quite interesting.

"This was the third edition of Domestic Cookery, compiled by Elizabeth E. Lea and published in Baltimore in 1851. Besides recipes for preparing food, it contains directions for making soap (using 'ley' which was made at home with lime and ashes); candles, corn starch, dye, boot blacking, simple remedies such as cough syrup, catnip tea, lilyroot poultices, etc., and roasting coffee.

"Noticeable was the use of loaf sugar, which had to be pounded and sifted. Eggs evidently were plentiful and cheap as recipes frequently called for from 12 to 24. Wines and brandy were the most used flavorings. Perhaps some of our homemakers would like to try an old recipe for pickling tomatoes."

Pounding and shifting sugar? Twenty-four eggs? I bet the cooks in the mid-19th century needed to partake of some, or even lots, of those "flavorings" slated for their creations after pounding sugar in their hot kitchens.

50 Years Ago

Study feng shui?

From the "Teens and the Times" column was advice on study habits given by Jeffrey Simmons, a teen writer.

"Perhaps the most important is where you study. Educators have agreed upon several requirements for a good study area. So, I'll pass a few of these along to you.

"Noise — You should try to remove all distracting noises. It's been found, however, that some noises aid in studying. As one teacher puts it: 'One day we may find an L.P. called 'Music To Study By.' But until that day it's best not to play 'Let's Twist' while boning up on history.

"Interruptions — Ask your family and friends not to interrupt you during your study periods. Chances are they'll respect your wishes. Also, leave strict, but polite instructions that you'll answer any phone calls after studying. If necessary, you'll call back. You'll find that a five-minute conversation with last Saturday's date can lead to half an hour of reminiscing. When you are trying to study, that's half an hour down the drain.

"Lighting — It's been found that a seventy-five watt bulb over the left shoulder is best.

"Neatness — An uncluttered desk will bring up your grades an astonishing amount. The idea behind this is that you'll have fewer distractions. Also, it's wise to keep a neat notebook. A messy notebook will lower your standards in the teachers' eyes.

"Comfort — when you're physically relaxed, your mental powers become relaxed. A sofa or an easy chair is not the place to study. A straight-backed, wooden chair is best. It's okay to read novels, stories and such in an easy chair, but a class assignment shouldn't be done in bed. ... Look over your study area, is your desk cluttered with sunglasses, papers, or trash?"

What a concept this guy has. You mean no starting homework at 10 p.m. to rock music while the student lounges on the bed using last week's pizza box as a desk, as he tackles math homework to the dim light emanating from the basketball game on TV? That is, of course, when he's not talking to the new girlfriend on the cell.

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