Dec. 1936 issue of Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens cost 10 cents in 1936. This was a pretty slim issue, and I must confess, not all that interesting. I did find a few things that I thought I might pass on.
Who hasn't made a holder out of 2 paper plates in school or summer camp? I recall making several of them during the 1950's, and my youngest son made one for me in the 1990's.
The pot holder holder shown below was a handy home made gift idea in the Better Homes and Gardens Dec. 1936 issue. They seemed to think it was pretty nifty. I can't help wondering if this is where it made its debut.


Although they talked a lot about menus in this issue, they didn't have many recipes. I did save two though. They were both marked as Taste Testing Kitchen endorsed recipes. The first one is for English Plum Cake. It's a yeast cake, and uses compressed yeast. I believe that one envelope of modern active dry yeast is equivalent to a cake of yeast. At the end it mentions that sliced citron can be now bought packaged in stores, ready to use.

English Plum Cake 1936
½ cup evaporated milk
½ cup water
½ cup butter or shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cake compressed yeast
1 slightly beaten egg
3 cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
1 pound raisins, chopped
¼ lb. citron, finely diced

Scald the evaporated milk and ¼ cup water. Add shortening and sugar. Cool to lukewarm and add yeast cake dissolved in ¼ cup lukewarm water and egg. Add 2 cups of flour sifted with the salt and spices. Dredge chopped raisins and citron with one cup of flour and add these. The batter should be about as thick as layer cake batter. Add a little more flour if needed. Pour into a greased loaf pan, set in a warm place and let rise for 3 hours. Bake in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees F) for about 45 minutes. This makes a large loaf or two small loaves. Sliced citron can now be purchased in packages, ready to use.

The other recipe is for a jam cake. You'll find recipes for jam cakes in old cookbooks. I always thought about trying one, to see why they were so popular.

Jam Cake 1936
½ c butter or shortening
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
½ cup jam
½ cup buttermilk
1 and ½ cup flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp soda (baking soda)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped, candied fruits (citron, orange rind, cherries or pineapple

Cream shortening and sugar, add the eggs, jam and buttermilk. Add one cup of flour sifted with other dry ingredients. Add ½ cup of flour to the candied fruit. Add this and the nuts to the batter. Bake in a greased loaf pan in a moderate oven (350 degrees F) about 45 minutes. This will keep moist for a week or two, if stored in a tightly covered container in a cool place.

The back cover had an ad for a solid copper skillet for only 50 cents and a wrapper from a can of Crisco.



Putting Up The Stove - Dec. 1871

Surprise! a new post, an old article from 1871. Reading this makes me think of most of the simple mundane jobs I've done around the house that turned out to be a regular pain in the neck and not simple at all.

....from The Manufacturer and Builder

WE do not remember the exact date of the invention of stoves; but it was several years ago. Since then mankind have been tormented, once a year, by the difficulties that beset the task of putting them up, and getting the pipes "fixed." With all our Yankee ingenuity, no American has ever invented any method by which the labor of putting up a stove can be lessened. The job is now almost as severe and vexatious as humanity can possibly endure.

Men always put up their stoves on a rainy day. Why, we know not; but we never heard of an exception to the rule. The first step to be taken is to put on a very old and ragged coat, under the impression that when the operator gets his mouth full of plaster it will keep his shirt—bosom clean. Next, he gets his hand inside the place where the pipe ought to go, and blacks his fingers; then he carefully makes a black mark down one side of his nose. Having got his face properly marked, the victim—usually "paterfamilias" ——is ready to begin the ceremony. The "head of the family" grasps one side of the bottom of the stove, and his wife and his hired girl take hold of the other side. In this way the stove is started from the wood—shed toward the parlor. Going through the door, the chief operator carefully swings his side of the stove around and jams his thumb—nail against the door-post. Having got the "family comfort" in place, the next thing is to find the legs. Two of these are left inside the stove since the spring before. The other two must be hunted after for twenty- five minutes. They are usually found under the coal. Then the "head of the family” holds up one side of the stove while his wife puts two of the legs in place, and next he holds up the other side while the other two are fixed, and, one of the first two falls out. By the time the stove is on its legs he gets reckless, and takes off his old coat, regardless of his linen."Paterfamilias" then goes for the pipe, and gets two cinders in his eye. It don’t make any difference how well the pipe was put up last year, it will always be found a little too short or a little too long. "The head off the family” jams his hat over his eyes, and taking a pipe under each arm goes to the tin-shop to have it fixed. When he gets back, he steps upon one of the best parlor chairs to see if the pipe fits, and his wife makes him get down for fear he will scratch the varnish off ffom the chair with the nails in his boot- heel. In getting down, he will surely step on the cat, and may thank his stars that it is not the baby. Then he gets an old chair and climbs up to the chimney again, to find that in cutting the pipe off the end has been left too big for the hole in the chimney. So he goes to the wood—shed and splits one side of the end of the pipe with an old ax, and squeezes it in his hands to make it smaller. The chief operator at length gets the pipe in shape, and finds that the stove does not stand true. Then himself and his wife and the hired girl move the stove to the left, and the legs fall out again. Next it is to be moved to the right. More difficulty now with the legs. Move to the front a little. Elbow not even with the hole in the chimney, and the "head of the family” goes again to the wood-shed after some little blocks. While putting the blocks under the legs the pipe comes out of the chimney. That remedied, the elbowkeeps tipping over, to the great alarm of the wife. "Paterfamilias" gets the dinner-table out, puts the old chair on it, makes his wife take hold of the chair, and balances himself on it to drive some nails into the ceiling but in doing this he drops the hammer on his wife’s head. At last he gets the nails driven, makes a wire swing to hold the pipe, hammers a little here, pulls a little there, takes a long breath, and announces the ceremony concluded. Job never put up any stoves. It would have ruined his reputation if he had.

Pittsburgh, 1910

Excerpts from The Pittsburgh Dispatch Dec 6,1910. The Dispatch was one of the most important American newspapers of its day. The famous woman journalist Nellie Bly worked for the paper in the late 19th c.

Let's start with a comic. This was the only one on my few available sheets, GINK AND DINK. I wasn't able to find much about this strip, except that Dink had a strip all his own before this which was popular.


Here's a nice apron, just wrap your coin in a piece of paper and they'll send you the pattern.

Now here's something you just don't see anymore, Heirs Wanted.

The Flatiron Building in New York was nationally known.


You don't see ads like this anymore either, a comment on the higher mortality rate of that era.

Apparently you can still by Syrup of Figs by the California Fig Syrup Co.

Planning a trip?


Shhh...for men only.Dr.Lorenz had Sunday hours.

An eyecatching ad.

Rosenbaum's was having a sale, with extra S&H Green stamps offered.

Assorted ads and news briefs.

Boggs & Buhl was also having a sale. Furs were very popular, and they had 1/3 off on a limited number of afternoon and evening dresses.

Bennet's furs and some Society notes. The Dispatch was full of the doings of the well to do.


Next a news story about immigration, the page was torn, I did the best I could to piece it together. All the pages were torn into 4 sections because they broke where they had been folded.

Below it was this little bit about a stockholder suing the directors of the Illinois Central RR for failing to do their duty. Does this seem timely or what?

Next comes the sports page with a story about an after the fight fight, some local basketball news, and a recap of the first game in the Billiards Series Championship.
The Boston Doves were not to be sold (they later were renamed the Boston Braves), and famous wrestler George Hackenschmidt was coming to town.



Classifieds next



The Dispatch financial section next, starting with oil prices.

Commodities follow:


Greensburg, Pa. 1910

Greensburg is the county seat of Westmoreland Co.,PA, and in 1910 it was a center of the coal mining industry and a prospering little city. My husband's grandfather came to the area in the 1910's and went to work in a mine.
From the pages of the Greensburg Daily Tribune, Dec 7, 1910 (Greensburg, PA, USA)

Check out the story Latest Departure in Frisking Games. It involves two female con artists, a garter and an orange.







It was Christmas shopping season, and below is most of an ad for Keck's department store, one of several in town. There are very few stores left in the town now, there mostly at the malls at either end of town.

Here's an ad for the famous Gold Dust Twins cleaner.

An ad for Cuticura.

And ads for a menswear store and butter.

Girl Plans Long Jaunt is my favorite story in this paper.

H.S.Ackerman, The One Price Piano Store, was one of several piano stores in town. Unfortunately the other ads were incomplete.

Joseph Strouse The "Fair" Store.

What to do With Hats is actually about what to do with those pesky hatpins.

The Greensburg Steam Laundry will be happy to send around their wagon in a jiffy.

A few classifieds....I think Mr. Loughner wanted a housekeeper who'd work cheap.



There was an interesting story that started on page one, I wish I had page one. It's about attitudes towards Christmas shopping. There a small gap of a few sentences, the paper had crumbled away where it had been folded.


Here's the rest of the story.

And finally, a story about a big snowstorm.