by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
I’m cheating again this week. Since the Historical Society is all decked out for Christmas, I don’t want to mess it up by digging for new ideas to write about. Also, since this article appeared in The Voice four years ago, many of you have never read it. If you have, it’s worth a “re-read” and it will hopefully put a smile on your face!
While archiving some new “old stuff” at the Historical Society last week, I found in a filing box a 1951 booklet titled Your Household Guide. The foreword provided this information. “This book contains 1001 helpful household hints which have been selected from several hundred Walsworth Bros. Home Recipe Books throughout the nation.”
It was published in 1951 by Walsworth Bros., Marceline, Mo. and sold by the ladies of the Grain Valley Methodist Church. Several local businesses had advertisements in the book including Minter’s Food Market, Loring Hardware, Frantz Grocery, E.F. Crull Mercantile Co., R. C. Frantz Petroleum Products, E. A. Ford Mercantile, and Grain Valley Grain Company.
From the table of contents, one could quickly see that this guide covered about every topic of “advice” you would ever need to know from Baking and Birthstones to Gardening, Postal Rates, and State Capitals. You should come by the Historical Society some Wednesday, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and read through some of the great tips and time savers in the book!
In case you haven’t saved enough time to make it by before Christmas, I would like to share a few of the great tips from 1951.
• Plant radish and cucumber seeds together to keep bug off cucumbers!
• When painting indoors, slip a pair of old socks over your shoes. If paint drops on floor, just “skate” it up. Saves stooping.
• Red ants can be kept out of the pantry if a small quantity of green sage is placed on the shelves.
• To whiten laces, wash them is sour milk.
• A little vinegar added to water in which you rinse silk stockings will increase their elasticity and make them practically run proof!
• To catch mice, place a gumdrop in the trap, instead of bacon or cheese. When the mouse goes to eat the gumdrop his or her teeth gets stuck and causes the trap to go off.
• If a fish bone becomes stuck in the throat, eat a lemon or part of one as soon as possible. The lemon juice will cause the bone to dissolve.
• Wax the snow shovel to prevent snow from sticking to it. This makes shoveling much easier.
And if you are thinking of doing some baking for Christmas...
• To keep cookies fresh and crisp in a jar, place a crumpled tissue paper in the bottom.
• Set pies and cobblers on a rack to cool and the bottom crust will not be soggy.
• When bread is baking, a small dish of water in the oven will help to keep the crust from getting hard.
• An easy way to chop nuts, place in a cloth bag and roll with a rolling pin.
There was some fairly outdated and laughable advice like “jot down the important things you want to say on a long distance call, and it will prevent all that humming and hawing that cost money.”
On the other hand, I found many good ideas!
Is there something “historical” you would like to know about Grain Valley? Send me an email and I will be happy to try and answer your request.