To preserve brooms: Dip them for a minute or two in a kettle of boiling suds once a week and they will last much longer, making them tough and pliable. A carpet wears much longer swept with a broom cared for in this manner. (I'm sure this is meant for natural brooms)
To Ventilate a Room: Place a pitcher of cold water on a table in your room and it will absorb all the gases with which the room is filled from the respiration of those eating or sleeping in the apartment. Very few realize how important such purification is for the health of the family, or, indeed, understand or realize that there can be any impurity in the rooms; yet in a few hours a pitcher or a pail of cold water - the colder the more effective - will make the air of a room pure, but the water will be entirely unfit for use.
|Home of my great grandparents, Osmond, Nebraska|
To prevent lamp wicks from smoking: Soak them in vinegar, and then dry them thoroughly.
Selected from: The Original White House Cookbook, 1887 Edition
Fresh air is a must in our homes .. especially during the winter. Prior to electricity, when wood or coal was used to heat, and oil lamps gave light, indoor air quality was very poor. Homes were not built as air tight as modern homes, so there was some exchange of outside air. Our modern homes are very air tight making it important to have good ventilation. Keeping a window cracked at night when the furnace is not cranked up .. will sometimes suffice. At every opportunity, you should air out your home for the health of your family.