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Another old home ed book

May 15th, 2008 at 03:07 pm

I love reading old home economics book. They always seem almost current. The things they talk about are high prices, inflation and how to make the most of whatever they have.

I found this one many years ago in our library but wasn't able to check it out again. It may be in a special section now. It was written in 1865. It's called "Six Hundred Dollars a Year A Wife's Effort at Low Living Under High Prices" It doesn't say her name though. There's a website where this book is stored now and I'm re-reading it there.


Some highlights so far

The banks were paying 5% interest which was thought to be measly.

"My husband says that oil is to become a greater staple than cotton or coal. People are getting to use it for everything; he is half inclined to think they will take to drinking it some day."

The neighbor's wife started investing in oil stocks. "The furor of a female stock-speculator was an entire novelty. My husband and myself often talked over the unnatural interest which Mrs. Wilson manifested in such things, and he was not slow in predicting some kind of disappointment." Their servant girl also invested in stocks. Of course there was a downturn and they all lost thier money except for the author and her husband. Thus showing how prudent they are Smile

They had a nice house which they rented for $200 a year. Since rents were going up they called their landloard and took out a 5 year lease to lock in the price.

It had parlor and dining room, large kitches, a shed for wash-house and summer cooking, 3 good chambers upstairs with bath and 2 attics. They had a garden in the backyard.

She furnished the entire house at the time of their marriage with a $700 dollar inheritance.

Forty yards Tapestry Carpet, @ 1.00 .40.00
Walnut Hair-Cloth Sofa . . .. . . 30.00 Four Walnut Chairs, at $ 3.00 12.00 Walnut Centre-Table 5.00
Cloth Cover . . .. . . . 2.00
Small Pier Table with Marble Top . . . .. 8.00
Piano and Stool 200.00
Two Window-Shades of White Linen . . . . 2.00

Total, $299.00

Seventy yards Ingrain Carpet, at $ 0.75 . . . . 52.50
Three Cottage-Sets, at $40 each . 120.00
Beds and Bedding . . . . . . . 50.00 Crockery Ware . .6.00
Muslin Curtains . . 3.00

Total, $231.50


Twenty yards Carpet, at $0.75 . $15 00
A Good Second-Hand Table . 5.00
Six Cane-Seat Chairs, at $1.50 . . 9.00 Cutlery . . . . . 10.00
Stone-China Dinner Set . . . . . . 10.00 Tea Set, white French China . . 5.00
Window-Shades . . . .. 1.00

Total, $ 55.00

Kitchen Furniture, and Cooking Utensils . . . $30.00
Hall Furniture, and Stair Carpet .. . . 30.00 $60.00

Total cost of House Furniture . $ 658.50

This left me just $ 41.50 for table-linen, sheets, pil- low-cases, and towels; which was little enough, it --is true, but as muslin was cheap ,then, it bought me a dozen sheets, a dozen pillow-cases, five table-cloths, a dozen napkins, a dozen fine huckaback towels, a dozen crash ones for kitchen use, and left me some twelve dollars for sundry knicknacks, such as brushes and combs, waiters, dust-brushes, and lamps.

More Later......................

I finished reading the library book Retire on Less Than You Think by Fred Brock. Finance. Very good

I finished reading my book White Hot by Carla Neggers. Romance. OK

3 Responses to “Another old home ed book”

  1. Petunia Says:

    I enjoy reading these too. I've found a treasure trove at the local state university library. I think many of these schools had home-ec departments earlier on, and since this library seems to throw nothing away they still have a pretty good supply. Thanks for sharing!

    Edited to add: Just checked the U library and they have it on microfilm and also point to the link you have above. So they must have gotten rid of their hard copy.

  2. Petunia in a Flower Garden Says:

    Petunia again. I just spent some time searching your archive to come up with the name of this book. I enjoyed it a lot at the time. Time and technology have marched on - this book now available in EPUB format, and I've downloaded it to my Nook. Hope you are doing well and enjoying retirement.

  3. retire@50 Says:

    Petunia in a Flower Garden - I recently downloaded it to my Kindle, also. Just got one for xmas. I'm loving my retirement, thanks.

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