Tidbits from Old Rural New York Newspapers

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The Library of Congress/Chronicling America
The front page of the New York Tribune, Jan. 1, 1880.

What follows are excerpts from vintage newspapers with blogger Sam Moore’s asides set in italics. — Ed.

Automatic Cow-Milker, July 13, 1878
The Automatic Cow-Milker is a sterling-silver tube with highly polished surface, and in all respects a nice piece of work. The tubes are sold in sets of four attached to each other by strips of leather, and seen to be as convenient a contrivance for lessening the labors of the dairy as has been introduced. (A Colonel Weld, who tried the device, wrote: “I have tried the Automatic Cow-Milker (and) it worked well on one cow repeatedly. I have no hesitation saying that the milker is a valuable article in any dairy, especially for cows with sore or wounded teats, and for milking very short-teated cows, and I think it would be particularly convenient for gentlemen having one or more cows, and liable to be left, now and then, without a person to milk them when changing servants.”

(Don’t you wonder why a “gentleman” with only one or two cows couldn’t manage to milk them by hand himself?)

Big Profits in Ice, Feb. 5, 1859
Several new ice houses have been erected on the banks of the Hudson during the present winter. They have been, or are being, filled. The season thus far has been unusually favorable. The Kingston Journal says there are 99,000 tons of ice gathered, valued at half a million dollars! If correct, it’s safe to say that more than 300,000 tons are already stored on the Hudson — worth more than a million and a half of dollars! There is certainly a very handsome crop.

Birth of the USDA, May 24, 1862
The bill establishing the Department of Agriculture has passed both Houses of Congress, and only requires the signature of the President to become a law (President Lincoln signed the bill on May 15, 1862). The act creates a new Department, distinct from all others, at the head of which is to be a Commissioner, with a salary of $3,000. (About $64,000 in today’s terms.)

Advice, Jan. 10, 1850
It should be the aim of young men to go into good society. We do not mean the rich, the proud, and fashionable, but the society of the wise, the intelligent, and good.

How To Cook A Husband, Feb. 5, 1859
The time has arrived in the year for the preparation of many good things, and I have no doubt that the following will prove to be the most valuable in the catalogue of recipes. To cook a husband, as Mrs. Glass said of the hare, you must first catch him. Having done so, the mode of cooking him, so as to make a good dish of him, is as follows:

Many good husbands are spoiled in the cooking; some women go about as if their husbands were bladders, and blow them up; others keep them constantly in hot water, while others freeze them by conjugal coolness; some smother them in hatred, contention, and variance, and some keep them in pickle all their lives. These women always serve them up with hot tongue sauce. Now, it cannot be supposed that a husband will be tender and good if managed in this way; but they are, on the contrary, very delicious when managed as follows: Get a large jar of faithfulness (which every good wife has on hand), place your husband in it, and set him near the fire of conjugal love; let the fire be pretty hot; especially let it be clear, but above all let the heat be constant. Cover him with affection, kindness, and subjection, garnished with modest and becoming familiarity, and spice with pleasantry, and if you add kisses and other confectionaries, let them be accompanied with a sufficient portion of secrecy, mixed with prudence and moderation. We advise all good wives to try this recipe, and realize what an admirable dish a husband makes when properly cooked.

More next time.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
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