Click here to return to the main site entry page
Click here to return to the previous page
The Rushden Echo and Argus, 16th May, 20th June, & 24th October 1930, transcribed by Gill Hollis
Home Hints - 1930s

Rushden Echo, 14th December 1928

Oil a lock that is stiff and hard with a feather dipped in machine oil.

16th May, 1930

Buying Black Glass - By Olga Wright

  One on the most outstanding vogues in table furnishings this spring, is the use of black glass and china for the table.

  First introduced in America, the fashion has become popular in England, and many fascinating displays of model table settings, in black, black and white, or black and one single brilliant colour, are shown in the large furnishing shops.  Brides furnishing their homes are eager buyers of the new ware.

  The display table I saw recently was covered with a white linen cloth bordered by black and jade green squares, and the centre bowl of black glass was filled with sprays of narcissi made from white and green crystal.  Black glass candlesticks held tall, slender, green candles, and the china itself was of a creamy white, bordered with tiny green and black squares.

  The whole scheme was pleasing, and the brilliant touches of jade prevented the somewhat severe effect created b y black and white alone.

At Breakfast

  Breakfast sets in this new ware are particularly delightful, and combine cheerfulness and cheapness in a way calculated to suit those housewives who must avoid extravagance.

  One attractive set in bright yellow, is reeded with black, and has peculiarly shaped cups. These are barrel-shaped, being narrower at the top than at the bottom, and certainly help to keep the breakfast tea or coffee warm.  This practical idea should make a universal appeal, for everyone knows how quickly the hottest beverage cools once it is poured out into the wide rimmed breakfast cups which are generally used.

  Another set of black and deep delphinium blue had, besides the usual pieces, a black glass marmalade dish, with blue glass delphiniums as the handle.  Besides being cheap, these sets have the additional advantage of being “open stock”  patterns, so that housewives can easily replace any broken pieces, and can also collect additional pieces gradually.

For Fruit Fiends

  Even fruit knives and spoons are made with mother of pearl and black handles, to accompany the new black and white fruit sets.

  Many of the shops are also stocking inexpensive linen sets bordered with black and white checked gingham.  These sets can be made at home, in black and white or black and coloured gingham, either in checks or stripes, the black effect being more or less pronounced according to one’s personal taste, and the china with which it is to be used.

  Undoubtedly, this new table ware supplies a long felt want, for it frees the middle-class housewife from the tyranny of “blue-banded” china for everyday use, which, at one time, was the only china she could replace at a reasonable cost.

16th May, 1930

These two pictures came to us as an example of Wash Day 1914 style - from someone who was renovating a house in the 1990s. This was the old scullery. Note the copper in the corner, the coal scuttle, the "posser", the tin bath and, bottom right is a flat iron, with an enamelled storage pot and cobbler's last behind. On the copper is a packet of "Oxydol" washing powder, and a scoop for taking out the hot water for use at the sink (just out of picture on the left); on top of the washing machine
is a box labelled "Blacking Brushes".
Every Day A Washing Day - By Amy Redwood

  The girl who wants to look dainty and spotless in her light summer clothes, and who must have plenty of changes of lingerie, will certainly find it worth while to study the subject of home laundry.

  When possible, boil the articles, using one of the soaps which really help to whiten clothes.  A good-sized saucepan should be kept for this purpose alone, either of aluminium or enamel; when you are buying this saucepan choose one of a sufficient size to allow the clothes to boil fast in it without the water bubbling over.

  It is best to soak the clothes over-night in cold water to which a teaspoonful of borax has been added.  By the way, you must melt your borax first of all in hot water.

Soap or Flakes

  Next day, wring out your washing and put in into a pan of cold water, containing soap which has been shredded finely, or a good brand of soap flakes.  The water should completely cover the clothes, and be brought slowly to the boil; continue the boiling for about 20 minutes, stirring and turning the clothes fairly frequently with a wooden spoon.  Lift out of the pan into a bowl and rinse in warm water, rubbing any places that are specially soiled.  Rinse in at least two more waters, adding a little blue to the last water, which should be cold.  It is in the matter of insufficient rinsing that so many home-washers fail.

  Wring out your clothes now, shake them, and hang out of doors or before an open window.

Without Boiling

  When boiling is impossible you must soak the clothes overnight in water to which a teaspoonful of turpentine has been added to each gallon of water.  Next day rub out the clothes in this water first, then wash them in a hot soapy lather.  Rinse in at least three lots of cold water with blue in the last, then proceed as before.  Turpentine helps to loosen the dirt and whiten clothes.

  Coloured garments must never be boiled, but very thorough rinsing in several lots of water is essential.  The water may be cold after the first rinse.

Iron This Way

  Ironing should be done on a thick pad of blanket covered with a cloth; an old sheet serves very well.  Blanket and cloth must always be kept perfectly clean.  Where there is no handy kitchen table it is worth while getting one of the folding tables sold now for the purpose of ironing;  they fix to a sitting-room table and are easily packed away in a cupboard.  If you are going to wash your silk or cotton frocks or blouses, a sleeve board is useful; it is not expensive.

  If there is electric power in the house, an electric iron is not extravagant, and for cleanliness and speed is beyond compare; you will soon save its cost on your laundry bills! With gas an iron may be attached to a stove or ring with a tubing, and is less expensive in use than constantly re-heating the ordinary flat irons, besides being more handy.

Note: Makes you glad for progress, and the labour saving devices that are available today! KC 2009

These recipes are taken from a little book entitled “The Pious Country Parishioner – Instructed how to spend every day, through the whole course of his life, in a Religious and acceptable manner”. The book was printed in 1789 and this copy belonged to “Elizth. Adamson – Book – Feb 21st 1794”, as she has neatly written on the flyleaf, in beautiful writing.

This recipe is written on the other side of the flyleaf:-

To make Blacking

a quarter of a pound of

Ivry black half a oz.

of  Gamarabeck

half a pound of Treckee

one pint of l Ale.

At the other end of the book another recipe:-

2 pennyworth of Gambouge
Mande in 8 Doses worked
of with Balm Tea.
To Cure a Cow of the Felling in the
Bag 8oz of the Glover Salts
Dissolved in a Qut of Water Gin
3 Drinks 1 Eevry 2 Days Dress the
Bag with 4oz of Mallow Ointmt
With Brandy and With Draw the
Pape 3 or 4 Times a Day.

The owner of the book does not appear to have been a Rushden resident, but no doubt a maid or two would have mixed the blacking for the stoves and fireplaces at Rushden Hall!

20th June, 1930

Bottling Beans - By Rosamund

  It is usual to preserve enough fruit for use all the year round, but few housewives think of preserving summer vegetables as they come into season.  The process may be tedious, but the vegetables make a welcome change when winter comes.

  Cold weather cookery need not be monotonous if there are available peas, beans, and so on, from a well-stocked store cupboard.

  So I think now is the time to earmark a few hints on the subject.

To Preserve Peas

  If you decide to preserve peas, first shell and grade them, then put them into a clean enamel saucepan.  Pour boiling water over them and boil for three minutes – this is to blanch them.  Have plenty of cold water handy, plunge your peas into it, and leave them to get absolutely cold, before putting them into perfectly clean jars which have been rinsed with cold water.

  Now boil some water, adding to it a pinch of bi-carbonate of soda, salt, a lump of sugar and a sprig of mint, but do not leave the mint in long enough to discolour, only just to give the right flavour.  When this mixture is quite cold again pour it over the peas to overflow, put the caps on the bottles, screwing them tightly, bring slowly to the boil, allowing one and a half ours to reach boiling point, and then keep boiling for two hours.

  Take out the bottles, and have ready a kettle of boiling water.  Remove the metal ring from the bottles, one at a time, take off the cap placing it on the metal ring to keep it sterile and warm, dip the rubber ring into boiling water, slip it very quickly on the bottle, fill to overflowing with boiling water, replace the cap and screw.  Put the bottle back into the steriliser for five minutes, then take it out, screw tightly, and put aside for two days, then re-process, by which is meant put into the steriliser again as before, bring slowly to the boil and boil for two hours.  Take up, screw tightly and your peas are all ready to store.

With Beans

  French and Runner beans are done in much the same way.  They should be cut up finely.  The same solution is used, leaving out the mint.  Only process for one-and-a-half hours each time instead of two hours.

  Broad Beans should be very young and tender for bottling.  Shell, grade and blanch them for five minutes; “cold dip” until quite cold.  Pack into jars and fill to overflowing with salted water, using salt in the proportion of one teaspoonful to a pint.  Then proceed as for French and Runner Beans.  The only trouble with Broad Beans is that the colour fades.  White sauce poured over them will help to hide this defect.

20th June, 1930

A Place For Everything - By Helen Oliver

  A modern house with its dainty tiled kitchenette appeals to every woman, but, too often it is discovered how totally inadequate is the space provided.  The lack of cupboards for storage is a very great difficulty.

  In furnishing a kitchenette, be sure you do not buy unnecessary or cumbersome articles.  For instance, there is the kitchen table, choose this of a size and a shape that will conveniently fit into a recess if you have one, or, if this is unavailable, against your largest bare wall.  The gas stove also should stand in a recess, but do not fail to see that it is in a light position.

  Utilise the space beneath the kitchen table by boarding it in to make two cupboards, using the legs as supports and leaving a space right through the centre in the manner of a knee hole writing table.  The front part of these cupboards should have doors to open and shut, whilst each cupboard should be divided by a neatly fitted shelf.  One side could hold baking pans, basins, dishes, scales, mincer, and so on.  On the shelf of the other cupboard store salt, herbs, flour, sugar, and the numerous articles of everyday cooking, while at the bottom keep soap, starch, and polishes.

Under The Sink

  Don’t waste the space under your sink.  Have this also divided off either by a curtain or a ventilated door.  If your sink is a high one a shelf can be fitted under it a short distance from the top.  This would hold a couple of boxes containing black lead brushes and cleaning cloths.  Beneath the saucepan shelf a piece of wood should be fixed complete with hooks from which the lids can be hung, a better method than laying them on the top of upturned saucepans.  A wooden broom rack should be attached to a wall in an isolated corner.  This will keep the brooms with their heads upwards, and, if they are kept clean, they will not be unsightly.

  Even doors may be utilised to hold something.  One should have a roller towel rod affixed, and under this hooks on which to hang tea towels, etc.

  Another may be fitted with shelves from top to bottom, and, if each shelf is edged with a small trellised bar, the articles thereon will not fall off with the opening and shutting of the door.

Have Glass Doors Here

  You will be practically certain to have a dresser in your kitchenette, and it would be advisable to have glass doors fitted to the upper part, as otherwise it is difficult to keep your china clean and free from steam and fumes.

  On the inside of all cupboard doors run two rows of rather wide, strong elastic, forming tight loops by nailing it into position with tacks.  Vary these loops in size and you will find they are admirable for holding cooking spoons, egg whisk, and other culinary utensils or for small tools which you do not wish to relegate to the outside shed.

  A kitchenette fitted in this manner is a model of labour saving, for every article is close at hand whenever needed.

The Rushden Echo & Argus, 29th August, 1930, transcribed by Gill Hollis

How to Treat Towels
By Marjorie Croome

  Household towels perish early in life; but there is no reason why this should happen.  With correct handling and careful washing they will last a considerable time.

  After using, all towels should be neatly folded and hung on a towel-rest or roller.  It is when this simple rule is disregarded that they wear out very quickly.

  Before washing towels, steep them for several hours in a bath of warm water to which has been added a handful of soda.  See that the soda is thoroughly dissolved before placing the towels in the water, because undissolved soda leaves brownish marks. The process of steeping loosens the dirt and obviates the necessity of hard rubbing which is so injurious to all fabrics.

Be Sure They’re Clean

  Wash the towels in plenty of hot water, using hard soap and a rubbing board.  When they are quite clean on both sides, place them in the copper and boil for about 20 minutes.  Then rinse thoroughly in hot water before hanging to dry in the open air.

  If a towel is disfigured with iron-mould, do not on any account place it in the copper until the stains have been removed, or they are certain to spread to other parts of the towel.  Iron mould is quite simple to remove.

  Lay the stained part over a basin and pour boiling water through.  Next apply a little salts of lemon and rub gently with a smooth stick.  Pour on more boiling water.  After the mark has disappeared, rinse the towel in a solution of carbonate of soda in order to neutralise the acid.

For a Good Colour

  If the towels have become a bad colour, the best plan is to stew them after they have been thoroughly washed in the usual way.  Place the discoloured towels in the copper or a large saucepan and cover with warm, soapy water.  Bring slowly to the boil and simmer gently for an hour, taking care to see that the vessel is closely covered.  Rinse thoroughly and, where possible, hang them in the sunshine for several hours.

  Stewing is also to be recommended for kitchen roller towels which have become greasy and stained.

24th October 1930

Linoleum - By Marjorie Croome

Linoleum should be swept and rubbed over with a floor mop regularly every day, in order to remove the dust and keep it nicely polished. But in addition to the daily sweeping, it occasionally requires to be given a thorough washing.

The washing is best performed with warm water, yellow soap and flannel. Treat only a small portion of the linoleum at a time, and do not on any account make it too wet. Rinse with warm water, and dry very thoroughly with a non-fluffy cloth.

If the linoleum is very soiled, it is a great mistake to resort to soda and a scrubbing brush, because soda removes the colour, and scrubbing soon causes the surface to become roughened. Instead, add a small amount of paraffin to the washing water.

An excellent polish may be obtained by means of beeswax and turpentine. This preparation is made by shredding three ounces of beeswax into a jar containing half a pint of turpentine. Leave the jar in a warm place until the beeswax is thoroughly dissolved. Apply the mixture very sparingly and rub it well in, preparatory to giving a final polish with a soft duster.

Non-Slippery Surface

If only a slight polish is desired, rub the linoleum with a cloth which has been moistened in milk. This method is to be recommended in a household where there are young children, as it does not make the surface slippery.

Sometimes linoleum appears dull and faded in colour. In this case, it is a good plan to treat it with a little turpentine and sour milk. Moisten a pad of flannel in turpentine, dip in the sour milk and apply to the linoleum, taking care to rub it well in. Allow the mixture to remain on for about ten minutes. Then remove with a clean cloth, and polish vigorously in the usual manner.

A Good Varnish

Most kinds of linoleum wear much better if they are treated with an application of varnish once a year. A very good recipe for the process is made by placing four ounces of shellac and one pint of methylated spirits into a large bottle. Cork the bottle securely to prevent evaporation, and leave for twenty-four hours, or until the shellac is quite dissolved.

Remove all dust and dirt from the linoleum, and apply a thin, even coating of the varnish, beginning at the farthest corner of the room and working towards the door. Allow ample time for it to dry before walking upon it.

Click here to return to the main index of features
Click here to return to the People & Families index
Click here to e-mail us