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Skills For "Living The Era"

Discussion in 'Skills and Smarts' started by LizzieMaine, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. You can still find the occasional diaper service -- they've made a comeback in the wake of the green movement -- but they're mostly found in upscale neighborhoods.

    My mother rinsed our diapers in an old grease drum, which she then dumped in the backyard. I once fell into this drum when she ran to answer the phone, and the memory remains powerful.

    Disposables have been around since the late thirties -- "Chux" brand was the first -- but they didn't go truly mainstream until the late sixties. My sister and I were both cloth babies -- my little brother, born in 1971, started in cloth but ended up in Pampers.
  2. A lot of restaurants around here serve beverages in Mason jars. They're quite common in BBQ joints and "home cooking" places.
  3. We get a lot of that down here, too.
    Even at the fancy places.
  4. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    I remember the jelly glasses and even peanut butter came in glasses for a little while. That was 50 years ago. Now I get spaghetti sauce in Mason jars and that is about it.

    You used to get glassware as a premium when you bought gas, last saw those in the mid 80s.
  5. It was even common to get full-size glass tumblers as a premium inside boxes of soap powder. At least you knew they were clean.

    As a wartime expedient, dozens of products that ordinarily came in metal cans were packaged instead in glass jars. Coffee and motor oil were two of the most common examples.
  6. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    Do you remember when Maxwell House coffee was first made it came in sealed bags? Their slogan was "The Date Is On The Bag" ,possibly the first example of a Best Before date.

    Later they packaged their coffee in sealed cans but they never used the slogan "The Date Is On The Can". Wonder why.
  7. They could've put another one underneath it: "She'll be ready in a few minutes".
  8. :rofl:
    PeterB likes this.

    If you've ever wanted to own a vehicle from the Era, there's a lot more to it than just answering an ad on Craigslist. Test driving a vintage vehicle is more involved than getting to know a modern car, and there were lemons in the Era just as there are today. There are certain things you need to do before you buy to ensure you don't get stuck. Car purchasers in the Era knew to do these things -- but there's a good chance the modern driver doesn't. The following points are adapted from the "How To Buy A Used Car" article appearing in the 1938 edition of the Consumers Union Buying Guide, and apply only to cars in "original" or "restored to original" condition -- i. e. not custom cars, retro-mods, or street rods.

    1. Pay no attention to the odometer reading. Even in the Era odometer tampering was rampant, and there is no way to know for sure that the numbers shown in any way reflect the actual mileage. Pay no attention to the paint job or the upholstery -- these are commonly replaced in cosmetic restorations, and have no bearing on the mechanical condition of the car. Although pedal pads are often replaced during restoration, the degree of wear shown by those pads will often reveal far more about the actual use of the vehicle than anything else on the surface.

    2. Carry a strong bar magnet with you when you go to look at the vehicle. Pass this magnet over the fenders and rocker panels to detect the presence of body filler or putty, which suggests previous rust or possible accidents.

    3. Put the car in high gear. Set the hand brake to its maximum tension. Start and race the engine, and slowly let the clutch in. It should take hold gradually without grabbing or slipping. If it grabs or slips, there's a good chance it will need replacementm or the car's engine mounts may have failed. The engine should finally stall -- if it doesn't, reject the car.

    4. Push brake pedal with full strength for a full two minutes. If it sinks at any time to the floor, the brake system is defective.

    5. With engine at normal operating temperature on a clear road, accelerate to 40 mph. Remove foot from accelerator pedal and allow car to slow to 10 mph. Then floor accelerator. If this action produces a large cloud of light blue smoke from the exhaust, the engine will require, at the very least, a piston ring job, and possibly a full engine rebuild. If this is more than you want or can afford to deal with, reject the car.

    6. Drive at 20mph on a level, clear road with no side wind. Release the steering wheel. Car must travel in a straight line for at least 100 yards without drifting off the road. If not, the steering system is defective. If this is more than you want or can afford to deal with, reject the car.

    7. Accelerate to 15 to 20 mph in first gear. Howls from the transmission, or knocks from the engine indicate defects which will require deep repair. If this is more than you want or can afford to deal with, reject the car.

    8. With any car equipped with hypoid differential gears -- which includes most cars built after 1936 -- even the slightest axle hum or grinding noise from the rear end when the car is in motion indicates a lubrication failure, and a potential catastrophic failure of the differential system. If you aren't prepared to replace the rear end, reject the car.

    It's very easy to buy a car you've always wanted on the basics of cosmetic condition alone. But with just a little preparation you can be sure that the car isn't going to cost you a lot more than the asking price.
  10. .[/QUOTE]
    What to use to stiffen a soft canvas bag ?
    It’s for bicycle newspaper bag, the canvas is not too thick but soft.
    I remember the starch that came in powder form which was great.
    I cannot find it or if it’s still available.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
  11. You can still get the boxed Argo laundry starch in some hardware or independent grocery stores. Or you can just use plain corn starch -- it's the same thing, just milled differently. Mix half a cup of corn starch with a cup water, and add the mixture to two quarts of boiling water, and use the resulting solution as you would regular laundry starch. Pour the solution into a dishpan, dunk your item into it, wring it out, and iron.

    You can adjust the proportions to taste if you want more or less stiffness.
    2jakes likes this.
  12. Thank You so much.

    And yes, I want the bags as stiff as possible.

    Here’s wishing you have better luck with that bum who puts all that snow in
    front of where you live or work.

    Cheers Lizzie ! :)
  13. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco A-List Customer

    Lizzie, will that work for collars and shirt cuffs?

  14. It should. You might have to adjust the concentration of the solution to find the right level of stiffness.
  15. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    Gosh, Miss Lizzie; I mean, GOSH! What a thread. Don't have time to read it all, living as I am in the moment, in a manner of speaking. Was there anything about how to build a fire? I mean in a cook stove? Heavens, nobody 'round here uses a fireplace no more. All the heat goes straight up the flue. We only use it in the summer for air conditioning.

    I lived for a time, long enough to provide the stimulation and encouragement for doing something somewhere else, in a log house in the hills of West Virginia. I was still in high school. There was a wood-burning stove in the kitchen, no inside bathroom and only sometimes there was running water. Someone else was on the same line and had more pull (they lived further down the hill) on the water. But there was electricity, which was a relatively recent innovation, but no telephone.

    There's no trick to building a fire in a cook stove but I never actually used one for cooking (teenage boys did not cook). I lived there after we moved from the town where I grew up but even there, a few people still used wood-burning kitchen ranges. The fact surprises me more now than it did then. Young minds do not dwell on such things.

    Although some people used starch when they did their laundry (on Mondays), my father worked for a laundry. It was the second largest employer in town for decades, after the railroad. It took the heavy machinery of a commercial laundry to turn out properly finished dress shirts with collars that still turned up at the points. They seemed to only come back folded and wrapped in brown paper with an inner piece of cardboard for stiffness that was something of a commodity for kids. The laundry would do sheets, too, of course, and the women did a sort of dance in folding the sheets after they came off the press. The laundry boasted an impressive array of machinery that would put a car factory to shame and most of the employees were women, including the owner. Whoever thinks that the only place for a woman was at home back then apparently never lived back then. I knew more mothers who worked than stayed at home.
    LizzieMaine and 2jakes like this.
  16. Raising seven kids, my mother had to work.
    One job was at a department store selling bed items.
    Having a thick accent, her biggest concern was when customers asked for “sheets”.
    I would tell her to say linens or bed covers instead
    when replying to the customers.

    I miss her so much!
  17. Speaking of diaper services, my Great Uncle delivered for a service near Oak Lawn Illinois way back when. He told my father and his siblings that he would pick up the dirties and drop off the fresh clean ones in the same trip. One day on his run he was dropping off and this housewife came out hollering at him. He asked what the issue was and how he could help and she said, "This diaper came back 'still full' but folded up like all the other clean ones. Being quite the jokester he told the lady that at least they were "clean turds". I'm not sure if he got into trouble or not, I will have to ask my father. I thought it was funny.
  18. Great thread, maybe the best on the Lounge.

    I used to do this, as well, with one amendment.

    Step 8, instead of folding the cover around the edge of the book, I'd just wrap it around the end and secure it to the inside of the covers with a couple of small pieces of scotch tape. It didn't come off, and the whole thing stayed neater longer. On removal, I'd either gently pull the tape off, or cut it with the point of a scissors.

    No one ever noticed, or they didn't say anything.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2016
  19. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    The Vulgarians are at the gate.

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