Readings for Rural Life – Cold Floors

From Moore’s Rural New-Yorker in Rochester, NY

February 20th, 1864

Cold Floors

“Keep the head cool and the feet warm,” says the physician. Some people are so unfortunate as to live in hired houses, or are too poor to repair their own, or do not wish to lay out money to fix up the old one, when they expect in a year or two that its place will be occupied by a new one. What are such people to do when the floors are filled with cracks that let in the wind and the cold? No sort of chance to follow the advice of the doctor, in such a case. The cracks change things just end for end. Cold feet and blood and heat to the head. We were in just such a fix. We read in the Family Journal, that newspapers being spread between bed clothes were excellent non-conductors, and rendered beds very warm. We applied the principle to our cold floor.  Before laying down the carpet, we covered the whole floor with newspapers, being careful to break joints. It produced a decided change in the temperature of the room. Feet and legs rejoiced, as they were comparatively comfortable. Please tell your readers, Mr. Editor, that this is about the best use some papers can be put to. – L.L.F.

A New Corset Asked For

Susie Perkins complains, in the Scientific American, that the corsets illustrated and recommended in that paper the past year, do not meet her requirements, and those of the sisterhood of corset-wearers. She talks in this wise:

“The air we ladies have to breathe up there in Vermont circulates all round the world, and is breathed by all the filthy creatures on the face of the earth, by rhinoceroses, cows, elephants, tigers, woodchucks, hens, skunks, minks, grasshoppers, mice, raccoons, and all kinds of bugs, spiders, fleas, and lice, lions, tobacco-smokers, catamounts, eagles, crows, rum-drinkers, turkey buzzards, tobacco-chewers, hogs, snakes, toads, lizards, Irish, negroes, and millions of other nasty animals, birds, insects and serpents; besides, it is filled with evaporations from dead, decaying bodies, both animal and vegetable, and we ladies are obliged to breathe it over after them, ough! Bah!

“Now we want, and must have, some contrivance that will effectually keep this foul disgusting stuff  out of our lungs. We have tried the three kinds of corsets which you noticed in your paper last year; but when we do the best with them that we can, about a teacupful of this nasty air will rush into our lungs in spite of these miserable contrivances, and when we blow it out again another teacupful of the disgusting stuff will again rush in, and when we blow that out still another will rush in; and so we are obligated to keep doing from the time we wake up in the morning till we go to sleep at night, and I do not know but we do all night.

“If these corsets are worth anything to keep this disgusting air out of a body, and we have not put them on right, please come immediately yourself, or send the inventors to show up how. If they are a humbug, I hope their inventors will be tarred and feathered and rode on a rail, and you, for noticing them in the Scientific American, be obliged to breathe about sixty pints of the nasty, foul, nauseous, filthy, disgusting, dirty, defiled, loathsome, hateful, detestable, odious, abominable, offensive, stinking air which surrounds this earth per minute for a hundred years.”

The editors, in their zeal to supply the wants of the correspondent, respond as follows:

“We can suggest but one kind of corset which would effectually meet our fair correspondent’s wishes. Instead of the ordinary laced-up corset, take a piece of strong hempen cord and apply it closely about the neck, tie one end of it to a beam, and let the whole weigh of the body suspend at the other end. We guarantee that if the cord is strong enough it will put an end to all future complaints on this subject.”

Published in: on February 20, 2014 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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