A while ago, I shared some Useful Hints for the Home from the 1940s, which I found tucked into the back of an inherited, hand-written recipe book.
Here are a few more that have not really stood the test of time. Though in the case of the first one, you COULD try it, if you happen to have a tea trolley. And if your idea of housework is more than mine, which tends to be: ‘flick a duster round before doing the hoovering*’.

*that’s ‘vacuuming,’ for non-British readers 🙂

When doing housework

–put all your dusters, polishers etc on a tea trolley, then they can be moved easily from room to room.


This one is for people with WAY too much time on their hands…

Before washing woollies

– sew up all the button holes. This will prevent them from stretching.


And here are a couple that were totally lost on me at first. Till I looked things up and discovered ‘petersham’ was presumably either:

  • a flexible corded ribbon use by milliners and tailors, or;
  • A type of very thick, waterproof woollen coating fabric used for men’s trousers or heavy coats

Corsets will keep their shape

– if you sew a length of petersham all round inside the waist edge.


Shining mirrors

– the best method of cleaning mirrors and windows is to rub them with a paste of whiting and water. When this dries, polish with dry chamois and remove the powder.

I think ‘whiting’ probably referred to powdered and washed white chalk – rather than fish. But, who can tell?

Should anyone decide to try it cleaning their mirrors with fish paste and water, do let me know how it turns out.


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