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JOEL Joel's Blog

The 1824 Universal Receipt Book is Here!!!


The 1824 Universal Receipt Book is Here!!! 4We just got our first copies of Stephen Shepherd's reprint of the 1824 Universal Receipt Book. The book itself is a huge compendium of recipes, advice, factoids, & etc that was used as a guidebook for people, especially ones living in rural areas or on the frontier.

Need to get rid of maggots in some sheep - look in the book.
Need to make crayons - look in the book.
Need to mix up some paint or varnish - look in the book.
Need to set a broken leg - look in the book.
Need to set up a school - look in the book.
Need to make some perfume to impress the school marm - look in the book.
Need to cook that sheep - look in the book.
Need to tan that sheepskin - look in the book.
& etc.

Very few of the recipes and instructions in the book deal directly with woodworking - although the sections on varnishing, painting, and other finishing operations is very important from a historical point of view. Overall however I happen to love looking through books like this - you can learn all sorts of things - and it's firmly in the do-it-yourself tradition - so it's a nice addendum to woodworking instruction even if it's not directly connected.

Update: Sadly the book is now (2018)out of print

PS - My book, The Joiner and Cabinetmaker - which is from just a little later - 1839 - is due in from the printer this Friday.

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