Group Title: Historic St. Augustine: De Mesa Plans
Title: [Memo to all Spanish Quarter staff re life in 1840]
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Memo to all Spanish Quarter staff re life in 1840
Series Title: Historic St. Augustine: De Mesa Plans
Physical Description: Correspondence
Language: English
Publication Date: 1989
Subject: Saint Augustine (Fla.)
43 Saint George Street (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
de Mesa-Sanchez House (Saint Augustine, Fla.)
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida -- Saint Johns -- Saint Augustine -- 43 Saint George Street
Coordinates: 29.896429 x -81.313225
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00091264
Volume ID: VID00017
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution.
Resource Identifier: B7-L6

Full Text





DATE: 3/15/89


The attached article was among some things David Scott got for us from
the Ford Museum regarding kitchens in 1840. Since it gives such a clear
picture of life in the 1840 kitchen, I thought perhaps it might help you
in your interpretation of the house. Ron is busy this week doing a lot
of things to get the kitchen in shape, and we will try to keep the momentum
going until it looks more "real" and the artifacts aren't just lying around.
By the way, Ron made the dry sink in about a day, so please compliment him
on his work. i
I hope you all find this as interesting an article as I did. Aren't
we glad we have plumbing and electricity? (Or....maybe not...)



Importance of a Convenient Kitchen. Floor should be
Sink and Drain. Towels. Washbasins. Dishcloths.
ing Dishes. Conveniences needed. Rules. Kitchen F
Crockery. Iron Ware. Tin Ware. Wooden Ware.
Ware. Other Articles. Miscellaneous Directions. On
of tel Cellar and Storeroom. 3odes of Destroying .s
Vermin. <

IT is very important, for every man who.
to have his daughters brought up with good6i
tic habits, to secure a light, neat, and agi
kitchen. Such an arrangement will make th
of the house more attractive to his daughter.
comfortable for his wife, and better securetti
tentment of domestics. For this reason'-
kitchens are undesirable, besides being oft
healthful. "f-|
A kitchen should have either a smootl,-A
floor, or else an oil-cloth, as this saves muc
n IOOS mucn neater man aware Oor.Ij
cloth is best, because it can e removed;
repainted, whereas when a floor is newly-,
it has to be used, before the paint is suffi
Hardened, and consequently it wears off mucl
so that the oil-cloth is cheaper in the end-.
this as cheap as possible, make up a kitchCe-
of coarse tow cloth, have it nailed to the seu
of a barn, and put on it a coat of thin ryg
Then hire a painter to put on a coat of ,0
yellow paint, and let it dry for a fortnightc
have a second coat of paint put on, and at_
of another fortnight a third coat. Let
for two months, and it will last many :Ye


ful to have the paint well mixed, with a proper
ly of drying ingredients.
kitchen should always have a sink, with a
a to carry away all slops ; and this drain should
-r empty on the surface of the ground near the
se, as it is both unhealthful and uncleanly. It is
to whitewash the walls of a kitchen, as it makes
fighter, and tends to remove all bad smells. _A
pr-towel, to be changed twice a week, and two
k-tin basins, one for common and one for nicer
Sarvery necessary. in every kitchen. A nicer
'el should also be hung near one of these basins.
'he sink should be noroughly washed every day,
-ften scalded with ley or hot suds. Keep a sup-
of nice dish-cloths hanging near the sink7 hem'me-,
j.urmsed with loops. There should be one for
ies that are not greasy, one for greasy dishes, and
pots and kettles. These should all be put in
Jash every was iing day. If the mistress of the
a7ly will insist on this, she will be less annoyed by
ing her dishes washed with black, dirty, and
sty rags. Under the sink should be kept a slop-
and on a shelf, close by, should be placed. two
r-pails one tr ar and one fu t si waer-.A
A kettle of warm soft water should always 15e
over the fire, and a hearth-broom ana beltows
Sbesde the fireplace -cloc or near
Kitchen is very important, to secure regularity
umily arrangements.

Washing Dishes.
3.reless domestics are very apt to fail in washing
.es properly. A full supply of proper convenien-
,-and considerable watchfulness from the lady
1he house, will remedy this. A swab, made of
idle-wick, or strips of linen, and tied to the end of
ick, is useful to wash small deep dishes. Three
'cloths, as before described, and two towels,

A -~dfl~ 04)_,e ~ r)ni












should always be used in washing up the family'
dishes. Two large tin tubs, painted on the outfdie,
should be provided, one for washing and one tot
rinsing; anda large pi waiter, Cwhic to 0ain
jb dihes77ALLso!ap-dis, Witnnr uialmp
!pail, should also be furnished. -Then, d in
like the following, are written, in a large hand, and
put up near the sink, they will be some aid iram-se-
curing the desired care and neatness.
1. Put all the food remaining on the dishes,-,and
which is good, on plates, and set it away for tuse.-
Scrape the grease into the soap-grease pot, andithe
scraps ijto the slop-pail; and put the tea leaves-iint.
a bowl for use. Save all bits of butter. -
2. Make a strong hot suds, in the wash-dish,.vand
wash the nicest articles with a swab, or the nicest
dish-cloth, and lay them in the rinsing-dish, which
should also be filled with hot water. This ii
better than to pour hot water on them after the sltu
is partly dried on. Then take them out of tLk
rinsing-water, and lay them to drain on the waiter:
Then rinse the dish-cloth, and hang it up. I-
3. Pour in some more hot water, take anotlibr
dish-cloth, and wash all the greasy dishes, rinsin
them, and setting them to drain. Then take ttMWO
towels, and wipe all the dishes, and set them amay.
Put the knives and forks into a vessel made for:!the
purpose, and wash and wipe them; or, if no smnch
article is provided, wash them in the water with thi
other greasy dishes, taking care not to put thi
handles in the water. Wipe them, and put thenzi ih
the knife-tray, to be scoured. 4.
4. Get a fresh supply of hot suds, and wash tie
milk-pans and buckets, and then the tins. T
rinse and hang up the dish-cloth, and take anodhei
and wash the roasters, gridiron, pots, and kettleb
Then empty the slop-bucket, and scald it. Dry lhe
-teapots (if of metal) and the tins by the fire. Tlbil



s~ald out the chamber-bucket, and set it out of
doors, to air. Then sweep and dust the kitchen and
put the fireplace in good order.
Kitchen Furniture.
Crockery. Brown earthen pans are said to be best,
for milk and for cookrg. pans are lighter, and
more convenient, but are too clToro many purposes.
Tall earthen jars, with covers, are good to hold
butter, salt, ard, &c. The red earthen ware should
never have acids put into its there is a poisonous
ine' t ie the Iaz, which tti eacid takes o
Stone ware is better and stronger and safer, every
way, than any Other kind.
Iron Ware. Mrlany kitchens are very imperfectly
supplied with the requisite conveniences for cooking;
and when a person has sufficient means, the follow-
ing articles are all desirable. n .est of iron pots, of
different sizes, (they should be slowly eaTe
new;) a long iron fork o take out articles from
boiling wa-fer; ag iron hook, with a handle, to lift
pots from the crane a sar ma d s-all g:idir:n,. With
grooved bars. and a trench to catch the grease ; a
Dutch oven, called, also, a bakepa; two skillets, of
ff__eerent size. r n n skilet, for frying;
a griddle. a waffle-iron, tin and iron bake and Fread-.
apns; two ladles, of different sizeq a skimmer ; iron
skewers: a toasting-iron : two teakettle-s e-ff-
and one large one; two brass kettles, of different
sizes, for soap-boiling, &c. Iron kettles, lined with
porcelain, are better for preserves. The German are
the best. Too hot a fire will crack them, but with
care in this respect, they will last for many years.
Portable furnaces, of iron or clay, are very useful,
in Summer, in washing, ironing, and stewing, or
making preserves. If used in the house, a strong
draught must be made, to prevent the deleterious
effects of the charcoal. A spice-box; spice. pepper.


* -I




and coffee-mill, are needful to those who use such
articles. Strong knives and forks, a sharp carving-
knife, an iron cleaver and board, a ine saw, stee-
yards, chopping-tray and knife, an apple-parer, steel
for sharpening knives, sugar-nippers, a dozen iron
sooons, also a large iron one with a long handle, six
or eight flatirons, one of them very small, two iron-
stands, a ruffle-iron, a crimping-iron. -_
Tin Ware. Bread and cake-pans, a colander, an
egg-boiler, a dredging-box, a pepper-box, a large and
small grater, large and small pattypans, cake-pans,
with a centre tube to insure their b-cing wel, pie.
dishes, of block-tin, a covered butter-kettle, covered
kettles to hold berries, two sauce-panm, a in oven o0
tin-kitchen, a tin apple-corer, an mple-roaster, a
large oil-can, with a cock, a lamp-fifer, a tin lan.
tern, broad-bottomed candlesticks for the kitchen, a
candle-box, a funnel or tunnel, a tin -eflector, fol
baking warm cakes, two sugar-scoops, and flori
and meal-scoop, a set of tin mugs. three tin dippers
a pint, quart, and gallon measure, a set of scales and
weights, three or tour tin pais, painM a the ou
side, a tin slop-bucket, with a tight coV paimec
on the outside, a milk-strainer, a gravy-straier,
Sbox, in which to keep cheese, also a large on
for cake and a sti larger one orread wit tieg
covers- Bread, cake, and cheese, shut up in thiU
way, will not grow dry as in the open air. ".
Wooden Ware. A nest of tubs, a set of pails
wooden-bowls, a large and small sieve a Deeti
for mahing potatoes, a spad or sticl for stirring
-nttpr and sugar, a bread-board, for moulding breach
and making piecrust, a coffee-stick, a clothes-stick
a mush-stick, a meat-beetle, to pound tough meat
an egg-beater, a wooden ladle fror wrkng UtteL
a brpi-tronh, (for a large failyj) flour-buckeu

boxes, sugar-boxes, starch and indigo-boxes, spice

boxes, a bosom-board, a skirt-board, a large iron-
Tg-board, two or fhree-cloohes-rrames and six dozer
7 Basket Ware. Baskets, of all sizes, for eggs,
fruit, marketing, clothes, &c., also chip-baskets.
When often used, they should be washed in hot
Other Articles. Every kitchen nPeds a box con- a ball of brown thread, a ball of twine, a
large and small darning-needle, a roll of waste-paper,-
a roll of old linen and cotton, and a supply of com-
mon holders. There should also be another box,
containing a hammer, carpet-tacks, and nails of all
sizes, a carpet-claw, screws and a screw-driver, gim-
lets of several sizes, a bed-screw, a small saw, two
chisels, (one to use for button-holes in broadcloth,)
two awls, pincers, two files.
In a drawer, or cupboard, should be placed cotton
tablecloths, for kitchen use, aice crash towels, for
tumblers, marked, T T; coarser towels, for dishes,
marked, six ar oer-towes ; a ozen Han
towels, marked. H T; and a dozen dish-cloths,
.hemmed and having loops. Also, two pudding or
Sdl mpling-cloths, of thick linen, a gelly-bag, made of
hte lannel to strain gelly, a starch-strainer, and a
hag for boiling clothes. These last should beput in
the washing-closet, if there is one. In this, or
another place, should be kept a cotton and woollen
ironing-sheet, two iron-wipers, three iron-holders,
some beeswax and spermaceti, the common irons
-aad-th ,nffle and crimping-irons, the bosom-board
:- and skirt-board, and the cases or covers that slip on
themL and. if there is room, the clothes-frames and
lam irnning-h.ard-
In a closet, should be kept, arranged in order, the
following articles. The dust-pan, dust-brush, and
dAu sng-cloths, old flannel and cotton for scouring
and rnbbin, spnng, fnr washing windows and



king-glasses a lon brush for taking doora ~.
webs. whisk-brooms, and common brooms. a m.
broom or brush, a whitewash-brush; a sto
brushes and blacking, articles for eeang
tin and silver, leather for cleaning metals. i-t,
ontainings other articles
.cleansing. -- i
ZMiscellaneous Directions. -
Clean gold ornaments with hot suds anil a aft
brush, and then rub with magnesia. Never wah
pearls, nor wear them on damp hands. eRall-
ish tortoise-shell combs with sweet-oil and ffine sot-
tenstone. Cleanse combs and brushes witfE pearl-
ash-water, wiping them dry. Nothing looks more
slatternly, than a dirty fine-tooth comb. It can be
best cleaned with thread slipped between the
India-rubber, melted in lamp-oil, and pnut wer
common shoes, keeps water out, perfectly. Garden-
ing shoes should be thus protected. It can be blt&k-
ened with ivory-black or lampblack.
egep small whisk-brooms wherever gemtlemnn
han up their nlorthaseither Fup stairs or dowam.
Also at the back door. Provide a good supply of
If a house takes fire, at night, wrap a vwoolien
blanket around you, to keep off the fire. If you
cannot get out of your room, draw the bedstead to a
window, tie the corners of your sheets together,
fasten them to the bedpost, and let yourself down
out of the window. Never read in bed, lest yonu f
asleep, and the bed be set on fire.
When a stable is on fire, blind the horse, and then
he can be led out. Keep young children in woollen
dresses, in Winter, to save from risk of being burnt
If your dress catches fire, do not run, but lie down,
and roll over till you can reach some article, or the


edge of the carpet, in which to wrap yourself tight,
and this will put out the fire.
Boil new earthen in bran-water, putting the arti-
cles in when cold. Do the same with porcelain ket-
tles. Never leave wooden vessels out of doors, as
they fall to pieces. Lift the handle of a pump, and
cover it with blankets, to keep it from freezing.
Broken earthen and china can often be mended,
by tying it up, and boiling it in milk. Diamond
cement, when genuine, is very effectual for the same
purpose. Old putty can be softened by muriatic
acid. A strong cement may be made, by heating
together equal parts of white lead, glue, and the
whites of eggs. A cement for iron is made of six
parts potter's clay and one part steel filings, formed
into a paste, as thick as putty, with linseed oil.
Stop cracks, at the bottom and sides of doors, by
nailing down strips of wood covered with baize,
tight against the door on the casing. Stuff raw
cotton into other cracks. Nail slats across nursery
windows. Scatter ashes on slippery ice at the door;
or rather, remove it. Clarify impure water with
powdered alum, a teaspoonful to a barrel. In thunder
storms, the centre of the room, or a bed, is safest,
shutting doors and windows. A lightning-rod, if
well pointed, and run deep into the earth, protects a
circle, whose diameter equals the height of the light-
ning-rod above the highest chimney, and no more.
A cellar should often be whitewashed, to keep it
sweet. It should have a drain, to keep it perfectly
dry, as standing water in a cellar is a sure cause of
disease in a family. T'he following articles are dp-
girable in a cellar._ A safe, which is a moveable
closet with sides of wire or perforated tin, in which
cold meats, cream, and other articles are kept. If
ants are, troublesome, set the legs in tin cups of


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