Next time you order from us, don’t forget to add a whisk broom from the Milwaukee Dustless Brush company. These whisks are perfect for the home, shop, or workplace – they can’t be beat for cleaning small messes, or wrangling big messes into a dustpan. We love the navy blue stitching and the convenient hang loop. Just don’t let them get out of hand!
I love coat hooks. For the past several years I’ve been collecting hooks of all types, especially the simple bent wire variety.
This is a selection taken from current eBay auctions – just search “antique wire coat hook.” I love looking at all the different ways the same problem was solved.
Prices on eBay are high; I recommend going to the local salvage yard and snooping around. I’ve even talked junk shop proprietors into letting me remove the hooks from old coat stands and wardrobes.
Be careful when mounting coat hooks. Most of them were intended to screw directly into wood, so the screw threads are small. Unfortunately, most of our houses are lined in drywall, which is little better than dense sand. If you can’t screw the hook into wood, make sure to use an appropriate drywall anchor.
For more on archival housekeeping, please see our previous post
on Mendelson’s amazing tome.
Archival Clothing’s bibles are many – the Arnys catalog, the old Hebden Cord catalogs, the Montgomery Ward catalogs from the 1940s. But for all matters domestic, Cheryl Mendelson’s Home Comforts comes, from us and others, Most Highly Recommended.
Mrs. Mendelson covers every imaginable topic of domestic interest. There is detailed advice for laundering anything, incredible glossaries of fabrics and flooring materials, instructions for folding for wrinkle-resistant storage, and 837 pages of so on.
For those of us who long for more quality time to nest, it’s really wonderful – I often sit and read it like a novel. If you’re at all interested in housekeeping, buy a copy now.
Please see our earlier post on recommended housekeeping garb.
Add housekeeping to the list of archival chores I’d rather perform in the past. Not only do the tasks look simpler (limited activity, fixed locations), they seem to require a heightened, more thoughtful level of dress and grooming. Of course, I’d advocate for an individualized chore uniform. Aprons or multi-pocketed work jackets add a traditional, protective layer. But I’d extend my outfit to include sturdy lace-up shoes, a nice wool waistcoat and a more archival (washable, reusable) version of the 19th century printers’ oversleeve in cotton poplin.
Sew your own oversleeves
For a practical manual on housekeeping in the past and present, see: Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Housekeeping by Cheryl Mendelson.
Shaking out the rugs
Dusting the television with a feather brush
A footballer preparing a meal
Wringer and centrifuge
A pile of washing-up
A brush salesman and his bicycle
Photographs from the Nationaal Archief flickr photo set: Huishouden/Housekeeping.