The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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514                                        WATER.
To Make a Cistern.—A good one can be made in solid clay soil, if not in an exposed situation, by cementing against the sides of the ground; where the ground freezes we would not recommend such a practice, but lay a wall of cobble stones in a mortar of ce­ment, and face the wall with a thick coat of clear mortar. Great care must be exercised to get good cement and mix it with coarse sand; fine sand will not do at all; three parts cement, one part sand, are the usual proportions, to be used as soon as mixed. Every part of the wall must be laid below the reach of the frost. This can be done, and an iron or wooden pipe or throat led to the surface, through which the pump can pass. A cheap and excellent cistern can be constructed of wood, in the form of a large cask or tank, made of pine or cedar plank. When made into the ground and kept constantly wet, it will last for years. A better way is to place the tank or cask in the corner of the cellar, with a faucet in the bot­tom, from which the water is easily drawn out, when it is desired to be cleaned out, and when water is required in the cellar. An open cistern in ajcellar will never freeze.
Internal Use of Sea Water.—Dr. Lyle, a celebrated Frertfch physician, says that besides its acting as a useful purgative, sea water acts as an alterative in all such cases as are benefited by saline mineral. The continual use increases the appetite, facilitates digestion, quickens nutrition, changes and augments the proportion of red corpuscles in the blood. Accordingly he recommends it; 1st, during convalescence from acute diseases; 2d, in the apyretic forms of dyspepsia; 3d, in neurasis (nerve), associated with impoverish­ment of the blood; 4th, in scrofulous and tuberculous diathesis; 5th, in diabetes. Sea water may be agreeably administered in bread, in the form of a syrup, or in that of an elixir. Bread made with sea water can only be procured at the seaside. It is very pal­atable, and contains nearly 5 grammes of the mineral constituents of the water in each pound. The syrup is prepared by mixing 250 grammes of sea water with a sufficiency of sugar and distilled water to make 500 grammes. Each teaspoonful of the syrfcp contains about 25 centigrammes (2 3-4 grains) of the saline residue of sea water. From 2 to 5 tablespoontuls may be taken daily. The formula for the elixir is: sea water, 200 grammes, sugar and dis­tilled water, up to 500 grammes, The dose at first, a tablespoonful 3 times a day.
To Make Sea Water Soft for Washing Purposes.—(Dr. Mitchel.)—Drop into the sea water a solution of soda or potash; this makes it suitable for washing. Its milkiness does not injure it.
Pliny says that fried barley restores putrified water.
A Filter of Porous Brick.—Some have one side of the cistern of porous brick, while the water enters upon one side and percolates