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

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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through the porous brick into the other side, a room, whence it is drawn out by means of a pump. This dividing brick wall should be so tight that the water should only percolate through the porous partition.
Cisterns.—Should be covered above, as well as upon the sides with water lime cement The grand disideratum being to make them entirely impervious to the entrance of worms, vermins or insects of any kind. Otherwise they become a fertile source of disease, rather than health.
Hot Water in Glasses—To prevent their cracking when filled set them previously on a cloth wet with hot water.
To make an Ice Vault.—Dig a pit 8 or 10 feet square and as deep. Lay a double wall with brick; fill between with pulverized charcoal; cover the bottom also double with the same, of tan bark. If the pit is filled with ice, or nearly so, cover three inches with tan bark; but if only a small quantity is in it; wrap well in a blan­ket and over the opening in the pit lay a double bag of charcoal. Whitewash cellars often.
^Filter for Cistern Water.—Perforate the bottom of a wooden box with a number of small holes ; place inside a piece of flannel, cover with coarsely powdered charcoal, over this coarse river sand, and on this small pieces of sandstone.
To Prevent Water from Freezing in Pipes in Winter Time. —By tying up the ball cock during the frost the freezing of the pipes will often be prevented; in fact, it will always be prevented when the main pipe is higher than the reservoir, and the pipe is laid in a regular inclination from one to the other, for then no water can remain in the pipe; or if the main is lower than the cistern, aTid the pipe regularly inclines, upon the supply's ceasing the pipe will immediately exhaust itself into the main; when water is in the pipes if each cock is left dripping, the circulation oT water will frequently prevent the pipes from being frozen.
Water, Impurity of.—Set a pitcher of ice water in an occupied room ; in a few hours it will absorb nearly all the gases thrown ofF by perspiration and ompositions in the room, the air of which will become purer, but the water filthy. This is obvious from the fact that the water has the faculty of condensing and thereby absorbing nearly all the gases. Note.—The authoress invariably sets a large pitcher of pure water in her dormitory every night, from knowledge of this fact.
Water Kept Cool in California.—Fill a stone jar, the taller the better, with water at night, cover the top with a piece of thin muslin; in the morning, before the sun rises, set the jar in a cool, dry and dark place. It will be as cool as spring water, and delight­ful for drinking purposes.