Where Some Women Fail as Home Makers

This is the third article in May of the School for Housewives 1904 series published on May 22, 1904, and is an article on homemaking.

School for Housewives – Where Some Women Fail as Home Makers

Photographs Taken Especially for This Newspaper Illustrating Some of the Things Which Do and Don’t Make the Home Happy

You understand why so many marriages “prove unhappy” and why so many husbands are promptly “disillusioned” when you see some women in their household attire.

The little photographic sermonette preached today, unhappily for our homes, requires no elucidation here.

“Gaze first on this picture, then on that.”

We all know the type.

She invariably wears a wrapper – or, at best, a soiled kimono with bedraggled petticoat – and she is morally certain to have a limited number of curl papers aureoling her brow.

The visitor who drops in for an afternoon call catches a flying glimpse of her as she scurries through the hall for a two minutes’ grooming in the bedroom.

Or the maid is out, and she herself comes to the door pinning on a collar all awry and struggling with a coiffure that threatens momentarily to escape from the anchorage of three wire hairpins.

If she were one of these sorely burdened creatures who do their own housework with half a dozen little ones to be tended and red and amused withal, your sympathy would be readier.

But in nine cases out of ten she is nothing of the kind. Mrs. June Bride, with at least one servant to do her bidding, and almost without cares, is as great a sinner in this respect as anyone.

Indeed, it is frequently the struggling sister, from whom one would naturally expect least, who presents the most creditable appearance indoors.

It is she, too, who manages to slip on a pretty bodice every night before coming to the dinner table.

The material may be cheap, and as for the flowers – they were culled from the window garden, costing nothing – but you see the picture that she makes across the table. Is it any wonder that the dinner tastes delicious!

Occasionally, too she wears “the company smile” at home. She of the wrapper-and-curl-paper type is apt to keep this charming possession laid away with her best dress for visiting purposes only.

Marion Harland

Update and Travel

It has been a very busy few weeks at my job and so I haven’t had much time to devote to my blog recently.

In order to let off some steam I decided to take a trip up north to Mowat to stay at the family farm.

My primary goal during this trip is an attempt to find my grand uncle’s grave and get a photograph of his headstone.

Anton Masiowski was born to my great-grandparents John Masiowski and Anastasia Kotlarchuk on Oct 10, 1906. He was their second born child in Canada. Anton was described as a sickly child and died on Oct 11, 1925 at the tender age of 19. I have it in my mind that he drowned in the river however I might be mixing up the cause of death with someone else.

I dug up somewhere, my memory alludes me exactly where from, that Anton was buried north of North Lake School No. 1431 (NW-11-29-18-W1), at SW-14-29-18-W1. I always thought he was buried by his lonesome, however recent research would indicate that his grave is likely in the Fork River Roman Catholic Cemetery. In all honestly I’m not sure why they named it after ‘Fork River’ as the cemetery’s location is actually closer to Oak Brae but I suppose Oak Brae might have already established a Roman Catholic cemetery.

Previously, I was under the belief that the Fork River Roman Catholic Cemetery was located across the river of the Fork River Cemetery, just before Fork River on Route 20, as this is where a number of my family members are buried who were Roman Catholics. I stand corrected. I suppose this is simply the burial spot for Roman Catholics within the Fork River Cemetery at SW-25-29-19-W1.

Now that I’ve hopefully located the correct coordinates of the Fork River Roman Catholic Cemetery I will be able to take photographs of not just Anton’s grave but of other family members who were buried there as well.

My only concern is whether vandals or time might have destroyed the graves at this cemetery such as what occurred at the Fork River Cemetery. I have better hopes as it’s on a quieter roadway and is away from the river where it’s less likely to flood or be damaged by ice.

Keeping House by Electricity

This is the second article in May of the School for Housewives 1904 series published on May 8, 1904, and is a short article on electric lighting.

School for Housewives – Keeping House by Electricity

Many Old-Time Drudgeries Abolished and New Pleasures given by the Use of the Current

The electric current is now being harnessed in a dozen and one little ways to do the work of the modern housekeeper and her bidding.

The ceaseless treadmill of the sewing machine is done away with. A little motor getting its power from the ordinary lighting circuit does the work without labor and much more evenly. The speed can be regulated by means of a small lever. Any comfortable position can be assumed and an invalid can safely operate the machine.

The electric flatiron is particularly good for people occupying boarding houses or flats.

This iron heats up in a few minutes and can be kept at even temperature as long as the attachment is connected with the electrical circuit.

Electric curling irons working automatically are found in many progressive hotels. The popularity of this apparatus lies in the fact that no soot occurs, as is the case in heating with gas.

The electric chafing-dish is really a small stove which can be regulated so as to give the desired intensity of heat.

It can be carried in the overcoat pocket, and in a train, hotel or wherever electricity is available it can be set up and used for preparing coffee, tea, welsh rabbit and other viands.

None of these require more than the expenditure of three-quarters of an hour to operate. The greatest advantages of electricity are absolute cleanliness and safety.

Marion Harland

Pattern for Table Centre in Irish Lace

This is the first article in May of the School for Housewives 1904 series published on May 1, 1904, and a short article on some pretty patterns of lace.

School for Housewives – Pattern for Table Centre in Irish Lace

The attractive form of Irish lace represented in the pattern is rarely used for table linen.

We are more accustomed to point de Venise in our choicer cloths and Renaissance or Mexican drawn work for the less pretentious ones.

Nevertheless, lovely and distinctive covers can be carried out in the “Irelande” patterns, which are more desirable for the purpose than ordinary Renaissance, quicker and easier than the “Venise.”

The pattern given today is a good example of their possibilities.

It will be seen from the little photograph included in the illustration that the design printed is one-fourth of the entire cloth; the other three corners being exactly identical.

Marion Harland

Getting Ready for Dressmaking and Renovating

This is the fourth article in April of the School for Housewives 1905 series published on Apr 30, 1905, and an article about how to get ready to spruce up the housewife’s wardrobe.

School for Housewives – Getting Ready for Dressmaking and Renovating

How to Lighten the Springtime Burden

The general unrest of springtime – which is the stirring of new life, and dissatisfaction with the old and rusty and half-worn things of the past season – is contagious. It is a wholesome indication in all forms of life. It means progress, a reaching forward toward something better, cleaner and higher than that we now have. It signifies growth and reformation.

Which bit of moralizing introduces and may reconcile us in part to the discouraging drudgery of a part of the spring work which falls to the part of every housewife of modern means.

When trunks and boxes and drawers have given up their stores of partially worn garments, quite too good to be thrown, and quite unpresentable in their present condition, the stoutest heart quails at the thought of the task set before the owners and wearers of the uninviting assortment. Silks are shiny and creased, woolen stuffs are ring-streaked in faded folds, and spotted with dirt, and speckled with grease; organdies and ginghams are crushed and limp; laces and flabby.

“If I were rich,” – cried a housemother in despair, but yesterday – “I would bundle the whole lot of horrors out of doors, without giving them a second look.”

Since we are not millionaires, let us be wise and grasp the mettle of present necessity. The situation, when faced courageously, has redeeming features.

Since Burns’ cotter’s wife –

“Wi’ her needle an’ her shears
Gars auld claes look amaist as weel’s the new” –

Notable mothers have expressed the oil of honest satisfaction from the practice of the like cunning art. There is a glow of hopefulness in bringing order out of confusion, prettiness out of homeliness and livelier glow of complacency when the renovated last season’s gown passes for new.

Now to particulars.

In preparing to turn and make over a silk dress: rip each seam carefully, clipping the stitches instead of tearing apart. Ripping is an art. Unless you have some old-fashioned body – a pensioner, may be, who is willing to do this with painstaking learned in an earlier day – do the ripping yourself on stormy evenings when John has time to beguile the task of weariness by reading aloud to you as the sharp scissors are piled. When all the breadths and sections of waist and sleeve are separated, brush the dust out and wipe off both sides with a bit of old flannel. Spread, breadth by breadth, upon a doubled clo9th and sponge with warm water (not hot) in which potatoes have been boiled until mealy. Strain the water before using it. It should be damp when ironed – on the wrong side, of course – leaving the right free from the gloss of the iron. If there are grease spots, sponge with ammonia before ironing.


Colored silks may be treated in the same way, unless the colors run under water. Try a piece first.

A mixture of equal parts of naphtha, alcohol and chloroform is an excellent cleansing agent. Being very volatile, the bottle must be kept closely corked.

Worsted stuffs of all grades may be washed in gasoline without fear of fading or shrinking.

If you can do this out of doors, it is best to take all you apparatus into the open air, with no fire or artificial light near. If, as is more probably, you must work in the house, shut yourself into the bath room and set the window open wide. Lay the breadths – several at a time – in a wash basin, cover with gasoline, put a close lid upon bowl or boiler and leave for half an hour. Lift then, wetting your hands as little as may be, and shake and suse alternately for two or three minutes. Do not rub. Hand in the air to drip and dry, and the work is done. In the bottom of the bowl a heavy deposit of sooty matter shows how soiled the cloth was and how through is the purification. When all the dirt has settled, pour off the clear gasoline cautiously and use for the next supply of clothes. If the cloth is badly soiled, throw away the first lot of gasoline and rinse the articles to be cleansed in a fresh supply. Gasolene will be remove grease. Therefore, before using the bath I have described, cover grease spots with a paste of fuller’s earth or of French chalk, and leave on all night. Next day cover with blotting paper and “draw” out the oil with a hot iron.

Renovate rusty, limp black lace by dipping it several times in water in which black kid gloves have been boiled for an hour, then left to soak until the water is tepid. Squeeze the gloves hard before removing them. Use a quart of water for a pair of gloves. There is coloring matter as well as stiffening in the water thus treated.

Marion Harland

Housewives, Their Cares and Joys Discussed in Council
Good Things for the Table – Recipes That Are Recommended
The Little Things That Soon Wear Out

Fair Financier of Frocks Begin Business with Nation’s Most Prominent Women as Her Financial Backers

This is the fourth article in April of the School for Housewives 1903 series published on Apr 26, 1903, and is an article on Harman Brown as she ventures into millinery.

School for Housewives – Fair Financier of Frocks Begin Business with Nation’s Most Prominent Women as Her Financial Backers

A fair financier of frocks and frills has made her appearance in New York. Within the last few days social and financial circles have been much interested by the appearance of a new prospectus announcing the incorporating of the business of a woman of distinction – Miss Harman Brown.

Through her financiering “millinery preferred” may yet have its trading corner on ‘Change. Nothing is more likely, since Miss Brown has formed a profit-sharing dressmaking and millinery corporation. That bonnets and gowns should be the background of the first feminine trust seems eminently proper.

Six years ago, when Miss Harman Brown went into the millinery business, the event created a stir, as she belongs to one of New York’s best families, her grandfather having been Stewart Brown, the founder of the international banking house of Brown Brothers, and her father, William Harman-Brown, one of the originators of the “Gold Room,” the parent of the Stock Exchange. This is her story of her business career:


The first scene of my adventure into trade was in the upper floors of a former livery stable, just off Fifth Avenue and well known to a fashionable set of women.

After two years the millinery business had so grown that the floor of a building in Thirty-third Street was taken, and here the business became famous and sent out lines to most of the leading cities and prominent winter resorts.


Last October I added dressmaking to the activities already flourishing, millinery and neckwear, with so immediate a success that I realized the necessity for more commodious quarters. With the fact of the increased trade cam the idea of extending the scope of the business, and the present plan of incorporating the business was made.

Early in February of this year I moved into an entire building just off Fifth Avenue, and had the same remodeled and decorated in a most attractive manner.

Once settled in the new house the prospectus of the intended corporation was sent out, and the responses in the form of subscriptions for stock came in the form of subscriptions for stock came in from an interesting variety of sources, representing social, financial and philanthropic interests. The latter class are greatly interested in the plan for profit sharing which is to be put into effect when the corporation has been running for a year.


This subject is one great interest to me, as I was interested in questions of social economy long before going into trade, and now see the opportunity of establishing a plan which has been most carefully worked out by me from my actual experiences with labor and business methods.

The plan has met with the strongest expressions of approval from men of distinction.

The plan which will be adopted in arranging for the sharing of the profits with employees is to issue annually to such of the employees of the company as shall have been in its employ for a specified time, or as shall for other reasons seem to the directors to deserve it, certain profit-sharing contracts or debentures. These debentures shall not be transferable and at meetings of the corporation, and ill expressly run for only one calendar year. They will be so drawn as to entitle the holders to a certain specified share of the net profits after paying dividends on the preferred stock, or a certain proportion of the net profits after they shall have reached a specified sum, the employees’ portion increasing as the profits resulting for their work increase.

If they held stock they would have a vote at meetings, and the stock being negotiable security, they could sell it; and they could also retain possession of it after their connection with the company had been severed for any reason. The profit-sharing debenture plan, it seems, will wed them more closely to the interests of the company.

To open the corporation the preferred stock is being sold at par, with a guaranteed divided of seven percent. Among my subscribers are Mrs. J. Plerpont Morgan, Mrs. Robert Olyphant, Mrs. Edward King, Mrs. Casimer de Coppet, Miss Julia Marlowe, Mrs. E. Hoffman Miller, whose names indicate financial faith in the enterprise.

Miss Brown proposes to call semi-annual meetings of stockholders, at which the latest models will be shown, and the business of the company discussed by men of distinction in profit sharing, etc.

Marion Harland

Changing Corset Shapes
Corner for Parents
Housewife’s Corner
Some Marion Harland Recipes
Weaving Dogs’ Hair
“Uncle Ben” Tells About his Nephew

Individual Chafing Dish Course for a Woman’s Luncheon

This is the second article in April of the School for Housewives 1904 series published on Apr 24, 1904, and is a short article on the chafing dish.

School for Housewives – Individual Chafing Dish Course for a Woman’s Luncheon

Serve one course of your informal luncheon in chafing dishes if you would have a flavour of extreme novelty and up-to-dateness permeate the little function. Wee individual chafing dishes, just large enough to contain an individual portion, are now sold in the shops, and hostesses who appreciate the value of novelty are taking advantage of the innovation. The materials for a delicious dish – creamed sweetbreads o chicken or mushrooms, we will say – are found in the little silver cooker set before each guest. The alcohol lamp under the dish is filled ready for lighting, and seasoning as well as any additional ingredients are passed by the maid. New stories, witticisms and good humored gossip circulate around the board, while spoons stir and silver or nickel dishes emit tempting odors. Every hostess of experience appreciates the value of some little innovation in entertainment-giving. A single touch of novelty is often sufficient to insure the success of the whole affair and it stamp it with the seal of originality.

Marion Harland

Furnishing a Room to Conceal Its Architectural Defects
Household Topics Discussed Briefly
Many Recipes Which are Recommended
Talks With Parents and Children