Sleep Writing

The roving reporter has been wondering if I have been writing in my sleep when he came across this book “Lee’s Priceless Recipes”.  Other than the apostrophe, and that I must also be getting royalties in my sleep, it could be so.

The book is actually a reprint of an old 1895 classic by the same name, the cover of which reads “3000 secrets for the home, farm, laboratory, workshop and every department of human endeavor”

From the back cover,

At the turn of the 20th century, it was popular to publish books that professed to include virtually all knowledge to date. Most popular of the genre were the books of “secret” recipes, revealing industrial secrets to the layman.

First published in 1895, Lee’s Priceless Recipes covers an extraordinary range in its 3000 secrets.There are several hundred formulas for stains, paints, waxes, and false finishes of all types, as well as advice on tanning hides, preserving eggs, drying fruit and purifying rancid butter.

This is an exact reprint of the 1895 original published by Laird and Lee of Chicago.

One of the things I find interesting is the lack of trademark names for products – so refreshing and empowering than you’d find if an equivalent book was written these days. So many of the products can’t be bought across the counter by their product name these days. It reminds me of “Stainless” by Shannon Lush, which I have not read, but given her TV appearances seems to consist of everything being solved by baking soda and vinegar. (Similar to a diet coke and Mentos solution, with a less artificially sweetened aftertaste!)

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