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Museum Blog: Wisdom of Yesteryear, a 1940’s Household Encyclopedia pt.II

Wisdom from Yesteryear: a 1940’s Household Encyclopaedia pt. II

As we all find we are spending extra time at home, in between looking after work and family, why not take some time to explore what artefacts or archives you have at home?  A 1940’s Household Encyclopaedia is a family artefact and last week we took a look at the “A” section.

From Last Week:

“Reptant” refers to plants creeping along the ground and rooting.

“Moderate Oven refers to” Gas Mark 3 or Electric 165c (always consult your recipe books)

Last week’s question, who was Dr Abernethy??

Dr John Abernethy was an English surgeon (b.1764).  An accomplished surgeon, probably better known to modern medical professionals for his professional work but popularly remembered in the twenty-first century through his association with a biscuit!  Dr Abernethy believed that most diseases could be linked to the digestion. This biscuit, a cross between a shortbread and a cracker, is said to aid digestion.



Wisdom from Yesteryear Two:

Remember this book was published during the 1940s, a time when people generally repurposed household items…

Thursday 9 April 2020:  The Bs

BAKING: If a cup of water is placed in the oven while baking, meat, bread, pies, etc., will be prevented from burning.

BASIN HOLDER:  A simple way to save time and trouble in the kitchen is to have a box with a hole cut in it that will firmly and comfortably hold a cooking basin.  For egg beating, cream-whipping, and many other home cookery jobs, the firmly fixed basin just stood on the table will save a deal of needless exertion.

BEAUTY HINTS: After shampooing your hair you can free it of all soap and leave it lustrous by putting a tablespoon of vinegar in the bowl of rinsing water.

BEAUTY LOTION: White of egg is an excellent astringent.  Use what you have left in the shells when you have been breaking eggs.


1/2lb Flour

1oz. Butter

1 teaspoon castor sugar

1 teaspoonful of baking powder

½ teaspoon of salt

Milk to mix

Mix the flour and salt in a basin, rub in the butter lightly, add the sugar and baking powder, and mix with enough milk to form a dough.  Turn the dough on to a floured board, make into fancy shapes, place them on a greased tin, brush over with milk and bake in a quick oven for 15 minutes.

Unlike some of our modern online recipes for lockdown- these ingredients are found in most kitchen cupboards…

Help us out during the Covid 19 Lockdown.

  1. Have you any at home beauty tips passed down through the generations?
  2. Do you have a family artefact you would like to share on our virtual museum?

Already, Lisburn Museum has collected public information posters and leaflets and this week’s letter from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson which went to every home in the UK.

If you do not want to send us original letters or photographs: We can copy them and get the originals back to you. When we get through this crisis, future generations will want to know all about it and how it impacted on ordinary people like you and how you got through it!

TO DO: Try the recipe and send us a picture and let us know how they turned out!


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