The People's Home Library - "A Library of Very Practical Books", was a series of comprehensive home "Go To" reference books published by The R. C. Barnum Co., of Cleveland, Ohio; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Boston, Massachusetts. Intended as a comprehensive resource for the early 20th Century home, these books were purchased by subscription from door-to-door book salesmen.
Large cloth-bound illustrated hard-cover reference book with marbled paper end-pages. Some illustrations are in color. Page edges on all three sides also show a marbled pattern. Book measures 9-3/4" x 7" x 2-1/4".
This 1917 "City Edition" is divided into two "books" covering the subjects of Nursing, Medicine and Domestic Science (including both homemaking tips and cooking and food preparation recipes. A larger edition tailored for rural and small town customers also included the subjects of home maintenance and livestock management for the men.
Book I is the "The People's Home Medical Book" by T.J. Ritter, M. D, containing 478 pages (complete with color illustrations), and including a comprehensive 33-page index on medical matters. There are chapters on diseases of each of the body organs; skin conditions; eye, ear, nose, throat and mouth ailments; parasites; malignant growths; and poisons. Also included are chapters on medical topics such as "prescriptions for liniments, oils, salves, plasters, ointments and poultices"; patent medicines; herbs; sex-specific health matters; mother and baby issues; and simple home remedies.
Book II is "The People's Home Recipe Book" by Mrs. Alice Gitchell Kirk, a lecturer and instructor in "Domestic Science", containing 238 pages on house-hold management and food preparation. This book is divided into two sections - "Mrs. Kirk's Department" and the "The People's Home Recipes for Every-day Use", including general advice on household management; kitchen organization and utensils; table-setting; together with hundreds of recipes, each with detailed preparation instructions – covering everything from bread-making; to full course dinners; to preservation of meats; to how to pickle vegetables. Also included is a 20-page "How To" section with general household tips (removing fruit and ink stains, exterminating roaches, eliminating flies, driving away rats, loosening screws, cleaning carpets, cleaning brass, and cleaning and polishing furniture, et. al.), and a comprehensive recipe index.
Included in a pocket inside the back cover, is a booklet with anatomical charts of male and female reproductive organs, discretely enclosed in a "plain brown wrapper".
CONDITION: Book is in exceptionally nice condition for its age. Book is tightly bound, with no significant separations, with text firmly attached to the cover-boards at the spine. A couple of pages near the end of the book have fully detached, but are still in place. There is no missing pages. A few pages have margin tears, but no missing text, and no major margin chips. Text is dark tan with age discoloration. Pages and illustrations are clean and un-marked.
Cover boards show wear on all edges and blunted crushed corners. The spine cover fabric has torn along both the front and back cover board connections, and the tears repaired. No significant separations separated from the boards are clean on the front, with some small white paint spots on the back. All significant cover flaws are visible in the photos.
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