Thursday, April 15, 2010

Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Processes and Trade Secrets

This book is marvelous. You can find it on here, but I found the title via Google Books, then checked out the physical copy from the local university library, which had every printing back to 1907 I believe. I thought it might be safer to check out the last edition, since what was considered 'safe' in 1937 for everyday use, just may have been taken out in the 1962 edition. But that's relative since the various formulas using DDT (see page 418) are right there under the Pesticides section. Also, mercury and mercury derivatives are to be found, along with lead powders, as ingredients to many of these Formulas and Trade Secrets. It's akin to the muggle version of the potions class textbook. Here's a charming, and harmless idea found under Writing, pg. 786:

Writing Under the Shell of an Egg
(modern translation-----How to write a message/pattern into the white of a boiled egg)

Dissolve one ounce of alum (note: used in making pickles) in a half pint of vinegar with a small pointed brush outline whatever writing you desire on the shell of the egg with the above solution. After the solution has dried thoroughly on the egg, boil it for about 15 minutes. If these directions are carried out all tracings of the writing will have disappeared from the outside of the shell--but when the shell is cracked open the wrting will plainly show on the (now cooked) white of the egg.

Give it a try and let us know if it works.
More to come!


1 comment:

Amy said...

OOH, I have alum in my spice cupboard. I am totally going to try this.