Nerve Trouble, Dry Cheese and Other Complaints

Farm Field & Fireside, Friday April 27, 1928

Inspiration from the Time Capsule: this week I pulled out the April 27, 1928 edition of Farm Field and Fireside.

Finally my curiosity about French Polishing has been answered – I might actually try it (“1 pint of methylated spirits and 6 oz of the finest orange shellac”). And I was intrigued by all the possible ways to use the huge elder beside our house other than to make jelly (see quote at end of this post). 

Each line used below is from a different section of the newspaper – creating “alternative” problems and advice.


Could you kindly tell me if there is
A Guide to Descent?
Does the eldest son take all?
(The game is to have only one left on the board.
The rules applied are favourable to
a certain person.)

When the coughing comes on
the night is a terror.
(live in a jolly community.
For aenemia take spinach.)

Nerve trouble.
(Link the women to the men
dissolve in a gentle heat.
Repeat this process once more.)

Barber’s rash.
(take an old shepherd’s advice:
the original and infallible remedy –
keeping the fat off and the stomach from becoming over-loaded)

The cheese becomes dry.
(a “half-legged” horse
may account for the trouble)

Refusal to quit.
(a good lather of soap jelly,
vines against walls in the open air,
wire nails, assorted, bright,
a deaconess –
Complete surrender.)

(Welsh farmers, highly recommended,
smokeless and fumeless, light in weight and easily moved.
An experience not likely to recur in an ordinary lifetime.)

 Farm Field & Fireside, Friday April 27, 1928

Elder Ointment: “The juice of the green leaves applied to inflammations of the eyes assuages them; the juice of the leaves sniffed up into the nostrils purges the tunicles of the brain. The distilled water of the flowers is of much use to clean the skin from sunburning freckle, morphew or the like…[…] The leaves or flowers distilled in the month of May and the legs washed with the said distilled water takes away the ulcers and sores of them. The eyes washed therewith, it takes away the redness and bloodshot…. ” Culpeper, “the old herbalist”, quoted in Farm Field & Fireside


5 thoughts on “Nerve Trouble, Dry Cheese and Other Complaints

  1. I am in love (and awe) at the way you seamlessly crafted this from archival news! My favorite: “When the coughing comes on/the night is a terror.” I am also intrigued by whatever story had in it the line “Link the women to the men”?


      • Found it! The print of the Farm Field & Fireside is so tiny that I thought it would take me ages but when I opened the paper again, I remembered it had been top right of one of the last pages. “Link the women to the men” came from the article: “‘Toc H’ for Women Helpers – A New Idea for Women Who Wish to Serve Others.” It talks of the Toc H League of Women, a sister organisation to the Toc H and notes “There are some jobs which link the women to the men of Toc H.” It describes how the women can help “in the domestic work of the Mark houses. They darn the socks, sew on the buttons of the young men, and they launder linen used in the chapels. They also join in an occasional “job” where their help is needed and welcomed, such as when they produce a play for a good cause.” Hm.


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