Sunday, April 12, 2015


When Mom was out doing the estate sale thing Friday, she bought a really old book with a really long title.  It's called Manual of Useful Information Embracing More Than 100,000 Facts, Figures and Fancies, Drawn From Every Land and Language, and Carefully Classified for the Ready Reference of Teachers, Students and the Family Circle.  It was compiled under the direction of J.C. Thomas, and it was published by The Werner Company of Chicago in 1893.

I went online looking to see if this book is out of print, because Mom said it is so old that it would be in the public domain unless its copyright got renewed.  What I found was kind of confusing because you can download the book to your iPad for 99¢ and you can read the entire text of it on the National Archives site.  But the only hardcover copies of the book are ones that you can buy from used book dealers.  So Mom said it was probably safe to quote from the book without running the risk of being sent to jail, which is not a place I would like to be sent to.  Although I'm small enough that I think I could squeeze between the bars pretty easily and escape!

Anyway, the first thing I did with the book was look to see if it had any useful information about dogs or cats, and I am sorry to say that it does not.  However, it does have a lot of useful information about humans.  There are chapters about mythology and history and weapons and science and all sorts of topics.  Most of the useful information is just lists of facts, kind of like stuff you might need to know if you were playing a trivia game or if you wanted to amaze your friends.

Here are a few quotes from the chapter called RACES AND TRIBES OF MEN.  You will see that they are just a bunch of facts, listed in random order.

Blumenbach divided man into five races--Mongolian, Malay, American, Ethiopian and Caucasian.
The most influential of the people of Hungary are the Magyars.  In Language they are closely related to the Finns.
The Calumet is the pipe of peace smoked by the North American Indians, both in their councils and on the conclusion of a peace.
Craniology or the study of the skull has proved a valuable though not entirely trustworthy aid in the investigation of racial differences.
The three types of man differ much in temperament.  The Ethiopian is sensuous, unintellectual, cheerful and even boisterous, but fitful.
Avebury stones are supposed to be the remains of Druidical structures at Avebury, in Wiltshire, and are the largest in England.  They are upright stones of about seventeen feet in height.
Three primary divisions of man, as indicated by Latham, are the Indo-European, the Mongolian and the African.

According to a recent writer, it is impossible to give any close figures on the number of persons who have lived on this earth.  It is generally considered that one person in every thirteen dies each year.  At this rate the population would be renewed every thirteen years.  Assuming that the population of the world is 1,000,000,000 and that it has been 1,000,000,000 at any time during the last 6,000 years, we find that the population has been renewed about 461 times; that is, that 462,000,000,000 have lived on this earth since its creation.  This, of course, is vastly in excess of the real number, for the world, so far as we can tell, is more thickly populated now than ever before.  Probably if we were to cut those figures in two we should still be above the actual number, with a total of 231,000,000,000 persons.

And here is some advice from the chapter called HEALTH, HYGIENE AND PHYSIOLOGY:

Don't sleep in a draught.
Don't go to bed with cold feet.
Don't stand over hot-air registers.
A bag of hot sand relieves neuralgia.
Warm borax water removes dandruff.
Salt should be eaten with nuts to aid digestion.
Don't sit in a damp or chilly room without a fire.
Homeopathy began in the United States in 1825.
Don't sleep in a room without ventilation of some kind.
Medicine was introduced into Rome from Greece in 200 B.C.
It rests you, in sewing, to change your position frequently.
Don't try to get along without flannel underclothing in winter.
Oxygen, the life element, was discovered by Dr. Priestly in 1774.
Don't stuff a cold lest you should be next obliged to starve a fever.
Well-ventilated bedrooms prevent morning headaches and lassitude.
A cupful of strong coffee will remove the odor of onions from the breath.
For a cold in the head, nothing is better than powdered borax, sniffed up the nostrils.
In 1874 all London houses were compelled for the first time to be connected with sewers.
A popular proverb says that "a man is either a physician or a fool at forty."

Okay, well, I hope you have found this information to be really useful.  Another day I will tell you a bunch more useful things.

No comments:

Post a Comment