Farm Hints from Eleanor Rockwell Bennett
Eleanor M. Rockwell Bennett was the wife of
Hiram H. Bennett, son of
Oliver Roby Bennett and Betsey Ford.
These farm hints from Eleanor's journal offer a look at how farmers in
the late nineteenth century handled some common problems. These are
presented here for historical purposes only and not as suggestions for
contemporary use. Following the hints I've added some notes to explain
some of the terms used by Eleanor. I've placed a question
mark following terms I don't recognize. I've left the original spelling
TO CURE COWS CAKED BAG
Take two oz1 of
ammoniac2 to one pint of
vinegar and apply warm. Rub the bag thoroughly twice a day.
Keep the cow from fresh feed.
1/2 Pt. linseed oil, 6 oz oil of tar3,
4 oz oil of organum4,
4 oz turpentine.
DIARRHEA - SHEEP
Give from 4 to 8 fluid drachms5
of this mixture: 1 oz powdered catechu6,
1/2 oz ginger, 1 drachm opium, 1 pint peppermint water.
DYSENTERY OF COWS
Give them a dry stable and feed dry food then give once a day in feed
2 oz sulphate of iron, 2 oz ginger and 2 oz Anise Seed.
Mix 1/2 lb Barbdoes(?), 1 drachm Jalap8,
2 oz cream tartar, 1/2 oz ginger.
Twenty-four hours after this, give this
Mix 2 oz cornstarch, 1/2 oz prepared chalk,
1 oz laudanum10,
1/2 oz ginger, 1 pint of malt and
1 oz gentian root11
steeped in 6 quarts of water as a drink.
When cold, feed bran mashes.
Keep the animal apart from others as this disease is infectious.
ENGLISH STABLE LINAMENT
Mix well 2 oz oil of spike12,,
2 oz aqua ammonia13,
2 oz oil turpentine14,
1/2 oz sweet oil15,
1/2 oz umler(?),
1 oz oil organum for sprains, cuts, bruises, etc.
HOW TO TAME THE WILD HORSE.
Halter him and then take the warts from the leg,
dry and powder them blow it up his nose,
then take the oil of oridium(?),
drop a few drops on your hand and rub it over his nose.
This will make him follow you and you can do anything
with him you wish. This is Perry Princher's recipe for
the Arabian horse tamer.
Oz is an abbreviation for "ounces".
Ammoniac is the aromatic gum of the Persian herb
Dorema ammoniacum, a member of the carrot family.
The gum is used as a stimulant and expectorant.
Oil of tar is an impure turpentine produced by
destructive distillation of the roots of pine trees, particularly
Pinus sylvestis. Oil of tar is used by veterinarians
for its antiseptic, stimulant, diuretic, and diaphoretic
(perspiration-inducing) properties. It is given to horses
suffering from chronic cough. It is used internally and
externally as a dermal stimulant and antiseptic for treating eczema.
Organum or Organy can refer to a number of different
flowers, including the English Penny Royal and the wild and common
Marjorams. I don't know which is referred to here.
Drachm is an old-fashioned spelling for dram,
an amount of liquid equal to 1/8 of a fluid ounce.
Catechu probably refers to the extract of the heartwood
of the East Indian Acacia tree (Acacia catechu). It is used
as an astringent.
Murrain can refer to any one of a number of different
diseases afflicting domestic animals.
Jalap is a powered drug prepared from the dried
purgative root of the Mexican plant Exgonium purga,
a member of the Morning Glory family.
A drench is a large dose of a medicinal drink
put down the throat of an animal.
Laudanum refers to a preparation
containing opium such as tincture of opium.
Gentian root refers to the rhizome and roots of
Gentiana lutea, a yellow-flowered gentian of southern Europe
used as a tonic and stimulant for the stomach.
Oil of spike is extracted from
the Spike Lavender (Lavandula spica) or a related
Lavender species. Spike oil has long been used in combination with
turpentine for curing old sprains and stiff joints. Spike oil
also kills lice and other external parasites on animals.
Aqua ammonia is a water solution of ammonia.
Oil of turpentine is derived from the resin of
pine trees. Oil of turpentine is administered internally in
cattle and horses to destroy parasitic worms and externally as a
stimulant for rheumatic swellings. Oil of turpentine is also used
to treat sprains and bruises, and as an antiseptic and vesicant.
Sweet oil is usually either olive oil or almond oil. I don't
know which is meant here.
Eleanor Rockwell's farm hints courtesy Paul Lowrey.
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Last modified by
pib on April 17, 2005.