E-text prepared by George Smith
FOWLER'S HOUSEHOLD HELPS
Over 300 Useful and Valuable Helps About the
Home, Carefully Compiled and Arranged
in Convenient Form for Frequent Use
With Complete Index
Household Publishing Company
132 Jay St., Albany, N. Y.
To the many efficient and up-to-date housekeepers of our land
this book is respectfully dedicated, in the hope that they may
find something herein to further increase their efficiency.
While the author does not guarantee the reliability of these
household helps, they have been carefully compiled from reliable
sources and are believed to be efficient if directions are
By A. L. Fowler
This book is fully protected by copyright and any infringement
thereof will be duly prosecuted.
Extra copies may be obtained at 10c each, postpaid, from the
Household Publishing Co., 132 Jay Street, Albany, N. Y.
THE CARE AND USE OF GAS APPLIANCES
CARE OF GAS RANGES
In order to get satisfactory and economical service and a long
life, any range or mechanical device must be kept clean. This
applies to the gas range as well, and we therefore wish to
emphasize that the little attention required is very much worth
Clean the top, the ovens and removable drip pan frequently.
Clean broiler griddle and pan _every_ time it is used.
If any burner holes become clogged, clean them out with a piece
of wire or a hairpin.
Keep the air inlets on the shutter at the front of the burners
near the levers clear of dust. The suction at this point draws
the dust, which, if allowed to accumulate, will cause the flame
to burn yellow or red instead of blue.
More ranges rust out than wear out. To keep the range free from
rust rub it very frequently with a cloth slightly oiled with any
kind of oil or grease, except kerosene or one containing salt;
we suggest the use of olive oil or one of its cheaper substitutes.
This is done to the best advantage while the range is warm.
When the burners become greasy, remove and wash them thoroughly
in soap and hot water. Never black the burners or top grates.
The broiler pan and rack should be kept out of the range when
oven is being used or it will rust, warp or chip. It requires
the same care any kitchen enamel ware does.
Always leave oven and broiler doors open for a few minutes after
lighting the oven burners and after extinguishing them. This
will dry the inside of the range and prevent rusting.
USE OF THE RANGE
With reasonable care gas is much cheaper for household cooking
than any other fuel.
Every range should be equipped with a top burner lighter which
is convenient and economical, as it is just as easy to light a
burner as to leave it burning.
Never turn on the gas until you are ready to use it.
Turn off the gas as soon as you are through with it.
Turn down the gas as low as possible to give the required heat.
Remember that water boiling rapidly is no hotter than water
Always open oven door before lighting oven burners.
Plan your cooking so as to use both broiler and oven at once.
The same burners heat both. While a roast is in the broiler,
bake the cookies, bread, apples or pudding in the oven. When the
latter are done, use the oven to cook vegetables or bake
To boil foods in the oven, utensils should be set directly on
the bottom of the oven.
By following this plan both the time required to cook the meal
and your fuel expense will be reduced to a minimum.
BROILING AND ROASTING
Broiling and roasting are the same form of cooking, the former
term being applied to thinner and the latter to thicker
foodstuffs. They consist of cooking at very high temperatures,
obtained only by exposure to the direct flame.
It must be done in the broiler, which should be lighted ten
minutes before cooking commences.
Always leave broiler door open and put a little cold water in
the bottom of the broiler pan to prevent the food from burning.
Place the food to be cooked on the cold rack in the broiling
STEAKS AND CHOPS
Place the meat about two inches from the fire until well seared.
Turn over and sear other side in the same way, thus preventing
the escape of the juice. Then lower the pan and turn down the
gas until the meat is done to taste. For steak allow about 10
minutes if one inch thick, 15 minutes if one and one-half inches
thick. For chops allow 8 minutes. Cooking may be done faster,
but proper tenderness of meats can only be had at the slower
Place fish on the rack, skin side down, and do not turn. Place
rack in lower part of oven. Baste liberally and turn down gas
when the fish begins to brown. Allow 20 to 30 minutes.
Chicken, bacon, liver, ham, tripe, and vegetables, such as
tomatoes, peppers, Spanish onions, can also be broiled to
perfection in a manner similar to above.
Roast meats should be treated the same as steaks and chops,
except that after the meat is seared the cooking should be done
more slowly, which will, of course, take more time. This part of
the cooking can be done with the broiler door closed, or can be
done in the upper or baking oven. Allow about 20 minutes to the
pound for a roast.
Baking is cooking at moderate temperatures in a range oven. The
oven should be lighted from 5 to 10 minutes (depending upon the
food to be cooked) before the food is put in.
Heat the oven about 5 minutes before using, and bake from 45 to
50 minutes on the lower rack. Bread should be baked in a hot
oven, should continue to rise about 15 minutes, brown for 20
minutes longer, and bake 15 minutes longer with a reduced flame.
Heat oven for 10 minutes. Put biscuits in oven and bake for 5
minutes with full heat, then turn gas off completely and bake 5
Heat oven 5 minutes. Place the cake on the rack about 3 inches
from bottom of oven. Turn gas half on for about 30 minutes when
the cake should have fully risen. Increase heat enough to make
the top brown and crisp.
Layer cake should be placed in a hotter oven than loaf cake.
Heat oven 10 minutes. Place cake on rack in center of oven and
turn out the gas for 10 minutes. Relight both burners turned
half down for 12 or 15 minutes. If not sufficiently browned
increase the heat at the last.
Boiling is cooking in water at a temperature of 212 degrees.
This is done on the open burners on top of the range. There are
three sizes of burners: the giant, the ordinary and the
simmerer. In bringing water to boil quickly use the giant
burner, then continue boiling on the simmerer or one of the
ordinary burners turned low. Do not waste gas by boiling hard.
Use covers on kettles.
Green vegetables when boiling retain their color better if the
lid is left off the pot.
Stewing is cooking in a small amount of water for a long time at
simmering temperature. It is the most economical way of cooking
the cheaper cuts of meat. The simmering burner should be used
for this cooking.
Bread toasters placed on the top burners of a gas range supply a
quick and the most satisfactory method of preparing toast. Large
quantities of toast can be made to advantage in the broiler.
GAS WATER HEATERS
Gas water heaters supply the most economical and convenient
source of hot water obtainable.
The automatic water heaters are made to heat water instantly and
automatically upon opening any hot water faucet in the system.
These heaters are made in various capacities from 2 to 8 gallons
Circulating tank heaters which are attached to the kitchen
boiler have to be lighted every time they are used.
Usually the heater is lighted a few minutes before hot water is
required, the time depending upon the amount likely to be used.
A 30-gallon tank may be heated in approximately one hour.
Sufficient hot water for an average bath may be had in fifteen
minutes. The most economical way to handle the circulating tank
heater, when water is needed for a bath, is as follows:
Light heater and turn on faucet so that the water will flow into
the tub as quickly as it is heated in the tank. This is usually
at the rate of one gallon per minute.
According to the city ordinance, in residences where water meter
check valves are installed on the water service, the consumer
should supply a safety water relief valve before connecting any
hot water system. This must be done to take care of the
GAS FLAT IRONS
The gas flat iron is a most satisfactory and economical
A pipe coil should be placed in every furnace and connected to
the hot water tank in order to insure an economical supply of
hot water during the period when the furnace is in use. This
makes it possible to use the gas range in the kitchen and enjoy
its convenience and economy the year round.
All-gas kitchens embodying the foregoing appliances are in
general use owing to their convenience and economy.
Details regarding these kitchen appliances and other gas
appliances, such as fireplace kindlers, furnace kindlers, coke
box kindlers, garbage burners, gas steam radiators, gas water
radiators, safety garage heaters and ironing machines may be
obtained from your Gas Company. Telephone them, for their
salesmen are always glad to serve you.
Most gas companies have a practical and expert demonstrator
whose services are free. When any gas appliance is not giving
perfect satisfaction in every way, or once a year on general
principles, you should ask the demonstrator to call.
Correct, healthful and pleasing lighting conditions do more than
anything else to brighten, modernize and make comfortable the
house of today. Poor light is poor economy in more than one
sense of the term.
"Poor light" may mean too little or too much light, a wrong kind
of light or a misplaced source of light. Any of these conditions
cause eye strain. Eye strain results in eye troubles and
inevitably affects the general health. Furthermore, the well
lighted home is an attractive center for the family, while a
badly lighted house creates gloom and a restless atmosphere.
Gas light offers convenience in lighting and beauty in its
Gas light presents the real economy of the best at the least
All new houses should be piped for gas. Even an old house can be
equipped with ceiling, wall and baseboard outlets with but
little expense or inconvenience to you. Your Gas Company will
also help you to select just the fixtures and burners you need
to harmonize with the decorations in your home and to supply the
best possible light for each room.
At your call, the Company will keep your equipment in thoroughly
efficient condition. You should use only the best gas mantles.
It sells them at cost to you in order to encourage their
use - cheap mantles are cheap in first cost and expensive in the
Your Gas Company prides itself on being "at your service."
ELECTRIC SERVICE IN THE HOME
The home that is completely wired has at hand a tireless
electric servant-of-all-work; for the past few years have seen
the invention and perfection of devices for doing household
labor of practically every description. These are of practical
economy not only when used by the housewife, but also in making
domestic help more efficient and better satisfied.
In addition to the almost universal use of electricity for
lighting, with every facility for flexibility and convenience in
connecting and control, electricity may be absolutely depended
upon today for washing, wringing, drying and ironing the
clothes, for sweeping and dusting, for polishing, for cleaning
silver and brightwork, for all cooking, for such culinary
processes as beating eggs, mixing bread, grinding meat or
coffee, turning the ice cream freezer or sharpening knives, or,
on emergency, for heating or cooling the house. And (contrary to
popular belief), in most of these cases electricity offers an
opportunity for actual domestic economy.
Electricity is no longer a rich man's luxury, for its
convenience, cleanliness, time saving and economy, as shown by
the following pages, have made it every man's necessity.
The model home is electrically lighted, has the kitchen equipped
with an electric range, electric dishwasher, electric kitchen
set for beating eggs, grinding, mixing and polishing; the
dining-room equipped with electric coffee percolator, electric
samovar and an electric toaster; laundry equipped with electric
washing machine, motor-driven mangle heated by gas or electricity,
and an electric iron. A vacuum cleaner is essential in every
household. Other appliances which will prove their value if once
tried are heating pads, vibrators, heating or disk stoves,
luminous radiators, sewing machines, fans, pressing iron for the
sewing-room and Christmas tree outfits.
Cooking by electricity is an ideal method, and the electric
range makes it practical. Every housewife should be familiar
with its advantages as it provides the most satisfactory
The electric range is reliable, efficient and durable. It saves
time, work, worry and watching. It promotes safety, comfort and
The electric range is convenient and easy to operate, as the
heat is always instantly available and readily regulated at the
turn of a switch. Cooking becomes a certainty, as the same
switch position always provides the same amount of heat. All the
heat is concentrated on the cooking and there is no excess heat
wasted on other parts of the range or radiated out into the
room. Ordinary cooking utensils are used as with other ranges.
Cooking with an electric range can be done at a reasonable cost
in consideration of the many inherent advantages above referred
The roasting of meat to the exact degree desired need not be the
dread of the cook when an electric oven is available. The
uniformity and reliability of the heat of the electric oven
facilitates the roasting of meat without constant attention and
Electric broiling insures tender chops and steaks, as the
surface of the meat is quickly seared and all its juicy
tenderness is retained.
In order to facilitate the use of the electric range, your
Lighting Company gives an instruction book with every installation.
After each meal scrape off the dishes and place them in the
washer in such a position that the water can be thrown against
both sides of them. It is convenient to accumulate enough
dishes to fill the washer, as it may thereby become possible to
do all of the day's dishes in one washing.
Shake washing powder or liquid soap into the machine and add
one-quarter of a cup of ammonia. Pour in the right amount of hot
water from faucet (according to instructions with machine) and
allow the machine to run about 10 minutes. Then let the water
run out and pour in a little more to wash out the sediment.
Close the drain and pour in boiling water which acts as a
rinsing water. Run the machine two minutes more and drain. Raise
cover immediately after the machine is stopped to let the steam
out. The dishes will dry by themselves with high polish, but it
is necessary to wipe the silver and glassware.
The washer is then ready to be used as a storage for dishes
until needed again.
There are many good electric vacuum cleaners on the market, all
of which operate on the same general principle of suction. The
Hoover, however, has a motor-driven brush in addition, which
acts as a sweeper.
Oil the motor with a drop or two each time it is used, according
to the directions given with the machine. If using a Hoover, the
brush bearings should not be oiled as they are made of wood.
Should the brush become stuck it is due to threads, string and
hair which have been collected by it. Remove the brush according
to directions supplied with the machine and free all the
Clean the bag after using by carefully removing it from the
machine and shaking the dirt on a newspaper.
Once a month the machine should be cleaned by taking off the
bag, lifting the machine from the carpet and allowing the
machine to run for a couple of minutes.
Follow directions supplied with the machine as to oiling and
proper size of needle, thread, etc. Do not make any adjustments
unless you are sure you know how. These adjustments require
patience, as the adjusting screws must be turned a very little
at a time to note the effect produced. Do not run the machine at
too high a speed as this will shorten its life.
When putting a motor on a foot-power machine be sure that the
old machine is not over-speeded.
If your machine is provided with a foot release be sure that the
release entirely cuts off current, otherwise the motor will run
There are several makes of electric irons which do excellent
work and have a long life. The standard sizes are 3, 6 and 8
pounds. The 6-pound iron is best adapted for general household
If the iron becomes too hot, disconnect the lead from the iron.
In case the terminals become corroded, rub them with a piece of
fine emery cloth to remove corrosion. If the contacts become
corroded or bent they should be replaced.
Your Lighting Company maintains a repair department for all
heating and cooking appliances. Telephone Sales Department.
Mazda lamps are the most efficient lamps obtainable and their
use is recommended for all classes of service. Your electric
bills depend upon the watts per lamp and the number of hours of
use. Note in the following table that the Mazda lamps give on
the average two and one-half times as much light for the same
cost as the Gem carbon lamps. The column "Cost of current per
month" gives the cost of burning one lamp one hour per day for
one month at the maximum rate of nine cents per K. W. H.
Table of Comparisons
_Gem_Carbon_Lamps_ _Mazda Lamps_(Type_B_)
Cost of Cost of
current per current per
Watts C.P. month in cents Watts C.P. month in cents
30 12 8.1 10 8 2.7
50 20 13.5 25 23 6.7
80 32 21.6 40 38 10.8
60 60 16.2
100 105 27.0
In most cases the following recommendations of Mazda lamp sizes
will be found most satisfactory in the home. Frosted lamps are
recommended wherever the direct rays of the lamp may strike the
eye, as the frosting diffuses the light.
1-Bracket chandelier 1 - 60 watt
2-Bracket chandelier 2 - 40 watt
3-Bracket chandelier 3 - 25 watt
Side wall fixtures for decorative purposes - 10 watt, all
Side wall fixtures for good general illumination - 25 or 40 watt,
Small hall 1 - 10 watt
Large hall 1 - 25 watt
Ceiling light 1 - 10 watt
Side bracket 1 - 25 watt
If used for reading light 1 - 60 watt
Ceiling light 1 - 40 watt
Side bracket 1 - 40 watt
_or_ 2 - 25 watt
Same as parlor. A well shaded reading lamp with a 40 or 60 watt
Dome 1 - 60 watt bowl frosted
2 or 3 light shower 25 watt bowl frosted
Semi-indirect 1 - 60 or 100 watt clear
Ceiling or side brackets 25 watt
Ceiling light 1 - 40 or 60 watt bowl frosted
Side bracket over sink 1 - 25 watt bowl frosted
In installing lamps for the cellar the time they are lighted
should be borne in mind. As this is short, the expense of
running larger lamps - 25 watt and 40 watt - is insignificant. The
following locations should be provided for:
Bottom of cellar stairs 25 watt
Work bench 40 watt
Laundry 40 watt
Vegetable and fruit cellar 25 watt
Lamp in front of furnace 60 watt
This latter lamp is usually close enough to also illuminate the
Care of Lamps and Fixtures
Lamps and fixtures should he cleaned once a month to insure the
maximum efficiency. Reliable tests have shown that dirty
glassware reduces effective illumination from 10 to 50 per cent.
FIXTURE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE HOUSE
Ceiling fixtures Indirect or semi-indirect
Side fixtures Semi-indirect
Baseboard receptacles for table or floor lamps.
One ceiling fixture equipped with two lamps wired so that one or
both lamps may be operated as desired. This arrangement provides
for a night light.
Sitting-room and Library
Same as parlor.
One ceiling semi-indirect fixture.
Side brackets near dressing table, or,
Rigid pendant for use over center of dressing table.
Baseboard outlet near bed for heating pad or reading lamp.
Indirect or semi-indirect fixture.
Baseboard or floor outlet for toaster and percolator.
Floor call button attached to kitchen buzzer.
One side bracket on each side of mirror.
One side wall receptacle for curling iron, shaving mug and
One center ceiling light, one side bracket over sink and one
side wall outlet for iron and washing machine.
Five outlets should be provided for proper illumination, one at
foot of stairs, one at work bench, one in fruit and vegetable
cellar and one in front of furnace located so as also to
illuminate the coal bin.
A control switch and telltale lamp should be provided in the
Two outlets are usually sufficient. A control switch and
telltale lamp should be provided in the hall.
A rigid pendant with a chain-pull socket should be provided for
each dark clothes press.
It is most convenient and practical to have these lights
operated by an automatic switch which is opened and closed by
the closing and opening of the closet door. This provides a
light immediately the door is opened, while when the door is
shut one may be sure that the light has not been left burning.
Baseboard outlets should be installed in all rooms for the use
of vacuum cleaner, fans, or other portable appliances.
Bell-ringing transformers which provide current for door bells
and buzzers should be installed for each apartment.
Emergency gas lights should be provided for the halls, kitchen,
dining-room and bathroom.
If any special requirements are not provided for in the above
recommendations your Lighting Company will be glad to give you
expert advice free of charge. They pride themselves on being at
The service entrance should be of sufficient capacity to care
for additional load in the form of electric heating, cooking and
other domestic appliances. The branch circuits should be heavy
and numerous enough to care for additional outlets for lighting
and appliances as found desirable. Your Lighting Company will be
glad to go over your plans with you.
The electric meters should be located in the cellar near the gas
meter, as this will save you the annoyance of meter readers and
testers going through the house to the attic.
Be sure and install control switches and telltale lamps on
cellar and attic lights.
Provide three-way switches in the halls so that the hall lights
may be controlled from either the first or second floor.
All ceiling outlet lighting, and wherever desirable, side
bracket lighting, should be controlled by wall switches. These
switches should preferably be of the push-button type rather
than of the snap-switch type. In general the best location for
these switches is on the wall of the room right next to the door
which is the entrance most frequently used.
Fuses on your electrical wiring act in the same capacity as a
safety valve on a steam boiler. Whenever there is an overload on
the circuit or a short circuit these fuses blow and relieve the
strain on your wiring.
When in doubt or when in need of suggestions, 'phone the Sales
Department of your Lighting Company.
Look in the Index for the principal word of the article about