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- The American Woman's Home - 1/80 -


AMERICAN WOMAN'S HOME: OR, PRINCIPLES OF DOMESTIC SCIENCE;

BEING A GUIDE TO THE FORMATION AND MAINTENANCE OF ECONOMICAL, HEALTHFUL, BEAUTIFUL, AND CHRISTIAN HOMES.

BY CATHERINE E. BEECHER AND HARRIET BEECHER STOWE

TO THE WOMEN OF AMERICA, IN WHOSE HANDS REST THE REAL DESTINIES OF THE REPUBLIC, AS MOULDED BY THE EARLY TRAINING AND PRESERVED AMID THE MATURER INFLUENCES OF HOME, THIS VOLUME IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

_INTRODUCTION._

The chief cause of woman's disabilities and sufferings, that women are not trained, as men are, for their peculiar duties--Aim of this volume to elevate the honor and remuneration of domestic employment--Woman's duties, and her utter lack of training for them--Qualifications of the writers of this volume to teach the matters proposed--Experience and study of woman's work--Conviction of the dignity and importance of it--The great social and moral power in her keeping--The principles and teachings of Jesus Christ the true basis of woman's rights and duties.

I.

_THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY._

Object of the Family State--Duty of the elder and stronger to raise the younger, weaker, and more ignorant to an equality of advantages--Discipline of the family--The example of Christ one of self-sacrifice as man's elder brother--His assumption of a low estate--His manual labor--His trade--Woman the chief minister of the family estate--Man the out-door laborer and provider--Labor and self-denial in the mutual relations of home-life, honorable, healthful, economical, enjoyable, and Christian.

II.

_A CHRISTIAN HOUSE._

True wisdom in building a home--Necessity of economizing time, labor, and expense, by the close packing of conveniences--Plan of a model cottage--Proportions--Piazzas--Entry--Stairs and landings--Large room--Movable Screen--Convenient bedsteads--A good mattress--A cheap and convenient ottoman--Kitchen and stove-room--The stove-room and its arrangements--Second or attic story--Closets, corner dressing-tables, windows, balconies, water and earth-closets, shoe-bag, piece-bag--Basement, closets, refrigerator, washtubs, etc.--Laundry--General wood-work--Conservatories-Average estimate of cost.

III.

_A HEALTHFUL HOME._

Household murder--Poisoning and starvation the inevitable result of bad air in public halls and private homes--Good air as needful as good food--Structure and operations of the lungs and their capillaries and air-cells--How people in a confined room will deprive the air of oxygen and overload it with refuse carbonic acid-Starvation of the living body deprived of oxygen--The skin and its twenty-eight miles of perspiratory tubes--Reciprocal action of plants and animals--Historical examples of foul-air poisoning--Outward effects of habitual breathing of bad air--Quotations from scientific authorities.

IV.

_SCIENTIFIC DOMESTIC VENTILATION._

An open fireplace secures due ventilation--Evils of substituting air-tight stoves and furnace heating--Tendency of warm air to rise and of cool air to sink--Ventilation of mines--Ignorance of architects--Poor ventilation in most houses--Mode of ventilating laboratories--Creation of a current of warm air in a flue open at top and bottom of the room--Flue to be built into chimney: method of utilizing it.

V. STOVES, FURNACES, AND CHIMNEYS.

The general properties of heat, conduction, convection, radiation, reflection--Cooking done by radiation the simplest but most wasteful mode: by convection (as in stoves and furnaces) the cheapest--The range--The model cooking-stove--Interior arrangements and principles--Contrivances for economizing heat, labor, time, fuel, trouble, and expense--Its durability, simplicity, etc.--Chimneys: why they smoke and how to cure them--Furnaces: the dryness of their heat--Necessity of moisture in warm air--How to obtain and regulate it.

VI.

_HOME DECORATION._

Significance of beauty in making home attractive and useful in education--Exemplification of economical and tasteful furniture--The carpet, lounge, lambrequins, curtains, ottomans, easy-chair, centre-table--Money left for pictures--Chromes--Pretty frames-- Engravings--Statuettes--Educatory influence of works of art--Natural adornments--Materials in the woods and fields--Parlor-gardens--Hanging baskets--Fern-shields--Ivy, its beauty and tractableness--Window, with flowers, vines, and pretty plants--Rustic stand for flowers--Ward's case--How to make it economically--Bowls and vases of rustic work for growing plants--Ferns, how and when to gather them--General remarks.

VII.

_THE CARE OF HEALTH._

Importance of some knowledge of the body and its needs--Fearful responsibility of entering upon domestic duties in ignorance--The fundamental vital principle--Cell-life--Wonders of the microscope --Cell-multiplication--Constant interplay of decay and growth necessary to life--The red and white cells of the blood--Secreting and converting power--The nervous system--The brain and the nerves--Structural arrangement and functions--The ganglionic system--The nervous fluid--Necessity of properly apportioned exercise to nerves of sensation and of motion--Evils of excessive or insufficient exercise--Equal development of the whole.

VIII.

_DOMESTIC EXERCISE._

Connection of muscles and nerves--Microscopic cellular muscular fibre--Its mode of action--Dependence on the nerves of voluntary and involuntary motion--How exercise of muscles quickens circulation of the blood which maintains all the processes of life--Dependence of equilibrium upon proper muscular activity--Importance of securing exercise that will interest the mind.

IX.

_HEALTHFUL FOOD._

Apportionment of elements in food: carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, iron, silicon, etc.--Large proportion of water in the human body--Dr. Holmes on the interchange of death and life--Constituent parts of a kernel of wheat--Comparison of different kinds of food--General directions for diet--Hunger the proper guide and guard of appetite--Evils of over-eating--Structure and operations of the stomach--Times and quantity for eating--Stimulating and nourishing food--Americans eat too much meat--Wholesome effects of Lenten fasting--Matter and manner of eating--Causes of debilitation from misuse of food.

X.

_HEALTHFUL DRINKS._

Stimulating drinks not necessary--Their immediate evil effects upon the human body and tendency to grow into habitual desires--The arguments for and against stimulus--Microscopic revelations of the effects of alcohol on the cellular tissue of the brain--Opinions of high scientific authorities against its use--No need of resorting to stimulants either for refreshment, nourishment, or pleasure--Tea and coffee an extensive cause of much nervous debility and suffering--Tend to wasteful use in the kitchen--Are seldom agreeable at first to children--Are dangerous to sensitive, nervous organizations, and should be at least regulated--Hot drinks unwholesome, debilitating, and destructive to teeth, throat, and stomach--Warm drinks agreeable and not unhealthful--Cold drinks not to be too freely used during meals--Drinking while eating always injurious to digestion.

XI.

_CLEANLINESS._

Health and comfort depend on cleanliness--Scientific treatment of the skin, the most complicated organ of the body--Structure and arrangement of the skin, its layers, cells, nerves, capillaries, absorbents, oil-tubes, perspiration-tubes, etc.--The mucous membrane--Phlegm--The secreting organs--The liver, kidney, pancreas, salivary and lachrymal glands--Sympathetic connection of all the bodily organs--Intimate connection of the skin with all the other organs--Proper mode of treating the skin--Experiment showing happy effects of good treatment.

XII.

_CLOTHING._

Fashion attacks the very foundation of the body, the bones--Bones composed of animal and mineral elements--General construction and arrangement--Health of bones dependent on nourishment and exercise of body--Spine--Distortions produced by tight dressing--Pressure of interior organs upon each other and upon the bones--Displacement of stomach, diaphragm, heart, intestines, and pelvic or lower organs--Women liable to peculiar distresses--A well-fitted jacket to replace stiff corsets, supporting the bust above and the under skirts below--Dressing of young children--Safe for a healthy child to wear as little clothing as will make it thoroughly comfortable--Nature the guide--The very young and the very old need the most clothing.


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