Friday, November 11, 2011

More practical advice for the Hausfrau

How useful! Postage prices from 1948

Last week I wrote about a practical guide for German housewives that I picked up for the practical price of one Euro. To add to the confusion of how to date this book (the name of the publishing house suggests it predates 1947, but the preface is dated 1950), I discovered that on the inside of the back cover the postage prices from 1948 are printed. The plot thickened when I ran into an eBay classified ad for a 1950 edition of this book showing a picture of the cover that lists a different price from mine! Here is a screen shot:

As you can see, this book cost 75 deutsche Pfennige when it was new, whereas mine lists a price of 60 Dpf. And yet they were both published in the same year. Who can explain that?

And now for some more tips for all you Hausfrauen and Hausmänner out there:

3. Junges Gemüse hält sich in einer irdenen Schüssel, in der man es mit einem feuchten Tuch zudeckt, längere Zeit frisch.

Young vegetables will stay fresh longer in an earthen bowl which has been covered with a damp cloth.

675. Blumenvasen fallen nicht um, wenn man eine Schicht Sand auf den Boden streut.

Flower vases will not fall over if you place a layer of sand in them.

226. Rostige Gitter muß man vor dem Streichen mit einer scharfen Drahtbürste säubern und mit warmen Leinöl bestreichen.

Rusty grates should be cleaned with a sharp wire brush and coated with linseed oil before painting.

1008. Gegen Bauchschmerzen nehme man täglich 3mal eine Tasse Kümmel- und Pfefferminztee.

Take a cup of cumin/caraway and peppermint tea three times daily for stomach aches.*

824. Trockene Haut darf man nicht pudern. Man verwende lieber eine gute Mattcreme.

Dry skin should not be powdered. Use instead a good heavy moisturizing cream.

I had never heard the term "Mattcreme" prior to today, so I did a little internet search and discovered the following advertisement from a women's magazine from the late 1930s:

A Matt-Creme by 4711 advertisement from 1938
Source: Scanzen's Tumblr

It looks to me that "Mattcreme" refers to some sort of a very heavy, oily moisturizer, in this case manufactured with the famous 4711 Eau de Cologne fragrance still found on store shelves today.

*By the way, you might want to consult a doctor before trying any of the medicinal remedies listed in this book. I cannot guarantee their safeness or effectiveness, and I only include them here because I think it is interesting to see how past generations dealt with their ailments.

P.S. Dear readers, did you notice the time stamp of this post?

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