Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bill's Bits

This weeks column will be a combination of different information.  It may be dumb stuff, that I picked up this last year and some from years past.  Bear with me and if it is not good in your estimation, look up the man or woman that shreds paper...

During the years when I was growing up on the farm, weather could try your patience, especially when you had to put up wih staying warm in bed. One method to keep your feet warm was done several ways. A quart jar filled with warm water and sealed tight could help for a while. Common flat irons could be used for the same purpose.  My favorite foot warmer was the rubber hot water bottle.  To also beat the cold was the fluffy feather bed.  You could sink deep into your feather bed and you could get a good night's sleep.

In addition to the foot warmers and feather beds were the comforters and quilts that were used to cover one through out the night.  The weight of these "covers" sometimes made getting out of bed in the morning an extra effort.

A different problem of living in the rural area was light.  Because we didn't have electricity until the late 40's and early 50's, kerosene lamps were the main source of light.  Finally, along came the new light called the "Aladdin Lamp." This lamp featured a white mantle that produced more light than the kerosene lamps did and used kerosene also. The fuel was supplied to the wick tip by a wick that allowed the fuel to burn and produce light.

The Aladdin Lamp had a very tall glass chimney and a person had to watch the burning mantle to make sure it didn't get too high and then cause the mantle  to turn black in spots and then lower the amount of light it was meant to produce.

Kerosene was the main source of fuel for the various types of lamps back then.

Another lamp that was used on the farm was a kerosene lantern.  This was used out-doors while doing chores when it got dark.  (especially in the winter)  It was a lamp that burned a lot like indoor lamps, but it had a glass globe that kept the flame from being blown out when you carried it from building to building.  Plus it was needed in the barn if you were still milking the cows.  My Dad would hang it on the barn wall by a window and if my Mom would call us for supper, both she and I knew if you could see the light from the kerosene lantern, we would know Dad was still in the barn either milking or feeding the cows.

Then we left the barn and hurried through the snow and cold wind to have a good hot meal that Mom had waiting for us.

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