In this morning’s Irish Times there was an article by Conor Pope called Recycling thrifty wisdom. The article was mainly about Hunter Davies, a journalist whose latest book is titled Cold Meat and How to Disguise It, a look back at 100 years of belt tightening. In researching this book, Hunter Davies was struck by the similarity of money-saving domestic tips across generations.
I grew up in the U.S. and really did not experience the deprivations of the 2nd World War as experienced in Britain and even more so in Europe. Even though many of us have not experienced the shortages and make-do solutions that our parents or previous generations had to devise, Hunter Davies does feel that even in these recessionary times and if things got really bad we could cope. “There is something in the human nature that likes deprivation.” I am not so sure about his view of human nature liking deprivation but I would agree that we could cope.
I could certainly cope with the following tips of knitting advice.
“Save all pieces of string that come round parcels of all kinds. Knot them together and wind into a ball and knit excellent dishcloths – the knots help to get the burnt marks off pudding dishes.” from The Best Way Book, 1914
“In every economical house the knitting basket should be an institution and all the girls should be taught to knit. Knitted woollen stockings are not only more durable than bought stockings, but they promote the circulation better and so are preventative of cold feet and chilblains.” from Domestic Economy, 1896