Handy Aids for the Homemaker (May, 1936)

I would love to see an infomercial for the 3-in-1 Iron/Stovetop/Curling Iron. What do you think it would be called?

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Handy Aids for the Homemaker

A container now supplied with a moth-killing compound is fitted with a moving indicator to show how much of the chemical it contains at any time. When the supply runs low, it can be renewed easily

For large heads of cabbage or lettuce, which cannot be put in the average refrigerator receptacle, rubber-fabric bags are now available. They close snugly with snap fasteners

To keep old-fashioned food grinders from marring modern kitchen shelves or tables, a special detachable rack now available fits into a bracket mounted under the ledge, as shown below. The grinder clamp harmlessly grips a sturdy woodblock built into the rack

The handy electrical device illustrated above can be used as an iron, as a curling-iron heater, and for cooking simple dishes. The heating element in the iron serves for all three purposes

A new flat, rubber-covered phone cord simplifies the problem of laying wires under rugs. The conductors are separately insulated to permit passing through holes

Meat juices collect in the bottom of this roaster and are forced up through a percolator tube to a glass top from which they sprinkle on the meat, thus continuously basting it and saving the housewife this trouble

For the benefit of bathroom baritones and tub tenors, shower curtains are now supplied with a suitable musical selection printed upon them. The words are of a humorous character, and the musical notes are interspersed with amusing drawings. The curtains are made of a rubberized fabric

When the gargoyle beak of a new bottle opener is placed over a bottle cap, and the curved handle is squeezed against the bottle neck, the cap comes off easily without flying

Made in sections, each of which consists of a separate row of bristles, the brush shown at the left is readily taken apart for cleaning or replacement. The sections are held together by a frame

Made of heat-resisting glass and marked with a graduated scale, this bottle can be used for measuring and boiling water or milk, and will keep formulas sterile

Odd pieces of soap, which usually go to waste, can be reclaimed by means of the hand mill illustrated at the left. Screwed to the wall and operated with a crank, it turns soap into powder for dishwashing or laundry

Set in a recess in a tray of an electric refrigerator, this tiny thermometer shows at a glance the temperature of the food compartment. The scale is divided clearly into three critical zones

  1. Rick Auricchio says: June 25, 20073:28 pm

    The meat-percolator is weird.

    The musical shower curtain is good…I’ll bet it can still be found today.

    The sanitary bottle? Just an Erlenmeyer Flask from a lab?

    Though the squeeze-type bottle opener looks good, I suspect people lost their grip on the bottle neck as the handle “broke free” removing the cap.

  2. Stannous says: June 25, 20077:44 pm

    This whole collection is pretty weird-
    1- what, you don’t like the smell of cedar?2- early plastic bags that make stuff taste like rubber?
    3- couldn’t you just use slivers of wood to protect your shelf?
    4- every college student has tried using an iron to cook, with mixed results at best
    5- okay, I’ll concede the flat cord
    6- can’t count the wasted wife-hours spent basting meat…
    7- wouldn’t you get tired of the same song?
    8- yeah, flying bottle caps- there’s a danger
    9- I imagine the brush would be good maybe 3-5 times before it got loose
    10- glass bottles are easily sterilized in boiling water, no need for pyrex
    11- soap grinder as opposed to just breaking it up with your hands?
    12- now they come with little clamps so they hang under any wire shelves, much easier

  3. Caya says: June 26, 20077:03 am

    I like the meat baster gadget. I think it’s really cool. That is actually very useful for several reasons. First, whenever you open the oven door, you lose about 25 degrees of heat, which takes time to recover again, and affects the final outcome. Second, when you open the lid on the pan, you lose moisture. When you have a roast that cooks for about 4 hours, and you’re turning it every 30 minutes so all sides get bathed in the liquid, (if you don’t, one side is sodden and the other side is dry) then having this gadget would make quite a difference. You could just pop it in and leave it, instead. I think I might find a way to arrange something like that gadget!!

    The other thing I like is the soap grinder. No, you can’t just break up little soap slivers into powder with your hands!! You’ve obviously never tried. This is a very useful gadget, if you want your own soap powder. Many people make their own soap and use homemade soap powder for washing clothes and whatnot, and soap powder is useful as a base for making other, fancier soaps. I would like one of these gadgets too!!

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