Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » She Had a Question, 1915 (3)

She Had a Question, 1915 (3)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 22, 2010

Catherine Hurst offers some wise and practical answers to the Girl Queries in the Young Woman’s Journal. I’m not so sure about some of her “way back in the olden days” explanations for the origins of things, though.


When a young bride first moves into town, should we call to see her, and when? – Ruth and Janet.

In a small town the best and most correct way is to be neighborly, and call within a week or two at the latest. The correct calling hour is sometime between three and six p.m.


Can the rubber rings be used successfully the second year on fruit jars? – Young Wife.

Yes, their elasticity may be restored by putting them in a mixture of one part ammonia and two parts water. Let remain one-half hour.


“Tim.” – (1) The best way to protect the face from the sun is to use a parasol or sun-shade hat. (2) To remove tan from the arms and hands, use lemon juice, cucumber juice or peroxide of hydrogen. Apply equally over the hands and arms, let dry without rubbing. After it is thoroughly dry apply cold cream, quince reed lotion, or ordinary cream from cow’s milk. Washing the hands in bran water is very good.


“Bee-Hive Girl.” – Rub with a chamois, using a little talcum or cornstarch if necessary.


“Ernestine.” – Shake and brush your skirt thoroughly, then sponge well with, or wash in gasoline to remove the spots. After which apply chloroform with a light quick touch, using a soft cotton cloth, or a piece of absorbent cotton.


“Marie.” – Consult a hairdresser and have the ends of your hair singed.


“Bessie.” – Strong sage tea brushed through the hair will partly restore the color. Let dry before dressing. Send stamped addressed envelope and I will mail you instructions on the care of the hair.


Will you please give me the name of a reliable, economical cook book? – Vera.

The revised edition, 1915, of the “Boston Cooking-School Cook Book,” is the latest and most extensively used in the schools. Price $2.00. “Home Science Cook Books,” by Anna Barrows and May J. Lincoln, is very good and economical. Price $1.15 postpaid. Mrs. Rorer’s cook book is excellent. Price $2.00. Any of the above can be purchased at the Deseret Sunday School Union, or, Deseret News Book Store, Salt Lake city.


“A Bee Hive Girl.” – Our space being so limited, your query will require a personal answer. Send stamped addressed envelope, repeating your question.


“Bell.” – Warts will often disappear of themselves. Or, they may be touched with a stick of lunar caustic, which has been dipped in water. This will cause them to drop off in a few days. Or, the crushed leaves of the common bean yield a juice, which if applied to the warts several times a day, will cause them to dry and disappear.


“Mrs. J.” – If you will put your tomatoes or peppers in muffin rings to bake them, the difficulty you mention will be overcome.


How can I remove perspiration stains from a silk waist? – Julia.

Sponge the place over your hand with a clean white cloth wet in clear water, then cover completely with powdered prepared chalk. Let dry thoroughly and brush off carefully with a soft brush. Or, cover the spot with cooking soda or magnesia and moisten with clear water.

The better way, however, is to always wear shields with a silk waist. They not only prevent soiling the waist, but also protect the corset cover and waist from the wear which friction over the tips of the corset bones always produces.


“Magda.” – You should get your bulbs immediately. The success of growing bulbs consists of three things: Good stock, proper preparation of soil and planting at the right time. Buy from reliable dealers only. Porter-Walton Co., Salt Lake City, is a very reliable firm. Bulbs should go into the ground early enough to allow them to form good strong roots before winter sets in. About the middle of September.


“Marie L.” – Many young girls of light complexion are troubled with freckles, but ordinarily these pass away later in life. Any of the following can be used occasionally, but their frequent use is not good for the skin. Buttermilk, lemon juice or horseradish. Do not expose your skin to the direct rays of the sun. Keep the hands and arms as well as the face under cover. Send a stamped addressed envelope for reply to your second query.


Why is the newly wedded man termed “bridegroom”?

In primitive times the newly wedded man had to wait upon his bride and the guests on his wedding day. He was their “groom.”


Where did the word “spinster” originate? – Unmarried Girl.

Women were prohibited from marrying in olden times, until they ad spun a whole set of bed furnishings on a spinning wheel; hence, until married they were spinsters.


What will remove scorch from white goods? – Louise.

When slightly scorched, if the fibres have not been destroyed, immediately rub over it a cloth that has been dipped in diluted peroxide; or expose the spot to the heat of the sun, or on dark days to the heat of an open oven. Moisten at intervals by lightly sponging with clear water.


“Carrie.” – A “trousseau tea” is a social gathering at the bride elect’s home, where she displays her trousseau to her girl friends. The trousseau is placed on beds and tables so that articles can be easily viewed without handling. The small dainty pieces could be pinned on curtains and hangings. It is very rude for any of the girls present to suggest “trying on” any one piece of the trousseau. Light refreshments are served, as sandwiches and chocolate, or wafers, cake, and punch, or fruit salad and fancy crackers.


“Country Wife.” – Citron is much better cut at the time it is to be used. To obviate yoru difficulty, steam it a few minuts before cutting, and the work will be much easier.


“Mrs. F.C.H.” – The only way is to keep the hair well combed back.


“September Bride.” – To remove ice-cream stains from your silk frock, sponge carefully with clean, warm water to dissolve the sugar, then use naptha or ether for the grease. Lay a soft pad of absorbent cotton under the spot, and rub with the naptha in an ever-widening circle, that no mark may be left. Use just enough to dampen the silk, not to make it soaking wet.


Should I furnish flowers and carfare for my bridesmaid who lives in another city? – A Country Bride.

The bride is not expected to furnish anything for the bride’s maid except the carriage, if one is needed, at the wedding. The bridegroom should furnish flowers for the bride’s maid.


Can you suggest how to serve a lap luncheon when trays cannot be obtained? – Country Girl.

If you live in a town where there are any dry goods stores, procure from the merchants the boards on which goods are found. Cover with white or colored cloth to suit the occasion. These boards are large enough to hold a plate, cup and small paper cup or plate for shelled nuts.


Will you tell me which is proper, to drink bouillon from the cup in which it is served, or use a spoon – Peggy.

Use the bouillon spoon to sip bouillon with, until so little is left that a spoon could not be used, when it is permissible to drink the remainder.



  1. Afterword for Ernestine, who removed the spots from her skirt with gasoline, then rubbed it with chloroform before going on a picnic with her beau. They were cooking hot dogs over an open fire, but the chloroform put them both to sleep, whereupon her skirt caught on fire, consuming the unhappy couple. A cautionary tale, indeed.

    Comment by kevinf — December 22, 2010 @ 11:39 am

  2. I’m just glad that the bone-tips in my corset have never caused wear on my shirts.

    As to spinsters, my wife and her siblings were always amused that when their mother was married, before her 20th birthday, her wedding certificate described her status before marriage as “spinster.”

    I came late to the party, but I too thought it amusing. : )

    Comment by Mark B. — December 22, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  3. Ha! Yeah, the explanations for the origin of the words “bridegroom” and “spinster” made me chuckle.

    Boy, in this day and age of instant answers on the internet, the thought of sitting down to write and mail a letter to be published in a later edition of a monthly magazine (and asking questions such as how to “remove ice-cream stains from [a] silk frock”) seems so foreign.

    Comment by David Y. — December 22, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

  4. Citron? That’s something that you don’t see frequently in the American market. It reminds me of the touching movie Ushpizin which I watched awhile ago after a recommendation from one of the ladies at Mormon Mommy Wars. A citron played a significant part in the plot.

    I wondered why on earth anyone would deliberately singe the ends of their hair — sounds like a dangerous procedure — but google seems to claim that it helps with split ends. Wouldn’t trimming be easier and safer?

    Comment by Researcher — December 22, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

  5. Well, the “groom” etymology is demonstrably false; “bridegroom” is from Old English “brydguma,” bride-man, and the association with a horse groom is a 16th-century confusion.

    I cannot find a conclusive refutation for “spinster,” however. So far as I can learn, its parts do mean what they appear to mean, but I haven’t found any really compelling explanation for the particular association between spinning and unweddedness.

    Comment by Nathan E. Rasmussen — December 22, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

  6. When I got married 8 years ago in England I was listed as a “spinster” while my husband got to be a “bachelor”. I thought it grossly unfair!

    Comment by LAT — December 23, 2010 @ 3:41 am

  7. I’m not buying that spinster stuff.

    Comment by mmiles — December 23, 2010 @ 7:08 am

  8. Me either. Who “wouldn’t allow” a linen-less marriage? The king? The pope? What interest would either have in such a thing? Maybe Great Aunt Maud would care, but what power would she have?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 23, 2010 @ 9:10 am

  9. Just think how he must have felt about it, LAT! : )

    Comment by Mark B. — December 23, 2010 @ 10:25 am

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