The Virtues of Coffee, Chocolate, and Tea

This wonderful little piece comes from Slate in the Vault blog.  It’s a great broadside advertisement from a 1690 coffeehouse entrepreneur claiming the benefits of our now most commonly used drug on Earth, caffeine.  Coffee was known in Europe but new as a common drink and still a bit suspect since it came from Arabia via the Arabs.

VirtuesOfCoffee

The digital “original” is available through the Harvard University Library for download, or just click the image above to have a closer look.

Here’s a good summary of the health benefits claimed in the advertisement from the Slate article by Rebecca Onion:

Price’s advertisement’s litany of claims for coffee’s health benefits mix advantages we’d recognize today with others that seem far-fetched. The authors observed that coffee-drinking populations didn’t get common diseases: “the Stone” (kidney stones); “Scurvey, Gout, Dropsie” (edema, or retained fluid). Speaking to an audience that still believed in the theory of the four humors, they argued that coffee, being “drying,” would help fix “moist and waterish Humors.”  People who couldn’t hear well, or suffered from lethargy, want of appetite, or swooning, would also find the drink helpful. “It’s experimentally good to prevent Miscarriage,” they added, apparently not wanting to claim too much.

I hope I can, at least, avoid the “moist and waterish humors” for some time to come.

I think it’s time for a Sunday afternoon cup of coffee, just in case…

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Showing Off His Willy(s)

willys

Click for a full-size image.

This remarkable vehicle hit the market in a big way after the war.  I would love to own one of these classics. I might even be willing to trade in the Vespa for one.

More Classic Camp Gear from the American West

tumblr_mevzdvFqOL1r6083to1_500I have no information about this image as it was one of those random internet finds.  The gear looks to be from about the turn of the 19th-20th Century and supplies the basics for an American or Canadian outdoorsman.  This would all apply to Mexico as well but as it’s not written in Spanish I think that rules out our southern neighbor as the source.

1, Sleeping Pocket; 2, Compass and pin; 3, Camping mattress; 4, 5, 6, Folding camp furniture; 7, Sleeping bag; 8, Folding baker; 9, Folding canvas cupboard; 10, Vacuum bottle; 11, Waterproof matchbox 12, 13, 14, 15, Canvas water pails; 16, Army (mess) kit; 17, Axe with folding guard;  18, First aid kit; 19, Metal tent peg; 20, Folding lantern; 21, Kerosene stove; 22, Folding grate; 23, Cook kit; 24, Folding baker, canvas case.

Tool Cabinet Extrordinaire

Melhuish1889

Melhuish & Sons advertisement from 1889.

Turning saw, rasp, mechanic’s saw, panel saw, chisels, brace and bits, scratch awl, pliers, screwdrivers, dividers, bevel gauge, square, spokeshave, calipers, marking gauge, plane, vice, and workbench; all in a fancy tool chest.  Wow.

Marketing to the Caravan Craze: Caravan Case and Contour Books

 Presenting the traveling requisites; a caravan case and road-grade book.

CaravanCaseAdvertisement for a lightweight but implicitly tough (it is sole leather after all) suitcase or light trunk for the traveler.   Road grade books were very handy in the days of principally human and animal power.  If you are cycling cross-country or pulling and immense showman’s van you may choose to avoid some of the worst grades.  Britain was notorious for poor roads for centuries so you don’t want to be stuck in ruts on an eight percent grade at nightfall.  These books were lifesavers.