The Magazine, part three Cuba, curds and Lazy Liver candy

Friends of the Lincoln Library column
By: By Jane Tahti For The News Messenger
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Apparently, many Victorian women were itching to break loose from their corsets and try their luck at earning some spending money. 

Toward this liberated end, the magazine offered an interesting plan:  they could open their homes and sponsor showings of the “PANORAMIC CUBAN WAR EXHIBITION OUTFIT.” 

Since the magazine is dated 1899 and the United States invaded Cuban in 1898, this seems like quite a timely venture.  Once they received the “Cuban War Exhibition Outfit,” the women could fill their parlors with Cuban War displays.  They could charge $10 to $30 a day in admission fees, right at their own front doors! 

One hopes that the sales of 'Panoramic Cuban War Exhibitions Outfits' were limited to one per community.  Otherwise, rival Cuban War Exhibit outbreaks might devastate Victorian neighborhoods.  This homegrown scheme was sold by none other than Sears, Roebuck and Company.

With that project out of the way, Victorian women must have been delighted when they read the magazine's easy recipe for cleaning their hat's ostrich feathers:

“Make a solution of 'white curd soap' with a 'dash of pearl ash.'   'Plunge' the ostrich feathers into the mixture, rinse them, then dry them by shaking them near an open fire.  Whish whish whish.”

But, oh, no.  They weren't done yet!   When dry, it was necessary to “curl each fiber separately” with an “ivory paper-folder.”  (One can't help but imagine ostriches and ivory- tusked elephants running away from Victorian ladies puffing away in their safari corsets.)  Having an ostrich feather in their hats might have seemed exotic but it was labor intensive millinery, indeed. 

And just look at these two lineups of smiling children and ogling men! 

Why are the children so happy? 


It's all that Victorian candy! One look at the photo and every responsible mother would order  CASCARETS.  It's a "CANDY CATHARTIC, so Good for Little Folks." 

Even better, CANDY CATHARTIC was also "good for their Fathers and Mothers."  

Is that why the men are so enthralled? 

In fact, the crowd of ogling gentlemen testifies to the claim that CASCARETS also helped to relax voluptuous women.

In fact, it was "the perfect family medicine and a pleasant but positive cure for Constipation and Lazy Liver."

Lazy Liver? 


It sounds kind of familiar.  Wasn't that an old song by the Ink Spots?

"Up a lazy liver by the old mill run,                                                                                                                                  

A lazy lazy liver in the noonday sun.                                                                                                                           

Blue skies up above.                                                                                                                                     

Everyone's in love.                                                                                                                                   

Up a lazy liver                                                                                                                                 

How happy you will be                                                                                                                                            

Up a lazy liver with meeee."

(Until we chew our Cathartic Candeeee.)


At the Twelve Bridges Library

Free story time: 3:30 p.m. every Wednesday for kids.

Free Mother Goose on the Loose: 10:30 or 11:30 a.m. Thursdays for kids.

Events are sponsored by Friends of the Lincoln Library. The Twelve Bridges Library is at 485 Twelve Bridges Drive in Lincoln.

This column is part of a Friends of the Lincoln Library series. To reach the nonprofit Friends, write to Box 1177, Lincoln CA 95648, contact 434-2404 or Jane Tahti is the Friends of the Lincoln Library secretary.