I’m fascinated by pieces of York County, Pennsylvania memorabilia that are given to me by others. It’s a way that I can see what types of items have been collected by families from around the area. My good friend Carolyn Woodring has passed countless items on to me, and I’m grateful for each and every one I receive.
Compliments of Wentz Oil Service…
Recently acquired from her was a booklet titled “300 Household Hints Of Great Value To Every Person In Every Home!“. It was distributed by Wentz Oil Service, Inc. which was located at 111 Baltimore Street in Hanover. I always enjoy the simplicity of early phone numbers, and theirs does not disappoint: 6139. Based on this number, the booklet appears to date from the 1940s-1950s.
Joan Concilio, author of the Only In York County blog, wrote about a booklet with a similar name that was printed in 1962 by the same publisher, Morgan H. Wilt, 336 West Philadelphia Street in York. The booklet she wrote about contained 303 hints, which you can read about here.
I was not able to find any substantial information about Wentz Oil Service which was in operation from at least the 1940s until the 1960s. The services they offered revolved around heating, plumbing, electrical, but they also sold Gulf fuel oil and kerosene.
I’m hopeful that my readers will be able to offer additional information about the business, its founder, and possibly any memories they might have about it.
Household hints from decades ago…
This unique memento contains some interesting tips focused on a number of different categories including cleaning hints, cream and milk, odor prevention and removal, and even the care of shoes and stockings.
Let’s take a look at a few of these helpful hints:
41. A well-beaten white of egg added to mashed potatoes will add to the looks and taste of the dish.
116. When silver becomes dull rub it with a piece of potato dipped in baking soda.
183: To remove inflammation from the eyes, boil together for three minutes 1 teaspoon of boracic acid and one pint of water. Apply with a soft, clean cloth.
230. Wine stains may be removed by holding the stained portion of the cloth in boiling milk.
240. To remove paint from glass, use hot vinegar.
299. To relieve sour throat, gargle often with the following solution: 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon powdered borax, 3/4 tumblerful hot water. Dissolve salt and borax in hot water.
Some of these tips may be on the verge of obscurity, but they were the norm for many households of yesteryear. I’m not so sure I’d want to gargle with borax, but to each his own, right?
Do you have any interesting hints that have been passed down through the generations in your family?
- For the record, I’m curious enough to try adding an egg white to mashed potatoes the next time we make them. Hey, it sounds much better than gargling with borax.