The Household Cyclopedia


The Household Cyclopedia of General Information, Containing Over Ten Thousand Receipts in all the Useful and Domestic Arts; Constituting a Complete and Practical Library...

Description: 496 pp. 35 plates, including the frontispiece, of quadrupeds, flowers, anatomy, military arms, etc. 22.5x14 cm. (9x5?"), later green half-calf and cloth, spine lettered in gilt. Second Edition.The same content as the first edition, published in 1871. In addition to recipes, this books is a catch-all on instructions of a variety of home-making tasks such as making wine and liquor, treating disease, painting, photography, tobacco, book-keeping, angling, etc. OCLC Worldcat locates only 2 copies of this edition.
Publisher: T. Ellwood Zell
Date Published: 1883

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This work was digitized by  Matthew Spong.

"One day while wandering through the Saturday markets in Glebe, Sydney, I spotted an interesting book on one of the stalls. Bound in decaying leather, with loose pages spilling from within, and "The Household Cyclopedia" in faded gold on the frayed spine. The text inside was small, but quite legible. The pages where only slightly splotched with stains. It was only $10. I paid.

What a bargain! It was soon evident that this was no ordinary book. It was the sort of book a pioneer of the old west would have packed carefully into his covered wagon before heading off for a boondock town. It was a book for people who need to be able, if the circumstances demand, to amputate a limb, grow their own fibre for material, take care of their horses, give birth to children, and build houses, concoct medicines, all with the minimum of help from others.

I work as a web designer, freelancing, and recently my clients have often left me hanging for weeks without notification. This is not a good thing, if you are a nail chewing workaholic like me. Games, even excellent ones like Descent, Doom or Sim City, only satisfy me for so long. They leave no tangible residue, for all the effort they demand. There had to be something better to do, to stop from going mad. One day, looking around for something to justify the time I was spending with an idle computer and perfectly good net account, I noticed the Cyclopedia again. How good it would be, I thought, if the contents of this noble tome were freely available to the world..."

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