Friday, July 29, 2011
Family Recipe Friday: 1850s Recipe for Cleaning Wool,
By mid-May of 1850, he had brought his family to Springdale, Wisconsin, where he used his tailoring skills to supplement his income, while forging a new life on his farm in Wisconsin. Wool was important to him, as can be attested to by the affixing of this Rural New Yorker clipping to the front of his precious diary.
Within days of his arrival in Dane County, Wisconsin, J.P. was measuring and sewing pants, vests, and coats for the men and boys. During the first two years, he purchased wool from his neighbors --- at first by barter, and later by currency. By 1854, he was starting his own flock of sheep. In the spring of 1855, he sheared his own sheep --- all nine sheep.
From 1850 through 1855, James P. McPherson makes no mention about how wool goes from sheep to cloth. --- no mention of weaving or spinning. Nor does he mention making garments of wool' however, he certainly notes when he made coats and vests of "sackcloth." Nevertheless, it is certain that my great-great great grandfather was careful about cleaning his wool so that it was white and, soft --- well, at least if he followed the recipe..