Anyone that has been on this site more than once probably knows I like “macgyvering” things. I enjoy taking old forgotten technology and kludging it together with modern materials. Most of time it is useless, but it is mostly harmless. Sometimes though it really solves a problem for me.
Creativity is good, but creativity with knowledge is a game changer. For what I do, documents like Household Cyclopedia 1881 gives me the knowledge I need on old tech and skills. If you know a 90 year great grandma that remembers learning from her 90 year old great grandma then the information you can gather sitting around the parlor talking will be much more useful that the information in this book, but if you don’t then you will have to settle for old books.
My only issues with books like the Household Cyclopedia 1881 is that the terms for chemicals have changed and that some easy obtainable things in the 1800’s are considered to be dangerous and are very hard to acquire now.
However, if you have a good chemical cross reference and the ability to acquire some of these chemicals, then this document can be handy.