Monday 30 November 2015

The Crossing Part 1 (Long Retreat From New York)

The Crossing is about the beginning of the American Revolution. A bit late for me, but I found it very enjoyable viewing. I recommend it.

Period Clothing. Export From India.

This is a Petticoat. It is dated 1700–1750 and we acquired it in 1957. Its medium is cotton and its technique is mordant and resist painted and dyed plain weave (chintz).

Sunday 29 November 2015

Our Three Sisters Garden.

I finally got our Three Sisters Garden finished & planted. The beans will go in when the corn is about 5 inches high.

Saturday 28 November 2015

On Making Ink.

47. To make good ink for writing, particularly for books.-
Take 4 bottles of good wine, white or red, and 1 lb. of galls, slightly bruised, which must be put into the wine, and allowed to stand for 12 days, and be stirred every day with a stick. The twelfth day it must be strained through a strainer of fine linen, and must be poured into a clean jar, and put on the fire to get hot, until it almost boils. Then remove from the fire, and when it has cooled so as only to be tepid, put into it 4 oz. of gum-arabic, which must be very bright and clear, and stir it with a stick, then add ½ lb. Roman vitriol, and stir it continually with the stick, until all things are well incorporated together, and let it cool and keep for use. And note, that ink made with wine is good for writing books upon the sci­ences, because, when books are written with it, the letters do not fade, and can hardly be scraped out or discharged from parchment or paper. But if they are written with ink made with water, it is not so, for they can easily be scraped out, and it may happen that the letters written with it will fade.
4 bottles of wine, or water, or half of each.
1 pound of galls of xij. oz. to the pound.
4 oz. of gum Arabic.
6 oz. Roman vitriol.
And if you took equal parts of each, galls, gum, and vitriol, as much of one as of the other, by weight, it would still be good; as for instance, 6 oz. of each, would be sufficient for the said 4 lbs. of wine or water, or wine and water mixed as before.
Jehan Le B├ęgue (1431)
To make excellent ink
Raine water 3 gallons, of white wine vinegar a quart, gaules two pounds, gum arabeck one pound, pomegranate pills one quarter of a pound, all these bruised but not beat too small, copporus two ounces, this will be ready the sooner, if it stand near by the fire, or in the sun.
Late 17th Century.
A direction to make good inke.
Take six ounces of galls, three ounces of gumme Arabeck, three ounces of green coppresse. Crack the galls grosly and put all these to two quartes of the best drink ready to be put up, as followeth.
First put the galls into the drink in a glasse bottell, stop it close and let it stand in the sun 14 dayes, & shake the bottell twice ot thrice in each day. Then at the end of those dayes strayne out the galls & fling them away, & strayne out the drink & wash the glass cleane, & put in the drink agayne, & then put in your coppresse, and let it stand 14 dayes, & then put in you gumme, and put in two or three knives pointe full of sugar to keep it from hoaring .
And put to it a little ising glasse.
Manuscript Inks.

Friday 27 November 2015

IMPORTANT: Firearms Survey.

This survey has been generated for ALL Australians, not just LAFO's. Please, not only complete the survey, but PLEASE SHARE IT to your own family and friends.
The purpose of the survey is to ascertain what the Australian public perceives regarding firearm ownership.
A survey utilsing sophisticated tools such as Qualtrics has not been used before and the results of this survey, assuming an appropriate number of respondents fill it in, can be used as evidence on a variety of platforms.
As we lead into 2016, if you want to start to address what many firearm owners are concerned about may happen, this survey is the first step of many to educate the Australian public.
Please be careful when answering the questions, as some of the sliders reverse themselves.
An Australian survey, not sponsored by any pro or anti firearm organisations, to ascertain the views of ALL Australian regarding firearm ownership in Australia.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Diligwa, A Living Cherokee History

A Woodsrunner's Day By Keith H Burgess Part Five Final

A Woodsrunner's Day By Keith H Burgess Part Four

A Woodsrunner's Day By Keith H Burgess Part Three

A Woodsrunner's Day By Keith H Burgess Part Two

A Woodsrunner's Day By Keith H Burgess Part One

In A Woodsrunner's Camp By Keith H Burgess & Mark Jones

PART TWO. The Cleaning & Maintainance Of A Muzzle-Loading Gun.

PART TWO. The Cleaning & Maintenance Of A Muzzle-Loading Gun.

PART ONE. The Cleaning & Maintainance Of A Muzzle-Loading Gun.

PART ONE. The Cleaning & Maintenance Of A Muzzle-Loading Gun.

(X) New England Colonial Living History Group 1680-1760 Trailer

Training weekend with Greens Rangers 18th century living history group.

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Cheese As A Trail Food.


One of my favourite trail foods is bread & cheese. Both can be simply wrapped in linen cloth or the cheese can be placed between pieces of bread to stop the cheese oil from soaking into the cloth. Cheese can also be potted, but this entails covering the cheese in a ceramic pot with grease, & this process makes the cheese heavier to transport even though it will keep longer in hot weather.
Cheese in any temperature will grow surface mould. IF your cheese goes mouldy, it will still be safe to eat providing you make a cut at least one inch all round & below the mould.
Potted meat or cheese in a ceramic jar. Still Life with Kitchen Items_Attributed to Martin Dichtl (1639-1710)

Food Preserving & Cheese Use.
Some do use to parboil their Fowl, after they have taken out the garbage, andthen do dip them in Barrowsgreace [lard], or clarified butter, till they have gotten a new garment over them, and then they lay them one by one in stone pots, filling the stone pots up to the brim with Barrowsgreace or clarified butter.  – Sir Hugh Plat, 1607.   

Take three pounds of Cheshire-Cheese, and put it into a mortar, with half a pound of the best fresh butter you can get, pound them together, and in the beating, add a gill of rich Canary wine, and half an ounce of Mace finely beat, then sifted fine like a fine powder.  When all is extremely well mixed, press it hard down into a Gallipot, cover it with clarified butter, and keep cool.  A slice of this exceeds all the cream-cheese that can be made.
The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse, 1747
"We pass'd Stilton, a town famous for cheese, which is call'd our English Parmesan, and is brought to table with the mites, or maggots round it, so thick, that they bring a spoon with them for you to eat the mites with, as you do the cheese." A Tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain. Defoe 1724.
Provisions listed for the British ship Bellona 74 guns in 1760
listed as provisions for 650 men for four months.
Beef 5200 pieces    20800 lbs
Pork 9620 pieces    19240 lbs
Beer 236 butts        29736 US gallons
Water 339 butts 30 puncheons 60 hogsheads    49018 US gallons
Bread 650 bags      72800 lbs
Butter                      3900 lbs
Cheese                    14160 lbs
Oatmeal                 19008 lbs
Peas                        20800 lbs
Flour                      15590 lbs
Suet                        2600 lbs
Vinegar                   709 US gallons

Having turned out my horse in the sweet meadows adjoining, and finding some dry wood under shelter of the old cabin, I struck up a fire, dryed my clothes and comforted myself with a frugal repast of biscuit and dried beef, which was all the food my viaticum afforded me by this time, excepting a small piece of cheese which I had furnished myself with at Charleston and kept till this time.
John Bartram Mid 18th Century. http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/bartram/bartram.html

A seventeenth century soldier could expect 6d a day wages, and a typical daily ration in a garrison
might be: 450 g (1 lb) of meat-beef, mutton, pork or veal
 25 g (8oz) bread
 350 g (12oz) oatmeal
 125g (4oz) dried peas/beans
 70g (2oz) cheese
 2.5 pints beer of the weaker kind
 (Chalfield garrison, Wiltshire, 1645)
On the march in 1643 Parliamentarian Colonel Popham’s Regiment got:
 300g (10.5 oz) biscuit 135g (5oz) meat/cheese
 85g (3 oz) peas 0.5 pint beer
Braddock's Campaign of 1755 - Benjamin Franklin suggested that campaign parcels
be compiled for officers as follows. For each officer:
6 lbs Loaf Sugar, 6 lbs good Moscavado (brown sugar)
1 lb good Green Tea, 1 lb good Bohea ditto, 6 lbs ground Coffee
6 lbs chocolate
1-2 Cwt White Biscuit
1-2 lb Pepper,
1 Qt. best white wine Vinegar
1 Glouster (sic) Cheese
1 Kegg (sic) containing 20 lbs good Butter
2 Doz Old Madiera Wine
2 gal. Jamaica Spirits (rum)
1 bottle flour of Mustard
2 well-cured Hams
1-2 doz dried Tongues (beef)
7 lb Rice
6 lbs. Raisins
Estimation of the cost of emigration to New England were published in the 1600s. The following is a compilation from Higginson and from Josselyn first published about 1630.
Meal, one hogshead
Malt, one hogshead
Two bushels of oatmeal

Beef one hundredweight

Pork pickled, 100 pound
Bacon, 74 pound
Peas, two bushels

Greats, one bushel

Butter, two dozen

Cheese, half a hundred

Vinegar, two gallons

Aquavitae, one gallon

Mustard seed, two quarts

Salt to save fish, half a hogshead

One gallon of oil

Salted meat, often dried as an extra measure of preservation, was another staple.  Slabs of beef and pork were stored in casks with brine or packed directly in the salt.  Butter and cheese were sometimes available early on in the journey but did not store well and were quickly eaten. Suet or fat cooked with flour was sometimes substituted for the meat and cheese ration.  Oatmeal and “pease,” dried peas served like lentils, were staples for the English sailors, while rice, beans, and chickpeas fuelled the Spanish.  As much as a gallon of beer was rationed to the sailors each day, often served mixed with water.  It was a popular beverage that could be stored for travel, repelling algae growth and bacteria due to its alcohol content. 
18th century Cheese making Print By Granger.

As for my part I shall be obliged soon to make a Virtue of Necessity for I have torn almost all my Cloaths to pieces by going into the Woods; and tho' we do not want for Taylors, We do, Woolen Drapers. Our Excursions, put me in Mind of your going a Steeple Hunting, We sometimes, put a Bit of Salt Beef, or Pork, Bisket, a Bottle of 0 be joyful, in a Snapsack throw it over our Backs, take a Hatchet, a Brace of Pistols, and a Musket, and away we go, scouring the Woods, sometimes East, West, N. S. if Night overtakes us, we light up a rousing Fire, Cut Boughs & make up a Wig-Wam, open our Wallets, and eat as hearty of our Fare as You, of your Dainties, then lie down on a Bed, which tho' not of Roses, yet staying out all Night, accordingly We laid down our Bread an Cheese Wallets, make up a Wig-wam of green Boughs, cut some dry Ferns for a Bed, lit two or three rousing Fires near our Hut, and set down to Dinner. We sung the Evening away, and about 9 O’Clock retired to Rest, taking it by turns to keep watch, and supply the Fires with Fuel.

George Bouchier Worgan - letter written to his brother Richard Worgan, 12 - 18 June 1788. Includes journal fragment kept by George on a voyage to New South Wales with the First Fleet on board HMS Sirius, 20 January 1788 - 11 July 1788.

Potted Meat & Cheese, Early Convenience Foods. A LINK.

POTTED FOOD IN JAR still-life-with-kitchen-items attributed-to-martin-dichtl-1639-1710.

Military Discipline Plates from The 1640s Picturebook.

WANTED to buy in Australia only.

WANTED: Antique late 17th to early 18th century flintlock or snaphaunce pistol in 20 gauge/.60-.62 caliber.
Alternately I would like to purchase just the barrel.


Tuesday 24 November 2015

Converting A Drum & Nipple Percussion Firearm To Flintlock.

The process of converting a drum & nipple percussion lock firearm to flintlock is very simple. First you remove the percussion lock. Next you remove the barrel. Now you unscrew the drum & nipple from the barrel turning it anti-clockwise.
Next screw in the vent liner. You may have to drill a countersink for the shoulder of the vent liner to inlet into the barrel depending on the type of vent liner you use. You could screw a part of a bolt into the vent & pin punch it in place, then drill the touch hole. But do NOT pin punch the barrel, only the vent liner. But the bought vent liners are a better option. If you don't feel comfortable fitting the vent liner yourself, get a gunsmith to do it for you.

Now put the barrel back in the stock & secure. Now fit the flint lock in place on the stock. Job finished.
This is a CVA percussion rifle. The hammer is lowered onto the nipple.

This shows the barrel removed with the drum & nipple in place.

Drum & nipple unscrewed from barrel.

Drum & nipple unscrewed from barrel.

This is a vent liner, showing the inside on the left, & the outside on the right. This screws into the vent hole where the drum & nipple used to be.

This is a CVA flint lock. This will replace the CVA percussion lock.

This image shows the vent liner screwed in place & the flint lock attached. Job finished.

The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Drawing, c 1660, of the London by Willem Van de Velde National Maritime Museum, London.

Chocolate Production & Uses In The 17th & 18th CenturyPDF.

Sunday 22 November 2015

Trekking Finds. Foraging. Fire, Food & Drink.

We left early this morning on a scout, it was overcast but I saw no immediate threat of rain. We travelled up over Dragon's Tol & went as far as Hazard Valley, the latter named for a close family friend who went under before he could get his cabin built in that valley. These attached images are from this scout.
This is a Polypore Bracket Fungus, likely a Lietiporus Portentosus or Ryvardenia Cretacea, they can be difficult to tell apart, but both make excellent tinder & are worth collecting if you are getting low on tinder.

This is another Polypore Bracket Fungus that grows in the North, America & England I believe. This is Piptoporus Betulinus or Birch Polypore.

An Australian Native Bee hive in a dead tree (New England NSW). Honey is a good food, can be added to water & keeps for years, & it has antiseptic properties & can be used on open wounds.

These native bees have no sting.

Goonagurra/Grass Tree, Kangaroo Tail, or Yacca. There is a similar plant that grows in America known as Yucca. This Yacca plant cant be used for making spear shafts, you can suck on the nectar or put the flowers in water to make a tasty drink. Natives have been known to let this ferment to make an alcoholic drink. The ends of the leaves once pulled can be eaten & the sap can be used as a glue. When the flower stems have dried, the inner core makes good tinder. Dried leaves makes excellent light kindling.

Australian Survival and Preppers..: Misinformation Spread By The Anti_Gun Lobby. Other...

Australian Survival and Preppers..: Misinformation Spread By The Anti_Gun Lobby. Other...: SSAA Victoria clears up Gun Control Australia's misinformation SSAA Victoria has created a video to clear up the misinformation being sp...

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Telescopes. Primary Documentation, you can't beat it.

So it seems that small telescopes were used in the mid 18th century, even though this person appears to be looking through his telescope backwards !

Drawing of a sailor, Louis Philippe Boitard, mid-18th Century, British Museum.

The author's replica telescope with a crude leather wrap & leather carry pouch.

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Port Arthur Massacre - GUNMEN named! CORRUPTION!!!

The Port Arthur Massacre has been used as an excuse by the government & the anti-gun lobby for the initial gun buy-back & for further restrictions to firearms & ammunition ever since. This massacre was orchestrated it seems by the Australian Federal government in order to place firearms restrictions on law abiding licensed Australian citizen gun owners!!! Innocent people slaughtered & an innocent person blamed for the massacre. Even muzzle-loading guns have had restrictions placed on them. Historical Reenactors now have to purchase a special permit!!! Gunpowder/Black Powder has restrictions!!!

Monday 9 November 2015

Carrying Water in The 18th Century. Glass Bottles.

Carrying Water in The 18th Century. Glass Bottles.
To date I have found no evidence that glass bottles or saddle flasks were ever carried in a leather harness. Leather, wooden & ceramic water bottles with built in loops for straps & cordage are well known, but not so glass bottles. This is not to say that no one ever attached cordage or leather to a glass bottle in order to carry it slung from the shoulder, only that no primary documentation of this has been found to date. 
Glass wine bottles are believed to have been reused as water bottles & for carrying vegetable oil, but I must assume that these were either carried in the hand, or they were carried in a pack such as a knapsack, haversack, snapsack or market wallet. The name “saddle flask” given to a certain type of flat sided glass bottle suggests that it was carried in saddle bags or packs.
Pennsylvania German wooden costrel with strap lugs.

Leather costrels with carry strap lugs dated 1730.

A ceramic water bottle with carry strap lugs, 1601-1700 ad.

18th century wine bottle.

A 16th century glass costrel covered in embossed leather. This one I would have expected to have leather carry strap lugs included, but no sign that I can see. Research continues on this one.

American 18th century leather covered saddle flask.

18th century saddle flask.

18th century leather saddle flask with what appears to be a leather carry strap attached that has been folded & pushed into the spout.

One of two modern glass bottles the author covered in leather to replicate saddle flasks.

The author’s haversack that he may use to carry his two saddle flasks.

The author’s knapsack with his market wallet secured under the flap closure. A water bottle or flask could also be carried in this market wallet & one in the knapsack, but they would not be easily accessible on the trail.

The author’s snapsack. If the top were to be left untied, then this too would be a good way to carry water bottles or flasks.

Early American glass. The first factory in what is now the United States was a glass plant built at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1608. The venture failed within a year because of a famine that took the lives of many colonists. The Jamestown colonists tried glass making again in 1621, but an Indian attack in 1622 and the scarcity of workers ended this attempt in 1624. The industry was re-established in America in 1739, when Caspar Wistar built a glass making plant in what is now Salem County, New Jersey. This plant operated until 1780. http://www.texasglass.com/glass_facts/history_of_Glass.htm