University Archive

Archive Item of the Month – February 2014

 

UA34/1/24 Manuscript Chelt 1892-1893 p.42
If you are wondering how to improve your physical prowess in order to impress the object of your desires this Valentine’s Day then fear not! Tips on how to grow taller and “cultivate a moustache” can be found in the University Archive.

 

These fail-safe recipes* are from the Manuscript Chelt of 1892-1893, a scrapbook compiled by students of the time. Transcribed, they read as follows:

 

Recipe for “Manual Growth”

 

Ingredients

 

Some gallons of rain water

 

A drain pipe 6 inches in diameter & 12’ long

 

For 8 hours a day stand under slowly falling rain. Six or seven times daily crawl up the above mentioned drain pipe leaving feet at bottom of pipe

 

Practice kissing tall girls only & take all constitutionals on stilts

 

Never stoop or pick up anything from the floor, not even a better handkerchief

 

Help toll all bells & take hourly exercises at the town pump

 

Persevere for a few centuries & if you are not taller after you ought to be

 

How to Cultivate a Moustache

 

Ingredients

 

1 barrel of spirits of turpentine

 

1 cwt [hundredweight] of pure lard, and

 

½ cwt of treacle

 

Preparation

 

Mix the above ingredients and stir to a froth (with a teaspoon). Let the mixture stand for five years, and then use

 

Method of Using

 

Apply with a scrubbing brush, every night & morning. Persevere with the treatment, and in a few years you will have a moustache “the envy of all men”

 

 * 1890s standards, pre-health and safety!
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