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”




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




1 barrel of spirits of turpentine


1 cwt [hundredweight] of pure lard, and


½ cwt of treacle




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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