Paper Power To Beat The Cold

Shutterstock © paper power to beat the cold

It’s cold here, and with fuel prices as they are, I’m reluctant to turn up the heating. (Though there is a limit to the number of layers I can wear and still type!)

However, I recently spotted some 1909 tips for using paper power to beat the cold and chills of December.

I’ll bear these in mind in case of further power cuts like the ones that accompanied Storm Arwen. (Fingers crossed we won’t have any more of those!)

Looking through our archive volumes is always a treat. I’m agog at the ingenuity and resourcefulness of previous generations.

They were reusing and recycling paper for all kinds of purposes. Paper power didn’t just heat their homes, they used it directly to warm their bodies.

Our 1909 readers took so many hardships in their stride then. Luckily, they had the “Friend”, their trusted channel for swapping useful tips or “wrinkles” as they were called.

Here’s what the December 6 “Household Page” suggested for keeping warm  . . .

Housekeeping for December

We will discuss a few of the many uses of paper. Of course, if flannel garments can be afforded, there is no need to fall back upon paper, but with limited means paper is of great service during the cold weather.

  • No printed paper or brown paper should be employed for use about the person, but white tissue paper and whitey-brown kitchen paper are harmless, and are so inexpensive that they can be burnt and replaced by new paper as soon as it becomes soiled.
  • One or two sheets tacked at the back of a man’s waistcoat are comfortable, and so, too, are soft paper linings to a child’s petticoat bodied, and it is quite hygienic, provided that it be pierced pretty freely for the purpose of ventilation.
  • Similarly, paper can be turned to good account for bedding. A calico case filled with torn shreds of paper curled round a pencil is warm and soft, and can be replenished frequently, so that the bedding is kept sweeter than is usually the case with an expensive filling. Warm and pretty coverlets can be made by stitching three or four thicknesses of brown paper or newspaper together, piercing it for ventilation, and covering it with cretonne or art muslin. Those, too, who sleep away from home in cold or damp beds will find great protection and warmth from a newspaper placed between the blankets.

Keeping warm today

Looks like the “Friend” could help to keep you warm in body and in spirit in those days!

As the 1909 “Friend” knew, being cold is no fun and can be bad for health.

Today’s readers can find lots of up-to-date tips on keeping warm while saving money at the Energy Saving Trust.

And Editor Angela has even more ideas for how to keep cosy while working from home!

For more from the “Friend” team, click here to read our blog.

Marion McGivern

As editor of the cookery, money, pets and eco pages, Marion covers a wide range of regular Features content. Along with the rest of the Team, she enjoys finding interesting features for both the weekly and Special issues that readers will love. Having so much variety every day means that over ten years with the “Friend” has just flown by!