On the Bookshelf: The “Dictionary of Discards” 1952

Today’s vintage craft book is the Dictionary of Discards by Frank M. Rich.  The book was originally published in 1952 and it looks like there was a re-print of it made in 1987. Though my copy shows a copyright of 1952, the binding and paper make me think this is the later printing. Either way, this book made me laugh a bit. The spirit of recycling and re-purposing is there, but the author went a little overboard “brainstorming” uses for things (see some sample entries below).

If you’re looking for a fun gift, possible silly stocking stuffer,  for that re-purposer, crafter, recycler in your life this might fit the bill as it has A to Z suggestions on “How to Make Useful Things of Scrap” and you can find it very inexpensively.  Warning though, maybe not for younger kids as there are suggestions for re-purposing some fairly scary stuff, including household chemicals and how to create “folk remedies” for home.

Example entries:

Acorns: Abacuses: beads; bracelets; bubble pipes; checkers; cups and saucers for doll tea sets; model figures; sleight-of-hand trick called “grandma’s necklace”; whistles. See Horse Chestnuts; Seeds. Pg. 9

Lobster Shells – bead necklaces; with pipe cleaners, comic action figures; ground, make fertilizer for potted plants, poultry food; jointed dolls; lettering pens; miniature flower pots; mucilage spreaders. Pg 80

Umbrella Parts – Ribs–arrow heads for archery practice; buttons; drills; engraving tools fo linoleum plates; ferrules; knitting needles; braces, cut, ground, provided with handles, make parting tools or veiners for wood or linoleum block printing; pegs; pegs fo knitting frames; sewing awls; stencil cutters; tripods; weaving needles; wood carving tools. Celluloid handles –dissolved in acetone, model cement, see Plastics: Handles. Pg 134

A Dictionary of Discards: How To Make Useful Things of Scrapby Frank M. Rich  and published by Avenel Books 1952

“An A-to-Z checklist of over 800 scrap items found around home, garage, barn, school, and camp…with more than 8,000 useful things you can make from these discards.”

I would love to hear from you.