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.
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.”