On the Growth of Plants in Closely Glazed Cases by Nathaniel Bagwell Ward

What follows is a chapter from Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward’s 1852 treatise on terrarium gardening.


To enter into any lengthened detail on the all-important subject of the Natural Conditions of Plants would occupy far too much space; yet to pass it by without special notice, in any work treating of their cultivation, would be impossible. Without a knowledge of the laws which regulate their growth, all out attempts must be empirical and more or less abortive. When we survey the vegetation on the surface of the earth, we are struck with the endless diversities of form which present themselves to our astonished gaze, from the magnificent palms of the Tropics and the bread-fruit of the Polynesian Islands to the reindeer moss of Lapland, or the red snow of the Arctic regions. Yet the growth of all is governed by immutable laws, and they owe their forms to varying climatal conditions.

In Rome upon Palm Sunday
They bear true palms,
The Cardinals bow reverently
And sing old Psalms :
Elsewhere their Psalms are sung
‘Mid olive branches.
The holly bough supplies their place
Among the avalanches :
More northern climes must be content
With the sad willow.—GOETHE.


The heat to which plants are subjected varies from 30° or 40°below zero to 170° or 180° Fahr. In Spitzbergen, the earth in the middle of the short summer is never thawed to more than the depth of a few inches, and the stem of the only tree, a little willow, if tree it can be called, runs under ground for several feet within an inch or two of the never-melting ice, whilst in Mexico the heat rises to 170° or 180°, and the ground is occupied by cactuses, whose structure is such as to enable them to resist the extremest degree of drought. Were it not for such plants, these hot regions would form impassable barriers between neighbouring countries. No water is to be found in these districts, nor anything to eat save the fruit of the Petaya, which Hardy tells us was the sole subsistence of himself and his party for four days. This, unlike other luscious fruit, rather allays than creates thirst, while, at the same time it satisfies, to a certain degree, the sensation of hunger. St. Pierre calls the cactuses, the “Springs of the Desert.” The wild ass of the Llanos, too, knows well how to avail himself of these plants. In the dry season, when all animal life flies from the glowing Pampas, when cayman and boa sink into death-like sleep in the dried-up mud; the wild ass alone, traversing the steppes, knows how to quench his thirst, cautiously stripping off the dangerous spines of the melocactus with his hoof, and then, in safety, sucking the cooling vegetable juice. The Providence of God is equally manifested in cold countries, as in Lapland─where the rein-deer moss furnishes the sole food, during winter, of the rein-deer, without which the inhabitants could not exist.


” Even as the soil which April’s gentle showers
Have filled with sweetness, and enriched with flowers,
Rears up her suckling plants, still shooting forth
The tender blossoms of her timely birth ;
But if denied the beams of cheerly May,
They hang their withered heads and fade away.”

It is hardly possible to overrate the influence of light upon plants. Its intensity, however, varies exceedingly. Sir J. W. Herschel says that the light at the Cape of Good Hope, when compared with that of our brightest summer’s day in England, is as 44° to 27°. In other situations, plants are found growing where the light is not more than half of what would be given by and ordinary candle. Very much of our success in horticulture depends upon the proper amount of light; and, the fact that flowering plants generally require more light than ferns, is one principal reason why the former do not succeed so well in closed cases in rooms, as the latter. A plant of Linaria Cymballaria lived for some years in a closed case on the top of a portion of Tintern Abbey. The branches which grew towards the light, invariably produced leaves of the full size, with perfect flowers and fruit, whilst those branches which trailed down between the model and the window, and were nearly without light, never produced either flowers or fruit, and the leaves were not more than one-tenth of the ordinary size.

This specimen was exhibited to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, * to prove to him the depressing effects of want of light ─ and want of light alone ─ as all the other conditions of the plant were the same. Some fairy roses, which had flourished in a case standing in the open air for seven or eight years, were nearly killed by being placed in a dark part of the transept of the Great Exhibition for six or seven weeks; this temporary deprivation of light doing more injury than all the variations or our climate for so long a period had been able to effect. Light also, by sustaining the vital energies of a plant enables it to resit the depressing effect of cold. The secretions of plants, too, are always developed in greater perfection according to the intensity of the light (combined with heat), and this to such a degree that the same species of plant─e.g. Cannabis sativa─which is inert in a temperate region, produces, in the tropics, secretions of a powerful and dangerous character. Man makes use of these facts in rendering many plants available for food, that could not otherwise be eaten, as the endive, celery, &c “

In North America, the operation of light in colouring the leaves of plants, is sometimes exhibited on a great scale, and in a very striking manner. Over the vast forests of that country clouds sometimes spread, and continue for many days, so as almost entirely to intercept the rays of the sun.

*Upon the occasion, in 1850, of a deputation waiting on the Chancellor for the abolition of the window duties.

In one instance, just about the period of vernation, the sun had not shone for twenty days, during which time the leaves of the trees had reached nearly their full size, but were of a pale or whitish colour. One forenoon the sun broke through in full brightness, and the colour of the leaves changed so fast, that, by the middle of the afternoon, the whole forest, for many miles in length, exhibited its usual summer’s dress.”—Ellis.


Without moisture, there can be no vegetation. Whatever may be the degree of heat, or of cold, or deficiency of light, if there be but moisture, plants of some kind are to be found. They form the oases in the sandy deserts, vegetate in the snow of the Arctic regions, and in and on the borders of thermal springs. The degrees of moisture vary exceedingly. The late Mr. Allan Cunningham often expressed to me his surprise at the extreme dryness of the atmosphere and soil in New Holland, where many species of plants grew, species, too, which did not appear to be constructed like the cactuses, to resist extreme drought ; but there, banksias and acacias would live for months without either dew or rain, in soils where not a particle of moisture was to be found on digging several feet below their roots. Numberless other plants, independently of those which live in water, cannot exist unless the atmosphere and soil are saturated with moisture— such as Trichomanes speciosum, and numerous tribes of plants which adorn the rocks in waterfalls, &c. One of the most important objects in gardening—but one which is too frequently overlooked—is to furnish plants with the requisite amount of moisture. That acute observer, Dr. Hooker, remarks that in Dr. Camp bell’s garden, at Darjiling (Sikkim Himalaya), there is a perpendicular bank, fifteen feet high, exposed to the west, and partly sheltered from the south-west by a house. Rhododendron Dalhousiæ has annually appeared on this, the seeds being imported by the winds, or birds, from the neighbouring forest ; the seedlings, however, perished till within the last two years ; since which time there has sprung up abundance of Lycopodium clavatum, and a Selaginella with Marchantia, which retain so constant a supply of moisture, that the Rhododendron now nourishes and flowers in perfection. This fact serves to explain why many plants in a state of nature (where the ground is completely covered with vegetation), succeed so much better than in the well-kept garden of the amateur ; the continued exhalation from the plants ensuring a constantly moist atmosphere, which is of as much use to vegetation as the rain.

In some countries, as on the coast of Peru, rain scarcely ever falls, but, from May, for six months, a thin veil of clouds covers the coast, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. From the first appearance of the cloud, the sand hills, as if by enchantment, assume the features of a beautiful garden. It is a well known fact, that many hilly countries have been rendered quite sterile, in consequence of the indiscriminate destruction of their trees, the roots of which, taking up more water from the deep-seated springs than the plants requires for their own use, distil the surplus through the leaves upon the ground, forming so many centres of fertility. ” Spare the forests, especially those which contain the sources of your streams, for your own sakes, but more especially for that of your children and grand children.”


” The meanest herb we trample in the field, Or in the garden nurture, when its leaf In autumn dies, forebodes another spring, And from short slumber wakes to life again.”

All plants require rest, and obtain it in some countries by the rigor of winter ; in others, by the scorching and arid heat of summer. Cultivators often fail in their attempts to grow certain plants from want of attention to this essential point. Thus, most Alpine plants, which enjoy an unbroken rest under the snow for several months, are very difficult of culture in our mild and varying winters. Messrs. Balfour and Babington, whilst recently exploring the lofty mountains of Harris, found the climate to be so modified by the vicinity of the great Atlantic Ocean, that, notwithstanding their northern lati- tude (68°), many of the species inhabiting the Highland districts of Scotland were wholly wanting, and the few which they saw were confined to the coldest and most exposed spots. From the same cause many plants grow there which are not known to grow in so northern a latitude in Britain.

The winter of 1850—51 was ushered in by some heavy falls of snow, with which I filled my.Alpine case, giving the plants a perfect rest of three or four months, and with a most satisfactory result—the Primula marginata, Linncea borealis, and other species, flowering much finer than usual. Many of these beautiful plants would, I am convinced, succeed well, if kept for five or six months in an ice-house.

Plants in hot countries have their periods of rest in the dry season. In Egypt the blue water-lily obtains rest in a curious way. Mr. Traille, the gardener of Ibrahim Pacha, informed me that this plant abounds in several of the canals at Alexandria, which at certain seasons become dry; and the beds of these canals, which quickly become burnt as hard as bricks by the action of the sun, are then used as carriage roads. When the water is again admitted, the plant resumes its growth with redoubled vigour.

On the sandy flats at the Cape of Good Hope the heat is so great, that Sir J. F. W„ Herschel, upon one occasion, cooked a mutton-chop on the.surface of the burnt soil ;* and this extreme heat,coupled with intensity of light, will readily account for the uncertainty which attends the growth and flowering of Cape bulbs in this country.

There are some countries in which there are two fruit-bearing seasons; where the vine, unable to obtain rest, either from the cold of winter, or the dry heat of summer, is made to bear a second crop of fruit — the ingenuity of man, overcoming obstacles apparently insurmountable. I am indebted to one, who, whilst he is dedicating his life to the holy cause in which he is engaged, does not, at the same time, disdain (to use the quaint but expressive language of Sir Thomas Browne), ” to suck divinity from the flowers of nature” — I mean the Bishop of Ceylon, for a knowledge of the fact that at Jafna, the artificial hybernation of the vine, necessary in a tropical country, is produced by laying the roots bare to the depth of two feet, for four or five days, by which time all the leaves are shed. This is done with those that- have borne fruit during the first of the two fruiting seasons. They are then pruned, covered again with manure, and constantly watered. In this way the vine is brought to bear fruit, small in size, but of good flavor. In our own country we often witness the effects produced by continuous heat in long summers. The rest thus obtained causes many plants to flower on the recurrence of autumnal rains, which would not otherwise have flowered until the ensuing spring — as the laburnum and many others.

To suit all the varied conditions to which I have thus briefly alluded, and under which plants have been found to exist, they have been formed of different structures and constitutions, to fit them for the stations they severally hold in creation, so that almost every different region of.the globe is characterized by peculiar forms of vegetation, dependent upon climatal differences ; and thus a practised botanical eye can, with certainty, in almost all cases, predict the capabilities of any previously unknown country, by an inspection of the plants which it produces. It were much to be wished that those upon whom the welfare of thousands of their starving emigrant countrymen depends, possessed a little more of this most useful knowledge.

But in order to give a clearer idea of the close connexion existing between vegetation and climate, let us take one or two examples from Nature. We shall find some plants restricted to certain situations, whilst others have a wide range, or greater powers of adaptation. It is not, perhaps, going too far to assert, that no two plants are alike in this particular, or, in other words, that the constitution of every individual plant is different ; and nothing would be more delusive than to imagine, that because two plants are found associated in a state of nature, the same treatment would be applicable to both, or that both would be equally amenable to culture. Thus the Hymenophyllum and the common London pride (Saxifraga umbrosa) are found growing together in rocks on the shores of the Lake of Killarney ; the one is so difficult of culture that the Irish have a saying, ” that he who can grow the fairy fern is born to good fortune,” whilst the Saxifrage, on the contrary, will grow in any situation, and will last for years, without the slightest attention, under the most depressing in fluences.

We have another remarkable example in the auricula, which is only found indigenous in the Alps, growing in company with plants, mostly very difficult of culture.

The Cerasus virginiana affords an interesting illustration of the effects of climate upon vegetation: in the southern states of America it is a noble tree, attaining one hundred feet in height ; in the sandy plains of the Saskatchawan it does not exceed twenty feet ; and at its northern limit, the great Slave Lake, in lat. 62°, it is reduced to a shrub of five feet. Again, in ascending a lofty mountain in tropical regions, we have exhibited to our admiring gaze the different forms of vege tation which are to be seen in all countries, from the bananas, the palms, bamboos, &c, of the plains, to the oaks, beeches, &c, of temperate climes, and the berry-bearing plants of Arctic regions up to the red snow. But we need neither travel to America, nor ascend mountains for in stances of this sort ; we have them everywhere about us. I have gathered on the chalky borders of a wood in Kent, perfect specimens, in full flower, of Erythrcea centaurium, consisting of one or two pairs of most minute leaves, with one solitary flower; these were growing on the bare chalk, fully exposed to the sun. By tracing the plant towards, and in, the wood, I found it gradually increasing in size, until its full development was attained in the open parts of the wood, where it became a glorious plant, four or five feet in elevation, and covered with hundreds of flowers. Let us pause here a moment and reflect deeply on the wonders around us. We shall find a continued succession of beauties throughout the year, beginning with the primrose, the violet, and the anemone; these giving place to the or chises, and these again to the mulleins, campanulas, and various other plants, all in their turn delighting the eye, and gladdening the heart; nor is the winter season devoid of interest; the surface of the ground, and every decaying leaf and twig, are inhabited by a world of microscopic beauties. All these have maintained their ground without interfering with each other, year after year, and generation after generation. The same page in the great Book of Nature, which filled the mind of Ray with the wisdom of God in creation, lies open to our view.” All these things live for ever for all men, and they are all obedient. All things are double one against another, and He hath made nothing imperfect. One thing establisheth the good of another, and who shall be filled with beholding His glory?” Can man, with all his boasted wisdom, realize such a scene as I have just attempted to depict? He cannot; he would feel that,” when he hath done, then he beginneth, and when he leaveth off, then he shall be doubtful.”

I have dwelt at some length on the natural conditions of plants, convinced of the paramount importance of a knowledge of these conditions to all cultivators of plants, and cannot do better than sum up in the words of a great philosopher of the present day.”

“If the laws of Nature, on the one hand, are invincible opponents, on the other, they are irresistible auxiliaries ; and it will not be amiss if we regard them in each of these characters, and consider the great importance of them to mankind:—

” Firstly. In showing us how to avoid attempting impossibilities.
” Secondly. In securing us from important mistakes in attempting what is in itself possible, by means either inadequate, or actually opposed to the ends in view.
” Thirdly. In enabling us to accomplish our ends in the easiest, shortest, most economical, and most effectual manner.
” Fourthly. In inducing us to attempt, and enabling us to accomplish objects, which, but for such knowledge, we should never have thought of undertaking.”—HERSCHEL.

* In the Regio calida-sicca of Brazil, the forests that exist have seldom that fulness and lofty growth of those on the coast, and, during the dry months, the leaves are deciduous, on which account they are called, in the language of the Brazils, light-forests (Caa-tinga). What is extraordinary, if no rain falls, they can remain for many years without producing foliage; but when at last the showers descend, in the course of forty-eight hours they are clothed in the most delicate and tender green.  



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Highlander Bible

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The Cremation of Sam McGee

Robert W. Service (b.1874, d.1958)


There are strange things done in the midnight sun By the men who moil for gold; The Arctic trails have their secret tales That would make your blood run cold; The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, But the queerest they ever did see Was that night [...] Read more →

Rendering Amber Clear for Use in Lens-Making for Magnifying Glass

by John Partridge,drawing,1825

From the work of Sir Charles Lock Eastlake entitled Materials for a history of oil painting, (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1846), we learn the following:

The effect of oil at certain temperatures, in penetrating “the minute pores of the amber” (as Hoffman elsewhere writes), is still more [...] Read more →

Banana Propagation

Banana Propagation

Reprinted from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA.org)

The traditional means of obtaining banana planting material (“seed”) is to acquire suckers from one’s own banana garden, from a neighbor, or from a more distant source. This method served to spread common varieties around the world and to multiply them [...] Read more →

The Stock Exchange Specialist

New York Stock Exchange Floor September 26,1963

The Specialist as a member of a stock exchange has two functions.’ He must execute orders which other members of an exchange may leave with him when the current market price is away from the price of the orders. By executing these orders on behalf [...] Read more →

Country House Christmas Pudding

Country House Christmas Pudding


1 cup Christian Bros Brandy ½ cup Myer’s Dark Rum ½ cup Jim Beam Whiskey 1 cup currants 1 cup sultana raisins 1 cup pitted prunes finely chopped 1 med. apple peeled and grated ½ cup chopped dried apricots ½ cup candied orange peel finely chopped 1 ¼ cup [...] Read more →

Clairvoyance and Occult Powers

Vishnu as the Cosmic Man (Vishvarupa) Opaque watercolour on paper – Jaipur, Rajasthan c. 1800-50



By Swami Panchadasi

Copyright, 1916

By Advanced Thought Pub. Co. Chicago, Il


In preparing this series of lessons for students of [...] Read more →

Zulu Yawl

Dec. 10, 1898 Forest and Stream Pg. 477-479


The little ship shown in the accompanying plans needs no description, as she speaks for herself, a handsome and shipshape craft that a man may own for years without any fear that she will go to pieces [...] Read more →

On Bernini’s Bust of a Stewart King

As reported in the The Colac Herald on Friday July 17, 1903 Pg. 8 under Art Appreciation as a reprint from the Westminster Gazette


The appreciation of art as well as of history which is entertained by the average member of the [...] Read more →

Tobacco as Medicine

The first published illustration of Nicotiana tabacum by Pena and De L’Obel, 1570–1571 (shrpium adversana nova: London).

Tobacco can be used for medicinal purposes, however, the ongoing American war on smoking has all but obscured this important aspect of ancient plant.

Tobacco is considered to be an indigenous plant of [...] Read more →

British Craftsmanship is Alive and Well

The Queen Elizabeth Trust, or QEST, is an organisation dedicated to the promotion of British craftsmanship through the funding of scholarships and educational endeavours to include apprenticeships, trade schools, and traditional university classwork. The work of QEST is instrumental in keeping alive age old arts and crafts such as masonry, glassblowing, shoemaking, [...] Read more →

Horn Measurement

Jul. 23, 1898 Forest and Stream, Pg. 65

Horn Measurements.

Editor Forest and Stream: “Record head.” How shamefully this term is being abused, especially in the past three years; or since the giant moose from Alaska made his appearance in public and placed all former records (so far as [...] Read more →

Antibiotic Properties of Jungle Soil

If ever it could be said that there is such a thing as miracle healing soil, Ivan Sanderson said it best in his 1965 book entitled Ivan Sanderson’s Book of Great Jungles.

Sanderson grew up with a natural inclination towards adventure and learning. He hailed from Scotland but spent much [...] Read more →

List of the 60 Franklin Library Signed Limited Editions

The following highly collectible Franklin Library Signed Editions were published between 1977 and 1982. They are all fully leather bound with beautiful covers and contain gorgeous and rich silk moire endpapers. Signatures are protected by unattached tissue inserts.

The values listed are average prices that were sought by [...] Read more →

Mocking Bird Food

Mocking Bird Food.

Hemp seed……….2 pounds Rape seed………. .1 pound Crackers………….1 pound Rice…………….1/4 pound Corn meal………1/4 pound Lard oil…………1/4 pound


Home Top of Pg. Read more →

Birth of United Fruit Company

From Conquest of the Tropics by Frederick Upham Adams

Chapter VI – Birth of the United Fruit Company

Only those who have lived in the tropic and are familiar with the hazards which confront the cultivation and marketing of its fruits can readily understand [...] Read more →

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika


Translated into English by PANCHAM SINH

Panini Office, Allahabad [1914]


There exists at present a good deal of misconception with regard to the practices of the Haṭha Yoga. People easily believe in the stories told by those who themselves [...] Read more →

The Fowling Piece – Part I

THE FOWLING PIECE, from the Shooter’s Guide by B. Thomas – 1811.

I AM perfectly aware that a large volume might be written on this subject; but, as my intention is to give only such information and instruction as is necessary for the sportsman, I shall forbear introducing any extraneous [...] Read more →

Carpenters’ Furniture

IT requires a far search to gather up examples of furniture really representative in this kind, and thus to gain a point of view for a prospect into the more ideal where furniture no longer is bought to look expensively useless in a boudoir, but serves everyday and commonplace need, such as [...] Read more →

Life Among the Thugee

The existence of large bodies of men having no other means of subsistence than those afforded by plunder, is, in all countries, too common to excite surprise; and, unhappily, organized bands of assassins are not peculiar to India! The associations of murderers known by the name of Thugs present, however, [...] Read more →

Books of Use to the International Art Collector

Hebborn Piranesi

Before meeting with an untimely death at the hand of an unknown assassin in Rome on January 11th, 1996, master forger Eric Hebborn put down on paper a wealth of knowledge about the art of forgery. In a book published posthumously in 1997, titled The Art Forger’s Handbook, Hebborn suggests [...] Read more →

Clairvoyance – Methods of Development


by C. W. Leadbeater

Adyar, Madras, India: Theosophical Pub. House



When a men becomes convinced of the reality of the valuable power of clairvoyance, his first question usually is, “How can [...] Read more →

Art Fraud

A la Russie, aux ânes et aux autres – by Chagall – 1911

Marc Chagall is one of the most forged artists on the planet. Mark Rothko fakes also abound. According to available news reports, the art market is littered with forgeries of their work. Some are even thought to be [...] Read more →

Tuna and Tarpon

July, 16, l898 Forest and Stream Pg. 48

Tuna and Tarpon.

New York, July 1.—Editor Forest and Stream: If any angler still denies the justice of my claim, as made in my article in your issue of July 2, that “the tuna is the grandest game [...] Read more →

The Intaglio Processes for Audubon’s Birds of America

Notes on the intaglio processes of the most expensive book on birds available for sale in the world today.

The Audubon prints in “The Birds of America” were all made from copper plates utilizing four of the so called “intaglio” processes, engraving, etching, aquatint, and drypoint. Intaglio [...] Read more →

Historic authenticity of the Spanish SAN FELIPE of 1690

San Felipe Model

Reprinted from FineModelShips.com with the kind permission of Dr. Michael Czytko

The SAN FELIPE is one of the most favoured ships among the ship model builders. The model is elegant, very beautifully designed, and makes a decorative piece of art to be displayed at home or in the [...] Read more →

U.S. Coast Guard Radio Information for Boaters

VHF Marifoon Sailor RT144, by S.J. de Waard


Effective 01 August, 2013, the U. S. Coast Guard terminated its radio guard of the international voice distress, safety and calling frequency 2182 kHz and the international digital selective calling (DSC) distress and safety frequency 2187.5 kHz. Additionally, [...] Read more →

Painting Plaster Work and the History of Terra Cotta

The 1896 Victorian terracotta Bell Edison Telephone Building – 17 & 19 Newhall Street, Birmingham, England. A grade I listed building designed by Frederick Martin of the firm Martin & Chamberlain. Now offices for firms of architects. Photographed 10 May 2006 by Oosoom

[Reprint from Victoria and Albert Museum included below on [...] Read more →

Here’s Many a Year to You

” Here’s many a year to you ! Sportsmen who’ve ridden life straight. Here’s all good cheer to you ! Luck to you early and late.

Here’s to the best of you ! You with the blood and the nerve. Here’s to the rest of you ! What of a weak moment’s swerve ? [...] Read more →

Looking for a Gift for the Book Collector in the Family?

Buying a book for a serious collector with refined tastes can be a daunting task.

However, there is one company that publishes some of the finest reproduction books in the world, books that most collectors wouldn’t mind having in their collection no matter their general preference or specialty.

Indian Modes of Hunting – Musquash

Hudson Bay: Trappers, 1892. N’Talking Musquash.’ Fur Trappers Of The Hudson’S Bay Company Talking By A Fire. Engraving After A Drawing By Frederic Remington, 1892.

Indian Modes of Hunting.


In Canada and the United States, the killing of the little animal known under the several names of [...] Read more →

Beef Jerky



Slice 5 pounds lean beef (flank steak or similar cut) into strips 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, 1 to 2 inches wide, and 4 to 12 inches long. Cut with grain of meat; remove the fat. Lay out in a single layer on a smooth clean surface (use [...] Read more →

Gout Remedies

Jan Verkolje Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was the first person to describe gout or uric acid crystals 1679.

For one suffering gout, the following vitamins, herbs, and extracts may be worth looking into:

Vitamin C Folic Acid – Folic Acid is a B vitamin and is also known as B9 – [Known food [...] Read more →

Audubon’s Art Method and Techniques

Audubon started to develop a special technique for drawing birds in 1806 a Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. He perfected it during the long river trip from Cincinnati to New Orleans and in New Orleans, 1821.

Home Top of [...] Read more →

Fortune, Independence, and Competence

THE answer to the question, What is fortune has never been, and probably never will be, satisfactorily made. What may be a fortune for one bears but small proportion to the colossal possessions of another. The scores or hundreds of thousands admired and envied as a fortune in most of our communities [...] Read more →

A History of Fowling – Ravens and Jays

From A History of Fowling, Being an Account of the Many Curios Devices by Which Wild Birds are, or Have Been, Captured in Different Parts of the World by Rev. H.A. MacPherson, M.A.

THE RAVEN (Corvus corax) is generally accredited with a large endowment of mother wit. Its warning [...] Read more →

Traditional JuJutsu Health, Strength and Combat Tricks

Jujitsu training 1920 in Japanese agricultural school.



In the writer’s opinion it becomes necessary to make at this point some suggestions relative to a very important part of the training in jiu-jitsu. [...] Read more →

Public Attitudes Towards Speculation

Reprint from The Pitfalls of Speculation by Thomas Gibson 1906 Ed.


THE public attitude toward speculation is generally hostile. Even those who venture frequently are prone to speak discouragingly of speculative possibilities, and to point warningly to the fact that an overwhelming majority [...] Read more →

What’s the Matter?

A rhetorical question? Genuine concern?

In this essay we are examining another form of matter otherwise known as national literary matters, the three most important of which being the Matter of Rome, Matter of France, and the Matter of England.

Our focus shall be on the Matter of England or [...] Read more →

Naval Stores – Distilling Turpentine

Chipping a Turpentine Tree

DISTILLING TURPENTINE One of the Most Important Industries of the State of Georgia Injuring the Magnificent Trees Spirits, Resin, Tar, Pitch, and Crude Turpentine all from the Long Leaved Pine – “Naval Stores” So Called.

Dublin, Ga., May 8. – One of the most important industries [...] Read more →

Travels by Narrowboat

Oh Glorious England, verdant fields and wandering canals…

In this wonderful series of videos, the CountryHouseGent takes the viewer along as he chugs up and down the many canals crisscrossing England in his classic Narrowboat. There is nothing like a free man charting his own destiny.