Hardtack and Liniment


Civil War Candy

The NECCO Company hasn't changed the way they make their NECCO Wafer candy since before the Civil War. The wafers are small round disks of sugar candy made with a recipe that taste similar to the heart-shaped candies that say "hug me", etc., on them. A roll of wafers comes in a modern waxed paper wrapper, but the contents will fit in a small poke bag once you remove them.


Suggestions for a Weak Back: Two tablespoons of finely powdered rosin, four tablespoons of white sugar, whites of two eggs, one quart best whiskey. Mix and dose a tablespoonful at a time, three times a day, either before or after meals. Also excellent for colds or weak lungs - will stop an irritating cough.

Liquid Shoe Blacking: Take one pound of ivory black in powdered form, 12 ounces of molasses, two ounces sweet oil, 2 pints each of beer and vinegar. Mix thoroughly. Paste blacking can be made in the same way with the addition of sperm oil and oil of vitriol (concentrated sulfuric acid). The actual details on the mixing are not included as this is not really a "kitchen" experiment (unless you wish to descend to the basement quickly after a spill.

Caoutchouc (india rubber) becoming very smooth and viscous by the action of fire has been proposed by an eminent English dentist, as an excellent remedy, for filling hollow teeth, and alleviating the pain proceeding from that defect. A piece of caoutchouc is to be melted at the flame of a candle, and pressed while warm into the hollow tooth. In consequence of the viscosity and adhesiveness of the caoutchouc, the air is completely prevented from coming into contact with the denuded nerve.

Scientific American, March 1847

19th century recipe that may be of use. These are from Shaker Recipes & Formulas by W.L. Lassiter.

Elderberry Ink: To 12 pints of juice add 1/2 oz. of sulphate of iron. 
This will make a good ink.

Oil or Waterproof Cloth

Take equal parts of yellow ochre and lamp black
and mix with it an equal part, in bulk, of soap suds, boiling hot. Lay on as thick as a stiff brush will spread: after 3 days, finish with any color paint you choose.

Colored Ink for Stamping
Red - Dissolve 1/4 oz. of Carmine in 2 oz. of strong water of ammonia, and add one drachm of glycerine and 3/4 of dextrine.
Blue - Rub one oz. of Prussian Blue with enough water to make a perfectly smooth paste, then add 1 oz. dextrine, incorporate it well and finally add sufficient water to bring it to proper consistency.