The Principles and Practice of Medicine

The Principles and Practice of Medicine
by William Osler, M.D., F.R.C.P
c.1897
Full case binding, hollow-back, blue buckram cloth with gold-foiled title on spine
Young J. Pentland, Edinburgh and London

This is one of the first modern general medical textbooks by a man named Osler. My client, himself a Doctor, asked me to repair it as it is a family heirloom, originally belonging to his great Uncle, who was also a prolific doctor of his time.

CONDITION

BINDING The volume had sustained substantial damage to the spine covering, which was adhered to the boards by pressure sensitive tape. The spine itself was misshapen and weakened due to inserted material. Both boards were detached and had ware to each of their corners

TEXTBLOCK Several pages throughout the book had been damaged through general use and the endpapers were loose. The back endpaper had written ephemera on its adjacent fly-leaf, which had been damaged along the foredge due to the page being loose.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION There was a substantial amount of inserted material, mostly newspaper articles associated with the relevant chapters within the book. These were causing the sewing along the spine to split. At the beginning of the volume were a selection of needles inserted into the contents page causing rust to the page.

TREATMENT

  • Tape was removed from the spine piece and boards using heat and a crepe eraser and the boards and spine piece were cleaned in preparation for repair.
  • The spine lining was removed and the weak sewing was reinforced using linen thread.
  • A new spine lining was attached and a false hollow created for the new spine.
  • The boards were reattached using a transverse lining in linen.
  • A new toned spine piece was created and attached to the boards.
  • The old spine with title was adhered onto the new spine.
  • The inserted material was removed with the locations recorded, and rehoused into a manila folder with a contents page showing the corresponding pages of the book.
  • The needles that were inserted into the volume were left in their original location to prevent substantial change to the personal input to the volume by the original owner, and they were consolidated to prevent further rusting onto the pages.

As an interesting extra, the original owner had kept several needles, skewering them onto one of the first pages, with dates – unfortunately neither myself nor my client were able to ascertain what they were from – personally I would assume the worst and imagine they were weapons of death, but that may be wayward imagination. My client informed me that these days all medical needles are curved, whereas these were straight.

Mrs E. Neville Jackson’s Scrapbook

Mrs E. Neville Jackson's Scrapbook

Mrs E. Neville Jackson’s Scrapbook
Preparatory scrapbook for Book of Toys
c.1902-1909
Fully bound in black cloth
165x203x33 (WHD)

CONDITION

BINDING had structural stress due to large amounts of inserted material. The front board was damaged and detached from spine and sewing supports. The remaining spine was split from the front board and worn at head and tail. The first section was loose.

TEXTBLOCK paper had some tears and edge damage on first pages. Four pages had been torn out leaving stubbs remaining. The pastedown was detached along with the board, leaving an outside hook at the back of first section.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Large amounts of inserted newspaper cuttings were protruding from the textblock causing discolouration and edge damage.

 

TREATMENT

  • Cleaned throughout with chemical sponge and loose material was removed and documented.
  • Spine was lifted allowing reattachment of the loose first section by sewing to the spine.
  • The texblock and inserted material were humidified where necessary and repaired using toned tissue.
  • Areas of loss were infilled with a sympathetic western paper and supported with a Japanese tissue.
  • An article was removed and re-adhered using a hinge, as to remain in its original state would have meant later damage to the article and book.
  • Loose endpapers were given an outside hook and attached by pulling through the sewing supports and adhering to the spine.
  • Spine lined with Usumino tissue.
  • Front board was attached with Usumino tissue and lined up against the foredge to provide protection to the textblock.
  • Exposed spine area was covered in tissue toned with acrylic paints.
  • Hinge repair to inside of boards to support attachments.

HOUSING

  • Four-flap folder created to support loose inserted material
  • Bespoke clam shell box made to house both book and four-flap folder together, supporting the protruding material within the book by using different levels of plastizote.

Ginger Beer from The Book of Puddings

Considering one of the books I am conserving for my major project is a recipe book, I have been dying to try some of them out! Unfortunately due to all the project work, I haven’t had time until now! So this weekend (along with a fun day out) I set about making some ginger beer from The Book of Puddings. The plan is also to have some of this at our end of year show – so it was important to try it out first!

The recipe in the book

The book has two recipes for ginger beer on the same page, one written by the author and one from a newspaper she had cut out and stuck in. Considering I was only trying out a small batch, I have gone for the newspaper recipe that makes one gallon, rather than two.

Having bought myself some bottles (Lakeland, £4.99 each – fabulous!), and some yeast and cream of tartar, I set to work (thankfully a fellow student pointed out that this was a baking powder and not the cream tartare that goes on scampi, otherwise this ginger beer could have had a very different flavour!).

All the ingredients and bottles laid out!

I’ve written out both recipes here, as the writing is not that legible so small.

2 lb sugar
2 oz cream of tartar
1/2 oz tartaric acid
2 or 3oz bruised ginger
2 pennyworth essence of lemon dropped in the suer
2 gallons of boiling water poured on the ginger alone

Add the other ingredients when mainly cold, add 2 tbs of yeast on toast and let it stand for  12 hours

Bottle and in a few days it will be ready to drink

For one gallon:
1oz of bruised ginger
1lb loaf sugar
one lemon
two tsp of cream of tartar

Pour on 1 gallon of boiling water and when nearly cold add large tbs yeast speed on toast
Strain and bottle next morning

First was to add a bruised ginger to lemon, tartar and sugar. Not being familiar with ‘bruised’ ginger, I bashed it with a hammer a few times, though I may have been a bit over zealous. Also the loaf sugar was replaced with caster sugar, as I forgot to get this at the supermarket.

“Bruised” Ginger – Maybe I did get a bit excited with the hammer…
Sugar, Lemon, Cream of Tartar and Ginger

I realised from the instructions in both recipes that the yeast had to be spread onto toast, and that the fast action yeast I had was not quite the right stuff. I tried reactivating it with a recipe from Mikes Brewery, but I’m not that sure how well it worked, it was more of a liquid than a cream. However, not to be deterred, it went onto the toast, and into the mix!

Reactivating the yeast – not too sure if this worked
In goes the toast…
… 24 hours later

24 hours and much anticipation later, I sieved and bottled it. Then for the sampling! I think it is supposed to sit bottled for a few days, so I will be sampling some more soon to see if that’s even better!

All bottled!
Sampling the brew!

Well its a bit sweet, so I do think it needs time to sit.

Some days have passed, and it is still a bit sweet, and considerably reduced in quantity, as I omitted to tell The Man that it needs time to brew, and he has been merrily drinking it away!

I might try with some better yeast for the show and proper loaf sugar to see if it makes any difference.

Boarding The Book of Puddings

The conservation of this book is going well and picking up speed now, especially as all the paper repairs are done and dusted! The boards are now on, which worked well. I attached them with Japanese tissue that covered the spine and was stuck onto the inside of the boards. Normally I would try and split the boards, but they are so thin that to split them would almost definitely damage them further.

The boards are on the book!

I have also managed to pair my leather and tone it to a good match of the boards, which I did with selaset dyes. This leather will then cover the spine and go under the leather on the boards to bring the book back into a book format – very exciting! The new leather is very thin in order to match the leather on the boards, so to give it a bit more strength, I’ve lined it with a fraynot fabric.

The new spine toned to match the boards, it is a bit wet here, so actually a better match when dry
Fraynot on the spine piece

I have also lined the spine with some western paper, and will be sanding it down a bit to reduce the swell of the sewing supports, it wasn’t dry enough on Friday to do this.

Lining the spine with western paper

Prior to rebacking a book, the edges of the boards always need to be compensated for the leather coming over from the spine. This is always a fiddly bit as the compensation pieces are invariably thin and spindly. I have done mine on this book with some of the freshly paired leather, as it is a good match.

The edge before compensation was done
The edge after compensation was done

The next step will to actually put the leather onto the spine, redo the corners a bit, and sort out the end papers and the book will be pretty much done – then for the enclosure for the newsprint! I have done a sample for this which I will post as instructions themselves, as it’s a great little enclosure!

The scraps are scraps no more

Well I definitely passed a marker today, as I have finished the paper repairs for the toys scrapbook – Mrs E. Nevill Jackson’t Scrapbook from the Museum of Childhood. They have taken a long time as many of them protruded from the edges of the book, meaning they have been crushed over the years.

Some pictures of the book and its inserts before I completed the work.

Mrs E Nevill Jackson’s Scrapbook
The head of the book with crushed inserts
The foredge of the book with crushed inserts

In order to repair these pages, many of them had to be locally humidified first, as they were folded in on themselves, and opening up the folds without the introduction of moisture, would have broken them. I separated the local humidification from the rest of the book using melinex and effectively sectioned off a page at a time. Once humidified, they each had to be dried between blotters before I could repair them. The repairs were then done using japanese tissue (usumino) for the support and a toned thicker tissue for any infills, as can be seen in my last post.

The repaired pages…

The front of the book with paper repairs complete
The head of the book with repaired inserts
The foredge of the book with repaired inserts

So obviously now the inserts are much bigger than the book, as they would have been originally. In order to prevent them being crushed again, I am going to have create some sort of chemise cover to extend the boards and protect the inserts – so watch this space!!!

An introduction to the Book of Puddings

This is the first book I am working on for my MA major project, the second being Mrs E. Nevill Jackson’s Scrapbook from the Museum of Childhood. This one is a recipe from an individual rather than a Museum, and is absolutely wonderful to work on.

My client, whose book this is, receieved this book as an heirloom. It was put together by her great aunt, Kathleen A. Christmas, and is a collection of receipes and household tips from during the war.

I thought I would post some updates of the work that I am doing on the book, as well as try out some of the recipes – some of them are quite interesting, like how to make omelettes with powdered eggs! – They are all wartime recipes, based on rations of food at the time, and are quite fabulous!

The book when first received – with heavily damaged sewing, and a lot of additional material within, forcing the book apart
The damaged sewing – sewn on two parchment tapes
The additional material, sticking out of the book along with the loose pages
The cover of the book is a green leather sheep skiver, marked in a straight morocco grain
One particularly fascinating and stained page!
A close up of one of the recipes, I plan on trying out