D. Magner has always had a penchant for that which is not categorical, exemplified by his random insertions and digressions. For this reason, the author sees fit to include a thorough appendix and an equally robust index. These closing areas are what shall be addressed herein, “closing the book” on Magner’s Farm and Stock Book and Complete Instructor.
The literature page contains an overview of each of the sections previously covered in this work. There are free, downloadable PDF files of the actual text for all sections, including those to be discussed here.
There is no question Magner leaves unaddressed. The appendix begins on page 853 and mentions a wide variety of topics, the most interesting of which will be briefly discussed here.
Apparently, every farm should have a stocked fish pond, no less than 8 feet deep and fifty feet in diameter (868). The author suggests stocking the pond with carp and providing the fish hiding spots and shade (868-9). Anyone concerned about insects need only read further to have his fears allayed.
“Birds are the guardians of the atmosphere,” Magner posits (872). He breaks down their roles more precisely; for example, snipe and woodcock are guardians of the soil (872). In fact, on the same page he imagines a world without birds and the devastation that would ensue:
…It is an undoubted fact that if the birds were all swept off the face of the earth, man could not live upon it; vegetation would wither and die; insects would become so numerous that no living being could withstand their attacks.
Those who have felt the wrath of an angry swarm of Southern mosquitoes would certainly agree with the latter point.
And then, the remedies begin. Page 882 houses a remedy for a sore throat, as well as an alternative if the first one is not unpleasant, or potentially fatal, enough. On page 884, the author gives the latest medical cure (from 1896) for diphtheria:
Bracelin’s Chlorin Bactericide
Solution of wine chlorid, 20 parts,
Solution of arsenic chlorid, 30 parts,
Hydrochloric acid, 1 part,
Water, 49 parts
Remedies for other diseases follow: measles and scarlet fever (885), whooping cough and croup (886), and a solution for ridding children of worms (887). Of interest are the following:
- Nosebleed – which is often fatal, mind you – can be relieved with the inhalation of the “devil’s snuff” mushroom (887).
- Appetite can be improved by taking a spoonful of equal parts tincture of gentian and columbo thrice before meals (888).
- Lumbago (backache) is treated with “ten drops of the tincture of gelsemium every four hours” (889).
- Headaches can be alleviated with the “simultaneous application of hot water to the feet and back of neck” (889).
Page numbers cease after a few more medications and unnumbered plates follow. The best pictures are shown below.
The index is complete; if there is something mentioned in the index that has not been made available in one of the PDF files that you would like to see, feel free to request it via the contact page.
Wrapping It Up
The farmer is truly in Magner’s debt. The author of old gave not only to his own generation, but to all those to come. His work is complete and sound, and leaves the reader with the task of implementing the newly-acquired prodigious amounts of agrarian knowledge.