Household Cyclopedia

The Most Important Book You Could Own If Society Collapses

A basic tenant of history is that it is cyclical, nations and civilizations rise and fall.

Our western civilization is at the apex of its development.

However, our technological civilization is built on the most tenuous and fragile of foundations – electricity and petroleum. Remove either of these foundations for more than a couple of months and our civilization will collapse rapidly and we will find ourselves in a literal dark age.

There are dozens of potential events, that could collapse our society overnight. We would have to return to a restore point, a reset, of a time when we survived as a society without electricity or petroleum products, which, for western civilization would be the 1800’s.

This book provides all the information needed to live comfortably without electricity or gas, just like your great grandparents did.

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Full edition 1277 pages!

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Top Customer Reviews from Amazon

This book goes above and beyond what i expected. I was a little reluctant about ordering a reprinted book, but this company make top grade books. From the hard cover to the print. For anyone that is a Doomsday Prepper or maybe just a survivalist, this a must have. Amazing what people use to do back in the good ole days.

I love this thing. There is a great deal in here of great use should the best become the worst and we all end up Partying Like It’s 1899. It is a gold mine, complete with quite a bit of quartz. So one must be discerning in what advice to take. Lots of good stuff on non-electric home care, canning, gardening, whatever.  I’d buy it again.


Originally published in 1881 The Household Cyclopedia of Useful and Domestic Arts was compiled from various contributors by Dr, Hartshorne as a means of distilling the most useful skills, knowledge, instructions, and recipes of his time. This knowledge is what allowed people to live relatively comfortable lives, and it is the same knowledge that would be needed to survive when, not if, our society collapses.

“In truth, the present volume has been compiled under the feeling, that if all other books of Science in the world were destroyed, this single volume would be found to embody the results of the useful experience, observations, and discoveries of mankind during the past ages of the world.”

Henry Hartshorne MD

Notes on the Edited Edition

While there are many books on homesteading, prepping, and survival that provide similar information, few contain the completeness of the current work. They are further biased being written from the perspective of a technological age, while this book was written in a time before the light bulb and so uses technology that is practical and efficient according to the resources available to people of that time.

Hard copies of this work are rare and fragile. By re-printing in hard copy allows people to easily store a copy in their homes that will be available when needed and does not rely on electronics to read. The PDF version has a navigable table of contents.

The original structure and text has been retained. The only editing I have done was to cut some of the fat. Some entries, such as how to fire a needle gun and 19th century hairstyles have been deleted being completely irrelevant in any future collapse scenario. Trimmed down, the edited edition makes it easier to find the information one would need.

I’ve also included a comprehensive table of contents and index that the original lacked.

Table of Contents

Editor’s Preface 1
Preface 3
Agriculture 5
Practical Farming 16
To Cultivate Wheat 58
To Cultivate Hemp 99
To Cultivate Hops 105
Drainage 122
Sugar 131
Cotton and Tobacco 132
Directions for The Rearing of Silk Worms 135
Horticulture 153
Budding and Grafting 161
To Raise and Manage Fruit Trees 176
Flower Gardening 237
Rural and Domestic Economy 245
To Manage a Dairy 247
Bees and Their Management 268
Farriery 289
Dogs 322
Cattle 323
Hogs 325
Sheep 326
Medicine 341
Diseases 341
Accidents 404
Wounds 407
Fractures 413
Dislocations 420
Amputation 424
Poisons 429
Miscellaneous Articles 436
Remedies for Coughs and Colds 451
Medicine for Worms 454
Medicines for Indigestion 456
Cholera 463
Diseases Peculiar to Females 470
Management and Diseases of Children 482
Useful Domestic Medicines 495
Hygiene – Salutary Cautions 510
Preservation from Drowning and Shipwreck 516
General Rules for Preserving Life and Health 526
The Teeth 535
Weights and Measures 538
Culinary Arts 541
Plain Cookery 541
Cookery 590
Original Receipts in Cookery and Pastry, Etc. 662
Confectionery 677
Pickling 694
Fermentation 701
Brewing 704
To Make Cider 737
Wines 743
Management of Domestic Wines 768
To Manage Foreign Wine-Vaults 774
Distillation 783
Liqueurs 803
Compound Spirits, Or Cordials 807
Brandies 819
Whiskeys 820
Essential Oils 822
Distilled Waters 832
Compound Distilled Waters 838
Acid Liquors 844
Test Liquors, Test Papers 852
Saline Carbonated Waters 854
Sulphuretted Waters 857
Chalybeate Waters 857
Fixed Oils 859
Animal Oils and Fats 861
Perfumery 869
Soaps 882
Aromatic Vinegars 884
Bleaching and Scouring 887
Dyeing 905
Staining 935
Paints and Colors 943
House Painting 943
Artists’ Oil Colors 957
Varnishes 981
Cements 1018
Sealing-Wax 1034
Inks 1039
Pyrotechnics 1053
Colored Fires 1056
Matches for Instantaneous Light 1059
Tanning 1063
Enameling 1077
Pottery 1089
Chemical Recipes 1107
Preventing and Removing Boiler Incrustations 1111
Artificial Cold 1115
Antiseptics and Disinfectants 1117
Weather Prognostics 1129
Angling 1141
The Culture of Fish 1153
Miscellaneous 1157
To Tie Knots 1157
Knitting 1161
Management of Canary Birds 1163
Dogs 1165
To Destroy Insects 1167
Petroleum 1170
The Art of Rowing 1173
Macadamized Roads 1174
Miscellaneous Medical Recipes 1191
Dialysis 1201
Riding 1202
Decalcomania 1205
The Cattle Plague, Or Rinderpest 1210
Common Still 1219
Liebig’s Condenser 1222
Glossary 1223
Index 1239

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