Non-Electric

Non-Electric Drip Coffee Maker

Non-Electric Drip Coffee Pot

I got an email yesterday and a question the day before about the coffee pot that’s sitting on the cook stove in the Hot Spot post from a couple of days ago. Maybe other readers are interested in that coffee pot too. So what follows below is some old-fashioned show and tell. We have hard…

Non-Electric Kitchen Sink Lighting

2 Flat Wick Oil  Lamps Near Kitchen Sink

I keep two flat wick oil lamps for task lighting near my kitchen sink in the event of an electric power outage. When both lamps are lit I have adequate lighting for doing the dishes and for general kitchen clean up. The lamp directly above the kitchen sink sports a reflector on the lamp holder.…

Insect Screen On An Aladdin Mantle Lamp

Bug Screen On An Aladdin Mantle Lamp

Pictured above is an older style insect or bug screen on the chimney of an Aladdin mantle lamp. Mantles on Aladdin lamps are extremely fragile and expensive, and believe it or not a lamp mantle can break from the weight of a big bug. Lamp mantles are made of a very fine, light weight knitted…

Hand Protection When Loading Wood Stoves

Hand Protection

I keep a pair of heavy welder’s gloves next to every wood and coal stove in the house. I never load a wood stove or open a stove door without wearing them. I learned about hand protection and wood stoves the hard way 10 years ago when I suffered a 2″ long  third degree burn to…

Non-Electric Task Lighting By A Cook Stove

Non-Electric Task Lighting By Cook Stove

An Aladdin lamp with a glass shade provides non-electric task lighting near my cook stove early in the morning. Glass shades have a couple advantages over cloth or parchment lamp shades. The first is that they can be easily washed  – an important consideration in the kitchen. Secondly, if the bottom part of the shade…

Treadle Sewing Machine Advice

Singer Model 66 Treadle Sewing Machine

You love to sew. Or perhaps you are looking for a sensible off grid sewing machine and think you’d like to buy a treadle sewing machine but don’t know where to start or what to look for? Maybe you are worried that all treadle sewing machines are expensive antiques and you can’t afford one? Or…

How To Safely Use Real Candles On A Christmas Tree

Candle On Christmas Tree

I’ve developed a contact allergy to spruce, pine and any type of conifer needles. So this year for the first time in my life I have an artificial Christmas tree. The fake tree is 4 ½ feet tall and came complete with attached mini white electric lights. This new holiday development completely delights my mother-in-law.…

The True Cost of Heating with Wood & Coal

Starting A Fire

I live in rural northwest Pennsylvania and in my house we heat and cook with wood and coal for about 8 months out of the year. We don’t burn much coal and for the most part wood works well for us. Only during the hardest and coldest part of the winter do we use a…

How To Use A Butane Clothes Iron

Butane Clothes Iron

I’m an avid home sewer and sometimes quilter. I use an iron and a sewing machine almost daily. Most days I use an electric iron and an electric sewing machine. But some days (during the heat of the summer) I prefer my treadle sewing machine and a cordless butane iron. Many people are familiar with…

Advice About Oil Lamps

Early Morning

Granny, The oil lamps in the background of your pictures are beautiful! Do you have any advice on what to look for in an oil lamp? Aladdin? Thanks, Christine Why thank you Christine! As far as oil lamps go there are basically 3 or 4 kinds. Mantle lamps, flat or round wick lamps, floating wick…