The Young Man's Book of Amusement


15 Responses to “The Young Man's Book of Amusement”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’ve done the “Revive a drowned fly” trick before but it was with salt.

    Re-Captcha “the ramsay”

  2. voiceinthedistance says:

    LOL I learned to drown flies and revive them later while I was still in college, many years ago. We used to roll them in salt to absorb the moisture. I’m glad to see that this is actually an ancient art, and find it amusing that the author mention that the ashes he suggests for the process should not still be burning. From the flies perspective, chalk would probably be the preferred medium for being rolled around in, given a choice of salt, ash or chalk.

    I hope the link for the full download is posted on BB when it is available.

  3. shibumi says:

    Heh ‘merely necessary to get a mohogany stand’
    gotta love it. :)


  4. Pasketti says:

    If you like this one, you’ll also like “The Boy Mechanic”, available on Project Gutenberg.

    “Another class of projects illustrate the caviler attitude toward environment and health in 1913. These projects involve items such as gunpowder, acetylene, hydrogen, lead, mercury, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, cadmium, potassium sulfate, potassium cyanide, potassium ferrocyanide, copper sulfate, and hydrochloric acid. Several involve the construction of hazardous electrical devices. Please view these as snapshots of culture and attitude, not as suggestions for contemporary activity.”

    The Wright-flyer-like hang glider illustration near the front looks way cool.

  5. dougr650 says:

    My favorite is this one:

    “Galvanic Experiments on the Dead Body of a Criminal”

    What young man hasn’t found amusement at the electrically-induced spasming of a dead criminal? Ah, the simple joys of youth!

    • Derek C. F. Pegritz says:

      When one attempts to reanimate a deceased malefactor, the results are often tragick, as in the case of the late V. von Frankenstein of Geneva. Much better to practice the art upon the corses of dead dollymops. I know a bloke in Whitechapel who can provide said for a reasonable price.

  6. Derek C. F. Pegritz says:

    By Jove, I believe I may find within this tome’s august covers the very inspiration I need to complete my Analytical Engine and thereby win the hand of my leman Lady Ada!

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is great and the comments with links to the other books are very nice too.

    Thanks all!

  8. Art says:

    Thank you for this wonderful posting, Ms. O’Reilly!

    Happy St. Paddy’s Day and great to see you on BB.

  9. joshhaglund says:

    In addition to chalk or ashed (i haven’t tried those), covering it table salt will also resuscitate a drowned fly.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mother of God, reprint this sucka!

  11. Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey says:

    I have learned that, in evaluating books of this sort, it is enlightening to measure the number of pages on which the word “acid” appears.

    For this book, the answer is 39.

  12. Deceptology says:

    The resuscitating a “dead” fly trick was in print as early as 1784. It’s found in Giuseppe Pinetti’s magic/science book “Physical Amusements and Diverting Experiments,” at the Library of Congress.

    To read online:

    To download (26.73 MB PDF file):

  13. FreakCitySF says:

    Works for ants and other insects too! Don’t drown them yourselves you cruel crowd. Just for rescue purposes only.

    What I would do was recover the insect asap and place them on a dry cotton/fine fiber towel/material and then start blowing to get that feller on its feet in no time! And then I flick them across the room so they know not to hang out in the bathtub.

Leave a Reply