What are Dime Novels?

Dime Novels - I won these in an auction in town. It had 2 other vintage books and a small photo album included for the price of $25 for all.

These took a while to find out what they were. There are no dates in them and no author. I am assuming they are from the early 1900’s.The printing company no longer exists.(not in my online searches anyway) I FINALLY found out that they are called dime novels.

Antique Dime Novels

Dime books are a series of small paperback books that are 10 cents each. This group that I have does not have the complete series. It has 13 books and they are so old that the pages are crumbling on the edges so I have to be so careful when I pick them up.

I sold them on Ebay for $44.99. 

I also took the time to write down all the tips and recipes from that era that were on the last page of each book. It’s so interesting I had to share!

Here is some information on Dime Novels from the Historical Association Website...

The first dime novels were initially published around the start of the American Civil War. These sensational stories were full of romance and adventure and became wildly popular in both the United States and in England, where they were known as "penny dreadfuls." Named for their cheap prices, dime novels were distributed in numerical series at newsstands and dry goods stores for a dime or a nickel a piece. The books were simple in appearance, bound in cheap paper with a brightly illustrated cover. They were lightweight at only about 100 pages long, easy to carry, and easy to pass around.

Because of the cheap price of the dime novels, publishers geared the books toward the uneducated lower class, producing stories with simple, formulaic plots that opened "new worlds" to their readers. Storylines were straight forward and told in physical language that brought to mind concrete pictures and people for the readers. There were no mind games or psychoanalysis in the novels, only simple story telling. For the less avid reader, story papers were published with abridged versions of dime novel-like stories. These were shorter and brightly illustrated. Most often they were about eight pages in length and serialized weekly in magazines or booklets.

The first of these stories were about the American Indians, but when Indians were placed on reservations, the public's fascination with them began to fade. Consequently, the novels morphed into stories of cowboys in the Wild West, outlaws and bandits, and train robbers. Detective mysteries and working-girl narratives followed later. In Victorian England, many "penny dreadfuls" were written in the macabre Gothic tradition to frighten and thrill readers. The entrance of Great Britain and the United States into World War I provided a whole new field of material from which publishers could draw for the novels.

Dime novels typically told the dramatic adventure stories of a single hero or heroine who often found himself or herself in the midst of a moral dilemma. The novels were ethically sound, endorsing good character and strong moral values when the novel's hero chose virtue over vice. Sometimes, the protagonist was a historical figure, sparking the young readers' interest in history.

Women's dime novels typically dealt with romance and marriage, drawing on the social experience of the readers. Stories often set up a love between a working class girl and a noble and sometimes told of marriages and betrothals gone awry. Usually, these romantic ventures would end in disaster, warning the working class women that the emerging concept of an acceptable female sexuality was in fact, unacceptable. In these stories, virtue was protected at all cost, its importance emphasised for the sake of the readers


How to make Oatmeal Gems

one pint of cooked oatmeal, one pint of sweet milk, 5 small teaspoons full of sugar, two eggs thoroughly beaten, one teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, two heaping teaspoons of baking powder and enough flour to make a soft batter. use hot gem pans and be sure to bake in a quick oven.

How to make a quick dessert

an excellent hurried dessert, when company comes in unexpectedly, is make this:  soak a handful of breadcrumbs and a half tea cup of milk while you place the frying pan over the fire with a lump of butter and beat four eggs quite light. Quickly add the crumbs and milk to the eggs and cook as an ordinary omelette. When just set, spread thickly with jelly (raspberry is best for this) fold, and serve at once with powdered sugar.

How to make Dandelion Wine

Steep the dandelion flowers in boiling water for 5 minutes, then strain off the liquid, pressing the flowers hard. Sweeten to taste and add Brandy in the proportion of a pint to every 4 gallons of liquid. Put in uncorked bottles and keep in a cool place until  fermentation ceases. Draw off and rebottle.

How to make Cake without eggs

Beat four level teaspoons of butter to a cream,  add 1 and 1/4 cup fulls of sugar. When well mixed,  add one capsule of milk, alternating with two capfuls of flour. Beat thoroughly. Add a pinch of salt, 2 level teaspoons of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of flavoring. Turn into a buttered cake pan and bake in a moderate oven 20 minutes.

How to make Glace Fruits

To make glace fruits boil some sugar until it assumes a yellow color and breaks off short and crisp when a piece is dropped in the water. Remove the pan from the fire and drop the orange sections or grapes one at a time into it and remove with two forks place on an oiled slab to dry.

How to make Tea Frappe

Put 2 teaspoons of tea into 1 quart of milk, bring this to a boil, let it stand 5 minutes, strain it and sweeten to taste. When it is cold put it in the ice cream freezer and freeze to a very soft mush. Serve with whipped cream

How to make Dandelion Cordial

4 quarts of dandelion blossoms, 4 quarts of boiling water, 4 quarts of graduated sugar, 3 tablespoons of compressed yeast, 2 lemons grated fine, 1 Orange. Let the blossoms and water stand until lukewarm. Mix the sugar, lemons and yeast together and add; strain and put in a cool place for 2 days;then strain again. Put into a keg and let it work, without tight corking until as clear as water.

How to make Strawberry whip

When the berries are small and not perfect enough in appearance to serve whole, chill them thoroughly on Ice, then sprinkle with a little orange juice and plenty of sugar and crush them into a pulp and fold in the whipped wipes of two or three eggs and serve as soon as mixed.

How to make Strawberry Sauce

Put a quarter of a cup of butter in a bowl, and beat it to a cream, then beat in gradually a half a cup of powdered sugar. Beat until light and smooth. Crush 12 very ripe strawberries and beat into a sauce a little at a time. If the berries are tart, sweetened them with a powdered sugar before adding to the sauce. If the sauce begins to curdle beat in more sugar. When done, set on ice until needed.

How to make Strawberry Charlotte (A charlotte is an English dessert or trifle, originally made in order to use stale bread. Nowadays the charlotte is made with sponge or ladyfingers )

Put quarter of a package of gelatin to soak in quarter of a cup of cold water, and when softened stir it into a cup of milk scalded in a double boiler with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Stir until dissolved, then strain into a bowl set in a pan of cracked ice. Stir until it begins to thicken, then stir in a quart of whipped cream flavored with vanilla or sherry wine. Line a pyramid Bowl thickly with red ripe strawberries that have been sprinkled with a little lemon juice. Turn in the Charlotte and set away to harden.

How to make Strawberry and Gingerbread Sandwiches

Make a gingerbread and a round loaf pan. If possible, so as to have the round slices without trimming. Cut the cake and slices as thin as possible without breaking. Spread with thick cream that has been whipped almost to butter and have a layer of ripe berries cut in half, sweetened and sprinkled with a little lemon juice placed in the center of each sandwich.

How to make Hominy Muffins

Rub one cupful of cold boiled hominy with a fork until separated, add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of lard melted and one tablespoon of sugar, beat this mixture to a cream, then add two eggs beaten until thick; Then add 1 cup full of sour milk with a teaspoon of soda dissolved in it, then add three fourths of a cup of flour, beat thoroughly and bake quickly in hot grease muffin pans, to be eaten as soon as baked.


How to prevent seasickness

a celebrated German Professor claimed to have discovered an infallible antidote for seasickness, which is also a very simple one. “Draw a long and vigorous breath at frequent intervals he says and you will never suffer from this malady.” the reason he asserts is because the initial cause of seasickness is found to be in a lobe of the brain, the sensitiveness of which reacts on the stomach.

Blanket soap

For a soap for washing blankets, shave fine  two pounds of good white soap and put into a saucepan with two quarts of boiling water.  Keep on the fire until the soap is dissolved, stirring occasionally. Add 4 oz of borax, stir well and the soap is ready for use. Never use brown soap when washing woolen goods

How to tell linen from cotton

if you are buying handkerchief, you may  make sure of their being linen or not by a very simple process. moisten the tip of one of your fingers and then press it on the handkerchief. If it went through at once the fabric is linen, but if it is cotton several seconds will elapse before the threads are saturated.

How to make liquid glue

a good liquid glue may be made by a simple  enough process. Take a common glass fruit jar and fill it half full with broken pieces of glue, covering these with vinegar. Put the jar in hot water and let it remain until the glue is melted, when it is quite ready for use.  A first rate glue for photographs needs only gelatin, chloral hydrate, 9 oz of gelatin and 25 oz of water. After 48 Hours the mixture is ready to serve its purpose.

How to detect adulteration in coffee

It is easy to discover whether your morning beverage is pure coffee or part chicory.  drop half a teaspoon of ground coffee in a glass of cold water. If the coffee is not adulterated with chicory, it will float on the surface and the water will be no more than tinged brown.  if a sediment sinks to the bottom of the gllass, that's chicory. The water will be reddish brown. Chicory is harmless. Indeed many prefer a mixture of chicory with the coffee, ascribing to it a particular deliciousness. Coffee is often adulterated with ground peas or wheat, and these give a flatness to the beverage, A sort of warmed-over flavor. The presence of these adulterations can be detected by dropping a little tincture of iodine into a tumbler of clear cold coffee. If the liquid turns deep blue, there's an add mixture of peas or wheat. The iodine has detected the starch in one or the other. If the coffee remains its usual color, you are not paying for either peas or wheat.

How to remove tan

The following is a good lotion for removing tan after being exposed to the sun. Rosewater, 1 pint pulverized borax, 1/2 oz strained lemon juice, 1 oz . Mix thoroughly and bottle. Apply a little to the face by means of a linen pad.

How to clean a clock

 I place a cloth saturated with kerosene in the bottom of the clock,  and the fumes arising loosens of dirt, oil and grit from the works precipitating them to the bottom. I use a clean white bit of old muscle and so when the dirt began to drop I knew it by the dirty color of the rag. I removed it and in a day or two placed another saturated rag in the bottom of the clock. The fumes this time as the dirt had all dropped, lubricated the works and my clock has ticked along right merrily ever since.

How to remove coffee stains

Coffee and milk stains on woolen material may be removed with glycerin. Paint over the spot with glycerin, and then wash with pure lukewarm water applied on a clean linen rag. Afterward press on the wrong side with a warm iron. Delicate colors are uninjured by this treatment.

A barber symbol

Next time you drop in on your Barber to have a shave of your haircut ask him why he has a pole with white and red stripes on it at his door.  In olden times blood-letting was believed in and the ancient barber was the man who made a specialty of it, as also some of them do today. The pole has nothing to do with hair cutting or shaving it represents the blood-letting end of the profession. The red stripes indicate the flow of blood, the white stripes the linen bandage used after the operation.

How to disperse ants

A few leaves of green wormwood  scattered among the haunts of these troublesome insects is said to be  effectual in dislodging them.

When you are lost

Find a mature tree that stands apart from its fellows. Even if it's only slightly separated it will do. The bark of this tree will be harder, dryer and lighter in color on the south side. On the North it will be darker, and often the roots  will have a clump of mold or moss. on the southside of all evergreen trees gum, will be hard and amber colored. On the North this gum is softer and gets covered with dust and is of dirty grey.

In fall or winter, trees which show a rough bark will have nests of insects in the crevices on the south side. A tree which stands in the open will have its larger Limbs and rubber bark on the south side. Hardwood trees, the oak, the ash, Elms, hickory's, mesquite Etc.. have moss and mold on the North. leaves are smaller, tougher, lighter in color and with darker veins on the south. On the North they are longer, of Darker green and with lighter veins, spiders build on the South side. any sod or cut stump will give you the compass points because the concentric rings are thicker on the south side. The Heart of the stump is dust near to the north side. All these things are the effects of the sun. If you are on a marsh, small brushes will give you the lesson. Their leaves and limbs allow the same differences. Almost all wildflowers turn their faces to the South there are many other signs but I reckon you will find these enough.

How to tell a Panama Hat (  a traditional brimmed straw hat )

The market is full of imitations, where is about $1 each, but which are sold for from $4 to $8. To detect them is easy. If in doubt, ask the dealer to immerse the hat for 3 hours in water. If it be a Panama, he may not do it safely, but the imitation will turn black under the treatment and then tear like paper. There is a peculiar chemical smell from the imitation Panama by which it may be known,  and there is a slight nap on the inside which may be raised prominently by scratching with a fingernail.

How to avoid smallpox

One of the best ways to avoid smallpox is to not be afraid of it. But if you can't adopt that precaution there is this other. Wear smooth faced outer clothing.  Medical Authority doesn't claim that this is an absolute preventive, but it is simple enough Safeguard which will go a long way toward lessening the risk of contagion. The principal is that smooth clothing catches the minimum amount of dust, and it is the germs which float about the dust of the atmosphere that carry smallpox.  Another precaution is to wear flannel under clothing, because it promote circulation in the skin and prevents chill. A chilled body, it is well known, is bigly susceptible to contagion.

How to remove mildew

Chloride of lime, about a couple teaspoons in a basin of water is an excellent thing to remove mildew from muslin to linen. Leave the article in about 15 minutes.

How to iron silk

Silk or pongee should be allowed to dry thoroughly before ironing  and great judgment must be exercised in order to not scorch the garment. If I earn while wet, so it becomes hard and stiff and loses its luster. For any corded material or any raised pattern the thicker the padding of the ironing board the better the results.

How to make liniment (a liquid or lotion, especially one made with oil, for rubbing on the body to relieve pain)

A liniment that is simple to make, but is very efficacious in results is composed of kerosene, camphor gum  and sweet oil. Put a pint of kerosene into a quart bottle, add as much camphor gum as will dissolve, adding a little more gum day by day for 3 days: then add half a pint of sweet oil, Shake well, Cork and put in a safe place for future use. For burns, Cuts, bruises, stiff neck or joints, sore throat, bunions and a few other ills to which flash is here too, relief is said to be almost magical when this liniment is applied.


Sugared tea does not stain: therefore people who like unsweetened tea will do well to put just one lump of sugar in the teapot.

Table Damask

When selecting a cheap or medium quality of table damask,  choose a pattern that nearly covers the ground. Such a tablecloth will wear better and look better than one of the sample quality where  there is a great deal of plain surface displayed.

How to clean Matting

Little used matting, as in spare chambers or upper summer rooms should be swept away very clean, then wiped with a cloth, wrung out of sweet milk. Do this once a year. It keeps the straw alive and to a degree plaint.  If the milk wash is used in the living room or on a plazza, follow it by wiping with very hot clear water to keep the floor from drawing flies.

How to acquire personal influence

If you desire personal influenced only for your own pride of possession and personal pleasure, the wish is unworthy, but one may use such influence to make others happier and better. Wealth, beauty and charm are none of them essential to the influential character. A poor, plain and rather tactless girl may have force enough to count for much in her circle. Charm is within the reach of all girls who are unselfish and gentle.

How to Mend ping pong balls

The cost of ping pong may be minimized by an ingenious method of restoring damaged balls which an enthusiastic in the game has discovered and made public property.  The celluloid balls commonly used are often bulged in and then thrown away as useless. instead of throwing them away they should be dipped into hot water, then the bulge will immediately disappear, and  the ball can be returned to play as good as ever. it is not necessary to immerse the whole ball.

it is sufficient if the bulge part be dipped, and this can be done without scalding the fingers.

How to stand properly

All that is needed, to stand well is to keep the legs straight. Notice yourself a half a dozen times during the day and you will see how useful is this advice. Constantly the knees are too much bent. The figure sags in consequence, and its lines of elegance are lost. Straighten the knees every time you think of it, and the rest of the figure falls naturally in the proper position.

How to wear rings

The growing fancy for wearing an abundance of rings during the daytime as well as for evening affairs make special care of the gems they encase very necessary. If you want your rings to last well, do not wear them under your gloves.  That is what a prominent jeweler says. But if you decide that gloves are a necessity, as probably you will, he adds, then send your rings twice a year to be overhauled. The reason for this warning is that the constant friction of the gloves where the tiny points that hold the stones in place, and the result is the stones fall out unless they are constantly looked after.  The wear might not detect the loose stone, but a jeweler would at once and by a little timely intervention might prevent the loss of a valuable gem.

Watch pointers

There's a right and wrong way of winding your watch. Whether it be by key or a stem it should be wound in the morning. Turn slowly and avoid all jerky movements. The watch will then work best during the day, as the spring will exert its strongest traction power, whereby the external jostling inflicted on the watch by your daily works and walks are fairly counterbalanced. When I watch is wound at night, it has only the weekend spring to offer as resistance to the jerks and jolts of daytime. The morning winding I'm sure also lessens the danger of breaking the mainspring, which being no longer at full tension at night can stand the cold better. All watches keep better time as the result of regular habits. Don't lay it down one night and hang it up the next. Keep it in the same position as nearly as circumstances will permit. In second class watches the rate difference between the  horizontal and vertical position is often quite significant. Nor should you hang your watch on a nail where it can swing to and fro like a pendulum. it will either gain or lose a great deal while in that position.

The difference in temperature between your breast or a man's waistcoat pocket and a wall that may be nearly at the freezing point is about 77 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit and a watch should therefore never be suspended or lay against a cold surface.

How to wash skirt waist

Great care should be used in washing delicately tinted shirt waists or summer gowns to prevent fading. Alum used in the rinsing water will prevent green from fading. a handful of salt thrown into the rinse water should be used to set blue. Oxgall is good to use for gray and brown. Hay water, made by pouring boiling water over hay, is excellent for washing tan or brown linens. When this is not used, the garments will soon look faded and bleached.







Love this. Very informative ✔️

Leave a comment