Punch,  26 (1854), 4–5.

The Domestic Reformers; or, How Mr Paterfamilias Made Home Happy  [1/9]



Serial, Drama, Drollery


Education, Amusement, Instruments, Experiment, Accidents, Reading, Domestic Economy, Pollution, Gas Chemistry

People mentioned:

Neil Arnott , David B Reid

    The action takes place in 'the Villa of Mr. Paterfamilias', a character whose wife looks up to him as 'the impersonation of all that is profound in science'. He is constantly writing letters to The Times and his son, 'Master Newton (so called after Sir Isaac)', possesses 'a great turn for the philosophy of common things'. Mr Paterfamilias argues that attending 'Dr. Bachoffner's chemical course' at the Royal Polytechnic Institution is much better for the mind than Astley's Royal Amphitheatre. He laments his son George's lack of interest in science and relishes his other son Newton's experimental pursuits and scientific reasoning. (4) Mr Paterfamilias's daughters, whom he thinks should spend their time 'a little more rationally', grumble about the mess caused by Newton's pursuits. Reading a 'Blue Book' on 'the Ventilation and Warming of Houses', Mr Paterfamilias warns his wife and daughter that they are emitting 'poisonous exhalations' and resolves to start experiments on methods of ventilating his house. (5)

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