Punch,  26 (1854), 32–33.

The Domestic Reformer; or, How Mr Paterfamilias Made Home Happy  [4/9]



Serial, Drama, Drollery


Domestic Economy, Light, Gender, Pollution, Commerce, Gas Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Nutrition, Scientific Practitioners

    Opens with Mr Paterfamilias's preparations for a dinner party at which he intends to show off his illuminating gas apparatus. Mr and Mrs Paterfamilias discuss the pressure 'oscillation', cost, and decided smell of the gas. Later, the dinner-party guests offer their wisdom on the gas smell, including the 'analytical chemist', Mr Bellows, who proceeds to test the purity of the gas by an elaborate chemical procedure. During the dinner party, guests debate the possibility that the gas-cooking apparatus has spoilt the taste of the food, and Mr Bellows offers advice on the oscillations of the gas lighting. Following the extinction of the lighting, Mr Paterfamilias's scientifically inclined son, Master Newton, is found to have caused the problem by taking water out of the meter for the purposes of analysing it.

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