Wall paper was the rage in the 1890s and this is the way our ancestors made the paste to hang the wallpaper from wheat flour. It must have been strong because wallpaper hung during this time is still on some walls.
Paper Hangers’ Paste
To make paper-hangers’ paste, bet up four pounds of good, white wheat flour (well sifted previously) in sufficient cold water to form a stiff batter. Beat it well in order to take out all lumps, and then add enough cold water to make the mixture of the consistency of pudding batter.
Hall with floral wallpaper, probably in a clubhouse, New York City ca. 1900 by Detroit Publishing Company (Library of Congress)
To this add about two ounces of well-pounded alum. Pour gently and quickly over the batter of boiling water, stirring rapidly at the same time, and when it is seen to lose the white color of the flour, it is cooked and ready. Do not use it, however, while hot, but allow it to cool. Pour about a pint of cold water over the top to prevent a skin from forming. Before using the paste should be thinned by the addition of cold water.
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