The American Girl's Handy Book
Written for children in 1893, and valuable for both kids and adults today, here's a magical cornucopia of projects, devices, toys, gifts, dolls, recipes, decorations, perfumes, wax and clay modeling, oil and water-color painting and games, all with clear and practical directions for how to make and play them.
Vintage Americana by the Beard sisters, two of the founders of the girls scouting movement (when they weren't campaigning for women’s rights). As Anne M. Boylan writes in her foreword, “Healthy and spirited, the American Girl thinks nothing of taking a ten-mile ‘romp’ through woods and fields with a group of friends, and collects flowers and leaves for preservation or presentation to friends and relations.
Above all, however, the Beards’ girl is handy. She can make a hat rack, a screen, or a bookshelf; fashion a macrame hammock or a cornhusk doll; and draw, paint, sculpt, or decorate a room…By emphasizing what girls can do, The American Girl's Handy Book presents a portrait of girlhood that is vigorous, active, and full of possibilities.”