The American Boy's Handy Book: Turn-of-the Century Classic of Crafts and Activities


As timely as it is timeless, this instructive book has captured the interest and imagination of boys for well over a century. Chapters on kite flying and fishing, rigging and sailing small boats, camping out without a tent, knot-tying for mountain climbing and other activities, as well as training dogs, raising wild birds, and other projects will appeal as much to today's youngsters as they did to children in the late 1800s. Many of these enterprises have also been known to compete effectively with TV and video ...
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The American Boy's Handy Book

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As timely as it is timeless, this instructive book has captured the interest and imagination of boys for well over a century. Chapters on kite flying and fishing, rigging and sailing small boats, camping out without a tent, knot-tying for mountain climbing and other activities, as well as training dogs, raising wild birds, and other projects will appeal as much to today's youngsters as they did to children in the late 1800s. Many of these enterprises have also been known to compete effectively with TV and video games. Best of all, the projects have the power to inspire the imagination and help youngsters master new skills and experience the satisfaction of personal accomplishment.

Gives illustrated instructions for a variety of projects and activities for each season of the year including making kites, rearing wild birds, camping out without a tent, sailing small boats, fishing in winter, raising dogs, making theatrical costumes, and many other things.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486431383
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 11/19/2003
  • Series: Dover Children's Activity Books Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 985,081
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Table of Contents

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2006


    A great book for boys, and boys at heart

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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Chapter I.Kite Time3
Man Kite5
The Woman Kite9
A Boy Kite11
Frog Kite11
The Butterfly Kite13
The King Crab Kite14
Fish Kite15
The Turtle Kite16
The Shield Kite18
A Star Kite19
The Chinese Dragon Kite19
The Japanese Square Kite21
The Moving Star21
Chapter II.War Kites23
Unarmed War Kite23
Armed Kites24
Armed Kite Fighting25
How to Make the Knives25
How to Make Cutters26
Kite Clubs27
Chapter III.Novel Modes of Fishing28
The Bell Pole28
Jugging for Cats29
The Dancing Fisherman31
Toy Boats for Fishing32
The Wooden Otter33
Fishing for Fresh-Water Clams33
Chapter IV.Home-Made Fishing Tackle36
The Rod36
Tin and Spool Reel37
The Forked Stick Reel38
Home-Made Nets39
A Home-Made Minnow Bucket42
Inhabitants of the Water43
Chapter V.How to Stock, Make, and Keep a Fresh-Water Aquarium44
The Frog54
Gold-Fish versus Bass56
Aquarium Cement57
Chapter VI.How to Keep Aquatic Plants in the House or Flower-Garden58
Chapter VII.How to Stock and Keep a Marine Aquarium61
Cement for Marine Aquaria62
Chapter VIII.How to Collect for Marine Aquarium66
Chapter IX.Knots, Bends, and Hitches71
How to Make a Horse-Hair Watch-Guard74
Splices, Timber-Hitches, etc.78
Chapter X.The Water-Telescope83
How to Make a Wooden Water-Telescope83
A Tin Water-Telescope84
Chapter XI.Dredge, Tangle, and Trawl Fishing86
A New Sport86
The Tangle88
The Trawl88
How to Make a Bake-Pan Dredge89
A Tin-Pail Dredge90
How to Make a Broomstick Tangle91
The Old Chain Tangle91
Hints and Suggestions to Amateurs91
The Use of the Tangle93
Chapter XII.Home-Made Boats95
Birth of the "Man-Friday" Catamaran; The Crusoe Raft95
The Crusoe Raft97
The Scow101
A Floating Camp, or the Boy's Own Flat-Boat105
The Yankee Pine113
Chapter XIII.How to Rig and Sail Small Boats118
Simplest Rig Possible122
Leg-of-Mutton Rig124
The Latteen Rig126
The Cat Rig127
How to Make a Sail128
Hints to Beginners128
Chapter XIV.Novelties in Soap-Bubbles132
Every Boy his own Bubble-Pipe132
Chapter XV.Fourth of July Balloons, with New and Novel Attachments136
Chapter XVI.How to Camp Out without a Tent148
Hints to Amateur Campers159
Choosing Companions160
Chapter XVII.Bird Singers, Etc.161
The Block Bird Singer161
The Corn-stalk Fiddle162
The Pumpkinvine Fife163
A Pumpkin-vine Flute163
Cane Fife163
The Voice Disguiser164
The Locust Singer164
The Hummer166
Chapter XVIII.Bird Nesting167
How to Collect and Preserve Eggs167
Birds' Nests169
Preserving Nests170
Chapter XIX.How to Rear Wild Birds171
Robins, Thrushes, Wrens, and other Small Birds171
The Cow Blackbird172
Wrens, Sparrows, and Finches173
The Bobolink173
The Catbird174
The Brown Thrush, or Thrasher175
The Wood Thrush175
The Summer Yellowbird176
The Bluejay177
Chapter XX.How to Rear Wild Birds--Continued180
The Crow, Hawk, and other Large Birds180
The Hawk182
The Hawk as a "Scare-Crow"183
The Hawk as a Decoy183
Sea Birds184
Strange Domestic Fowls186
Chapter XXI.Home-Made Hunting Apparatus, Etc.188
Spearing Fish188
How to Make a Fish Spear188
How to Make the Torches and Jack-Lights190
How to Make the Boomerang190
To Throw a Boomerang192
The Miniature Boomerang193
The Whip-Bow194
The Bird Bolas196
The Elastic Cross-Bow197
Chapter XXII.How to Make Blow-Guns, Elder Guns, Etc.200
To Make a Blow-Gun201
Elder Guns and Pistols203
The Spring Shot-Gun205
Chapter XXIII.Traps and Trappings209
The Paper Pitfall211
Jug Trap212
The Mole and How to Trap Him213
The Figure Four214
Mole Trap214
The Tollgate Trap215
The Partridge Snare217
Set-Line Snares218
The Spring Snare219
Hen-Coop Trap221
Chapter XXIV.Dogs223
How to Choose a Dog224
How to Train Dogs226
To Teach a Dog to Retrieve227
Pointers and Setters228
Pet Dogs229
Chapter XXV.Practical Taxidermy for Boys232
A New Manner of Preserving Fish239
Design for Sketching Aquarium241
Preserving Insects242
Morse Insect Box243
The Lawrence Breeding Box244
How to Make Beautiful or Comical Groups and Designs of Insects245
Marine Animals246
Chapter XXVI.Every Boy a Decorative Artist248
Shadow Pictures--Photographic Paper--How to Enlarge or Reduce a Picture, etc.248
How to Enlarge or Reduce by Squares250
How to Make a Camera for Drawing252
Chapter XXVII.Snowball Warfare257
How to Build Snow Forts--How to Make Shields and Ammunition Sleds257
How to Build the Fort258
How to Make an Ammunition Sled260
How to Make the Shield261
Rules of the Game262
A Snow Battle264
How to Bind a Prisoner without a Cord267
Company Rest267
Chapter XXVIII.Snow-Houses and Statuary269
Snow Statuary272
Chapter XXIX.Sleds, Chair-Sleighs, and Snow-Shoes275
A Chair-Sleigh275
Folding Chair-Sleigh276
The Toboggan278
Snow-Shoes or Skates279
Chapter XXX.How to Make the Tom Thumb Ice-Boat and Larger Craft281
Chapter XXXI.The Winged Skaters, and How to Make the Wings286
Bat Wings288
The Norton Rig288
The Norwegian Rig290
The Danish Rig291
The English Rig292
The Cape Vincent Rig293
A Country Rig294
Chapter XXXII.Winter Fishing--Spearing and Snaring--Fisherman's Movable Shanties, Etc.296
Smelt Fishing and the Smelt Fisher's House297
The Spearsman's Shanty300
Snaring Fish301
Spearing Fish302
How to Build a Fishing House303
Chapter XXXIII.In-Door Amusements305
Bric-a-Brac, or the Tourist's Curiosities305
A Literary Sketch Club310
Chapter XXXIV.The Boy's Own Phunnygraph314
Chapter XXXV.How to Make Puppets and a Puppet-Show322
How to Make the Stage323
The Scenery323
The Old Mill325
Corsando and the Donkey327
The Royal Coach328
How to Work the Puppets330
Stage Effects331
How to Make a Magical Dance332
How to Make a Sea Scene332
Chapter XXXVI.Puss-in-Boots. Dramatized and Adapted for a Puppet-Show334
Act I. Scene I.Landscape, with Tree, Bridge, and Mill at one side334
Scene II.Woods336
Act II. Scene I.King's Palace337
Scene II.High-road238
Act III. Scene I.Interior of Ogre's Castle341
Chapter XXXVII.How to Make a Magic Lantern--A Kaleidoscope--A Fortune-Teller's Box, Etc.345
A Home-Made Kaleidoscope347
The Fortune-Teller's Box348
The Magic Cask351
How the Barrel is Made352
Chapter XXXVIII.How to Make the Dancing Fairies, the Bather, and the Orator354
How to Make a Handkerchief Doll354
The Bather356
The Orator357
Chapter XXXIX.How to Make Various and Divers Whirligigs359
Potato Mill359
A Saw-Mill360
The Rainbow Whirligig361
A Paradoxical Whirligig363
The Phantasmoscope, or Magic Wheel364
Chapter XL.The Universe in a Card-Box368
Chapter XLI.Life Instilled into Paper Puppets, and Matches Made of Human Fingers371
To Light the Gas with your Finger373
Chapter XLII.Home-Made Masquerade and Theatrical Costumes374
The White Man of the Desert374
"The Fourteenth Century Young Man"375
The Mediaeval Hat376
The Wig377
Eyebrows, Moustache, and Beard377
The Doublet377
To Dress379
The Baby379
How to Make a Handkerchief Hood380
Additional Suggestions for the Four Seasons
Thousands of Kites383
The Tailless Kite--Holland Kite384
The Goose Fisherman386
The Pistol Reporter387
The Floating Tie-Up388
Home-Made Boats389
Slab Canoe389
How to Build a Birch Bark Canoe390
Indian Birch Bark Canoe392
A Canvas Canoe406
The Dug-out408
How to Build a Siwash Canoe408
Paper Fireworks410
Paper Whirligigs413
Home-made Hunting Apparatus414
Duck Decoys