You can find many versions of The American Frugal Housewife online. Most are in much better condition than this 1844 version found amongst my grandmother's belongings. And while we can't be absolutely sure this volume's history was linked to my family history, the sense that it was is tangible. If it was with my family, then there is a good chance it traveled on the Oregon trail with them where it witnessed great adventures, successes and losses. Was it useful when settling in what amounted to a brand new world? What wisdom and practical aid did it provide its owner? What bits and pieces are laughably archaic and which still offer wisdom today? And what of the woman who wrote it and the time she lived in?