WGBH Openvault

Making Things Work; Fireplaces


License Clip

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Making Things Work
Program Number


Series Description

WGBH program (C. 1971) hosted by Thalassa Cruso on fix-it projects around the house - how to mend household items, remove stains. Series release date: 1971

Program Description

Thalassa discusses the use and care of fireplaces, including how to lay a fire with newspaper, kindling, and logs. Demonstrates Cape Cod lighter and its homemade counterpart, a brick soaked in kerosene. Suggests cleaning fireplace in the springtime, removing ashes, and closing damper to prevent birds from getting into the house. Prepares for reuse of fireplace by warming up chimney by holding burning newspaper torch before lighting the first fire of the season. Polishes brass with homemade mixture of rottenstone and olive oil and cleans brass with halved lemon covered with salt. Cleans picture glass above fireplace with newspaper and cold tea and cleans gilt frame with water in which either onions or spinach has been boiled. Cleans pewter with whiting and denatured alcohol or rottenstone and olive oil.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Home Improvement
Chicago: “Making Things Work; Fireplaces,” 08/09/1971, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed September 18, 2020, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_2A9451A01EDF4505B11AD26761FBAB3C.
MLA: “Making Things Work; Fireplaces.” 08/09/1971. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. September 18, 2020. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_2A9451A01EDF4505B11AD26761FBAB3C>.
APA: Making Things Work; Fireplaces. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_2A9451A01EDF4505B11AD26761FBAB3C
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