GBH Openvault

Making Things Work; Fireplaces


License Clip

This program cannot be made available on Open Vault.

More material may be available from this program at the GBH Archives. If you would like research access to the collection at GBH, please email

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, GBH Archives, accessed March 5, 2024,
MLA: “Making Things Work; Fireplaces.” 08/09/1971. GBH Archives. Web. March 5, 2024. <>.
APA: Making Things Work; Fireplaces. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.