|1857 advertisement (Wikimedia Commons)|
All you need to do is get a candle, a hammer, a nail, a pine stick and a hot flat iron. After you have crawled under and bumped your head on the brick columns and raked your back on the joist, and barked your knees on the old iron hoops which always take up lodging under a house, you put the flat iron to the cold water pipe. It's no use to try to iron the wrinkles out of a water-pipe.
The do-it-yourself hero of the piece then tries driving a nail into the pipe to see how frozen the pipes are, and of course soon gets drenched with the contents of a burst pipe. He then inches back out of the crawlspace for rags to make a tourniquet for the pipe, and "whoop[s] for the water to be shut off" and tries putting glue on the pipe. In short, he makes a mess of things. And in the end, he sends for a plumber - which is really what he ought to have done in the first place. A professional, in other words, equipped with - perhaps - something like Hanson's Hydraulic Ram (pictured in the 1857 ad above right) - much more effective than pine sticks, rags and glue.
*Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Jan. 23, 1881, p. 1.
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