Saturday, February 20, 2016

Robert Williams Wood | Carrot in Camouflage

Robert W. Wood, How to Tell the Birds From the Flowers
Above One of the comparative illustrations in How To Tell the Birds from the Flowers: A Revised Manual of Flornithology for Beginners, with verses and illustrations by Robert Williams Wood (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1917). A later edition was published by Dover Publications in 1959. Wood (1868-1955) was a prominent American scientist. In his children's book, each comparative image is accompanied by a nonsense verse. This one reads as follows—

The Parrot and the Carrot one may easily confound,
They're very much alike in looks and similar in sound,
We recognize the Parrot by his clear articulation,
For carrots are unable to engage in conversation.


Anon, The Versatile Carrot in the Urbana Daily Courier (Urbana IL), May 28, 1919—

There is nothing like a war to change the status of things. Look, for example, at the humble carrot. Before the war it was one of the lowliest of all the vegetables, seldom used except for stews or New England boiled dinners, but it certainly has been doing its bit in the culinary line recently. It has become a past master in the art of camouflage. Grated raw, it is said to be a very good substitute for eggs in certain things. Little slices dried become raisins and currants, and other bits, treated a little differently, masquerade as candied orange and lemon peel. Orange marmalade and certain kinds of jam are made of them, and large chances of them boiled and sugared make wonderful candied fruits of very kind—pineapples, pears, apricots, cherries—and are used by many caterers to give their war cakes and puddings a prosperous and festive look.