This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
"At Lord X's, one of the wealthiest peers of the realm, great preparations are being made for the coming of age of the heir. He was a veritable Christmas box to his family, being born on boxing-day, and the festivities are to be of quite an elaborate character. There are to be two supper rooms - one Oriental and the other a representation of ocean caves. The latter is a wooden building thrown out from the piazza leading from the dining-room windows, and taking the whole area of the three windows and the lawn. This hint as to mode of decoration may be useful both to restaurateurs and caterers. The caves are formed of cork, whitewashed, and then brushed over with a solution of Epsom salts and permitted to dry; this forms crystals, and is mixed with other pieces of cork finished by being dusted whilst wet with ground glass. Glass dust is procurable at a very cheap rate from the glass works. These pieces of cork, when finished, are to be nailed to the roof and sides of the room, and pots of grass interspersed amongst the wall decorations. Coke coated with whitewash for the ground.
Gas jets with reflectors of glass mounted on discs with red, green and white tinfoil at the back will be grouped so as to give quite a fairy-like beauty to the scene; and one large electric lamp will be placed in the wooden building, the same machine supplying the electricity as that used for the ball room. This, by the way, is a continuation of the central hall, which acts as reception and crush room, and for the buffets of ices, claret and champagne cups, etc".