Regarding the etymology of “findings” and “Liver of Sulphur”:
probably more than you ever wanted to know. My source is the Oxford
English Dictionary and Supplement.
There are 6 definitions for the word “finding,” of which we are
interested in the definition of the plural form, which is 4.c.:
4.c. in pl. (See quots.) Also attrib. In finding-store (U.S.). 1846
WORCESTER (citing Chute), Findings, pl., the tools and materials
used by shoemakers. 1858 SIMMONDS Dict. Trade, Findings, the wax,
thread and tools which a journeyman shoemaker has to supply himself
with for his work. Ibid, Finding-stores, an American name for what
are termed in England grindery-warehouses; shops where shoemakers’
tools, etc. are vended.
The definition in 4. c. is expanded upon in the Supplement, with
more quotes: 1896 Godey’s Mag. Feb 222/2 “The cost of findings for a
waist.” 1939 M. B. PICKEN Lang. Fashion 57/2 “Findings, threads,
tapes, buttons, bindings, hooks and eyes, slide fasteners,
Featherbone, belting, braids, and other sewing essentials used in
garment making; carried in notion departments.” 1971 Lebende Sprachen
XVI. 11/1 “US findings-BE US sewing things.”
Now for Liver of Sulphur. The definition is the fourth:
- In old chemical terminology, applied (translation of the Latin
"hepar") to certain liver-coloured substances, e.g., metallic
sulphides, and compounds of a metal or of sulphur with an ‘alkali’.
First use was noted in 1694, but the entry from 1800, a translation
of something called Lagranges Chem., provides an explanation for its
use: “You fuse together equal parts of sulphur and alkali, …and the
result will be a solid mass of a reddish brown colour, …which has a
considerable resemblance to the liver of certain animals. It is for
this reason that sulphurets have been called Livers.”
Christine in autumnal Littleton, Massachusetts, USA.