The white silver-skins are the best species. To boil them peel off the outside, cut off the ends, put them into cold water, and into a stewpan and let them scald two minutes; then turn off that water, pour on cold water salted a little, and boil slowly till tender, which will be in thirty or forty minutes, according to their size; when done drain them quite dry, pour a little melted butter over them, sprinkle them with pepper and salt and serve hot.
An excellent way to peel onions so as not to affect the eyes is to take a pan full of water and hold and peel them under the water.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)