mid-19th century life

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  1. Eleanor Rose

    History Nestled in the NC Sandhills

    The Holly Inn in Pinehurst, NC This story begins in 1895, when Boston Philanthropist James Walker Tufts purchased 5,800 acres of ravaged timberland in the Sandhills region of central North Carolina. This land, which cost Tufts about $1 per acre, was a barren, sandy wasteland. Nothing remained...
  2. Eleanor Rose

    Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

    (Wikipedia Commons) I think many folks may have them – questions about our Victorian friends that we never quite knew how or where to ask. Well now’s your chance. Throw caution (but not common sense) to the wind and pose your question(s) here. I’ll do my best to answer or call on my fabulous...
  3. Eleanor Rose

    The Story of a Fallen Woman with a Twist!

    The Awakening Conscience by William Holman Hunt - 1853. (Public Domain) William Holman Hunt’s painting, The Awakening Conscience, attempts to address the common Victorian narrative of the fallen woman. The young lady appears to be a stereotypical, a young unmarried woman engaged in an affair...
  4. Eleanor Rose

    A Woman’s Place is in the Home: The 19th Century Separate Spheres

    Early stereoscopic image entitled, "The New Woman, Wash Day " mocks reversal of the separate spheres. The New Woman.—Wash Day.” American Stereoscopic Company, 1901, stereograph. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. In the 19th century gender roles were looked upon as separate spheres. A woman's...
  5. Eleanor Rose

    Leap Year and the Victorian Ladies’ Prerogative

    Victorian Leap Year humor, as part of an advertisement for thread. (Public Domain) In the 19th century, Leap Year provided the opportunity for the reversal of roles between the “fairer sex” and gentlemen. On February 29th, a lady had the prerogative to propose marriage to the man whom her heart...
  6. Eleanor Rose

    Mardi Gras: When Victorians "Let the Good Times Roll"

    (Public Domain) Mardi Gras has traditionally been marked by debauchery, even in Victorian times. The engraving above done by B. West Clinedinst for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper in 1893 was entitled, "Promiscuous Maskers on Canal Street, New Orleans Mardi Gras." It depicts men and...
  7. Eleanor Rose

    The Mid-19th Century Spin on, “It’s Complicated”

    Front entrance of the Oneida Community Mansion House (Public Domain) You have probably heard someone say something like, “We have a complicated relationship.” Well, the Oneida Community, founded by John Humphrey Noyes in 1848 in Oneida, New York, puts a whole other spin on it. Among other...
  8. Eleanor Rose

    "Fallen Women"

    "Found Drowned" by George Frederic Watts (1850) - Public Domain We have discussed the notion in other threads that perhaps our Victorian friends weren’t quite as straight laced or uptight as they have been portrayed. If you look at enough period photos, you will see a smile, and if you read...
  9. Eleanor Rose

    You Can Be My Valentine, But Stay Out of My Bed!

    (Getty Images) In the Mid-19th Century, marriage handbooks suggested the way to keep your husband interested involved never, ever actually sleeping in the same bed with him. One such guide advised having separate bedrooms stating, "While this might seem like a cold custom, is not this better...
  10. Eleanor Rose

    Mardi Gras In The Mid-19th Century

    (Public Domain) Mardi Gras is right around the corner, and before you know it, folks will be lining up to view the parades and filling up on King Cake. These are a few vintage photos of Mardi Gras in the Mid-19th century. It struck me how no matter how much time has passed, some things just...
  11. Eleanor Rose

    Think You've Heard Some Unusual Names? Think Again!

    (Public Domain) As a retired educator, I encountered some unusual names throughout the years. So I was intrigued when I read about the work of Fraser & Fraser, a London-based genealogy firm that spent more than 40 years compiling a list of comical and bizarre baby names given during the...
  12. Eleanor Rose

    Snapdragon: A Bonkers Victorian Parlor Game

    (Public Domain) Wow! It seems nothing said fun to Victorians quite like blistered hands, burned lips and a scorched palate. Snapdragon was an unusual, but very popular parlor game played by adults and children during the Victorian era. Two dozen raisins (almonds, grapes or plums would also...
  13. Eleanor Rose

    Keeping Toasty in the Mid-19th Century

    "Winter 1882" by Francesc Masriera - Public Domain So how did our Victorian friends keep warm without all the modern conveniences so many of us rely upon? While I love romanticizing about a lovely belle sitting by a roaring fire in a beautiful drawing room, that wasn't the “real world” for...
  14. Eleanor Rose

    How to Bathe in Snow!?!

    Vintage cabinet card of friends or sisters in the snow (Public Domain) Folks, are you looking for a refreshing skin care regimen? Ladies, are you worried about the dyes in your cosmetics? If so, I may have found a solution for you. Do you have access to some snow? If you do, then this snow...
  15. Eleanor Rose

    How to Build a Snow Giant in 1895

    (Public Domain) For many of us the winter months bring back fond memories of building snowmen, snowwomen or snow people - whichever you prefer to call it. For some of us the winter months still bring us opportunities to test our sculpting skills. Well, The Modern Playmate published directions...
  16. Eleanor Rose

    Achoo! Surviving the Common Cold in Victorian Times

    The Invalid by William Powell Frith, 1890. (Public Domain) It’s that time of year again – cold and flu season. The nagging cough, aches and congestion can be really tough to handle. So how did our Victorian friends manage when these illnesses struck? Did they give up and take to their beds or...
  17. Eleanor Rose

    Hurting for Love and Attention

    (Public Domain) From the late 1800s through the early 1900s, a handful of European doctors wrote of otherwise healthy patients (men and women) who turned up at hospitals with faked diseases or who seemed addicted to surgical procedures. During the late 19th century the condition was referred to...
  18. Eleanor Rose

    The Very Real Danger of Living in the Past

    (Credit: Wellcome Collection) The Grim Reaper seemed to always be just around the corner in the Mid-19th century. A fancy dress or a beautiful piece of wallpaper could spell doom and despair. Fortunately, modern advances and mandated safeguards have greatly improved our life expectancy today...
  19. Eleanor Rose

    Dry January: A Victorian Tradition?!?

    ("L’Absinthe" by Edgar Degas, 1876. - Public Domain) The custom of abstaining from alcohol for a short period of time each year was practiced by many of our Victorian friends. Medical books and journals of the day often recommended the practice to cleanse the body and clear the mind. For...
  20. Eleanor Rose

    Mid-19th Century Life’s Best of 2019

    Drum roll please!!! These are the ten threads in Mid-19th Century Life that received the highest reaction score in 2019. Of course there are plenty of others that ranked almost as high. If you haven’t perused the Mid-19th Century Life forum, this is what you’re missing. And if you are a regular...
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