Summertime, Summertime 1860's Sum Sum Summertime...

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JPK Huson 1863

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Godey's Lady's Book, 1861, scantily clad, for the century in beach toggery, it's a daring illustration on Godey's part

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Hot? My New England genes are screaming, the dogs spend a lot of time eating salamanders in the pond, every bug whose job it is to make summer a contact sport has assaulted this house and a faint, green haze just sprouted on all leather surfaces.




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Summer issues of newspapers and periodicals included crafts- children home could pursue. This is pretty cool.

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Children, boys and girls, wore light, cotton dresses- instructions included



How did our ancestors do it? Eyebrow to ankle and beyond, modesty forbade our skimpier efforts at a cool-down. They did their best. And it was summer, war on distant horizons, sometimes summer had to what it always was. Summertime.

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Too funny, but an over view, where to spend one's summer!

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It does all look floating and gauzy ( muslins and poplins ), but can you imagine? Layers, neck to toe, you're awfully warm- albeit charmingly attired.

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Using this because collecting butterflies was a ' thing '- honest. Nature lessons were huge, more easily a ' thing ' for children close to the country.

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This is pretty early, 1840? Kids and summer! How long until those boys are stung, playing in a bee hive?

NO ice! Summer without ice? No, really! Well, you just know three people paid attention to this with July's 90 degree days stretching into August.

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Cavalry Charger

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Why, oh why, oh why did we women always have to wear so many clothes??!! No wonder there was so much fainting going on in the day, and smelling salts required! Seems the notion of what women should be required to wear was as oppressive as some of that summer heat...poor things.
I did laugh at this little gem: "it is questionable whether those who have passed 45(!) are not better off in their own homes in the city, enjoying their undisturbed routine and the quiet comfort which attaches to sameness at the change to the downhill of life" :roflmao::roflmao:. I didn't know I was on the 'downhill' until I read this snippet :help:. I do remember thinking when I was younger that people over a certain age were 'old'. Strangely enough, when you get to that age, you tend to disagree :giggle:.
 
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As for not drinking ice cold liquids, tgere is truth in it. I know from my own experience. One hot summer day we did a bicycle trip of about 40 mi. Halfway through we came into a small charming town and as I was parched and hungry we went to an inn and I ordered a large Coke with ice along with a salad. The Coke came, I gulped it, it was wonderfully refreshing until some minutes later I got the worst stomach ache I ever knew. And my bowels were turning... I thought I'd die, no kidding. I couldn't eat the salad, I sat bent over at my table trying to look as normal as possible, or hurried to the bathroom because I felt sooo sick. That was when I remembered my Mom saying exactly that: never drink ice cold drinks too hastily when you are hot!
 

JPK Huson 1863

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As for not drinking ice cold liquids, tgere is truth in it. I know from my own experience. One hot summer day we did a bicycle trip of about 40 mi. Halfway through we came into a small charming town and as I was parched and hungry we went to an inn and I ordered a large Coke with ice along with a salad. The Coke came, I gulped it, it was wonderfully refreshing until some minutes later I got the worst stomach ache I ever knew. And my bowels were turning... I thought I'd die, no kidding. I couldn't eat the salad, I sat bent over at my table trying to look as normal as possible, or hurried to the bathroom because I felt sooo sick. That was when I remembered my Mom saying exactly that: never drink ice cold drinks too hastily when you are hot!

Really? So that is a ' thing '? Oh goodness, do not let that get out here, Andrea! We'll have warning labels on all our ice makers, soda machines, ice tea makers ( mine is called a pot in which you boil water ) and plastic ice trays!
 
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I have read that many women added weights to the hem of their bathing suits to prevent the garment from floating up and showing their legs.
We were cursed! Now they're adding weights to our costumes!

Modesty ruled over fashion
Being a gentlemen would have come much easier in the day...
 

JPK Huson 1863

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We were cursed! Now they're adding weights to our costumes!


Being a gentlemen would have come much easier in the day...

Ah yes, but scrawny women were not admired, either! Ohhhhh no, found a Harper's article, sandwiched between war news, with a diet for women, " lankys ' whose displeasing shape could be rectified if only we tried. :giggle: THEN we were scolded the whole drinking vinegar scandal- having gone too far the other way. They article did mention how a man, higher in pounds, had his life saved in a knife fight because a stab wound reached no vital organs? I'm unclear what the point was there.

AND. My all-time favorite self-defense argument, which was successful? No lie. 35 years ago, around here, a perfectly lovely woman who happened to be larger than her husband could not get away from his abuse. He was awful, nasty, little guy? She sat on him, called the police? By the time they got there, little germ had gone to the big jail for wife beaters in the sky. Makes you happy she did not resort to vinegar.

I'm voting for putting these bathing dresses back on and forgetting about the whole thing.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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If they added weights to their bathing suits, they could have sunk and possibly drowned. To protect one thing, leads to being unsafe in water. Maybe they didn't go into deep water.

Great illustrations. Like the bathing suits and dresses.

Guessing they were like fishing weights, maybe? Still- having gone into water wearing clothes, it's not a nice experience ( don't ask ). Wonder how many women could swim, too?

Wiki state bathing machines were used from 1750- you know, small, enclosed wagons pulled down to the water or into it? Bathing dresses were so shocking, best not to be seen in them. Now there are famous, topless beaches, no, thank you, even at 18.
 

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Ah yes, but scrawny women were not admired, either! Ohhhhh no, found a Harper's article, sandwiched between war news, with a diet for women, " lankys ' whose displeasing shape could be rectified if only we tried. :giggle: THEN we were scolded the whole drinking vinegar scandal- having gone too far the other way. They article did mention how a man, higher in pounds, had his life saved in a knife fight because a stab wound reached no vital organs? I'm unclear what the point was there.

AND. My all-time favorite self-defense argument, which was successful? No lie. 35 years ago, around here, a perfectly lovely woman who happened to be larger than her husband could not get away from his abuse. He was awful, nasty, little guy? She sat on him, called the police? By the time they got there, little germ had gone to the big jail for wife beaters in the sky. Makes you happy she did not resort to vinegar.

I'm voting for putting these bathing dresses back on and forgetting about the whole thing.
This whole post had me laughing out loud JPK! You have a wonderful treasury of stories and insights...so glad we get to be part of them :smile: Interesting that scrawny women were not admired...who could tell under all those clothes?? As to the story about the wife and her violent husband - sounds like an accidental death to me! How ironic :wink:
 
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EJ Zander

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Sorry for intruding, for those that could not swim a rope was tied to the bathing machine that they held on to. Especially if there were rip currents and close to shore troughs/ drop offs. Not sure how one could effectively swim with those suits on anyway though.
Look familiar? This was found during excavation of a Roman Villa and dubbed the "bikini girls". Funny how things go full circle.
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donna

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I didn't remember about the bathing houses. Interesting times.

I guess as you wrote be hard to swim in those suits even if they didn't have weights.

That interesting picture from the Roman Villa. Things do come full circle.
 
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