Three Generations Of Victorian Ancestors, We Girls Mark Time

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Central Pennsylvania
vic finished.JPG

Three generation's worth of Victorian women although they'll try ( and do ) confuse you. By 1890 or so ' Edwardian ' fashion appears and he wouldn't be king for another decade. Time's blip second from left is 1861.

Our Civil War took place inside what we've come to refer to as The Victorian Era, ' inside ' the operative word. It's important because the war took place on the backdrop of a specific time period. 1861-1865, a blink in a nearly 60 year span we've managed to lump into one handy ( albeit romantic ) designation, " Victorian ". With Queen Victoria looming large over her reign, six decades elapsed. That's an awfully long time- three generations worth! The queen who imprinted so much on our society reigned from 1837, at barely 18, to 1901. I've heard ' early Victorian ', etc., may be the best way when being more precise although it takes math. :cold: 1861-1865, early/mid-Victorian.

We tend to be most familiar with Alexandrina Victoria's images as the elderly woman, gray and maybe a little grim. It's better remembering the 18 year old girl who woke up one day as Queen. And thus began an era.
vic young.JPG


It's not an infallible method of marking time BUT pretty effective. Want to witness history and figure out who goes where in Time? Go see what we girls were wearing. Men aren't as illustrative- you hear a lot of stories where they'd be buried in the same suit worn for their wedding 40 years previously.

What Queen Victoria would have recognized when she got up that morning in 1837 to begin the longest reign in British history.
vic finished 1840.JPG


Here's how important that is. It's 2020. Sixty years ago, 1960. The intervening years have registered changes and marked so many world and society altering events you simply cannot list all of them. Let's see, 1960. That's twelve Presidents and several wars ago. Born in 2020, your grandmother wore plastic go-go boots and her mother winced when she walked out of the house in her mini-skirt. Point being, the era would have to be called The EisenhowerKennedyJohnsonNixonFordCarterReaganBushClintonBushObamaTrump era, by comparison to how very, very long was the ' Victorian ' era and we'd be EisenhowerKennedyJohnsonNixonFordCarterReaganBushClintonBushObamaTrumpians. When we're someone's ancestor that's going to be tough pinning down.

vic finished 1852.jpg

1852. We hadn't invented those iconic hoops as yet, layers of petticoats. Queen Victoria actually hated hoops anyway, issued a strong condemnation of the fashion as dangerous and absurd.

vic finished 1859 plate.jpg

AND here they are! An absurd, extreme fashion fortunately encompasses the war years- this is 1859, earliest I can find is 1858 and the last image of hoops I found was in an 1866 issue of Le Mode.

We miss an awful lot and really, add to some fairly rampant, frequently hilarious pieces of fractured history- check out Pinterest for a few.

1865, we'd lost our minds. It could have been the ever-increasing size that doomed this genuinely iconic, war time fad. With increased size fatal accidents increased, too. Public outrage can be found in nearly every newspaper along with horrific stories of death-by-crinoline.
vic finished 1865.jpg


Personally getting fairly familiar with being able to ascertain who was when through what on earth we wore. If I did it for EisenhowerKennedyJohnsonNixonFordCarterReaganBushClintonBushObamaTrumpians it'd be a chore- common decency would require the entire '80's to be omitted, the 90's were not much improved.

SO we glued it all onto the back, a decision I've always questioned. I mean really? Draw attention to the ONE area most women would rather not be a focal point? We became a addicted to a pretty grandiose amount of bows, frills, feathers 'n lace 'n fuss, too.
vic finished 1871.jpg


vic finished 1880.JPG

1880, our Civil War vets' children streamlined, finally. Notice we weren't ready to let go of all the fuss.

THEN that darn bustle came BACK, why do we never learn from bitter experience? 1886. And added around a foot of hair.
vic finished 1886.jpg


Victoria's reign and era ended just a few weeks into 1901, January 22nd. In 6 days she'll celebrate her 201st birthday. It's actually an important event. For one person to have imprinted so MUCH history she's an actual era spanning three generations, with such massive changes? Remarkable.

vic finished 1895.jpg


vic finished 1900 five women.jpg


vic finished.JPG


vic finished 1900 five women.jpg
 

Gettmore

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Jul 5, 2015
Location
Western N.C.
View attachment 342390
Three generation's worth of Victorian women although they'll try ( and do ) confuse you. By 1890 or so ' Edwardian ' fashion appears and he wouldn't be king for another decade. Time's blip second from left is 1861.

Our Civil War took place inside what we've come to refer to as The Victorian Era, ' inside ' the operative word. It's important because the war took place on the backdrop of a specific time period. 1861-1865, a blink in a nearly 60 year span we've managed to lump into one handy ( albeit romantic ) designation, " Victorian ". With Queen Victoria looming large over her reign, six decades elapsed. That's an awfully long time- three generations worth! The queen who imprinted so much on our society reigned from 1837, at barely 18, to 1901. I've heard ' early Victorian ', etc., may be the best way when being more precise although it takes math. :cold: 1861-1865, early/mid-Victorian.

We tend to be most familiar with Alexandrina Victoria's images as the elderly woman, gray and maybe a little grim. It's better remembering the 18 year old girl who woke up one day as Queen. And thus began an era.
View attachment 342404

It's not an infallible method of marking time BUT pretty effective. Want to witness history and figure out who goes where in Time? Go see what we girls were wearing. Men aren't as illustrative- you hear a lot of stories where they'd be buried in the same suit worn for their wedding 40 years previously.

What Queen Victoria would have recognized when she got up that morning in 1837 to begin the longest reign in British history.
View attachment 342380

Here's how important that is. It's 2020. Sixty years ago, 1960. The intervening years have registered changes and marked so many world and society altering events you simply cannot list all of them. Let's see, 1960. That's twelve Presidents and several wars ago. Born in 2020, your grandmother wore plastic go-go boots and her mother winced when she walked out of the house in her mini-skirt. Point being, the era would have to be called The EisenhowerKennedyJohnsonNixonFordCarterReaganBushClintonBushObamaTrump era, by comparison to how very, very long was the ' Victorian ' era and we'd be EisenhowerKennedyJohnsonNixonFordCarterReaganBushClintonBushObamaTrumpians. When we're someone's ancestor that's going to be tough pinning down.

View attachment 342381
1852. We hadn't invented those iconic hoops as yet, layers of petticoats. Queen Victoria actually hated hoops anyway, issued a strong condemnation of the fashion as dangerous and absurd.

View attachment 342382
AND here they are! An absurd, extreme fashion fortunately encompasses the war years- this is 1859, earliest I can find is 1858 and the last image of hoops I found was in an 1866 issue of Le Mode.

We miss an awful lot and really, add to some fairly rampant, frequently hilarious pieces of fractured history- check out Pinterest for a few.

1865, we'd lost our minds. It could have been the ever-increasing size that doomed this genuinely iconic, war time fad. With increased size fatal accidents increased, too. Public outrage can be found in nearly every newspaper along with horrific stories of death-by-crinoline.
View attachment 342383

Personally getting fairly familiar with being able to ascertain who was when through what on earth we wore. If I did it for EisenhowerKennedyJohnsonNixonFordCarterReaganBushClintonBushObamaTrumpians it'd be a chore- common decency would require the entire '80's to be omitted, the 90's were not much improved.

SO we glued it all onto the back, a decision I've always questioned. I mean really? Draw attention to the ONE area most women would rather not be a focal point? We became a addicted to a pretty grandiose amount of bows, frills, feathers 'n lace 'n fuss, too.
View attachment 342384

View attachment 342385
1880, our Civil War vets' children streamlined, finally. Notice we weren't ready to let go of all the fuss.

THEN that darn bustle came BACK, why do we never learn from bitter experience? 1886. And added around a foot of hair.
View attachment 342386

Victoria's reign and era ended just a few weeks into 1901, January 22nd. In 6 days she'll celebrate her 201st birthday. It's actually an important event. For one person to have imprinted so MUCH history she's an actual era spanning three generations, with such massive changes? Remarkable.

View attachment 342387

View attachment 342388

View attachment 342389

View attachment 342397
As always a wonderful post. But I believe Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning Queen.
 
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Cavalry Charger

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@JPK Huson 1863 , you have a wonderful way with words and also the ability to get us thinking about things! I thoroughly enjoyed this piece and the hilarious reflections on some of our craziest fashion notions. Unfortunately there was a downside to some of them, but I do believe those hoops came in pretty handy for smuggling during the CW.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Joined
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Location
Central Pennsylvania
As always a wonderful post. But I believe Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning Queen.
You know, that snuck up on me, thank you! It must have been the same thing when Queen Victoria was on the throne- she's just always, always there. 1952, so duh- the longevity in that family is staggering, isn't it?

Unfortunately there was a downside to some of them, but I do believe those hoops came in pretty handy for smuggling during the CW.
That's always seemed such a hilarious idea, smuggling beneath them I mean. I realize intrepid women did it and at great risk of arrest but boy, can you imagine walking around with an entire commissary banging around under there? Found a list by a Provost, items taken from one woman. I think a HAM, pair of shoes, a few shirts and an incredible amount of candy was found. He wrote that the worst part of it was, no one wanted to be the guy who had to look.

Had no clue what a huge, big deal crinolines were, as in contention over them until poking around in era papers and documents! Between being dangerous and intrusive, a kind of war raged from the late 1850's until just post war.Cartoons lampooning them are hysterical, will dig up a thread.

I still feel prettier in my hoops than I do in my modern clothes. Maybe it’s becoming someone else that helps.

Wonder if that's one big reason they lasted as long as they did? It's inarguable they create quite a pretty image and women 150 years just, plain felt the same way! Idea was, corset made the waist as teeny as possible, hoops drew attention to that waist. Even with everything I've ascertained about them, dangers and how intrusive they can be I find myself drawn to those images through sheer ' pretty '.
 
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Cavalry Charger

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can you imagine walking around with an entire commissary banging around under there? Found a list by a Provost, items taken from one woman. I think a HAM, pair of shoes, a few shirts and an incredible amount of candy was found. He wrote that the worst part of it was, no one wanted to be the guy who had to look.
Well, that just made my day! Can you imagine the extra weight that would have added? Especially the ham :laugh:
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Just don’t go swimming with your good luck ham..

Right? That actually happened although it wasn't a ham. Rosie Greenhow, the Confederate firebrand of a spy drowned when a rowboat she was in while escaping capture over-turned. It must have been dangerous anyway trying to swim wearing all that fabric with which we girls were burdened- she was also carrying gold. I don't know what $2500 in gold looked like 150 years ago but guessing it was awfully heavy?
 
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Mrs. V

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Right? That actually happened although it wasn't a ham. Rosie Greenhow, the Confederate firebrand of a spy drowned when a rowboat she was in while escaping capture over-turned. It must have been dangerous anyway trying to swim wearing all that fabric with which we girls were burdened- she was also carrying gold. I don't know what $2500 in gold looked like 150 years ago but guessing it was awfully heavy?
Oh absolutely! Coupled with the fact that more than 80% of the population, including sailors did not know how to swim, she may have gone down, even if she knew how to swim. Which reminds me of a story...

When I was in field school, we would often swim from the boat to our collection site. So one day, one of the gals jumped in and starting swimming toward shore. I was still in the boat, waiting my turn to swim in. All of a sudden she stops and goes under..comes up and is just rigid in the water column...I thought, she’s drowning folks..so I jumped in and fast swam over to her, she was indeed in trouble. I got her to lay on her back, (I held her up) then I was able to remove her heavy painters pants. After that she was able to swim to shore. If I had not just finished my Scuba certification, I, like the entire boat load of students, would have watched her drown. And the kicker? If she’d put her feet down, she could have stood upright, and walked to shore.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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Location
Central Pennsylvania
Oh absolutely! Coupled with the fact that more than 80% of the population, including sailors did not know how to swim, she may have gone down, even if she knew how to swim. Which reminds me of a story...

When I was in field school, we would often swim from the boat to our collection site. So one day, one of the gals jumped in and starting swimming toward shore. I was still in the boat, waiting my turn to swim in. All of a sudden she stops and goes under..comes up and is just rigid in the water column...I thought, she’s drowning folks..so I jumped in and fast swam over to her, she was indeed in trouble. I got her to lay on her back, (I held her up) then I was able to remove her heavy painters pants. After that she was able to swim to shore. If I had not just finished my Scuba certification, I, like the entire boat load of students, would have watched her drown. And the kicker? If she’d put her feet down, she could have stood upright, and walked to shore.

HOLY heck, can't imagine! That's crazy! Have a ' thing ' about being in the right place at the right time, maybe you were supposed to be there.

I've heard about that kind of tragedy, someone drowning in shallow water. You know there's a Chinese tradition, if you save someone's life you're responsible for them forever? I've always thought wondered if it made anyone think twice before leaping into action. College is expensive.
 
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Mrs. V

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HOLY heck, can't imagine! That's crazy! Have a ' thing ' about being in the right place at the right time, maybe you were supposed to be there.

I've heard about that kind of tragedy, someone drowning in shallow water. You know there's a Chinese tradition, if you save someone's life you're responsible for them forever? I've always thought wondered if it made anyone think twice before leaping into action. College is expensive.
I have not heard from her since we did field school together. She had issues...and yes, I do think I was there at the right time.
 
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