Category: Victorian era

Books & Publishing Fiction History Journalism Victorian era

5 Victorian Era Writers that Tell Us What the Gilded Age Was Really Like

Nonfiction can be used to inform as Jacob Riis did in How the Other Half Lives or Nelly Bly in Ten Days in a Mad-House, but literature has the unique ability of telling readers about the human condition without preaching.  Often readers don’t even realize they are learning something about society or reading commentary.  Here […]

History Journalism Medicine Victorian era Women's history

Blackwell’s Island Asylum: “What, excepting torture, would produce insanity quicker than this treatment?”

This post was written by a guest blogger.  If you would like to guest blog, please fill out this form. Elizabeth Cochran’s Heroic Actions to Expose Corruption at Blackwell’s Island Women’s Asylum By Paulette Mahurin The Blackwell’s Island Asylum was the first civic mental hospital in the city of New York. Starting in the early […]

Victorian era

9 Doctor Who Episodes Set During the Victorian Era

It’s no secret I love history and historical fiction, but I also love science fiction, specifically sci-fi television shows.  One of my favorites is Doctor Who.  Maybe it’s the brainy yet quirky and socially awkward main character.  Maybe it’s the dash of humor in every adventure.  Or maybe it’s the time travel.  After all, what […]

History Medicine Victorian era

Victorian Poison Wallpaper: Death by Interior Design

We are slaves to fashion – both in our wardrooms and in our homes.  This also was the case during the Victorian era.  Homes in the Victorian era often were covered in wallpaper.  The Victorians loved wallpaper so much they covered every wall with it and sometimes the ceiling.  The wallpaper of choice was that […]

Edwardian era History Victorian era Women's history

The History of the Corset: A Slave to Fashion

The corset is probably considered the most uncomfortable garment ever invented, not only because it constricts the body, but because it also is symbolic of women being constricted in society.  Was this true, or is it a stereotype? Corsets have been part of a woman’s wardrobe since antiquity.  Over the centuries, they evolved and changed. […]

History Journalism United States Victorian era

Lizzie Borden: Damned by the Press?

The silence of a small New England town was shattered on the afternoon of August 4, 1892.  Andrew Borden and his second wife, Abby, were brutally murdered with an ax.  No one heard anything while the crime was being committed, but the media sensation it caused was heard across the country. Maid Bridget Sullivan was […]

History United States Victorian era

Keeping Away the Darkness: The Electrification of Cities

This week marks the 139th anniversary of an very momentous event in modern civilization.  Dec. 31 is the day Thomas Edison first demonstrated his incandescent lightbulb in Menlo Park, NJ. The lightbulb was nothing new in 1879.  It had been around longer than the 32-year-old Edison.  Older models were expensive and didn’t burn for long.  […]

History United States Victorian era

Boss Tweed: A Name Synonymous with Political Corruption

Corruption always has been a part of American politics. No one exemplifies this more than William “Boss” Tweed.  Tweed was active in New York City politics in the mid-19th century.  He was portrayed by Jim Broadbent in the 2002 film The Gangs of New York, and is best known for his role as head of in […]

History Victorian era Women's history

Josephine Cochran: History of the Dishwasher

Most of us rarely stop to think about the history of mundane things, such as our household items and appliances.  The dishwasher didn’t become commonplace in homes until the latter part of the 20th century.  However, the dishwasher has a history dating back more than 150 years.  What’s more, unlike many objects in your home, […]

History United States Victorian era

Ghosts and Things that Go Bump in the Night: Victorians and the Paranormal

Belief in the paranormal is not something that’s limited to modern times.   It began long ago with our ancestors telling spooky stories for entertainment.  The Victorians, especially, were practically obsessed with ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Spiritualism – the belief that the dead can interact with the living through a medium […]

Edwardian era History United States Victorian era

Yes, There Really Was Cocaine in Coca-Cola

We don’t call the soft drink Coca-Cola “Coke” for nothing.  The original formula contained cocaine, but how much is debatable.  The beverage’s syrup was manufactured with the extract of coca leaves – the leaves contain cocaine – and the caffeine rich kola nut. The beverage was one of several coca drinks on the market in […]

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