Or rather, it was about obtaining status in marriage. In order to garner the attention of a gentleman, one must be lovely and fair. Therefore, a lady’s toilette held many a hushed secret to “natural” beauty.
Though some treatments proved fruitless (and even toxic), Victorian ladies found a myriad of recipes with nourishing properties such as. . .
Gentlemen on the streets. Rapscallions in the sheets.
True to form, what is seen isn’t always the most honest portrayal of conduct. These charlatans, these men of passion, enchanted ladies of their time. Poet Lord Byron fashioned She Walks in Beauty. Similarly, artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti committed the loveliness of his muses to canvas.
But what of those bad boys who were more than mere playboys. . ?
With high mortality rates a fact of life in the Victorian era, so too did mourning become a part of everyday life. Death was so close to home that in order to deal with loss and grief, the Victorians developed a complex set of rituals dedicated to the art of mourning.
Someone would walk up the stairs every night, walk down the long hallway, look into each room, and then go into the room at the end. My mom always kept the door to that room closed and she stored things like Christmas presents there. She never explained to my brother and me why we shared a room and couldn’t have that one.
For a person of means in the Victorian era, a music box was central to the parlor. In fact, unless blessed with a musically talented family member, a household’s primary source of musical entertainment was the music box.
These beautiful musical units, crafted by jewelers, were reminiscent of tinkling church bells.
Unfortunately, with the invention of Thomas Edison’s phonograph in 1910, production of revolving cylinder devices nearly ceased entirely, and the Victorian music box became a lost art.
The first successful system of sound recording – the gramophone – was invented by Emile Berliner, a German immigrant working in Washington D.C., in 1887. Emile was the first inventor to begin recording on flat discs, or records.
Opened in 1870 on Lake Erie, Cedar Point is the second-oldest amusement park in America and was home to the 1921 Dentzel Carousel, which traveled from park to park until landing there in 1971.
Artist Shelly was unaware of the stories whispered by employees about the ghostly lady who rode the carousel at night. She was simply fascinated by historic carousels – so fascinated that she made them the main subject of her work. Her life-sized renderings in pastels and oils depict carved animals from famous carousels. As drawn as she was to some of those marvelous menageries, she cannot explain why one plain old brownish horse captivated her two decades ago.
“I spent several days in a row, one summer, going back and photographing it,” she confided. She had no idea that the one horse by which she was so inexplicably mesmerized was haunted.
Strange Professions of the Victorian Era: Before alarm clocks became affordable or reliable, there existed a profession in 1920s Britain and Ireland called the knocker-upper. The knocker-upper’s job was to rouse sleeping people so they could get to work on time.