19th century

  • 19th Century Cycloramas

    Mar 19

    In the 1880s, a new technology for the era captured everyone's attention. It was a 'cyclorama', a circular structure with panoramic paintings inside in a 360-degree arrangement. Any could the viewer inside a feeling of being in a certain location. Very popular cyclorama scenes were battle scenes from the American Civil War, the Chicago Fire of 187...


  • Glass Slippers

    Feb 14

    No, not quite the fairy-tale of a glass slipper but rather a very popular curio you ancestors may have had. You might recall seeing them, but didn't know the story behind these glass slippers on display. Now, these were small glass pieces not the size of a true shoe. There were in the style of lady's high heel shoes, these made of vari...


  • Late 1800s Inventions —- Some Useful-Some Not

    Nov 27

    People have always been inventing things to make their life easier. This is so true in the late 1800s (1880 to 1899). One example was known as the 'Tissue-Oscillator Machine'. A person wore a belt around their backside or their stomach and the belt vibrated the body's tissue to improve the person's weight and health. It could treat const...


  • Why Were Family Homes and Other Buildings White?

    Nov 17

    Think back to old vintage homes, medium to smaller ones, not always those considered huge mansions, most were white. Such vintage houses weren’t painted as we know it today. Instead, they were whitewashed, a process of coating a wooden (or brick) surface with a combination of water, hydrated lime, and salt mixed with various ingredients (li...


  • Trading Tiny Portraits

    Sep 9

    If you inherited a collection of photos and there are some people may be from the 1880s to the turn of the 20th century you do not have a clue about, it could be those photos were part of trading. During the Victorian era (1850s – 1900), it was the practice to have a calling card, the wealthy Victorian socialite’s version of a busin...


  • 1780s to 1860s – Portrait of an Eye

    Sep 3

    Over the decades and centuries, our ancestors have done and produced some very unusual artifacts, many handed down over the generations. Here is one from the 1700s, if you have such an heirloom, it is a rarity. A very popular keepsake were miniature portraits (in lockets, watches) especially in eighteenth-century England and then Amer...


  • Federal Mortality Schedules

    Aug 11

    Anyone working on their family tree has checked at least one set of US Federal Census, depending on when their ancestors lived. Each and every one offers its own unique insight to a relative's life at that moment. Yet, one type of census might not be as familiar but should be used by those doing family research. The US Federal government ...


  • Your Ancestors Had Their Issues to Protest

    Jul 11

    Sometimes, especially during the Summer 2020, there are many things that have upset and frustrated Americans – race relations, police wrong-doings, wearing a facial mask, Presidential Rallies; business closures, social distancing, unemployment, Covid-19, beach closings, etc. Yet, all we need to do is look at our own past history to see Americ...


  • Bank for the Ladies in 1880s

    Jun 1

    If you had female ancestors in Boston in the 1880s, they may have been a member of a unique establishment for the times. This unique establishment started in April 1879 by Sarah E. Howe was the Ladies' Deposit Company (a bank) located in Boston. Sarah was unique herself, a former fortune teller, once married but now single in 1877. She saw ...


  • Not Using Married Lady’s Given Names

    May 19

    It can be hard enough trying to research the female ancestors on the family tree, especially in the 1800s into the first half of the 20th century. It was a practice that once a woman married, from then on especially in any newspaper articles or journals / reports by organizations, she was referred to as: 'Mrs. Henry Wilson'. It was not acce...