19th century

  • Some Dangerous Items of Your Ancestors

    May 11

    With many health and safety standards in place today in the 21st century, it is only due to the struggles and dangers our ancestors suffered with new manufacturing, technology and chemistry decades ago. Our ancestors were offered new consumer products with little or no testing of their safety on humans. They instead had to learn firsthand if so...

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  • Spittoons

    May 1

    Now this item – a spittoon or cuspidor, you may or not be aware of. Yet for decades it was a necessary item in all types of locations – in homes or businesses. They were used as a disposal location for tobacco-laced saliva. Yes, many men in the 1700s into the early 20th century, chewed tobacco. The person didn't swallow the tobacco but rather ...

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  • Pink for Girls

    Apr 25

    Girls dressed in the pink color may be thought to be a natural but not always. Going to the 1700s and early 1800s, the masculine color was pink in order to grow into a more manly individual later in life, while girls should be dressed in a more feminine alternative like blue. Then go to 1900 and a little earlier for your great-great grandmothers a...

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  • Victorian Letter Writing

    Apr 11

    Such a 'lost' art in the 21st century. But if you are fortunate to have hand-written letters handed down through the family, you truly have a treasure. Since there were very few if any telephones and telegraph messages were expensive, the best method to send messages and family information was via a hand-written letter mailed by the US post office...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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