NEWSPAPER Brides vs. Mail-Order Brides

NEWSPAPER Brides vs. Mail-Order Brides

The term “Mail-Order Bride” is a 20th century development, though current popular fiction suggests it was common as early as the Civil War.
Matrimonial advertisements were published in newspapers far more often than a “catalog” of sorts. In fact more than one Matrimonial-type newspaper started up in the late 19th Century. The Matrimonial News did quite well in London, Germany, and the United States.

Oatmeal & Victorian America’s Attitude

Oatmeal & Victorian America’s Attitude

Some Victorians spoke of oatmeal as if it were a mainstay of their diets. Others claimed oats were fit only for animal fodder or for use in baths to soften skin… but food? Ugh. No. Why were beliefs so polarized? Why did Victorian-Americans have an aversion to oats?

Oatmeal for Food, 1873

Oatmeal for Food, 1873

In support of my other articles about oatmeal in the recipes of Victorian-era Americans, this post contains a lengthy vintage newspaper clipping, an article titled “Oatmeal for Food”. Originally published: Green-Mountain Freeman of Montpelier, Vermont on May 21, 1873. Included as a careful transcription, maintaining formatting, spelling, punctuation, paragraph length, and more. Also includes the digital images from the nearly 150-year old newspaper.

Victorian Oatmeal RAISIN Cookies

Victorian Oatmeal RAISIN Cookies

Near the year 1900, Victorian-American cooks finally started combining raisins (which they had plenty of uses for) and oatmeal–a grain they’d only recently begun accepting. This article contains several vintage recipes from nineteenth century newspapers: raisins in other late-Victorian recipes, and at last–chopped raisins IN oatmeal cookies.

Victorian Oatmeal Cookies

Victorian Oatmeal Cookies

Today, April 30, is Oatmeal Cookie Day!

Who knew?! “Everyone” online claims Fannie Merritt Farmer’s oatmeal cookie recipe (1896) to be the FIRST published (FALSE!)… but I found fourteen Victorian-American recipes in vintage cook books and newspapers beginning in 1883. How did history (mistakenly) favor Fannie?

History: The Gunsmith’s Bride

History: The Gunsmith’s Bride

The “Dear Reader” section at the back of the kindle edition (of each of my titles) contains clickable links to historical references, blog articles, definitions, and much more. Given paperback readers can read the basic content but cannot easily access these extras, I’ve begun creating pages for use by paperback readers, with easy access for them via QR codes.

This page contains the clickable link-rich content for The Gunsmith’s Bride.

February 23 – National Banana Bread Day

February 23 – National Banana Bread Day

Today, February 23, is National Banana Bread Day. While banana bread (as we now know it) became a staple among home bakers in the 1930s, banana bread had its start in the late Victorian era where “banana flour” came to the United States from the tropics. Vintage newspaper advertisements show the beginnings of banana bread available in bakeries and homemakers’ awareness of quality nutrition to be found in the imported fruit and “flour.” With or without nuts, banana bread is a hallmark of American quick breads… and our nineteenth century ancestors, complete with baking powder and a wealth of cake-baking knowledge, were prepared for the post-Great Depression’s urge to “use it up.”

Victorian Homemakers Present Tapioca Pudding

Victorian Homemakers Present Tapioca Pudding

Victorian Americans favored many different kinds of puddings for desserts, during all seasons of the year. One type was tapioca–which hasn’t changed much in the intervening hundred-plus years. See many similar recipes in vintage era cook books and newspapers; plain, apple, peach, (and early in the 20th century, caramel).

Victorian Coffee

Victorian Coffee

We know coffee was an every-day commodity in the Victorian American West, but how much do you know about its availability, preparation methods, the era’s tried-and-true substitutions, and where it was purchased? Come see!

A Victorian-American Thanksgiving Day, 1897

A Victorian-American Thanksgiving Day, 1897

A newspaper article published on November 25, 1897 (El Dorado, KS, syndicated from NY Tribune) sheds historical light on what Thanksgiving Day was to the late Victorians in the United States. Includes: origins, thanksgiving souvenirs, thanksgiving entertainments, and thanksgiving decorations… a glimpse into Thanksgiving in 1897.