Did Victorian-era Americans partake of tobacco products with ignorant bliss? Or were they aware of health dangers? And were those health dangers remotely accurate (compared to today)?
Join me for a look at various newspaper articles, medical journal pieces, vintage photographs, and more. I’ll allow you to draw your own conclusions.
Victorian-American husbands and wives celebrated their wedding anniversaries in a variety of ways. The wealthy held sumptuous dinners and balls in honor of their years of wedded bliss and their guest lists and published itemized gifts showed it! A variety of late-nineteenth-century American etiquette governed much about the Victorian-American Wedding Anniversary, from invitation to gifts to entertainments.
But not all Victorian-Americans took marriage anniversaries too seriously. Some ignored them altogether (and we have the documentation to prove it). Others poked a bit of fun at them, assigning credible reasons why one would need a cotton wedding, a paper wedding, leather wedding, and so forth.
Today, March 4, is National Pound Cake Day ~ a perfect day to celebrate Pound Cake in Victorian America.
What is pound cake? What is it made of? Why was it a popular cake with 19th century bakers?
Advertisements from vintage newspapers and periodicals shed much light on the tobacco habits of our nineteenth century United States ancestors. Each ad cites sources, dates, and provides everything from brand names to prices to general categories to help us draw conclusions about tobacco use in the Victorian United States.
Why? Because accurate backdrops make for exciting fiction!
Part 3 of an ongoing series ~
Who knew? Tobacco use in the nineteenth century might surprise you! Without today’s health warnings, tobacco became a favorite vice among men and women of all ages (including children). Numerous vintage sources paint an accurate backdrop of cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, chewing tobacco, etc., dispelling the myths surrounding tobacco use throughout the American nineteenth century.
Part 6 in a series of 11 articles, all about headaches in Victorian America.
Today’s article takes a look at various “doctoring at home” remedies published in newspapers and books, all from the final decades of the 19th century, United States of America. Each newspaper or book snippet contains complete citations. Some remedies make sense, some seem like wild guesses, and others are simply ODD.
A vintage newspaper (Chicago Tribune, January 1901) sheds light on the dangers of headache powders but also their overwhelming redemptive value. The ‘doctor’ shares formulary details along with ‘life rules’ to prevent headaches (such as remaining sober). After all, Victorian-Americans “self-poisoned”, thus precipitating their headaches.
This piece is number five in a series of eleven articles: Victorian-American Headaches.
Part 4 of an 11-part series: Victorian-American Headaches. Explore five decades’ worth of advertisements for various headache remedies. Powders, capsules, tablets, beverages, and pills. Apparently remedies were gaining traction and becoming popular–though none of them contained a 19th-century chemistry breakthrough–Aspirin.
Victorian-American Headaches: Part 3 continues the 11-part series, adding to two other doctors’ perspectives, opinions, and attitudes about headaches. This 1893 newspaper article explains types of headaches, and the doctor’s urging to mothers and nurses to protect babies’ eyes. He not only mentions headache “specifics”, but he sheds much light on antipyrin, a development that made a big splash in the waters of headache management, circa 1888. Scientists developed the precursors to acetaminophen, aspirin, etc., and use of their remedies exploded. The good doctor explains the urgency of patients in obeying their doctor’s instructions and “taking their prescriptions.”
Part 2 of 11 in a Blog Article Series; May be read in any order. Links between each are provided for ease in reading.
Victorian-era American doctors faced the challenge of diagnosing headaches, relying upon intellect, experience, and deductive reasoning. After all, physicians couldn’t order a blood panel and read the results to assist in diagnostic work. This 1890 newspaper article contains a variety of types of headaches in 1890 language. I’ve provided translations where possible.