Vintage Quips and Poetry Spark Fictional Ideas

Vintage Quips and Poetry Spark Fictional Ideas

Authors’ ideas come from the strangest places. Here, I’ll share one rhetorical question and one brief bit of poetry, both published in USA Victorian-era newspapers (within 6 years of my title’s setting), that contributed to the writing of Isabella’s Calico Groom.

“Snow Tires” For 19th Century Wagons: Sled Runners

“Snow Tires” For 19th Century Wagons: Sled Runners

Our inventive and problem-solving Victorian American ancestors patented some amazing stuff. One of those things were workable “snow tires” for their 19th century farm wagons and buggies. Not everyone owned a sleigh, and even if they did, the wagon bed was often needed. See Victorian America’s solution!

Victorians Race: On Foot, On Bicycles, In Wheelbarrows

Victorians Race: On Foot, On Bicycles, In Wheelbarrows

A key scene within Isabella’s Calico Groom (Calico Ball: Timeless Western Collection) is on Independence Day in Evanston, Wyoming Territory (a week shy of Wyoming’s acceptance into the Union as the 44th State). In keeping with the historical favorites when celebrating July 4th, the characters took note of the races–on foot, on bicycles, and in wheelbarrows. Victorian Americans enjoyed a wide range of contests with appealing prizes (cash, clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc.). Would you rather compete in a bicycle race, or in chasing a greased pig?

The Victorian Man’s Suit of Clothes

The Victorian Man’s Suit of Clothes

A man’s proper suit of clothes was worn by gentlemen, bankers, clerks, professionals… virtually every man except those who labored manually (such as miners). Given men owned so few items of clothing, they certainly wore what they had, despite the demand. Levi Strauss developed the original “Levi’s 201’s” and “Levi’s 501’s”, built to last in the clothing-destroying mines. Compare and contrast the “suit of clothes” with Levi’s originals.

Victorian Collars and Cuffs (for men)

Victorian Collars and Cuffs (for men)

In Victorian men’s fashion, Collars and Cuffs were something altogether separate and different than a shirt. A whole different paradigm, given today’s men’s dress shirts are one solid piece, with the collar and cuffs attached. See vintage images of the styles and reasons why tailors (and factory producers) bothered to make the collars separate–and why some were made of PAPER rather than fabric.