Victorian Americans adored novelty parties, with new fashions cropping up regularly. In the 1890s, amateur photography soared in popularity. With more and more professional and amateur photographers around, more people had cabinet card photos of themselves… which led to the fun of parlor guessing games. But Victorian photograph parties were so much more!
Tale of marital success from The Osage County Chronicle, Burlingame, Kansas, January 1870.
In one simple statement, she convinced her longtime beau to propose marriage. Sensible girl, indeed!
After the advent of Victorian commercially prepared gelatin came colored, flavored boxed gelatin. The Jell-O brand was born in 1899. The new brand’s four-flavor line-up was well-received by housekeepers (wives), and continually promoted by the food manufacturer. Newspaper recipes urged cooks to rely on Jell-O brand gelatin in dessert making.
Don’t miss any one of this 8-part blog series on Victorian America’s Jellies.
Dandelions were so much more than weeds to our Victorian ancestors. Not only were the tender plants sought for springtime vegetables and salads, but for tea, coffee, wine, beer, and prominent medicinal value. 19th century cook books and newspapers share the Victorian-American viewpoint on the value of dandelions from blossom to root. Recipes for edibles and curatives, advertisements, and more!
Credit goes to a Victorian-era inventor for out-of-a-box gelatin. What an amazing labor-saving invention! Until now, wives and daughters everywhere had been making gelatin out of pigs feet and a good deal of elbow grease.
How did nineteenth century scientists manage to capture the essence of gelatin and put it in a box? And how much did it cost?
Nineteenth-century recipes for fruit jellies–the kind spread on toast or between cake layers. Vintage details instruct cooks on jellies (and jams) made of raspberry, cranberry, apple, strawberry, quince, three hues of currant, peach, plum, cherry, gooseberry, and more. How they capped their jelly tumblers might surprise you…
German immigrants brought Marmorkuchen–marble cake–to the United States. Vintage cook books and newspapers show spice-and-yellow cake batters swirled together. Late-nineteenth-century bakers began to swap spice cake for chocolate. Delicious vintage baking!
Victorians took their hair seriously: “Want Good Hair?” asked Godey’s Lady’s Book (1861). Throughout the nineteenth century, much advice circulated in magazines, newspapers, and cook books regarding how to cleanse hair (long before shampoo was invented), use of combs, whether or not to cut kids’ hair and more!
Fancy jellies graced 19th century tables, molded in dishes made of tin, zinc, copper, and various ceramics. Photographs of antiques, together with vintage advertisements, illustrate this Victorian kitchen staple.
Victorian America mined for gold and silver–and named two types of cakes after the precious metals. These two popular cake recipes appeared in multiple nineteenth-century cook books and newspapers.