by Kristin Holt | Jun 23, 2017 | Articles
The Soda Fountain was a hallmark of late Victorian-era United States culture. Numerous patents and patent renewals show the developments in technology–just how complicated and how effectively simple the designs were. Vintage newspaper articles explain Europe’s reaction to Dows’ Soda Fountain in the American Restaurant at Paris’s Universal Exhibition. Soda fountains have come a long way!
by Kristin Holt | Mar 11, 2017 | Articles
The decade of the 1880s proved among the most disastrous, desperate, life-threatening (and life-taking)–as winter in North America was at an extreme, the whole decade long. Climatologists have theories we understand today, but were unknown to our Victorian American ancestors. If you read a fictional book set in the 1880s, that touches on a mild winter, be surprised. Today, March 11th, is the anniversary of “the big one”.
by Kristin Holt | Jan 11, 2017 | Articles
As each book in Grandma’s Wedding Quilts series has its own quilt pattern, I share some historic tidbits about the meaning behind the Flying Geese quilt blocks. Pleasance’s quilt, Flying Geese, to her 10-year-old mind wasn’t fancy enough, but by the time she marries and better understands the value of Grandma Mary’s gift to her, the significance of this quilt pattern (and her grandmother’s work) means a good deal to her. I share quotes from the book, beginning and end, with Pleasance’s attitudes about her very plain quilt pattern.
by Kristin Holt | Oct 2, 2016 | Articles
The Old West Barber Shop Blog Series continues. This article includes images of historic barber chairs, an antique towel steamer (and hot water dispenser), line art of the era illustrating the pedestal used in lieu of a barber’s chair, images from mail-order catalogues showing tools of the trade available for home purchase, and patents for barber chairs and devices. This series’ upcoming posts will detail Victorian-era men’s hairstyles, bath houses, bath tubs, shower baths, ingenious furniture-bath-tub combinations, and ladies’ hair salons.
by Kristin Holt | Aug 14, 2016 | Articles
OBSERVATIONS: WIDTH OF A WOMAN’S SKIRT
The humor in a newspaper columnist’s observations taught me plenty about a man’s attitude regarding the width of women’s skirts, comparing the tight fit of the day’s fashions to the wrapping of a mummy or a soaked bathing suit clinging to the unfortunate woman’s form. He infers that the pursuit of fashion is so all-important that the wearers sacrifice comfort, modesty, safety, decency, the capacity to go anywhere by both carriage or the power of one’s own two feet. The Victorian humor in this brief piece published in 1875 is evident!