Victorian-American newspapers illustrate the rules of etiquette governing New Year’s calls. Society’s expectations were made public and adherence expected. What did proper decorum require on January 1?
The Victorian Era drew to a close in January, 1901 with the death of Queen Victoria. The newspaper article I share within this post comes from July, 1902 (technically the Edwardian Era), but society’s expectations of table manners and propriety at a summer resort hadn’t changed. This article covers a few of the many, many “Summer Resorts” in the Victorian-Era United States and touches on why these resorts were so loved.
Picnics were a common and notable diversion for Victorian Americans whenever weather permitted. Schools, churches, families, and organizations hosted picnics. Reasons varied from welcome-home parties to gatherings to hear a speaker or minster to holiday celebrations. This article contains recommendations for preparing and transporting picnic foods properly, protecting young ladies from harm (let’s keep those chaperones in place!), and a peek inside my new release Courting Miss Cartwright–specifically the picnic basket auction scene.
Frederick Henry Harvey recognized a need along the railway lines–good quality food, comfortable accommodations, and sterling service. He’d worked as a mail clerk on the railroad and discovering the unmet needs of travelers, opened his restaurant business in the 1870’s. By 1883, he replaced male waiters with young ladies whose impeccable appearance and gracious service increased Harvey’s business from local men. Courtships ensued (restricted to the “courting parlor” in the women’s dormitories), marriage occurred–but not until the minimum of one year of service to the company was met. Fred Harvey is credited with much more than quality food and entrepreneurship in the Southwest, he single-handedly brought about the civilizing of the west by importing more “brides” than any other “agency”.