The Art of Courtship: Vintage wisdom relayed from the mid-nineteenth century to a newspaperman thirty years later (in 1887) sheds light on choosing a wife, beginning a courtship, different types of girls (shy, coquette [flirt], “vidders” [widows], and old maids, etc.). Victorian attitudes are prevalent, including the general idea that the sick and infirm aren’t suitable to marriage (think of the children!). Everything you wished your great-great grandpa had told you about courting… and more.
The Heiress A Chambermaid: Adventures of Two Lovesick Men in a Hunt for $85,000 Through a Matrimonial Agency
Scams involving fraudulent matrimonial companies abounded in the nineteenth century. Vintage newspapers often reported circumstances, chastised the foolish hearts who sent money to their correspondent, and insisted that no man or woman worth marrying needed to resort to the mail or an agency. This article, titled the same (as my post) was originally published in The New York Times, January 21, 1900, and details the circumstances of a purported “heiress”, gushing love letters on scented stationery, her two lovesick swains, the Manhattan matrimonial agency, and the judge’s decree.
Victorian Americans loved live entertainment. In this era prior to motion pictures (or television)–theater performances, opera, musicals, orchestra performances–were all highly sought after. And not just in the settled cities of the east.
Did you know one specific type of entertainment were farces? And their sole purpose was to poke fun at the idea of mail-order brides? This article contains numerous newspaper accounts and advertisements.
* One Chicago Matrimonial Bureau circulated the photograph of one miss to cowboys in the West, inferring an abundance of brides…
* Matrimonial Bureau run by a man named Chinn, accused of having purchased pictures of Actors and Actresses and passing them off as candidates for marriage.
* 40,000 Love Letters: Manager of a Matrimonial Bureau Slides Down a Rope From a Third Story Window (leaving wife and desperately ill baby behind in a closet)
* The Salvation Army, in the Cupid Business? (A delightful spot of humor!)
“In the late 19th century Gilded Age, wealthy individuals had finely appointed private cars custom-built to their specifications. Additionally many cars built by Pullman, Budd, and other companies that were originally used in common carrier service as passenger cars were later converted to business and private cars. There are various configurations, but the cars generally have an observation platform, a full kitchen, dining room, state room, an observation room, and often servant’s quarters.”