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?
This newspaper article, published in Vermont Journal of Windsor, Vermont, on November 30, 1889, instructs our Victorian ancestors (in the United States) how to properly carve a turkey. Picture the Thanksgiving table laden with fancy dishes, and the head of the household carving the bird from his place of honor at the head of the table.
When did Americans begin celebrating the Punxsutawney Phil, acknowledging the groundhog’s emergence from its den…and whether or not it saw its shadow? Is this a new observation, or an old? We know Victorians celebrated a wide variety of holidays we still acknowledge, and some we don’t. Did the Victorians’ superstitions embrace the Groundhog and his Shadow? Come see!
During the latter half of the nineteenth century, Letters to Santa Claus were a common appearance in newspapers. Whether the practice alerted parents, shared heartwarming tales of postal employees gathering nickles from among their department to stand in as a “Secret Santa” (modern lingo), or perhaps brought about by a store’s advertisements in the newspaper, Letters to Santa Claus provide a unique glimpse into the past. Want to know what toys children found appealing in the 1870’s? Or what dolls were fashioned of? Take a peek inside!
Victorian-era Americans enjoyed holidays–filled with patriotism, fun, remembrance, religion, and fashion. Halloween began far earlier than the 19th century, when All Hallows Eve was a sacred, religious observation. Come catch a glimpse of our Victorian American ancestors’ fun with Halloween: “Hallowe’en Cake” and its fortune telling methods, parlor games filled with superstition, phrasing for party invitations, historical cabinet cards of Victorian Halloween costumes, and more!