Some Victorians spoke of oatmeal as if it were a mainstay of their diets. Others claimed oats were fit only for animal fodder or for use in baths to soften skin… but food? Ugh. No. Why were beliefs so polarized? Why did Victorian-Americans have an aversion to oats?
“Nineteenth Century Problems” is a bit of poking fun at today’s “First World Problems” tongue-in-cheek humor…the challenges we face today because we have a life of ease. I came across the Nineteenth Century practice of allowing barnyard animals free run of the surrounding neighborhood–not a problem until their presence (and eating habits, and messes)–became an inconvenience of that growing town. Read vintage newspaper clippings about this challenge and the dangers it posed, along with a separate, serious threat of the late Nineteenth Century; now that’s a serious problem!
Nineteenth Century Ice Cutting, Part 2 (of 3): Staged as the adventures (and discoveries) of a boy in New England in the late 19th century, Lawrence’s Adventures, published in 1871 in Massachusetts, is instructive and entertaining. One of the chapters focuses wholly on the process of Ice-Cutting, and I share this now public domain content along with era-specific images showing the process. The information about how ice companies actually cut the ice from frozen lakes to provide Victorian America with the tons of ice demanded during the spring, summer, and autumn to sustain perishable food, chill beverages, transport perishable food via train, and aid the sick.