Victorian Ice Cream Sodas

Victorian Ice Cream Sodas

Today, June 20th, is National Ice Cream Soda Day! We’re all familiar with Ice Cream Sodas… any flavor ice cream, floating in any flavor soda, right? Yes, unless you’re a Victorian American at the oh, so popular Soda Fountain. The nineteenth century’s Ice Cream Soda just might surprise you!

Courting in Public Parks: NY, NY, May 1893

Courting in Public Parks: NY, NY, May 1893

In 1893, expectations surrounding courtship made it improper for a couple to show affection for one another in public. Baltimore apparently outlawed simple signs of affection in their city parks, raising the alarm in New York City where Central Park was a key location for courting couples to go about their courtship (which included simple things like sitting on a bench together, a man’s arm about his sweetheart’s waist). This article includes a newspaperman’s interview with two different Central Park policemen, one who favored strict laws prohibiting such displays of affection and one who was most tolerant. Step back in time and enjoy an entire vintage newspaper article and historic images of Central Park in the late 19th century.

BOOK REVIEW: Island of Vice, by Richard Zacks

BOOK REVIEW: Island of Vice, by Richard Zacks

Amazon selected ISLAND OF VICE as one of the Top 100 books of 2012; it also selected it as one of the Top Ten history books of the year. I purchased three editions: hardback, audible, and kindle; listened to the audio edition (15 hours, 28 minutes), reread much of the kindle edition and hardback.

From an amateur historian viewpoint–and my fascination with all things late 19th century–this nonfiction title deserves five stars. I learned so very much from every chapter, found myself so ever much better informed about the 1890’s in politics, the Reform Movement (Progressive Era). Review contains two pages of images from the hardback and kindle editions.

Mail-Order Bride Farces…for Entertainment?

Mail-Order Bride Farces…for Entertainment?

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.