Victorian Americans adored novelty parties, with new fashions cropping up regularly. In the 1890s, amateur photography soared in popularity. With more and more professional and amateur photographers around, more people had cabinet card photos of themselves… which led to the fun of parlor guessing games. But Victorian photograph parties were so much more!
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!
The popularity of stereoscopes and image viewing began in the early 19th century and persisted into the 20th. Victorian Americans enjoyed viewing three-dimensional paintings, drawings, and photographs of people and far-away places as well as images that reminded them of home. Stereoscopes were one of many new inventions the well-to-do enjoyed for entertainment.
The ritual of courtship in the days of the American Old West is very different from today’s dating. Courtship used to always mean an intention to marry–if the couple found they were indeed as compatible as they believed. Courtship followed specific rules and standards, even in the less-than-stuffy western territories and states. I provide a list of courtship rituals that are an intrinsic part of the fabric of the American West history.