Victorian Jelly: Jell-O

Victorian Jelly: Jell-O

After the advent of Victorian commercially prepared gelatin came colored, flavored boxed gelatin. The Jell-O brand was born in 1899. The new brand’s four-flavor line-up was well-received by housekeepers (wives), and continually promoted by the food manufacturer. Newspaper recipes urged cooks to rely on Jell-O brand gelatin in dessert making.

Don’t miss any one of this 8-part blog series on Victorian America’s Jellies.

Victorian-American Headaches: Part 1

Victorian-American Headaches: Part 1

Victorian-Americans had several ideas about the common trouble of headaches– what caused the malady, what might help once a headache became entrenched, and perhaps why women suffer headaches differently than men.

Because I suffer from severe chronic headaches, I’ve often wondered what our Victorian-American ancestors did when they suffered a headache (migraine, tension headaches, etc.).  What was science’s answer in the late nineteenth century? With so much primary historical information to share, I’ve prepared an eleven-part blog article series covering this fascinating subject.

This is Part 1: Why I write about headaches in in the Victorian Era United States and why hats may be to blame.

Victorian Cooking: The Sifter ~ An American Victorian Invention?

Victorian Cooking: The Sifter ~ An American Victorian Invention?

Flour sifters are an important part of baking–today, and in the Victorian Era. Would you be surprised to learn the first flour sifter was patented by an American? See a timeline of Victorian-era advertisements for sifters and flour sieves, flour bins (canisters or extraordinary sizes) with built-in sieves, patents for early sifters and sieve holders, and a perspective of price. The advertising, alone, sheds light on why 19th century cooks were persuaded to purchase and use these devices.

Victorian Cooking: Rotary Egg Beater

Victorian Cooking: Rotary Egg Beater

Rotary Egg Beaters are an American Victorian invention–and came along early enough to make a significant difference to home cooks…early enough for homemade Angel’s Food Cake! So why, then, do so many recipes insist upon beating the egg whites by hand–for a full hour? Why not use the newly patented, amazingly successful invention?