Potato Chips are an American (and world-wide) favorite. Invented by accident–or should we say “accidentally-on-purpose”?–these potato crisps first graced the table of an elite resort in 1853 in upstate New York. News of the “invention” spread far and fast, and quickly became part of every homemaker’s repertoire, available on grocer’s shelves, served in restaurants, peddled by salesmen, and inspired further inventions.
You’re likely familiar with Victorian-era “bathing costumes”–puffy dresses with pantaloons that still leave much to the imagination, thereby protecting theÂ Victorian sense of propriety and decency. Inside this article, I share images of men’s bathing suits, attitudes (about bathing suits) expressed in United States newspapers of the day, and informative glimpses into a man’s view of a woman’s reasons for bathing in the sea before an audience…or not. A romantic tragedy on Coney Island in 1875 illustrates the dangers of the Victorian’s passion with immersing themselves in the sea.