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.
LABOR DAY was born of the circumstances within our Victorian-era United States Industrial Revolution. Unions wanted safer working conditions and 12- to 16-hour work days shortened to 8- or 9-hours. Strikes and protests lead to reform, and from the first Labor Day parade in 1882 peaceful Labor’s Holidays began to take root state by state until in 1894, Labor Day was declared by the President of the United States as a Federal Holiday. This article contains newspaper accounts from era papers, vintage photographs, and a dash of American history surrounding summer’s last hurrah.
I endorse newspaper articles as an original source in researching Victorian-era America. Yet while I trust–for the most part–newspaper articles to be a reasonable representation of attitudes, circumstances, happenings, and differing opinions, I’m well aware that not everything in print is fact…at least as presented.
I came across newspaper articles mentioning Mrs. Charlotte Smith, presented as a rather ridiculous woman seeking legislation to force marriage upon the matrimony unencumbered. Three such articles follow, all of which are from credible, well-respected newspapers of the late nineteenth century. At the bottom, I’ll share more of who Mrs. Charlotte Smith was, the platforms she supported, the work she did–and cast an entirely different light on her nature than these newspaper reporters suggest.
* One Chicago Matrimonial Bureau circulated the photograph of one miss to cowboys in the West, inferring an abundance of brides…
* Matrimonial Bureau run by a man named Chinn, accused of having purchased pictures of Actors and Actresses and passing them off as candidates for marriage.
* 40,000 Love Letters: Manager of a Matrimonial Bureau Slides Down a Rope From a Third Story Window (leaving wife and desperately ill baby behind in a closet)
* The Salvation Army, in the Cupid Business? (A delightful spot of humor!)
I believe FACT is stranger than FICTION.
And often the BEST fiction is solidly founded in FACT. Hence my keen interest in the truth of Matrimonial Agencies, Matrimonial Personal Advertisements, and real-life stories of couples connected through the mail in the nineteenth Century.