I’ve read fiction set in the nineteenth century that references doorbells– and gets it right! (I can’t properly convey how giddy this makes me!) Picture that turnkey doorbell that makes a mechanical clattering sound inside the house.
Along with just about anything a late 19th century household could desire to obtain, Sears, Roebuck & Co. offered telephones for sale. Sears offered the newest telephone technology…until the turn of the century. The 1902 catalog is devoid of telephones. Any idea why?
Our Victorian American ancestors were inventive people. They needed a solution for perishable food in the worst of summer’s heat (and beyond). They came up with a remarkably well-insulated icebox (officially called a refrigerator far earlier than you might guess), designed to be a beautiful piece of furniture and functional. Some iceboxes went so far as to serve the melted ice water by silver tap. This article contains Victorian instructions for care and cleaning of 19th century refrigerators, advertisements, a crime committed with an industrial-sized (believe it or not: a walk-in) refrigerator, current images of antique iceboxes (both family size and commercial size), the icebox’s impact on beer, and so much more.
Pop Quiz! Were screen doors (and window screens) invented BEFORE or AFTER 1870? Do you know?
This article includes images of the screen doors on historic homes (taken recently), images from Sears Roebuck & Co. Catalog and Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalog, as well as historical information about why and how screens were invented during the Victorian era, as well as a solid answer about whether these household basics were invented before or after 1870. The answer just might surprise you.
Historic Silver City, Idaho, was once a bustling boom town with 2500 residents. The conjoined cemeteries tell many tales of the families who lived there. Many of the headstones (and footstones) are very legible and show a slice of Victorian American West life. I share images taken on a sunny day in June and provide the inscriptions from many of the markers. Come, walk through this historic cemetery with me and learn a little about the families who lived. #JacquieRogersAdo16