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-American newspapers illustrate the rules of etiquette governing New Year’s calls. Society’s expectations were made public and adherence expected. What did proper decorum require on January 1?
A newspaper article published on November 25, 1897 (El Dorado, KS, syndicated from NY Tribune) sheds historical light on what Thanksgiving Day was to the late Victorians in the United States. Includes: origins, thanksgiving souvenirs, thanksgiving entertainments, and thanksgiving decorations… a glimpse into Thanksgiving in 1897.
A key scene within Isabella’s Calico Groom (Calico Ball: Timeless Western Collection) is on Independence Day in Evanston, Wyoming Territory (a week shy of Wyoming’s acceptance into the Union as the 44th State). In keeping with the historical favorites when celebrating July 4th, the characters took note of the races–on foot, on bicycles, and in wheelbarrows. Victorian Americans enjoyed a wide range of contests with appealing prizes (cash, clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc.). Would you rather compete in a bicycle race, or in chasing a greased pig?
One (unnamed) high-society New York City hostess started a fad that lasted fifty years…
The Calico Ball. Not only was the style of party highly fashionable, it also ensured help to those who needed it most.