Advertisements from vintage newspapers and periodicals shed much light on the tobacco habits of our nineteenth century United States ancestors. Each ad cites sources, dates, and provides everything from brand names to prices to general categories to help us draw conclusions about tobacco use in the Victorian United States.
Why? Because accurate backdrops make for exciting fiction!
As today (July 9) is National Sugar Cookie Day, it’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate Sugar Cookies in Victorian America. Everything from sugar cookie history in a nutshell to images of vintage cookie cutters, nineteenth century recipes lifted from vintage newspapers and cookbooks (cook books = more accurate spelling). Indulge in a bit of sweet history with me. Pull up a chair and let me pour tea while we sit and visit awhile. You simply must try my special (modern) and scrumptious soft sugar cookie recipe (downloadable, savable, printable PDF).
Can you imagine baking cookies like a Victorian? Given many ingredients and measuring methods are unfamiliar to today’s cooks, I’ve shared brief info about those mystery ingredients and 19th-century measuring implements.
True-to-history, Victorian (and one Edwardian) Cake Recipes published in era newspapers share not only a love for cake (as today is National Cake Day), but share a slice of life with amateur historians. Basic baking ingredients, methods, a desire to practice economy (“cheap” was a positive and desirable compliment)–all give today’s cake-lover a glimpse into America’s Victorian life.
Were earrings popular and common within the nineteenth century? Or did they come into vogue (and acceptance) post 1900?
This article references period newspapers, catalogs, and vintage photographs. Also discloses an element of cover art for (Gus’s Story) The Marshal’s Surrender.