Beyond the obvious beneficiaries of the Calico Ball craze (mid- to late-nineteenth century United States)– the needy who received the once-worn dresses (or suits of clothes), who else benefited?
I suggest a short list of Hidden Beneficiaries. Who else can you identify?
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.
Etiquette governing balls and dances in the American Victorian era seems stuffy, old-fashioned, and strict to 21st century Americans. Every rule of decorum ensured good manners were in play, but most importantly, the moral purity and innocence of young women and young men were maintained. Etiquette governed everything from how a man asked a woman for a dance to how he could properly hold her hand while dancing, to how many dances that pair could have in one evening. This article contains the specifics propriety demanded, and the vintage sources where they may be found. Leap year turned some of the lady’s restrictions upon the men; see the true-to-history newspaper article from 1888 that starred in Sophia’s Leap-Year Courtship.
Victorian Americans loved their celebrations, holidays, and reasons to party. Mardi Gras, in North America, has been around since pre-American Revolutionary War. I share tidbits about the background of Mardi Gras, how it was celebrated during the staid and usually straight-laced Victorian era, and some of the challenges present to law enforcement in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Wow! I can only imagine!
“Mason Jars” (glass bottles for home food preservation) were invented and patented in the United Sates in the Victorian Era. Industrious homemakers grew large gardens, tended fruit trees, and bottled everything from jams and jellies to grape juice, apple sauce to soups, tomatoes to green beans. How did women accomplish this work?