Nineteenth Century American Bath Houses were often businesses connected to hotels, barber shops, ladies’ hairdressers, and spas offering massages and curative measures (steam baths, medicated baths, etc.). In the Old West, such businesses advertised in the newspapers of the day, some announcing prices (compared to today’s dollar). It’s a peek into the luxury of a wet-from-head-to-toe bath when a person has no running water at home.
The Victorian era brought about a new business in the United States–shops that offered ladies’ hairdressing. This skill may have been offered by ladies’ maids inside well-to-do households, but in America, women needed an equivalent of barbers to meet their own needs. Come see about training to become a Ladies’ Hairdresser, a touch of Victorian humor, newspaper ads from the Old West, and more! The blog article series of “Barber Shops in the Old West” continues.
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.
Victorian Americans needed ice–for home use, through delivery businesses, on a commercial scale (to keep food from spoiling at the grocery and in railroad transportation). Ice houses were built all over the United States from the independent family’s ice house on their property to the enormous commercial Swift & Co. Ice House storing 60,000 tons annually. Ice harvesting occurred in January and February and kept in storage facilities until the following winter by applying ingenuity, science, and hard work. Men used saws, horse-drawn sleighs, and the strength of their own backs to harvest the cash crop each winter. This article contains vintage photographs, newspaper ads, and science info of the Victorian era.
Whether referred to as “Correspondence Courtship” or “Epistolary Courtship”, part of the natural course of 19th century courting included letter-writing. Victorian-era couples could express tender sentiments in letters more easily (often) than in person. Many couples didn’t have the opportunity to spend time together, face-to-face, for too many miles separated them. Coming to know one another, and fall in love, through letter-writing was a standard practice. Results varied from blissful conjugal felicity (a frequently used term of the American Victorian era) to sensational disasters.
Interestingly enough, the term “Correspondence Courtship” (or very similar phrasing) appeared much more frequently and earlier than did the phrase “Mail-Order Bride”.