Heidi Vanlandingham’s new title, The Woodworker’s Mail-Order Bride will release next week on Wednesday, May 17th. It is available for preorder on Amazon. In this article, Heidi shares her inspiration and how she chose a setting for Rebecca and Anthony, and the conflicts that would threaten their fledgling marriage.
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While bath tubs of various styles were available in cities by the mid-nineteenth century, the American Old West didn’t have easy access to delivery of such finery until after the Transcontinental Railway in 1869 (followed by additional railroads bringing delivery nearer to home) eliminated freight by horse-drawn wagon. Historic images of Montgomery Ward & Co. catalogs and Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogs illustrate available options–some of which are simply too ingenious to miss! Who knew a kitchen sink so easily doubled as a bath tub? Or that a five-and-a-half-foot bathtub could fold up? Price comparisons (then to now) show why it took a good long while for most folks to afford more than a public bath (next post) or a bowl and pitcher to make do.
The history of indoor toilets (including those that flush) goes back further into history than you might expect. I share the timeline of such facilities, followed by surviving examples of Victorian indoor toilets, schematics of proper plumbing techniques of the day, and floor plans including indoor tubs and toilets. Victorians–at least late Victorians–had life pretty comfortable.
“In the late 19th century Gilded Age, wealthy individuals had finely appointed private cars custom-built to their specifications. Additionally many cars built by Pullman, Budd, and other companies that were originally used in common carrier service as passenger cars were later converted to business and private cars. There are various configurations, but the cars generally have an observation platform, a full kitchen, dining room, state room, an observation room, and often servant’s quarters.”