November 16, 1880 (136 years ago today). A look back in time through three newspapers from the Old West: The Daily Commonwealth (Topeka, Kansas), The Independent Record (Helena, Montana), and Lawrence Daily Journal (Lawrence, Kansas). Brief clippings from each paper highlight how much has changed over the years…treatment for sinus congestion, focus of Thanksgiving, and ability to fight wildfires (and prosecute the fire-bug).
Victorian-era Americans enjoyed holidays–filled with patriotism, fun, remembrance, religion, and fashion. Halloween began far earlier than the 19th century, when All Hallows Eve was a sacred, religious observation. Come catch a glimpse of our Victorian American ancestors’ fun with Halloween: “Hallowe’en Cake” and its fortune telling methods, parlor games filled with superstition, phrasing for party invitations, historical cabinet cards of Victorian Halloween costumes, and more!
While dimples and beauty marks were seen as attractive and stylish, Victorian Americans deplored freckles, “moth marks”, suntans, and sunburns–most unfeminine! Commercial products promised to eradicate such unwelcome blemishes and guaranteed beauty! If potions and powders failed, one photographer promised no freckles showed in his cabinet cards.
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.
This second of two articles about Victorian Shaving includes the advent of the Safety Razor–with patent details, historical images, advertisements in period newspapers and mail-order catalogs. A YouTube video shows proper shaving techniques with a safety razor. This article is part of a Blog Series about all things Old West Barber Shop and Ladies Hair Salons.