“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?
The necessary (a.k.a. outhouse) had many Victorian Era-appropriate euphemisms: Quincy, small room, washroom…and was replaced with modern indoor plumbing both very early (1820’s at the White House) and very late (1950’s) in rural America. What did homeowners do when the necessary filled up? (ewww!) When was toilet paper invented? Why did outhouses have more than one seat?
Victorian Americans wore ingenious devices beneath their clothing to hold their stockings (hose) up. Because garters / hose supporters aren’t as romantic and enticing as corsets or even Union Suits, I’ve yet to see a fictional piece of the era that so much as mentions them. This article contains images of items offered for sale in the 1895 and 1897 editions of the Sears Roebuck & Co. and Montgomery Ward & Co. Catalogs, as well as price comparisons from then to now. Such contraptions were worn by men, women, children, and even babies. Who knew?
Laundry was a greater challenge– and more work– than most amateur historians comprehend. Even when methods gave way from a washboard to a washing machine, the amount of physical labor required was nothing simple. Manual washing machines didn’t become available until quite late in the frontier era– after the Transcontinental Railroad went through. The washing machine was first available to order through a catalog in the late 1880’s.