Victorian-Americans had several ideas about the common trouble of headaches– what caused the malady, what might help once a headache became entrenched, and perhaps why women suffer headaches differently than men.
Because I suffer from severe chronic headaches, I’ve often wondered what our Victorian-American ancestors did when they suffered a headache (migraine, tension headaches, etc.). What was science’s answer in the late nineteenth century? With so much primary historical information to share, I’ve prepared an eleven-part blog article series covering this fascinating subject.
This is Part 1: Why I write about headaches in in the Victorian Era United States and why hats may be to blame.
A man’s proper suit of clothes was worn by gentlemen, bankers, clerks, professionals… virtually every man except those who labored manually (such as miners). Given men owned so few items of clothing, they certainly wore what they had, despite the demand. Levi Strauss developed the original “Levi’s 201’s” and “Levi’s 501’s”, built to last in the clothing-destroying mines. Compare and contrast the “suit of clothes” with Levi’s originals.
In Victorian men’s fashion, Collars and Cuffs were something altogether separate and different than a shirt. A whole different paradigm, given today’s men’s dress shirts are one solid piece, with the collar and cuffs attached. See vintage images of the styles and reasons why tailors (and factory producers) bothered to make the collars separate–and why some were made of PAPER rather than fabric.
What IS calico? Where did it come from, and who used it to fashion clothing in the nineteenth century? Why did Calico appeal to working women? Why was Calico the fabric of choice for Calico Balls?
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.