Elizabeth Blackwell: changing how women give and receive medical care

By | September 24th, 2023|Categories: Victorian Era, Women's History|

A lot of women made enormous strides in the 19th century. One woman carved the way for others in two different countries and left a legacy still honored today. Are you familiar with Elizabeth Blackwell? Born in 1821, she is recognized as the first woman to earn a medical degree in the United States and [...]

Purple, please. Colors in the Victorian era

By | September 15th, 2023|Categories: Fashion, Victorian fashion, Victorian Fashions|

“Purple is the most retiring of all rich colors; it is composed of red and blue, but it is not their medium color, being heavier in its effect than the latter. Purple is symbolical of dignity, state, and regal power; it is color frequently adopted for mourning, and is expressive of gravity, sorrow, and sadness.”-Color [...]

America's first newspaper

By | September 12th, 2023|Categories: History News|Tags: |

September 25 marks the 333rd anniversary of the first newspaper published in the United States. As with many of the “firsts” that took place in the early days of our country, it involved interesting characters, a bit of rebellion, and one heck of a story. This is a brief history of Benjamin Harris and his [...]

Four fashion icons and the history of lipstick

By | September 5th, 2023|Categories: 1920s fashion, 1950s Fashions, 1950s fun, Fashion, Fashion history, Victorian culture, Women's History|Tags: , |

I love to wear lipstick and do so almost every day. Occasionally I notice that in casual settings I am the only woman doing so, but there is something about it that makes me feel like “me.” Coloring one’s lips has a history that goes back thousands of years, with it signifying different meanings entirely [...]

August history news roundup

By | August 30th, 2023|Categories: History News|

It was a slow month for history news, but a good one. If you are looking for some good Labor Day reading, Recollections has you covered. Some highlights:  -Five statue designs of Harriet Tubman -Pineapple as a status symbol -The “modern Victorian” design trend Happy reading!  August history news JSTOR: The Fungi-Mad Ladies of Long [...]

The Golden Age of Paper Dolls

By | August 24th, 2023|Categories: 1950s fun, History of the home|

It would be hard to imagine children playing with paper dolls today, but there was an era when they were collected and well-loved. There was a window of time when paper dolls were all the rage, right before they would be replaced by the Queen Bee of all dolls to this day, Ms. Barbie herself. [...]

Edwardian women in black and white

By | August 19th, 2023|Categories: Edwardian Era, Fashion history, Women's History|

I am a fan of Edward Linley Sambourne and I didn’t even know it!  During my time as a women’s history researcher and blogger, I have used Sambourne’s photography multiple times, never realizing the source. I think because photography was emerging as such a popular medium during the Edwardian era I assumed that the plethora [...]

What's a woman's wallet, really?

By | August 15th, 2023|Categories: 1950s Fashions, Accessories, Edwardian Era, Fashion history|Tags: |

“Keys, phone, wallet…” like many of you this is my leaving-the-house mantra. I also almost never leave the house without my sunglasses, but I typically have those already on my body before I repeat the mantra. Like sunglasses; phones and wallets are things women have carried with them for less than a hundred years. When [...]

Ribbon corsets

By | August 10th, 2023|Categories: Edwardian Era, Fashion history, Underpinnings|Tags: , |

In my recent post about Victorian summer dresses, I came across photos of ventilated corsets; corsets made of ribbon or strips of fabric connecting the boning and ties. At first, I thought that they may have been a new summer-friendly invention of the late Victorian era but I came to learn that ribbon corsets were [...]