Godey's Lady's Book: what you didn't know

By | January 27th, 2021|Categories: 19th Century Literature, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , |

I have always loved the stunning fashion plates from Godey's Lady's Book. I often go looking for them when researching different fashions from the past as they were considered to be the standard and the highest authority of fashion in print at the time. It was when I met with Nancy Jean Gray to discuss [...]

How crazy was the bicycle craze?

By | January 23rd, 2021|Categories: Victorian Era, Women's History|Tags: , , , |

Many of our readers will be familiar with “the bicycle craze” of the late 1800s and the idea that the bicycle revolutionized the freedom women enjoyed from day to day and catapulted the Dress Reform Movement into the mainstream. This month I have had the privilege to work on an event for the Molly Brown [...]

Coronation robes: a brief history of an overlooked understudy

By | January 17th, 2021|Categories: Fashion, Women's History|Tags: , , , , |

When I wrote my blog post on the magic of the cape late last year, I at first thought that including some background on the extravagant “cloaks” worn by royals during high ceremonies and coronations would be fitting. However, as I went about gathering more information I quickly discovered that cloaks used for this purpose [...]

A short history of the hand muff, one of history's cutest accessories

By | December 15th, 2020|Categories: Accessories, Fashion, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , , , |

Last year I wrote about the various ways that women and families stayed warm during the cold months in Victorian times. I mentioned the little-known use of hot ceramic bottles sometimes placed in a hand muff and said that I’d love to come back to write more about this particular fashion accessory. Well, hand muffs [...]

Mary Ann Cotton: Victorian poisoner

By | October 18th, 2020|Categories: Women's History|

I typically enjoy covering the pretty, funny, quirky, and amusing aspects of women’s history. This especially applies to the Victoria era that included so many customs and societal norms that we’ve evolved so far away from today. But as it is coming up on Halloween I thought it might be fun to look at a [...]

Salem Witch Trials Round-up

By | October 16th, 2020|Categories: Halloween, Women's History|Tags: |

Talk of Halloween, witches, and all that is spooky naturally lends itself to talk about the Salem Witch Trials. Hundreds of years later the story of the misguided community and the individuals who died at their hands remains a topic of massive interest. The various reasons for this is probably already the topic of a [...]

Before selfies and text messages were friendship books

By | September 24th, 2020|Categories: Accessories, Women's History|

While selfies and text messages may be reminders of the time we spend with friends, in times past handmade gifts, letters, and keepsakes such as hair jewelry or a cross-stitch may have been items that people would exchange to keep memories alive. Up until the early 20th century, many people kept friendship books to capture [...]

Four Soiled Doves of the Wild West who Left Their Mark

By | September 5th, 2020|Categories: Old West, Women's History|Tags: , |

Readers loved the look inside the histories of the famous madams of the Wild West and we heard from a few of you that you’d like us to dig deeper into the topic. As an Arizona girl currently living in Denver, women of the Wild West is one of my absolute favorite historical topics, so [...]

Flirting with a hand fan

By | August 15th, 2020|Categories: Accessories, Victorian Era, Victorian Fashions, Women's History|Tags: , , , , |

Last week I explored the Victorian croquet craze and the role that flirtation played in the game’s quick rise in popularity. Young men and women delighted in the opportunity for casual socializing and flocked to lawns around England and America to interact. It lost as many fans as it gained, however, with many losing their [...]