This is a fun edition of history news! November was a bit slower for obvious reasons, but it was rich and interesting nonetheless. From the history of folding chairs to the history of long hair, this roundup will keep you reading for the entire weekend.
I came across some very unexpected topics. My favorites (besides the ones above)
-The long history of the mustache
-The social implications of the flapper outfit
-Victorian family photos that included deceased family members
Which one is your favorite? Or, what topic would you like us to cover on the blog? Let us know in the comments.
Business Insider: See how a couple transformed a $95,000 haunted Victorian mansion in Michigan into a colorful, maximalist wonderland
I just know so many of our readers would love this house and its story.
Couple Michelle Carder and Michael Ochs bought their Victorian-era home in 2016 and it became a work in progress that over 125,000 enjoy following on Instagram. Carder is truly a woman after my own heart! I love the “maximalist” aesthetic, and that is what the house has become, all with a 19th-century vibe.
Our readers will love looking at the pictures of this unique home.
Daze Digital: The long, long history of long, long hair
I was thrilled to come across this article. As the author points out, long hair has been a symbol of beauty since the beginning of time, from images of Eve to Mary Magdalene, to contemporary celebrities. It was even the norm in the 19th century, despite it being taboo to wear it down. Long hair disappeared for decades, coming back as part of the counterculture movement in the 1970s.
There is more to long hair than you may think. Check out this post to learn more.
Interested in women’s hairstyles? Check out our post: 100 years of women’s hairstyles: 1830-1930
History Extra: A hairy history of the mustache
More about hair! This time, the mustache. The style of facial hair has appeared and disappeared throughout history. This article by History Extra takes a deep dive into the trends through time, from members of the royal family to rock stars and everything in between.
Women have largely been left out of military history, but that is quickly changing with more research and literature coming out than ever. Forgotten Warriors by Australian author Sarah Percy takes a holistic look at the legacy of women on the battlefield, from Queen Isabella of Spain to the more recent opening of women’s participation in combat. It might make for a great winter read.
This BBC post moves over to female warriors and political leaders in the Eastern world. In this research project, tombs were excavated in Mongolia, revealing that some of the richest and most elaborate belonged not just to women but to women believed to be community leaders. How interesting!
Better Homes and Gardens: Victorian Holiday Decor Will Give Your Home Vintage Elegance
Getting ready to decorate for the holiday season? According to Better Homes and Gardens, the Victorian aesthetic is hot, hot, hot. This article is a great resource for those who are getting started with the look. It covers what is considered to be Victorian style, and the (many) elements of great Victorian decor.
The Collector: 1920s Flappers: An Overview of the Ladies of the Jazz Age
I know our readers love the flapper look. Besides the fashion of these social pioneers, the history of the movement provides a rich look at all of the societal changes taking place in the 1920s. The article does cover the various aspects of their wardrobes but with a commentary of what they each say about the social movement of the time.
Truth or Fiction: The Victorian Era and the Advent of Folding Chairs: Unraveling the Facts
This one is so cool, maybe my favorite. Have you ever thought about the history of folding chairs? I think this blog post is correct when it says: “Ask any individual about the invention of folding chairs and most would be hard-pressed to offer a tangible, factual response.”
This cool website shares an almost true theory about folding chairs and then dives into the advancements made in the Victorian era. But…they would be slow to catch on. Says the website:
“While folding chairs might have offered merits of space-saving and convenience, these were not influencing factors for English society during the Victorian era. The era favored aesthetic grandeur over practical concerns. The concept of a readily movable chair went against the status quo, where furniture indicated stability, affluence, and permanency.”
Read the article and let us know in the comments what surprises you the most.
The opening of this blog post says it all: “Posing with her daughter who leans on her shoulder, a Victorian mother stares mournfully into the camera. But her cheerless expression is understandable when you realize that her peaceful daughter beside her is dead.”
As many of our readers know, Victorians were comforted by the presence of passed loved ones. Whether holding a seance, a locket with a portrait, or superimposing the image of a dead loved one in a family portrait, they went to great lengths to include the deceased in their lives. This post explores how they created the photographs and includes many examples that I am sure will unsettle many readers.