Friday, March 20, 2015

A Woman's Column from The Railroad Trainman 1890

Below is a copy of the "Women's Department" in an 1890 Railroad Trainman journal. Please note this was a two column article, which will make sense of the order and wording of some of the text below.

In the recent election of School Board in Boston, over six thousand ladies cast ballots.
The veil is said to have originated with the Hebrews, and was made of silk instead of lace.
The color of the Eiffel tower will have its influence in the world of fashion. Its brownish red will be conspicuous in French novelties this season.'

Mes. Ellen M. Giffoed, of New Haven, has given over 1116,000 to institutions and societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals. $30,000 of it was donated to a home for suffering animals in Boston.
We desire to again call attention to the necessity of sending all contributions for the Woman's Department directly to this office. They must reach Galesburg early in the month to appear in the following issue.

Conteirutions of several pages must possess unusual merit to be accepted. Observe that no long articles now appear in the Journal. We prefer those which make less than a page in print, and which never exceed two pages.

The Trainmen's Journal has undertaken to present each month the portrait of a remarkable woman. It is not possible, of course, to always give our readers the likeness and sketch of a woman conspicuous in labor circles. Such an undertaking would not only be impossible, but would confine us to a circle too limited to be thoroughly interesting. The intention is to have the range of subjects such as will give the life and variety that is pleasing.

Advice For American Women.
"I say to American girls who want to marry English dukes and marquises, earls and barons, lords and honorables and sirs, preserve your beauty; wear your veils and broad brimmed hats; keep out of the sun and wind: dread tan and freckles as you would the bite of a rattlesnake; retain your peach-like skins and your fragile figures. English dukes and marquises, earls and barons, lords, and honorables, and sirs, have enough bronze, leather-faced young women to choose from in Engiand without wanting any more from America. Give up tennis, unless beneath a wideawake, and even then just think of your poor hands! A backhander, which skims the net may cause you a thrill of delight, but it adds to the circumference of your wrist every time.
"It is my belief that in their endeavor to be rough and mannish, brawny and brown-skinned, the American girls are overdoing it. It is a fad that will soon fade. It is too hot to last. There is really no stay in it. Unaccustomed to exercise, as exercise and for exercise's sake, these American girls will presently tire of their muscle and brown skins. Muscle and brown skins will then cease to be the fashion, and the pale faces and pink-and-white complexions will 'come in' again. In England, however,there will be no change."—[A London Press Correspondent.

It is fortunate for American women that the writer of the above advice lived to get across the Atlantic. Had anything prevented him studying the tastes of English noblemen American girls might have gone on indefinitely taking a little exercise, venturing out into the open air,and occasionally allowing a stray sunbeam to peep into their windows. It is quite unfortnnate this information didn't come months ago. The young women have been encouraged to ride and row and tramp through the woods, and even to play tennis, never dreaming, poor things, that it is dreadfully coarse and vulgar to increase the strength and circumference of their white wrists. They have even ventured to become florists and cultivate roses in the greenhouse without suspecting that it was foolish to bring the roses of health to their cheeks. And more; they have even dared to be gardeners and actually take right hold of a common hoe and massacre the -weeds in an onion bed. Ugh! The horrid creatures! And all this time they were unconscious of the fact that this was all wrong—that it is not what English nobility wants them to do, at all. This is a truly dreadful state of affairs and must be stopped instanter. The Journal hastens to assure tha London correspondent that the advice is fully appreciated on this side of the pond, and that it will leave nothing undone to hasten the "pink-and-white" millennium. And venturing to speak for the ladies, we further assure him that their only desire is to please Englishmen, and that the ambition of their lives is to lessen the frowns of English disapproval. In fact they don't give any other excuse for being in existence at all.

The correspondent may rest assured that all these awful practices will be promptly stopped. He did the proper thing by springing right into the gap. These relics of barbarism must be stamped out. Tennis must be tabooed. The sidesaddle must go. The hoe must be everlastingly banished. It may be a little unpleasant for the girls to stay out of the open air all the time, but they will have it to do. It may seriously injure their health, but that is a small matter if they can win an English smile. It may kill half of them off. What of it? The survivors will be sure of "pale faces and pink-and-white complexions," and it shall be done. Just let the nobility have a little patience and feminine barbarism over here will get a black eye.

A Woman with a record is Mrs. Emma Bull, of Maple, Maine, now ninety years old. She was one of the first settlers on the Aroostook river, and during the first three months did not see even an Indian woman.

On the opposite page we present the portrait (recently published by Leslies') of a young woman who has performed a remarkable feat. Without employing any unusual mode of conveyance—without chartering any fast special trains or using any other than the ordinary mode of transportation at the command of every traveler, and being subjected to the same delays as the regular tourist, she circumnavigated the globe in seventy-five days — the best record ever made without employing special facilities. In this remarkable trip the courageous young woman traveled entirely alone, and whiled away her time by preparing a description of what she saw and learned, for publication in the Cosmopolitan upon her return.
Miss Bisland is a native of the South, and made her first appearance as a writer by occasional sketches in the New Orleans newspapers. After attracting some attention by literary ability she went to New York city about three years ago and became a contributor to a number of excellent publications. About three months ago the Cosmopolitan made an arrangement whereby her entire time is to be devoted to that rising star in the literary firmament, and her first work written while circumnavigating the globe, will be eagerly awaited by everybody who longs to see the strange sights of foreign countries as pictured by her pen.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

1872 Fashions

Below are links to previously posted fashions from 1872 with a few other images tossed in since most of the previous links were male fashions.

1872 Men's Fashions

1872 Fashions

1872 Fashions

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Death in the Family

Hi all,
There will be no posts for the next ten days, apart from two that are already scheduled for tomorrow and Friday this week. My husband's sister past away and we're traveling to New England for the service. Posts should resume around the 30th of March.
In His grip,

Monday, March 16, 2015

1897 Border Designs

Continuing with design elements from last week's wallpapers I have some selections of various borders. Some are paper and some are stencils.

Some Additional Designs

Earlier today I posted the borders to go with last week's wallpapers. This afternoon I thought I'd add some detail designs that are stencils for decorative purposes from 1897 as well.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Railroad Correspondence from Workers

Below are several letters to the editor, you might call them. But in reality they are a bit different that what we see today when writing to the editor of a magazine. I trust you'll enjoy these tidbits and might help your creativity. I tried to correct all the 'b's and 1 to 'I's but I may have missed a few. Enjoy!

It has been more than a year since I have seen anything in the Journal from No. 8. So l will take the pleasure of writing a few lines in behalf of No. S and No. 170.
Several of the brothers have left here trying to better themselves, and we wish them all success in their new place of duty.
Brother Riggs is working out of Dodge City, Kansas; and Brother Thomas is working at St. Louis. Sister Riggs has gone to her hushand to see that he is taken care of and that his lunch hasket is well tilled with good things to eat. I think the railroad boys are the ones who need lots of good things to eat, for they work hard enough to get them. We miss Sister Riggs, for she has heen a faithful memher of our lodge. Sister Fifer has also left us; and we expect to see Sister Thomas leave here, to go to her hushand at St. Louis.
We had three applications to work on at our last meeting, and have the promise of several more.
No. 170 is getting new memhers right along, and that gives us a chance to get more memhers for our lodge.
Several of the boys have been on the sick list, but are daily reporting for work.
The brothers have rented another hall. I think it is as nice a hall as any of the B. R. T. hoys have. I hope that the hrothers will attend meetings more regularly than they have, for they cannot find a hetter place to go to spend Sunday afternoons. I like to see my hushand go to lodge. I also wish to say that all visiting brothers and sisters are welcome here, for one will not find a better set of members to entertain people than those of No. 8 and No. 170.
May the guiding angel watch over us all.
I remain yours in sisterly love,
Fireside Companion.

Mccook, Neb.
It is with pleasure I take this opportunity of writing to the Journal. I have been waiting for some time to see if some one would write a few lines in behalf of C. W. Bronson Lodge, No. 487, and as I have a few spare moments while waiting for the return of my hushand from his run, I will, for the first time, try and let its readers know that No. 487 is progressing nicely, they are taking in new memhers at nearly every meeting; and we have as fine a set of B. of R. T. hoys here as you will find am where, and I am proud to say that my hushand is one of the Order, and I think all trainmen ought to belong.
No. 487 gave its third annual ball New Year's eve., and it was a grand success both socially and financially.
There is no Auxiliary here, but I hope there will he soon. There has heen some talk ahout it, and if they should organize, I shall be a memher.
I will close, wishing the B. of R. T. boys a happy and prosperous New Year, and may God bless all the railroad boys, is my prayer.
A Trainman's Wife.

I have been a reader of the Journal for a long time, but have not seen anything from No. 456, of which my hushand is a memher, so l felt it my duty to write a few lines. I enjoy reading the Journal, and am always anxious for the first of the month to come, so I can get it.
My hushand is a switchman and works very hard, like all the rest of the railroad men.
Bidding you all good-bye until some future date, I remain an interested reader of the Journal.
A Switchman's Wife.

To the boys of Monett Lodge No. 513:—It is with much pleasure l take the opportunity of writing to the Journal, as I feel interested in the hoys and the grand Order to which they belong. Organization tends to hind the memhers together as one, and makes their interests identical.
Now, dear boys, you are exposed to danger every day; he watchful and prayerful and kind to one another. Be always on your guard and put your trust in Him, who doeth all things well.
Wishing you all prosperity, I am,
A Brakeman's Mother.

l have watched the pages of the Journal, hoping to find something interesting from the hoys of No. 436, hut find no one speaking its praise. l would like to say a few words in regard to the hoys. My hushand is a memher of this lodge, and he says they are getting along splendidly and have u good set of hoys. He don't get to attend lodge meeting very often, hut 1 hope things will he arranged soon, so he can attend regularly.
May God protect the railroad hoys, and may they learn to know it is His watchful care that guides them safelv home to their loved ones, who watch and wait their return, is the prayer of, MRs. E. B. D.

Having a few spare moments I will pleasantly employ them by writing to the Journal. I am a memher of the Auxiliary, and finding many letters from No. 4, I at last began to think it was my turn to let our sisters and the Brotherhood know that we are alive and doing nicely. We should write often and thus encourage others to do so.
We have twenty-nine members, all of them interested and working hard to increase the membership. We have not as many members as we ought to have, considering the numher of Brotherhood men in this vicinity. We shall have to throw out our net and see if we cannot make No. 4 the largest in the Auxiliary.
Wishing all the lodges a prosperous New Year, I remain, in S. L., - A Member.

I will devote a few minutes to writing to the Journal, in behalf of the hoys of Lodge No. 411. This lodge has not heen organized more than two months, but it has a splendid start.
It is a new year, and let's welcome it with a cheerful heart.
I hope the boys will take an interest in their lodge and attend as often as possihle.
I hope those who have not joined will do so at their first opportunity. Only a short time ago l heard a man say he had never seen on any road, a set of men to surpass our hoys on the M. & C, for generosity; and, indeed, everything which goes toward making them a true set of God's noblemen.
With hest wishes and a happy New Year, I remain, your true friend, M. B. S.

FOR NO. 540.
My hushand is a memher of this lodge, and I thought it very proper to say a word or two in reference to the good work the lodge has heen doing. Everything appears to be going on very nicely with the memhers, and the lodge is in a very prosperous condition. I have read the Journal for the past four years, and am very much interested in it.
Hoping that the members of No. 540 will stand by their organization, and with best wishes to them, I am, A Brakeman's Wife.
Source: The Railroad Trainman

Thursday, March 12, 2015

On Women's Rights

Women's Rights came into the forefront during the later part of the 19th Century. Below is an article in response to another article that the writer totally disagreed with. Personally, I agree with the writer of this article but that's my own personal opinions and those of a 21st Century woman. However, it is always good to hear from those who were living at the time their opinions on Women's Rights. Enjoy!

The Husband Question.
[Written for the Journal.] Not long since, my eye fell upon an article in the Ladies' Home Journal, which struck my bump of combativeness, and aroused me to pass all former bounds and express myself on paper. The article mentioned was in answer to the question, "How shall I keep my husband at home?" and the answer in substance was that a woman should give her husband to understand that she knows nothing—therefore nothing must be expected of her; then he will be surprised and pleased should she give any evidence of possessing a little intellect and finally, if well entertained with all the neighborhood gossip and well fed, he will find his home attractive.
Now, I consider such an article [as that as just so much of a hinderance to the progression of woman. Through all the centuries since Adam and Eve, woman has been gradually lifting herself up to the plane upon which she will be recognized as the equal and natural companion of man, and every word which advises a woman to accept a position less than this has, in a measure, a tendency backward toward barbarism.
In this stage of civilization, and more especially in our own land of freedom, where young men and women mingle in society without the restraint of a chaperone and where marriages are founded on mutual attraction and without the services of a "go-between," it is reasonable to suppose that, as a rule, a man chooses one whom he regards as his equal to be his companion through life. Hence I say, the inequalities of married life are not intellectual inequalities, but differences arising from uncontrolled tempers and appetites, or from diversities of tastes.
If this be true, no amount of humbling one's self before one's husband is going to restore the lost congeniality. The man of the nineteenth century is prone to accept his wife's own estimate of herself, and if we give our husbands to understand that we are know-nothings, who can blame them if they treat us as such? If we entertain our husbands with neighborhood gossip and society scandal, can we blame them if they think us capable of nothing higher or better?
Since the beginning of civilization, homes have been held as sacred places. If a man be but one degree above a savage he expects the home influence to be elevating. If he be disappointed in this—if he feels that the sanctuary is desecrated, can he be blamed if he turn from it? Though he may go where a worse influence prevails, it will be where nothing better is expected; where he will not feel that there is a perversion of that which should be holy. Sister Lit.
Source: The Railroad Trainman ©1890

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

1871 Fashions

Below are a series of links to earlier post regarding 1871 Fashions. My St. Augustine Historical Series was set during that time period so I have quite a few links and info to share. Please note when writing in the couple years following you're more likely to see these fashions on your characters because, well let's face it, it took a while to come across the pond and then travel from the East to West.

1871 Fashions

1871 Fashions Part 1

1871 Fashions Part 2

1871 Women's Fashions

1871 Men's Fashions

1871 Fashion Accessories

1871 Fashion Accessories

Etiquette in Dress Fashion

1871 Fashion An Article.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

1890 Birdie's Diary Excerpts

Historical Fiction Writers all love it when we find diaries written during the time period we're working on. I stumbled on these excerpts in The Railroad Trainman 1890 from a young wife named Birdie. Some of the comments are wonderful. I think I would have liked to have met Birdie. I believe she has a great sense of humor. Enjoy!

Extracts from Birdie's Diary.
Some Valuable Hints on Housekeeping.
She was the sweetest little girl in the whole city and when she and George were married, the wedding was one of the most brilliant social successes of the season. After they had settled down to housekeeping in an elegant new house. Birdie concluded to keep a diary, and happening to peep inside of it one day we copied the following quaint and curious extracts:
May 10.—George said last week that we must economize, for trade seemed to be paralyzed. It is funny that trade should have waited till we got married and then get paralyzed. But we must do all we can, George says, to save our money; I am trying every way to save what he makes.
May 13.— For three days I have been making my husband a pair of the cutest night-shirts that anybody ever saw. They are long and graceful and trimmed with pink embroidery. George put one of them on last night and we had our first harsh word.
George said that anyone with brains enough to soil a silk handkerchief ought to know that the buttons should be on the right side.
I also made a mistake in putting in the sleeves, so that they pointed back into the dim past. George said he felt all the time as if he had been turned around in a cyclone, and that while struggling to peer into the future his arms were striving to lay hold on the dear, dead past. He can be quite eloquent when he feels like it, and he writes just too lovely for anything for the papers, and those who have read his pieces say he is bound to be one of the most brilliant amateur writers some day. I think nobody can equal him now.
May 15.—I can see now that if I had put in more time at home in
learning to sew and cook, and less time thumping a piano and studying elocution it would have been better for Georte. Poor, dear George, I believe I love him more and more every day and I am going to commence learning everything right away for his sake.
May 17.—Yesterday I bought a little red receipt book of a pleasing young man who called at the door. The book is a very useful one and is bound in the same color of my new dress. It tells how to make custards, blanc manges and floating island. It also tells you in the back part how to cure heaves, glanders and botts. I can hardly wait till George gets the botts so that I can bring out my little red volume and win him back to life and joy again. It also gives away other information. Any one with this book in the house can go to work and take a person right through a long siege of croup or yellow fever without a doctor, and there is a whole lot of law in it so that George can use it in his business and we won't ever have to have a doctor either. Why will people fritter away their money on doctors, when they can get one of these books so cheap?
May 20.—George promised me last night that I could have a new dress. I know what kind I will have. It will be of white flannel, trimmed with wide bands of white satin, and white hat to match, I know that will look lovely. He is is a dear.
I bought some rhubarb at the drug store this morning and to-morrow I will make a couple of pies. George is passionately fond of rhubarb pies. There would be far less connubial unhappiness if wives would study their husbands' wants and supply them, I think.—Frog.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Design Details of 1897 Wallpaper & Stencil

Below are some images from 1897 trade magazine of various wallpaper designs. Next week I'll highlight some border designs.

Wall Stencil

Friday, March 6, 2015

Interior of Gentlemen's Railroad Car, Ladies' Parlor Car & Dining Car

Once in a while I come upon an illustration and description that I find would be helpful for period information. Today's tidbit is just that. A description of a couple of cars along with an illustration of the Gentlemen's Car, Enjoy!

A model of railroad excellence is the Chicago & Alton's Sunset Limited, which runs hetween Chicago, lllinois, and San Francisco, California. The route is through the most heautiful part of the country into nature's own perfumed California. The train, interior views of which are given, is one of the finest in the world and is the finest train hetween Chicago and the Coast. The cars are of the highest type of the car huilder's art and demonstrate the excellence of the modern railroad system.

Following the locomotive the first car is appropriately called "composite," a small compartment in the forward end heing set apart for the storage of haggage, the center heing fitted with harher shop, hath rooms, toilet apartments and huffett, while the rear contains an ample apartment given up to men as a smoking, reading and writing room. Wide plate-glass windows light this particularly comfortahle apartment, which, with its sofas, hig easy chairs, etc., closely resemhles the lounging room of a metropolitan club. The finish of the composite car is in polished oak; the upholstering, fawn colored plush.

This, the second car in the train, is an innovation, heing the first time in the history of travel that a parlor, lihrary and reading room has heen especially provided for ladies. Here is given the same opportunity for restful existence which gentlemen enjoy in their smoking and lounging apartment. The lihrary is well selected, the dally papers, magazines and weekly periodicals are gratuitously furnished, and writing tahles with special stationery are installed. The apartment is really an expansive ladies' parlor and ohservation room, for the chairs, lounges, etc., are luxuriously comfortahle, and long plate-glass windows occupy most of the walls. An unohstructed view of the scenery on either side can he had. ln addition to the parlor there are seven private compartments, arranged to he occupied singly or en suite. Entrance is from an outside aisle, securing strict privacy, and each of the compartments has its own lavatory and toilet appurtenances. The ladies' parlor is finished in vermilion wood with slate-green plush upholstering, while the seven compartments are finished in woods of different colors — red and white mahogany, vermilion and walnut, with harmonizing tints of hlue and maroon plush, upholstering to match.

Two douhle drawing-room ten-section sleeping cars come next. The drawing rooms are finished in white mahogany, with red plush upholstery. Each has toilet room and lavatory. The hody of the cars, containing the standard sleeping car sections, is finished in vermilion wood, the upholstery heing fawn-colored plush.

Completes the train. lts woodwork is in quartered oak, stained to a fine color. ln alcoves along the sides are potted plants and ferns. lndividual chairs are at the mahogany tahles, and the sparkle of cut glass, the glitter of silver, and the sheen of snowy linen add charm to a perfect meal perfectly served.
Source: The Railroad Trainman ©1898

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Shepherd's Betrothal

This week my latest novel "The Shepherd's Betrothal was released. Below is a copy of the Book Cover and the back cover copy.
In this arranged marriage story I wanted to do something a bit different and I hope I've achieved it. If you're looking for a fun read, take a moment and check it out, or better yet, purchase a copy. ;-)

by Lynn A. Coleman
ISBN: 978-0373487714
Not an arranged marriage to a man she's never met. Hope scorns such old-fashioned ideas, until she meets the man she once refused as her groom. Soon she's falling for the rugged yet caring Irishman.

Ian McGrae's determined to make a success of his new Florida homestead—not grapple with the woman who rejected him. But when the ownership of his land is disputed, Hope works by his side to uncover the threat. As Ian gets to know Hope, he finds she's his perfect match. And if they can forgive and forget the past, they just might have a future together.

The Shepherd's Betrothal is a Historical Romance set in St. Augustine, FL.

Paper Back at Amazon
Kindle Version

Barnes & Noble and Nook Version is on the same page.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

1880 Ladies Fashions

1880 Fashions
Visiting Dress & Traveling Dress
Walking Dresses
Walking & House Dress
Walking & House Dress
Walking Dress
Walking Dress
Summer Dresses
Bathing Dress
Bathing Dresses

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Jelly Making and Recipe Posts

Below are links to previously posted tidbits on Jelly making and recipes. As I was putting this list together I noticed I didn't have the common grape jelly so below you'll find a few additional recipes for grape jelly. Enjoy!

Jelly Making 1837 Part 1

Jelly Making 1837 Part 2

Different Preserves


Preserving Cherries

Fig Recipes

Take grapes before they are fully ripe and boil them gently with a very little water; then strain and proceed as with currant jelly. Wild grapes will not make as firm a jelly as cultivated ones.
Source: Dr. Clark's Recipe Book ©1895

Grapes half-ripe are nicer for jelly than when fully ripe. Stem them; put them over the fire with a very little water, Ripe Grapa. JELLY. Peach.
just enough to keep them from burning. Let cook, and mash with a silver spoon until the juice is pretty well extracted. Then strain, and to every pint allow about | pound sugar. Boil 20 minutes. In the meantime have the sugar heating. Then pour over the hot sugar. Stir well, and fill your glasses.
Mrs. H. M. Ball, Normal, 111.
Pick the grapes from the stems; wash; to 2 quarts grapes add about £ cup water. Cover closely in a preserving-kettle, and boil for 5 minutes; then pour into a jelly-bag, and squeeze out the juice. To each pint of juice add 1 pound crushed or granulated sugar. Boil 15 minutes. Skim well. Fill your glasses while the jelly is hot, and tie them over with paper which should be previously saturated with unbeaten white of egg.
Ripe Grape Jelly.
Mrs. E. K. Owens, Minerva, Ky.
Take grapes fully ripe. Remove the skins first. Then heat till scalding hot. Then strain, and to 2 measures of juice put 3 of sugar. Boil, and it will jelly in about 5 minutes. Let stand in glasses 3 days before tying up.
Source: Mrs. Owens Cook Book ©1884

Monday, March 2, 2015


Signs, signs, everywhere are signs...and so the song goes. The truth is that signage is not something new to our time, or the time period with which the song was written. In fact, there are some historical signs and signage that can bring big bucks for collectors today. However, as a historical tidbit, I'd like to post ten signs from the late 19th century. These come from a journal for painters and decorates from the 19th century. In the weeks to come I'll be posting some other details from this same source.

Several of these signs were made for the sides of wagons. Today we find them on buses or in subways. A fun one for me to stumble on was Poland Water.