Monday, January 13, 2014

Tidbits Posts

I thought today I would revisit my first posts on my blog. I actually started the blog a month before I launched it. This allowed me to have some information up on the web before I invited people to take a look. Below you'll find links to the various posts as well as a comment or two updating the information.

My first post was about Houghtaling's Handbook
Original Post
Since that time Google Books has a copy of the 1885 Houghtaling's Handbook Which makes it much easier to search for tidbits of information.

My second post was posted the same day about Debt from the eyes of my copy of the 1887 Houghtaling's Handbook.

My third post was also from Houghtaling's Handbook

My fourth ventured into another book I had on my shelves Ayers: Every Man His own Doctor

My fifth post talked about some Genealogy Tidbits. Since that time I've come to rely on my genealogy resources for my historical fiction. Information like how many people were living in the area, names of some of the store owners, occupations of some of the residents. Did you know that some people registered as "pirates" on some censuses? It's a great resource for writing historical fiction, admittedly it is time consuming but you can glean some interesting tidbits.

Facts for Builders was my sixth post, on my fourth day of posting on my blog. Yes, it was another tidbit from Houghtaling's.

A Printing Press for wallpaper was my next post. Wall Paper Printer There's a great illustration included with this tidbit. I don't know about you but I'm always looking for a different kind of occupation my hero or heroines can do, this one is something I never thought about.

Houghtaling's came into play again with the topic of Cisterns. However, I selected that because of the work I'd done while researching my Key West series. Key West relied on Cisterns as well as desalinating the ocean water for drinkable water for the residents.

Wedding Anniversaries followed with a list of the kinds of gifts one gave for various anniversaries. I still refer back to that list. I would be nice if I could memorize everything but I can't so I keep notes. Which is what this blog is really about, sharing with other some of the historical tidbits I've found while researching my books.

On the fifth day I took from some of my notes what I had found about the history of matches. Matches & Strikables When I've taught groups about researching your historical novels, I've often shared these tidbits about a match. This research came while I was writing Raining Fire, which was set in 1834 Kentucky. I had my hero striking a match to light the fire and then I questioned myself as to whether or not he would have a match then. A lot of the tidbits I've gathered has been from similar situations.

Pencil History was from the same kind of a question. Would my characters have access to a pencil in such-a-such year.

Finally one week later I posted another medical information tidbit. The topic was Yellow Fever and yes I was researching yellow fever, how common it was in the area I was setting my story and finally what were the signs of the disease.

So those are the tidbits I shared the first week of the 19th Century Historical Tidbits Blog. I hoped you enjoyed this little trip through tidbits and perhaps it will challenge you to search through some of the past posts to help you in your quest for tiny tidbits that add so much authenticity to your historical novel.


  1. I imagine you've learned an incredible amount of info with all the reading and research you've done, Lynn.

  2. I've learned quite a bit but I can't rely on my memory any more. That is why I keep a lot of searchable docs on my computer.

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