Monday, August 31, 2015

1885 Rural House Designs

Hi all,
Here are some 1885 floor plans and images of different rural home designs.

Five Room Cottage

8 Room Dwelling
Floor Plans

Design 3

Design 5

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wedding Anniversaries and Social Etiquette

Earlier this week a fellow writer Dawn Kinzer (Click her name to go to her page.) shared an anniversary card she found in her family belongings from the 1800's. I've covered anniversaries before but this list found in "Hand-book of Official and Social Etiquette" has a list that is a bit different. It also has the suggested layout of the invitation cards. At the bottom ck out Dawn's family's card.

WEDDING ANNIVERSARIES. The celebration of wedding anniversaries has always been an occasion of enjoyable reunion among the participants in the event itself, and a few intimate friends. In order to adapt the occasion to some suitable recognition, designations have been given to these anniversaries, and while gifts are not obligatory, and the announcement '' No presents received" on the invitation cards is desirable in the later anniversaries, a remembrance of an inexpensive character of the material named greatly contributes to the entertainment of the occasion.
These yearly anniversaries are as follows:
The first anniversary is the Cotton Wedding. The invitations are printed on cotton and any presents should be of the same material.
The second anniversary is the Paper Wedding. The invitations are printed on paper, and the most suitable presents are books or any other articles of paper.
The third anniversary is the Leather Wedding. The invitations are printed on leather, and any presents should be of the same material.
The fourth anniversary is the Straw Wedding. The invitations are printed on straw colored paper, and presents should represent straw.
The fifth anniversary is called the Wooden Wedding. The invitations should be printed on thin cards of wood, or on wedding paper, enclosing a ard of wood. The presents should be of any article of wood.
The seventh anniversary is the Woolen Wedding. The invita.ions should be printed on woolen and presents should be of the same material.
The tenth anniversary is called the Tin Wedding. The invitations should be printed on tin foil, with a mongram in silver, or on wedding note paper in black, enclosing a tin card. Presents should be of tin.
The twelfth anniversary is called the Linen Wedding. Invitations are printed on linen in gold or silver. The envelopes should also be of linen. Any presents should be of the same.
The fifteenth anniversary it called the Crystal Wedding. The invitation5 should be printed on sheets of gelatine or white wedding note sheets, enclosing a card printed on mica. Pre.ents of any articles oi glass are appropriate.
The twentieth anniversary is called the China Wedding. The invitations are printed on cards with a china finish. Presents should be of china.
The twenty fifth anniversary is called the Silver Wedding. The invitations should be printed on silver bronze or fine white paper with monogram or crest in silver. The presents should be of silver.
As articles in silver are expensive, out of consideration for many who might not be able to afford a present, it is proper to print at the bottom of the invitation: "It is preferred that no presents be offered."
This rule will apply to all wedding invitations following the tin wedding.
The thirtieth anniversary is called the Peail Wedding. The invitations should be printed on pearl tinted paper with monogram of pearls stamped in silver. The presents should be appropriate if given.
The thirty-fifth anniversary is called the Coral Wedding. The invitations should be printed on fine quality of pink tinted paper. Any presents should be of jewelry representing coral.
The forty-fifth anniversary is called the Bronze Wedding. The invitations are printed on bronzed stationary, and any presents should be of bronze.
The fiftieth anniversary is called the Golden Wedding. But few couples ever reach this ripe old age of matrimonial companionship, and the occasion therefore is more of a family nature, the effort being made to bring together as many of the descendants and relations as possible. The inviations are engraved and printed in gold with monogram or crest in gold. The presents should be in gold, but as such presents are expensive this is optional. The more close relatives should give something.
The seventy-fifth anniversary is called the Diamond Wedding. The invitation should be diamond shaped and printed on the finest paper.
At the silver or golden wedding the marriage ceremony adapted to suit th occasion is sometimes performed by a clergyman as part of the entertainment The motive of this would be to symbolize the continued trust and confidence the honored couple bear towards each other.
The usual forms of invitations used for wedding anniversaries are as follows:
Wooden Wedding
Mr. and Mrs. _____ _____ _____
Would be pleased to see you on _____ evening, _____ (date)
At _____ o'clock.
An early answer requested.                                  (Residence.)
Still another form is:

1860. China Wedding. 1880.
Mr. and Mrs, _____ _____ _____
At home
_____ evening, _____ (date)
An early answer desired.                                    Residence.)

Another form is:
Silver wedding.
(name of groom)                                (name of bride):
Mr. and Mrs. _____ _____ _____
Request the pleasure of
Company, on _____ evening, the _____ day of 18___
At _____ o'clock
An early answer requested.                                (Residence.)
Another form is:
The honor of your company is requested at the
Golden Wedding Reception
Mr. and Mrs. _____ _____ _____
On _____ evening, _____(date) _____
At _____ o'clock.
R. S. V. P. (Residence.)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Historical Paintings from the Ganges River in India

Below are for images from a book titled "A Picturesque Tour Along the Rivers Ganges and Jumna in India" ©1824. Travel books were quite popular during the 19th Century in much the same way that they are today.

City on the Ganges River

Chau of Cutwa

Ganges River Village

Rocks of Colgong

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

1857 Fashions

Made of light brown velvet, or of light cashmere. The zig-zag border a la Greece stripes and dots are all of velvet

A bertha "for balls or for society' as our correspondent describes it. It is made of two copies of English thread lace, above which there is a broad puff of tulle, through which is run a broad ribbon, or rose color, the same as the bow.

Made of embroidered muslin, and trimmed with broad lace, and narrow lines or borders of puffs of tule repeated again on the arms. The back is precisely like the front, and reaches to the termination of the waist.

Boy's gimp cap, trimmed with bows of straw-colored ribbon on the right side, and a neat straw garland hanging at the left.

This desirable Leghorn hat for youth, is tastefully trimmed with a heavy corn-colored ribbon with satin edge. A wreath of bows extending around the corner with ends at the right side. The brim edged with a new trimming, called bugled fringe.

A cloak of light-gray summer-cloth, with side fringes of the same color. The stripes are of velvet ribbon, and produce a good effect if of a light-brown or chocolate color.

A round hat for a lady, of gray English braid, with rows of black horse hair on the brim.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


This is an extremely long post but do scroll down and read the variety of roasting foods this author, Thomas Jefferson Murrey writes about. I've truncated it a bit but left most of his recipes for Roasting in. These recipes are from 1885.

Roasting is ah excellent method of rendering food whokv some and nourishing. Without making any great change in the chemical properties of meat it renders it more tender and highly flavored, while there is not so much waste of its nutritive juices as in baking. But where can the average American get a slice of roast beef? Our homes are not provided with spits, bottle-jacks, Dutch ovens, and the like and as a very sensible writer in the New York Times stated, "ninetynine roasts in the United States are baked in ovens, and there is no help for it." I can see no possible way out of the dilemma but to submit gracefully to baked meats for ever. The leading hotels and restaurants overcome the difficulty by purchasing the very best of beef, and keeping it from eight to fifteen days in their ice-houses. Thus the excellent quality of the beef overcomes, in a measure, the bad effects created by the superheated volatile portions that escape from the beef during the process of baking.

No finer, better, or sweeter piece of meat was ever tasted^ either in England or America, than the Astor House roast beef; and the secret is in securing the best quality, and taking proper care of it before submitting it to the oven.

Roast Beef.—The best roasting-pieces are the fore and middle ribs and the sirloin. The chuck-ribs, althoup-h cheaper, are not as profitable to families, there being too much waste in the carving of them. The ends of the ribs should be removed from the flank, and the latter folded nnder the beef and securely fastened with skewers. Rub a little salt into the fat part; place the meat in the dripping-pan with a pint of stock or water; baste freely, and dredge with flour half an hour before taking the joint from the oven.
Should the oven be very hot place a buttered paper over the meat to prevent it scorching while yet raw, in which case it will need very little basting; or turn the rib side up towards the fire for the first twenty minutes. The time it will take in cooking depends entirely upon the thickness of the joint and the length of time it has been killed. Skim the fat from the gravy and add a tablespoonful of prepared brown flour and a glass of sherry to the remainder.

Roast Loin of Veal—Make an incision in the flank or skirt of the loin of veal, and into the cavity thus made, just over the end of the bone, put a well-flavored veal force-meat. Roll in the flank to cover the kidney-fat, and bind it firmly with string or tape. Place a few small veal will) a few assorted vegetables, cut up, in a dripping-pah; put the loin Upon this bed, add half a pint of stock or water, and set it in the oven for twenty minutes; in the meantime work together a tablespoonful cf flour with two tablespoonfuls Of melted butter; draw the joint from the oven, baste it with the flour and butter, return it to the oven again, and baste occasionally until done.
Veal should be thoroughly done. "When it is under-done it is decidedly indigestible and should be avoided.
The breast of veal boned, with a layer of force-meat spread over the inside and rolled and tightly bound, may be substituted for loin of veal.

Monday, August 24, 2015

1830 Farm Laborer's House Plans

Below are some illustrations for the construction of the laborers homes for farmlands. These are English in design but they will give you a good sense of what was in them.

The Labourer's Cottage cannot be too simple in its form, and it should be comprised in a very small compass. His wants are few, but his comforts should be carefully studied. The relative situation of doors and chimneys is of the greatest consequence to him, and it too frequently happens that this is little attended to, if at all. In rooms of very small dimensions this consideration must never be lost sight of, or the poor man's dwelling may be rendered a wretched habitation. In the Plan No. I. it will appear that the Bed Room, being within the Kitchen, must be warm, the Kitchen itself is defended by the Porch, while the Outhouse or Washhouse, containing the oven and copper, is quite independent of the other two apartments. The dwelling is only one story in height, and the rooms are kept to the smallest possible size.

For a Labourer's Cottage one story in height, explaining a design, comprehending the same number of apartments as No. I, under a different arrangement. These Cottages may be built of brick, and covered with tile, the whole being splashed, to produce the effect of age. In stone countries the roofs should be covered with rag. All the wood work should be painted in imitation of oak.

This Design presents a Labourer's Cottage in the Italian style. It is very small, comprehending only a Kitchen, Bed Room, and Outhouse, with an oven. The walls may be of brick or stone, and covered with tile, of the form so much seen in Italy, derived originally from the Greek. The windows are kept high from the ground, a peculiarity much to be observed in this character; and the simplicity of the whole effect is not unpleasing, as exhibited in the Perspective View.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ambulance Tidbits

Below is a report from a Harford, CT. Report based on 1899. I find these tidbits helpful in a couple of ways. One, is the mileage the ambulance travels, the amount of calls it went out on in one year and the costs. Anyway, see what you might use to spark research for your own writing.

HARTFORD, Conn., March 5, 1900. To the Honorable Court of Common Council:
The Board of Police Commissioners of the City of Hartford would respectfully call your attention to the disadvantages under which they are operating the ambulance service, and to the great burden, and to the obstruction of other work in the department such as a Police department is ordinarily organized for.
To make it more evident to you what amount of service is performed for ambulance calls alone, we have requested the Chief of Police to tabulate the number of box calls, telephone calls, and ambulance calls; also the number of miles traveled by the patrol wagon, number of miles by the Black Maria, and the number of miles by the ambulance. All of these are for the past two years, each tabulated separately. Such information is submitted herewith.

In the year ending March 31, 1899, the number of ambulance calls were 561, and the miles traveled by the ambulance were 1683, as against 1799 patrol wagon calls and 1148 miles traveled by patrol wagon.
The appropriations for Ambulance service, during the past year was $1500.

In order to eflect this service properly, the drivers of the department are obliged not only to be subject to the calls for the patrol wagon, but also for service on the Black Maria, and to be subject to immediate call for ambulance service. We have, as you are aware, only two drivers, one for day duty and one for night duty.' During the past year, these two drivers have been obliged to respond to a total of 2468 calls, of which 544 were for ambulance service, or twenty per cent. of the total number of calls.

In order to effect this service, we have been obliged to traverse 4671 miles, of which 1635 were by the ambulance, or more than thirty per cent; and the number of miles traversed for ambulance service were 1635 as against 1192 for patrol wagon service. And to efl'ect this service we have only two pairs of horses.

In responding to ambulance calls we use only one 'horse, which is obliged to draw a heavy ambulance and in addition to the service on the patrol wagon and Black Maria, with the pair. This service wears out the horses exceedingly fast, and prevents them from being in good condition to make swift trips with the patrol wagon, which is very desirable. We would ask your comparison of this work, by two pairs of horses. both as to number of miles and number of calls, with any two pairs of horses now in use by the Fire Department. One pair of horses is in such condition now that they will not be adequate for our service for more than a month or so longer, at the utmost.

The annual allowance given to us is 81500. As against this, we would call your attention to the fact that we are constantly employing two men at a salary of $1001). each to maintain this service. Our repairs, and the services of ambulance surgeons, amount to 8252. Also, should be taken into consideration : wear and tear of horses; horse shoeing made necessary by this extra service; fodder; straw; harness and frequent renewals thereof, blankets and their cleaning and renewals; and many other items which, though they enter into our expenses as a department, are not adequately provided for in the appropriation.

In additiOn to this, the drivers are practically obliged to take care of their own horses; and immediately on return from a call, and before the horses are put into condition, they are almost inevitably called out again for other services.

In no other city, as far as we can discover, is the ambulance maintained by the Police Department. It is always a subject of care by the hospitals, by whom it is maintained either by voluntary contributions or by an appropriation from the municipal government, or, in a few cases, maintained by the Charities Departments.

We have conferred with the authorities at the Hartford Hospital, and they seem willing to assume (although they have not positively stated that they will do so) the care and maintenance of the ambulance, provided a reasonable appropriation is made for the same by the City government. But they state that such service cannot be maintained for less than 82500. a year. '

The feed bills, harness bills, horse shoeing bills, and other bills for repairs, have been largely increased by services rendered in the ambulance department; and we have found it very difficult to keep wllhin our appropriation, and especially this year when we were obliged to make many additional improvements in the Police Station, taken out of our regular appropriation for police service.

We respectfully represent that this service is: First, unusual. Second, that it is very onerous and burdensome. Third, that it over-works the drivers. Fourth, that it over-works the horses. Fifth, that it incurs an expense which cannot be made apparent to the Ways and Means committee in making their estimates for our general appropriation.

The calls made by this service are from the hospitals, from the railroads, from individuals, and from calls by the police themselves. In fact the ambulance seems to be subject tO‘the service of everyone who may choose to call upon it.

Our force is at present not adequate to cover the territory which we are obliged to patrol. It leaves us with only one officer in the station besides the Chief and a driver.
The oflice man is frequently called away on this ambulance duty, and when the driver is out with the patrol wagon it leaves the station in charge of the Chief without a single extra man, who is subject to outside calls in cases of emergency.

We, therefore, respectfully request that you consider our petition to withdraw from us the ambulance service, and place it in charge of either the Hartford Hospital or the Charities Department. It is understood, however, that if the Hartford Hospital assumes this service that they are willing to answer allc alls from St. Francis’ Hospital, from the Charities Department, from the Alms House, and for any general service, and also furnish the ambulance surgeons. .
Respectfully submitted,

Thursday, August 20, 2015

1839 Furnishings Part 3

Wash Stands for japanned work.

Varying considerably from the design in plate 3, particularly in the forms of the blocks; the supports of the lower two are of very plain turned work, intended for French polish.

A Toilet
Table And Glass.—Stuffing is introduced upon the stretcher rail, as a rest for the feet; and a draw is at each end instead of the usual one in front, as being more convenient for the person while sitting at the table.

Ladies' Work Tables,
The first has a draw in front and a pouch formed by ribs of thick wire, which falls, and forms an opening, by disengaging the snap beneath the centre of the draw.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

1882 Historical Fashions

Walking Jacket
Visiting Dress
Walking Dresses
Ladies Dresses
Evening Dress Winter Bonnet
Dinner or Evening Dress
House Dress