Thursday, March 31, 2016

Domestic Art Textiles

Below is a five year plan written by John Dewey for the University of Chicago curriculum for textile work. This kind of information you might find helpful if your character is going or has gone to finishing school.

1. Simple weaving.
2. Sewing bag.—Materials: scrim or art denim, Barbary cotton. Stitches: basting, coarse back stitch
ing, overhanding basted hem, outlin-. ing name or initials, twisting cords for drawing string.
The child has his choice of color in the denim and sewing cotton used, and sometimes the bag is decorated with a blanket stitch around the edge or a stitching-stitch fastens the hem. The name is printed with a pencil on the bag in large letters and outlined in the same color used in sewing the bag. This bag is used through the course to hold the child's work.
1. Spinning.—Study of silkworm and cocoon. Cotton, wool and flax spinning with simple spindle.
2. Practical sewing.—Holder for use in cooking. Materials: felt, braid, No. 40 cotton. (A square piece of felt is cut the size of holder. Strips are cut lengthwise one-half inch from each edge. The braid is woven through and the ends fastened with a running stitch. The back is lined with unbleached muslin. This introduces the turning in of raw edges, the basting the edges even, and the overhanding the edges together.)
Needle Book. Materials: brown, coarse art canvas; Barbary cotton; white flannel. Stitches: blanket stitch on canvas and flannel; cross-stitch decoration.
Pin flat. Materials: card board; woolen cloth or silk. Stitches: basting in raw edges; overhanding.
Canvas mat with cross-stitch design in colored cotton.
Pincushion. Materials: art canvas, denim; Barbary cotton. Stitches: overcasting; stitches used in design; basting; back-stitch in color; overhanding of open end.
Designs were obtained as follows: Large photographs of snowflake crystals were shown, from which the children worked out a simple design first in drawing and then in cross-stitch on canvas.
Theoretical work is study of fibres of following materials: Cotton, flax, jute, hemp, wool and silk with reference to following points: where grown; where manufactured; how transported. Rough maps are made snowing the location of the countries where the fiber is produced, manufacturing centers, lines of transporta- . tion.
Practical sewing.—Burlap Pillows. Materials: burlaps; Barbary cotton; unbleached muslin for inside of pillow; moss for filling; frame to hold work. Stitches: stitches used in design; basting, back-stitch; overhanding; overcasting; filling with moss; fitting the two pillows.
Bag for soiled handkerchiefs.—Materials: coarse white art canvas; rope silk; wooden ring for top of bag; ribbon to cover ring. Stitches: Russian design in cross-stitch for border; initials in cross-stitch; hemming; running stitch; back-stitch.
Shoe bag. Materials: linen; braid. Stitches: binding with braid; hemming with braid; loops.
Theoretical work.—Manufactured products. Study of different kinds of cloth: texture, hydroscopic nature, relation to warmth, inflammability.
The difference in texture, etc., de
pending both on the preparation of the fibre and its structure; the microscopic study of the different fibers is made here to bring out the differences which necessitate the various threads and therefore different cloths made from them.
Practical sewing.—Burlap curtains: knotted fringed ends; darned design in colored cotton. Paper dolls for illustration of historical work. Patterns for doll's clothes. Flannel skirt. Stitches: running and backstitch; catch-stitch; turning hem and basting; gathering; putting on band; sewing on button; loop for button.
FIFTH YEAR. Theoretical work. Cultivation of fibers; climate, topography. Kind of soil needed, and mode of cultivation. Preparation of fibers for manufacture. Practical work: darning stockings and mending; doll's outfit cut from patterns made preceding year.
Theoretical work. History of manufacture of cloth. Development of spindle and loom. History of inventions and their commercial importance, with social changes effected. Study of present processes of manufacture.
Practical work.—Baby's dress and skirt; table linen; patching; darning; hemming damask; fringing doily; hemstitching; embroidering initials. Small sheet, pillow case.
Source: Everyday Housekeeping ©1899

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

White Paint

What's the big deal, you ask? Well, you'll find some interesting tidbits below that folks during the 19th Century used with or for their white paint.

A beautiful White Paint, For inside work, which ceases to smell, and dries in a few hours. Add one pound of frankincence to two quarts of spirits of turpentine; dissolve it over a clear fire, strain it, and bottle it for use; then add one pint of this mixture to four pints of bleached linseed oil, shake them well together, grind white lead in spirits of turpentine and strain it, then add sufficient of the lead to make it proper for painting; if too thick in using, thin with turpentine, it being suitable for the best internal work on account of its superiority and expense.

For a pure White Paint, Nut oil is the best; if linseed oil is used, add one third of turpentine.

To Mix Common White Paint. Mix or grind white lead in linseed oil to the consistency of paste, add turpentine in the proportion of one quart to a gallon of oil; but these proportions must be varied according to circumstances. Remember to strain your color for the better sorts of work. If the work is exposed to the sun, use more turpentine for the ground color to prevent its blistering.

For Knotting. One pint of vegetable naptha, one tea spoonful of red lead, quarter of a pint of japanners' gold size, seven ounces of orange shellack. Added together, set in a warm place to dissolve, and frequently shaken. ANOTHER. Mix white or red lead powder in strong glue size and apply it warm.
Source: Painter's Grainers' and Writers. ©1852

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Sitting Room

This short tidbit gives a bit of insight into a very popular room during the 19th Century.

The Sitting-room.
IN almost every house there is a room, generally a small one, that is made to serve as substitute, at one time or another, for all the other reception rooms; in the class of house under notice, it is sometimes termed a morningroom, sometimes a breakfast-room, but we have preferred to adopt the term sitting-room.
By reason of its varied uses, we shall adopt a suite of furniture something after the style used for a dining-room, but lighter in construction, in order that it may not appear disproportionate in its place. The wood we would suggest for this suite is walnut, or some wood of a similar tone. The upholstering may be in tapestry or velvet, the colours of which will be best regulated by a careful consideration of the amount of wear to which it is likely to be exposed.
The furniture designed for this room will also be well adapted for cottages, where space is often the main consideration.

In Figs. 1 and 2 are shown the front and side elevations of the fireplace, with overmantel. It will be noted that we have endeavoured to meet the views of those who like a large surface of mirror, while we have at the same time paid due regard to construction and proportion. The panels in the sides may either be of wood or of plate looking-glass. The other details will be given in enlarged drawings in our next paper. The upper portion, it will be seen, is arranged as a shelf for the display of potteries and trophies.
The woodwork, as in our previous designs for the like purpose, given in this series, is protected by a marble interior, the same material being used for the kerb fender indicated in the sketch. The grate shown is one having a straight front, with painted tiles in monochrome, either blue, marone, or sepia, on an ivory ground. Some persons may possibly take exception to the subjects; these may, however, be varied at the option of the purchaser, although, without specially defending the practice of using such subjects for fireplace decoration as are here shown, we cannot see that they are in any respect less suitable to the purpose than some of the half-clad classical figures adopted by many of our leading artists.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter Menus & Entertainment from the 19th Century

Here are a couple of samples from Easter Dinners and Entertaining from a couple sources. Have a Blessed Easter.

Cream Tomato Soup
Paris Eggs Brown Bread
Roast Tenderloin of Beef Succotash
Asparagus White Turnips Tomatoes
Cabbage Salad
Ambrosia Nuts Raisins Cake

The most characteristic Easter rite, and the one most widely diffused, is the use of patch (i. e. Easter) Eggs They are usually stained of various colors and people mutually make presents of them; sometimes they are kept as amulets, sometimes eaten; games are also played by striking them against one another. There can be little doubt that the use of eggs at this season was originally symbolical of the revivification of nature—the springing
Source: Mrs. Owen's New Cook-Book ©1897

"There is a tender hue that tips the first young leaves of spring,
A trembling beauty in their notes when young birds learn to sing
A purer look when first on earth the gushing brook appears,
A liquid depth in infant eyes that fades with summer years."

IN the early days of ecumenical councils it was a mooted point when Easter should be celebrated. The Christian Jews kept the feast on the same day as their Passover, the fourteenth of Nisan, the month corresponding to our March or April; but the Gentile church observed the first Sunday following this, because Christ rose from the dead on that day. It was not until the fourth century that the Council of Nice decided upon the first Sunday after the full moon which follows the twenty-first of March. The contest was waged long and heavily, but the Western churches were victorious; a vote settled it.
Perhaps this victory decided the later and more splendid religious ceremonials of Easter, which are much more observed in Rome and in all Catholic countries than those of Christmas. Constantine gratified his love of display by causing Easter to be celebrated with unusual pomp and parade. Vigils and night watches were instituted, people remaining all night in the churches in Rome, and carrying high wax tapers through the streets in processions.
People in the North, glad of an escape from four months of darkness, watch to see the sun dawn on an Easter morning. They have a superstitious feeling about this observance, which came originally from Egypt, and is akin to the legend that the statue of Memnon sings when the first ray of the sun touches it.
It is the queen of feasts in all Catholic churches, the world over. In early days, the fasting of Lent was restricted to one day, the Friday of Passion Week, Good Friday; then it extended to forty hours, then to forty days, — showing how much fashion, even in churchly affairs, has to do with these matters. One witty author says that, "people who do not believe in anything will observe Lent, for it is the fashion."
Certainly, the little dinners of Lent, in fashionable society, are amongst the most agreeable of all entertainments. The crime cTecrevisse, the oyster and clam soups, the newly arrived shad, the codfish a la royale and other tempting dainties are very good, and the dinner being small, and at eight o'clock, there is before it a long twilight for the drive in the Park.
A pope of Rome once offered a prize to the man who would invent one thousand ways of cooking eggs, for eggs can always be eaten in Lent, and let us hope that he found them. The greatest coxcomb of all cooks, Louis Ude, who was prone to demand a carriage and five thousand a year, was famous for his little Lenten menus, and could cook fish and eggs marvellously. The amusements of Lent have left one joke in New York. Roller skates were once a very fashionable amusement for Lenten afternoons, though now gone out, and a club had rented Irving Hall for their playground and chosen Festina lente, " Make haste slowly," for their motto. It was a very witty motto, but some wise Malaprop remarked, " What a very happy selection, ' Festivals of Lent!'"
However, Lent once passed, with its sewing circles and small whist-parties, then conies the brilliant Easter, with its splendid dinners, its weddings, its christenings and caudle parties, its ladies' lunches, its Meadow Brook hunt, its asparagus parties, and the chickens of gayety which are hatched out of Easter eggs. It is a great day for the confectioner. In Paris, that city full of gold and misery, the splendour and luxury of the Easter egg bonbonniere is fabulous. A few years since a Paris house furnished an Easter egg for a Spanish infanta, which cost eight hundred pounds sterling.
Easter dinners can be made delightful. They are simple, less heavy, hot, and stuffy, than those of midwinter. That enemy of the feminine complexion, the furnace, is put out. It no longer sends up its direful sirocco behind one's back. Spring lamb and mint sauce, asparagus and fresh dandelion salad, replace the heavy joint and the canned vegetables. A foreigner said of us that we have everything canned, even the canvas-back duck and the American opera. Everything should be fresh. The ice-cream man devises allegorical allusions in his forms, and there are white dinners for young brides, and roseate dinners for debutantes.

For a gorgeous ladies' lunch, behold a menu. This is for Easter Monday : —
Little Neck clams.
Chablis. Beef tea or consommi in cups.

CStelettes de cervelles & la cardinal. Cucumbers.
Little ducks with fresh mushrooms.
Champagne. Artichokes.

Sweetbread d la Richelieu.
Asparagus, Hollandaise sauce.
Roman punch.
Pdtl de foie gras.
Roast snipe.
Tomato salad, lettuce.
Ice creams, in form of nightingales' nests
Strawberries, sugared fruit, nougat cakes.

Of course, a season of such rejoicing, when "Christians stand praying, each in an exalted attitude, with outstretched hands and uplifted faces, expressing joy and gladness," is thought to be very propitious for marriage. There is generally a wedding every day, excepting Friday, during Easter week. A favourite spring travelling-dress for an Easter bride is fawn coloured cashmere, with a little round hat and bunch of primroses.
For a number of choir boys to sing an epithalamium, walking up the aisle before the bride, is a new and very beautiful Easter fashion.
A favourite entertainment for Easter is a christening. Christening parties are becoming very important functions in the art of entertaining. Many Roman Catholics are so anxious for the salvation of the little new soul, that they have their children baptized as soon as possible, but others put off this important ceremony until mamma can go to church, when little master is five weeks old. Then friends are invited to the ceremony very much in this fashion: —
Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton request the pleasure of your company at the baptism of their infant daughter at the Cathedral, Monday, March 30, at 12 o'clock. At home, after the ceremony, 14 W. Ellicott Square.
Source: The Art of Entertaining ©1892

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Saltville, VA

Below is an excerpt recording a man's travel and what he found in Saltville, VA. What I found interesting in this area was the Salt Farm where they pumped the salt up like water from a well then boiled it down to evaporate the water.

From Glade Springs I turned aside to Saltville, a busy town connected with the outer world by a branch railroad running in among the queer hill-knobs filled with plaster, and through the valleys where salt-wells are sunk. The country round about, until one reaches the Alleghany ridge, is not unlike that portion of England lying near Eastbourne, with its chalk hills sparsely covered with grass. Saltville is a neat manufacturing village, nestling in a valley near a defile in Walker's mountain. The basin of salt-water there yields nearly eighty per cent, and, ever since a Scotchman named King opened a well in 1780, the salines have been extensively worked. During the last war the Confederacy depended almost entirely upon these works for salt, and the tremendous draft of ten thousand bushels per day was promptly met by the wells. About two thousand men were constantly employed; the town was thoroughly fortified; each Southern State had its private establishment, and the various furnaces are to-day known by the names of the States which originally established them. There was some savage fighting along the mountain-sides, and in the defiles, when General Stoneman tried to force his way into Saltville and destroy the precious stores; but, after a severe repulse, he succeeded in gaining possession and burning everything. The stock company now owning and working the wells, manufacture but three thousand bushels of salt daily, sending it mainly to the Southern markets.
The stout negroes working over the boiling salt were both delighted and amazed when their pictures appeared in the artist's sketch-book; they had never seen "no such writin' befo'." Great stores of gypsum are annually mined and prepared for fertilizers in this valley, where also there are some superb model farms, well stocked and separated one from another by beautiful hedges. Not far from Saltville is Clinch mountain, over which the traveler to Tazewell county, a wonderfully' beautiful mountain region, must climb. The fighting around Saltville was severest at the time that Burbridge came from Kentucky, intending to break up the Confederate works there. It was, I believe, the first fight in which colored troops entered as an important element, and the slaughter of them, as they came struggling up the difficult hill-sides, is said by eye-witnesses to have been dreadful. About six thousand troops were engaged on each side.
Source: The Great South ©1875

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tidbits on Carrots

First we'll start with some basic info on carrots, move on to storage and then I'll share a few recipes. Enjoy!

The carrot is a root well worth the consideration of farmers; perhaps no root is better adapted to constitute a portion of food for milch cows, horses or swine. When fed to cows it adds largely to the flavor and quality of the milk, with a reasonable increase in quantity; no dairyman who makes butter or milk of the best quality would expect the best results without a liberal use of the carrot. The carrot adapts itself to most kinds of soil, but seems to succeed well on a deep loam with a slight admixture of sand.
If it is the desire of farmers to raise large and paying crops of the carrot, such can be produced with a great degree of certainty by a liberal dressing of good and well-decomposed manure to the land, which should be well ploughed in as early in the spring as possible. As soon as the weeds have come up the laud should be cross-ploughed as fine as possible with a swivel-plough; the land should then be harrowed and rolled, when it will be read)' for the seed. The seed should be soaked in warm water twenty-four hours previous to planting, and sunned a short time to dry the surface-moisture, that the seed may not clog in the seed-sower. The seed may be planted with any suitable machine that will sow thin; two pounds of seed per acre is more than enough, if judiciously planted; too thick sowing results in very unnecessary and expensive thinning; or if neglected, in a small growth of roots, expensive to harvest and to handle.
The seed may be planted from early in May to the 10th of June. Our practice is to plant in straight rows twenty-two inches apart, and the plants should be thinned to three or four inches in the row. The after-cultivation of the carrot should be always prompt; "hoe the ground and not the weeds," should be the motto. The horse-hoe can be used in the cultivation of the carrot to a very considerable extent, and our cultivation is very like that given the mangold. English turnips can be sown between the rows with the seed-sower by the 20th of July, without injury to the carrot, and will add materially to the product of the land. There are many varieties of carrot now grown in market-gardens, and as field crops. We have tried nearly all the prominent sorts that have been introduced in the last thirty years.
The Long Orange has for many years been a standard field variety. Perhaps no kind has been more extensively cultivated, or has better repaid its culture; but there are other kinds also very desirable. The intermediate, which arc shorter but larger in diameter—a very convenient root to handle in feeding—having a decided advantage in storage, occupying less space per ton, and in harvesting, to be pulled by hand, will yield a heavy weight per acre. There is also the Early Horn carrot, a shorter and heavier root in proportion to the size, thirty-five bushels weighing a ton; it takes forty bushels of the long sorts; they can be grown closer and make less tops than the longer sorts, and are more desirable for domestic use. The white sorts are not much grown by our farmers; they yield well, but do not store and keep as well as the yellow-fleshed sorts.
As regards the harvesting and storing the carrot, it is important to let the crop remain in the ground as late as the latter part of October or the 1st of November. In harvesting the long sorts the labor is lessened by cutting the tops with a sharp hoe, and raking them together and carting them to the stables to be fed to cows and horses; and they are greedily relished. Carrots may be more easily dug by running the plough on the side of the row of roots, when they can readily be pulled by hand and thrown into piles, where, aftpr a few hours' drying, they may be carted to the cellar for storage. Carrots require considerable ventilation until freezing weather sets in. When carrots are fed to milch-cows, if an equal amount of mangolds is used, a large flow of milk of good quality will be obtained. When fed to horses once a day, in the place of grain, they will be found most conducive to the health and strength of the animal.
Source: Public Documents of Massachusetts ©1875

Carrot Storage
Carrots, Beets, and Turnips.—Carrots should be stored on slat platforms in layers about 2 feet deep and covered lightly with sand. They tend to heat and decay and should have good ventilation. Beets, turnips, parsnips, and salsify, if stored in cellars, should be put in bins or boxes in layers 2 or 3 feet deep and covered with sand or soil to prevent shriveling. If not needed till spring, an excellent method is to store them in pits in the same manner as potatoes.
Source: Farmers' Bulletin ©1899

Carrots.—Let them be well washed and brushed, not scraped. An hour is enough for young spring carrots. Grown carrots must be cut in half, and will take from an hour and a half to two hours and a half. When done rub ofl‘ the peels with a clean, coarse cloth, and slice them in two or four, according to their size. The best way to try if they are done enough is to pierce them with a fork.
Carrot FRITTERS.—These very nice fritters are simply made, and we can recommend them as being an agreeable variety for a side dish at a small party. Beat two small boiled carrots to a pulp with a spoon, add three or four eggs, and half a handful of flour. Moisten with cream, milk, or a little white wine, and sweeten to taste; beat all well together, and fry them in boiling lard. When of good color take them off and serve, having squeezed over them the juice of an orange, and strewed them over with finely sifted sugar.
Source: The Godey's Lady's Book Receipts ©1870

Carrot Soup.
252. Carrot Sonp (without Meat). Take four or five large carrots, one turnip, three onions, and three heads of celery shred fine; put into a stew-pan with a quarter of a pound of butter, three cloves, some peppercorns, and a blade of mace; stir till it is a pulp; add half a pint of peas boiled to a pulp, two anchovies, and three quarts of water; let it simmer two hours, and rub through a hair sieve. If not thick enough, add a little flour and butter.
Another.—Slice two good-sized carrots, two large onions, one large turnip, and one stick of celery; dredge flour over them and fry till tender, with just butter enough to keep them from burning; put them in a stewpan, and pour enough boiling water to cover them. Stew them about four hours, and when half done add boiling water to make the proper thickness. Mash and strain through a sieve, and season with pepper and salt. If approved of, add a little cream.
Another Carrot Soup.—Take one turnip, two or three onions, and twelve carrots; boil them in some stock till quite tender, then rub tliem through a hair-sieve. Season with peppercorns and salt, if necessary, and thicken with a little flour and butter.
253. Carrot Soup (with Meat).—Put some beef-hones with four quarts of the liquor in which a leg of mutton or beef has been boiled, two large onions, a turnip, pepper, and salt, into a saucepan, and stew for three hours. Have ready six large carrots scraped and cut thin, strain the soup on them, and stew till soft enough to pulp through a hair-sieve or coarse cloth, then boil the pulp with the soup, which is to be as thick as pea-soup. Use two wooden spoons to rub the carrots through the sieve, and pulp only the red part of the carrot, not the yellow. Make the soup the day before, and add cayenne to the palate.
254. Carrot Soup (with Cream).—To the liquor that a knuckle of veal has been boiled in, add twelve large carrots; boil till the carrots will mash through a sieve, put them through, and then let them boil in the broth till quite smooth; add half a pint of cream and a little salt. It should be boiled till smooth, and of the consistence of pea-soup. Or, the stock may be made of one pound and a half of scrag of mutton, stewed in three quarts of water.
Source: The English Cookery Book©1859

Monday, March 21, 2016

The China Room

Below is a lengthy piece from Letters of Horace Walpole Earl of Oxford ©1844 in which he describes "The China Room" in a Villa on Strawberry Hill near Twickenham. Take note of the descriptions and the amount of china.

Painted glass in the windows, and crests of Shorter and Gestinthorpe; the. ceiling painted with convolvuluses on poles, by Miintz, frqm a ceiling in the little Borghese villa at Frescati: the sides, white Dutch tiles, with borders of blue and white.'
In the floor some very ancient tiles with arms, from the cathedral at Gloucester. The upper part of the chimney-piece is taken from a window of an ancient farm-house, formerly Bradfield-hall, belonging to Lord Grimston in Essex; the lower part from a chimney at Hurst Monceaux in Sussex: it is adorned with the arms of Talbot, Bridges, Sackville, and Walpole, the principal persons who have inhabited Strawberry-hill.
In a niche supported by two columns of oriental alabaster, over the chimney, is a fine ewer of fayence, designed by Julio Romano; and two green glass tumblers, with golden edges; and two round saltcellars of old blue and gold Venetian glass, with flowers.
Over the niche, four chocolate cups of fayence, by Pietro Cortona; and a bronze medallion of Pandulfo Malatesta.
On the. sides, George II. and Frederic Prince of Wales, in Battersea enamel.
In the chimney, a large jar of old blue and white china; and two tiles from Bysham-abbey.
On the shelves and floor is a collection of porcelaine, earthenware, glass, and enamel on copper, of various ages and countries, as follow:
Two dozen plates of Venetian glass ; each plate has a different view of Venice, drawn in red.. .
A japanned tray with a vase for cream, and eight chocolate-cups and saucers with landscapes in brown, of the same ware.
Two bowls of Worcester porcelaine, the pattern from old china.
Two mustard-pots and plates, of Seve china; given by Lord Hertford.
Five trays, in shapes of fans, of old Japan china.
An old blue and white.plate with a rib in the middle.
A coloured handle cup, saucer and square plate, a la Grecque, of Seve china.
Two old blue and white plates, artichoke pattern.
Thirteen ditto, with peacock feathers.
Sixteen coloured old Japan plates.
Four ditto, blue and white, with figures»
Three ditto, with figures. ,
Twelve ditto, of coloured Japan china. . 'Four ditto, with birds.
Four water-plates with figures, of new china.
Twelve plates of Chelsea china, with, small coloured birds.
Three dishes scolloped and ribbed, with coloured flowers. •
Two large coloured dishes of the fine old thick Japan china.
A large deep dish of Roman earth, with stories from Ovid's Metamorphosis.
An earthenware dish, with the heads of Charles II. and Queen Catherine in blue and white; a present from Mr. Ibbot.
An old blue and white dish, with landscapes.
Ditto, larger, with figures.
Two dishes of very old French earthenware, with the arms of France.
Two small dishes of fayence, with grotesques, and the arms of a bishop Contarini. Vol. ii.—38

Friday, March 18, 2016

Boston (Horse)

Following last weeks post I thought I'd add another horse bio. Take note of the price money being offered in the years that Boston raced.

BOSTON, foaled 1833, was bred by Mr. John Wickham, of Richmond, Va., and was by Tiruolecm out of Sister to Tuckahoe, by Ball's Florizel. He first started at Broadrock. Va., April 20, 1836, in a sweepstakes for threeyear-olds, mile heats, but was beaten by his only opponent, Colonel White's colt, by Carolinian, Boston bolting when in the lead. He did not run again until the Fall, when he started for, and won, the two-mile-heat purse at Petersburg, Va., Oct. 12, 1836, beating Nick Biddle and five others, 4:01—4:00, over a heavy track. The following month, he won the Jockey Club Purse, at Hanover, Va. As a four-year-old, at Washington, D. C., he won the three-mileheat race in 6:04—6:10, beating Norwood and four others. At the same place, Oct. 5,1837, he won the three-mile-heat race, in two heats, beating Prince George, Stockton and four others, in 5:55—5:53. A fortnight later, at Baltimore, he won the three-mile-heat purse, in 5:51—6:08, from three opponents, and at Camden, N. J., a week later, he won the three-mile-heat purse, in 5:51—6:02, beating Betsy Andrew. May 3,1838, he walked over for the three-mile-heat purse at Union Course, L. I., and two weeks later beat Dosoris for the fuur-mile-heat purse of $1,000 over the Beacon Course, N. J. A week afterwards, he beat Decatur at Camden, N. J., in the four-mile-heat race, in 8:36—8:41, and on June 1, on the Union Course, L. I., he beat Charles Carter, who had been brought on purposely from Virginia to meet him, in the four-mile-heat race, in 7:40. Charles Carter was drawn in consequence of having injured his leg, after the first heat, of which the first three miles were run in 5:36 J—the best time ever made in America at that date. On June 8, over the Beacon Course, he beat Duane for the four-mile-heat puree; time, 7:52—7:54—8:30. l)u;me won the first heat, which was the first that Boston had ever lost; the latter ran unkindly, sulking repeatedly in the second and third heats, in starting for which he was obliged to be whipped off. The same Fall, he beat Polly Green, at Petersburgh, in 9:25; Balie Peyton, at Baltimore, in 8:05 (both drawn after first heat); and Decatur, at the Union Course, L. I., in 8:00— 7:57} and the Beacon Course, N. J., in 8:12—8:26, all four-mile-heat races; besides recovering forfeit twice. On April 16, 1839, he commenced his six-year-old career by being beaten by Portsmouth, in a match for $20,000, twomile heats, in 3:50—3:48. At Richmond, Va., he beat hady Clifden and Brocklesby with ease, in one heat, in 5:46; and at Washington, D. C., he won the four-mile-heat race in 7:53—8:06, from Tom Walker, Black Knight and two others. After walking over for a $1000 purse, fourmile-heats, at Camden, N. J., he next proceeded to Trenton, N. J., and won the Jockey Club Purse of $1000, fourmile-heats, in 7:57—8:24, beating Decatur and Vashti with great ease. The week after, on the Union Course, L. I., he beat Decatur and Bailie Peyton, for the four-mile-heat purse, in 7:47—8:02. Boston won the four-mile-heat purse of $1000, at Petersburg, Va., Sept. 26, 1839, beating the Queen and Omega in 8:02—7:52. October 17, he beat Omega at Camden, N. J., for a purse of $1000, four-mileheats, easily, in 7:49; Omega being drawn after the first heat. Six days after, Boston won the four-mile-heat purse at Trenton, N. J., beating Decatur in 7:57—7:58. On May 1, 1840, at Petersburg, Va., he encountered the gray mare Andrewetta for the four-mile-heat purse. The mare won the first heat in 7:50, the best time ever made over that track, but in the second heat, the game old chestnut turned
the tables on her, and won with ease in 8:04. Andrewotta was then withdrawn. Just a week afterwards, he defeated Reliance and Cippus for the four-mile-heat purse of $1000, at Washington, D. C., in 8:02—8:06, in a heavy rain. After walking over for a $1000 purse at Camden, N. J., he had a summer's rest until October 2, when he defeated Bandit, at Petersburg, Va , in a four-mile race, in 7:57, Bandit was drawn after the first heat. On October 8, at Broadrock, Va., he defeated Texas, Bailie Peyton, and Laneville, for the Jockey Purse of 8500, three-mile-heats, in 5:56—5:49. He next beat Gano, four-mile-heats, winning the first heat in 7:57, when Gano was withdrawn. Ten days after, at Augusta, Ga., he beat Santa Anna and Omega, four-mile-heats, in 7:52—7:49.
Boston then went to the stud and made the season of 1841 at Chesterfield, Va., where he covered forty-two mares, at 8100 each. In the Fall he was again put into training, and made his reappearance on the turf at Petersburg, Va., for the Jockey Club Purse of 8700, four-mile-heats, which he won in one heat from his only opponent, Texas; in time, 8:14}. A week after, at Alexandria, Va., he walked over for the Jockey Club Purse of $800, four-mile heats. Boston next appeared at Washington, D. C., October 15,1841, and there won the four-mile purse of $1000, beating Accident, Ned Hazard, and Green Hill; time, 7:59—8:24. A week later, at Baltimore, he beat Mariner in three heats, for the Jockey Purse, four-mile-heats, Mariner winning the first heat in 8:00}, and Boston the second and third in 8:05 — 8:06. The week after, at Camden, N. J., he started, when dead amiss, against Fashion and John Blount for the fourmile-heat purse, but was distanced in the first heat, won by John Blount in 7:42. Fashion won the second heat and race in 7:48, John Blount breaking down and being withdrawn. In consequence of this unexpected defeat, he was matched against Fashion, four-mile-hcats, over the Union Course, L. I., for $20,000 a side, and on May 10,1842, the great match came off. The number of spectators was estimated from 50,000 to 70,000 ; the weather was fine, and the track in fine order. The betting was $100 to $60 on Boston. In the first heat Boston on the inside took the lead and maintained it to the commencement of the fourth mile, when Fashion collared and passed him in half a dozen strokes, at a tremendous flight of speed, which she maintained to the end, winning the heat by a length, in 7:32 }, the fastest heat run in America up to that time. In the second heat Fashion came home an easy winner in 7:45.
Only two days after this great match, Boston beat Mariner (Fashion's half brother) over the same course for the Jockey Club Purse, four-mile-heats, in 8:13—7:46—7:58} ; Mariner winning the first heat. Boston was, of course, very sore from the previous race, and would not extend himself. On May 26, at Camden, N. J., he won the Jockey Club Purse of $1000, four-mile-heats, in 8:00}—8:05, beating Treasurer. In the Fall he again came out, and at Baltimore, won the four-mile-heat race, in 8:09—7:57, beating Wilton Brown, Reliance, and Spectre. This was his last race in 1842, and the year following he only started once, at Petersburgh, Va., fall meeting, when he won the Jockey Club Purse of $300, four-mile-heats, beating Black Dick over a very heavy track, in 6:10—6:21; a race which terminated a racing career unexampled in brilliancy on the American turf. Boston started in forty-five races, winning forty, of which thirty were at four-mile-heats (including five walks over); nine at threemile-heats (one walk over), and one at two-mile-heats.
Source: Famous Horses of America ©1877

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Social Entertainments

Etiquette during the 19th Century tended to be more formal than today. Below is not only how to conduct these parties but the differences between them, along with the 'rules' of etiquette to guide you.

CLASSES OF SOCIAL ENTERTAINMENTS. These entertainments may be classed as
General Entertainments, including Receptions, Drawing Rooms, or "At Homes," Balls, Parties, Soirees, Germans and Kettle Drums, &c., and
Select Entertainments, including Dinners, Breakfasts, Luncheons, Coffees Teas and Suppers. The former embrace persons in social relations with the host and hostess. The latter are limited to intimate friends, or those whom it is desired to specially honor for some particular reason, and no person in society has a right to feel slighted if not invited.
HOURS. In all social entertainments, unless the houis are mentioned, the time of arrival should be from 8 to 10 p m., and the lime of departure from II p. m. to 12 midnight. Dancing parties usually end at 2 a m.
AT THE DOOR. Upon all occasions of receptions, balls, parties and the more elaborate social affairs it is customary to stretch a carpet, and often an awning from the carriage steps to the door. A footman or servant should be stationed at the carriage step to open the doors of the carriages of arriving guests, and to give them the numbers of their conveyances, and should aid them in securing their conveyances when they leave. The gentlemen should remember their numbers so as to avoid confusion and delay when they depart.
GENERAL RULES. There are certain rules of decorum which apply to all social entertainments, and should be observed by host, hostess and guests, in order to preserve that degree of harmony and propriety which are essential to the full enjoyment of all present. Thest may be summarized as follows:
ARRIVING Upon entering the house proceed directly and quietly to the rooms set apart fcr ladies' wrappings and gentlemen's hats and coats. To attempt to create a sensation is low. In ascending the stairs the lady should go first, and in descending the ger tleman should go first to be ready to receive his lady at the foot.
ENTERING. The gentleman should offer his left arm to the lady, which she should accept by gracefully and lightly resting her hand therein. The couple should then proceed to the drawing-room. Upon entering they should bow and address the host and hostess. After that they greet any of the guests they may meet in the course of the evening. It is not necessary to go through he entire party in regular order.
THE HOST AND HOSTESS. In your own house all your guests are equal for the time being, and have equal claims upon your attention. A host and hostess should not overlook their younger guests. Their appearance in society is attended with natural reserve and timidity, and an effort should be made to make them feel at ease. The relief and encouragement which such treatment gives to a young lady or gentleman, mingling with older and more experienced persons, will never be forgotten.
DON'T. Avoid being officious by assuming to do the honors in another's house, unless requested, and do not constitute yourself master of ceremonies unless asked to do so by the host or hostess.
Do not offer a person a chair from which you have just risen, unless there be no other in the room.
Never take the chair of the mistress of the house, even though she be absent.
Neve.- force yourself in a position to be recognized by another. If you desire recognition make it appear as if you met by accident.
AS GUEST. A gentleman shou'd always address his wife in company as
Mrs and never by her initial nor her Christian name, nor "my
wife." The christian name should only be used among relatives or very intimate friends. This rule will apply with even more force to a lady.
In a serial entertainment persons can open a conversation with each other without an introduction, as the place and circumstances indicate that none but persons of the same social class are present. The acquaintance, however, terminates with the evening, and no recognition is required thereafter. If the acquaintance is to be continued, the parties should be formally introduced.
It is the heighth of impoliteness to take any one to a social entertainment, no matter how intimate your relations with the host or hostess, without first inquiring whether it would be agreeable.
Lounging on sofas or easy chairs, in society, is impolite, and with ladies present, extremely vulgar. No one in good health should appear in society unless physically equal to the decorum of the occasion.
To be wandering about the room, in company, and handling articles of vertu is an evidence of vulgar breeding. Such things can be admired more appropriately by the sense of sight than the sense of touch.
Pride and display are never regarded as the evidences of consequence on the part of individuals, and generally inspires the contempt rather than the admiration of those whom it is designed to impress. Those most entitled to position make the least display of it.
It is the height of impropriety for persons to carry their whims into company. If they are not in the frame of mind to be agreeable, their absence would be more satisfactory than their company In a mixed company no one cares about the grievances, afflictions or notions of others. Exhibitions of emotion in company should also be repressed.
A person should never lose temper in company, and should not notice any supposed slight. If any one adopts an offensive manner, strive to appear not to notice it. If it should require attention do not disturb the entire company, but wait until the party retires.
DEPARTURE. Upon withdrawing after a social entertainment of any kind, it is proper before leaving the Drawing Room and while taking leave to express to the host and hostess the pleasure you have experienced during the evening. In taking your departure do so with as little commotion as possible.
RETURN CALLS. Those who have accepted social recognition in the way of invitations to social entertainments, should make a call upon the hostess on her first reception day after the event. If she has no day for receiving, a call should be made or a card left within ten days. This applies whether the invitation were accepted or declined.
Source: Hand-book of Official and Social Etiquette ©1889

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

19th Century Fashions Review

Hi all,
Below is a list with links of Historical Fashions from the 19th Century. I've updated the list from the one I posted in 2014. If you're looking for a specific year let me know. I like doing this and seeing where the holes are. Believe it or not I have many more years and images. If you're interested in receiving a specific year of images, email me at

1830 Fashions

1832 Fashion Descriptions
Calico Fabric & Printing Note this is the same link as in 1852

1834 Fashions

1835 Fashions

1837 French Fashions

1840 Ladies Fashions
1840 Ladies Fashions Part 2

1843 Fashions

1844 Fashions

1845 Fashions

1850 Ladies Fashions

1851 Fashions

Calico Fabric & Printing Note this is the same link as in 1832

1855 Fashions

1856 Fashions

1857 Fashions
1857 Fashions
1857 Fashions Cont.
1857 Fashions

1858 Bonnets

1859 Handbags & Purses
1859 Fashions
1859 On Proper Dress & Ornaments

1860 Fashions Part 1
1860 Fashions Part 2

1861 Fashions

1862 Fashion Accessories
1862 Fashions

1863 Fashions

1864 Fashions
1864 Bonnets

1865 Fashions
1865 Fashions Part 2

1866 Part 1
1866 Part 2
1866 Women's Fashions
1866 Men's Fashions

1867 Fashions Part 1
1867 Fashions Part 2
1867 Fashions
1867 Fashions

1868 Fashions Part 1
1868 Fashions Part 2
1868 Fashions Part 3
1868 Fashions Part 4
1868 Fashions Part 5
1868 Fashions Part 6

1869 Hair Combs
1869 Fashionable Hair and Headdresses
1869 Everyday Fashion

1870 Winter Fashions for Men
1870 Ladies Fashions
1870 Riding Habit with Trousers for Women
1870 Gentlemen's Hats
1870 Corsets

!871 Fashion Accessories
1871 Fashions
1871 Fashions Part 2
1871 Fashions
1871 Fashions

1872 Fashions
1872 Women's Fashions
1872 Men's Fashions
1872 Fashions
1872 Men's Fashions

1873 Fashion Accessories
1873 Men's Fashions

1874 Fashions Part 1
1874 Fashions Part 2
1874 Men's Fashions

1875 Hats
1875 Ladies Dresses
1875 Undergarments

1876 Fashion Accessories
1876 Fashions

1877 Ladies Hat & Bonnet Fashions
1877 Fashions
1877 Fashions

1878 Ladies & Children's Fashions
1878 Fashions

1879 Fashions

1880 Fashion Accessories
1880 Fashions
1880 Fashions
1880 Fashions
1880 Fashions
1880 Ladies Fashions

1881 Winter Fashions
1881 Fashion Accessories
1881 Fashion Overcoats
1881 Men's Fashions
1881 Hats
1881 Ladies Fashions
1881 Ladies Fashions
1881 Women's Coats

1882 Winter Fashions
1882 Women's Fashions
1882 Men's & Women's Fashions
1882 Fashions
1882 Fashions
1882 Winter Fashions
1882 Coat Fashions

1883 Fashions
1883 Fashions
1883 Fashions
1883 Fashions
1883 Fashions Cont.
1883 Fashions
1883 Fashions

1884 Fashions
1884 French Fashions

1887 Gentlemen's Hats

1889 Fashions
1889 Fashions
1889 Fashions

1890 Ladies Hats
1890 Fashions
1890 Fashions

1891 & 1896
1891 & 1896 Winter Fashions

1893 Fashions

Bustles & Dress Forms
1894 Too Tight Clothing

1896 Spring Gown Womens Fashions
1896 Fashions

1898 Fashions
1898 Fashions Commenting on the turn of the century

1899 Fashions

Throughout the 19th Century
Opera Dresses
Dinner Dresses
Bridal Attire
Fashions of the 19th Century

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fruit for Drying

I first came across the figures in the second tidbit and was surprised by the amount and variety of fruit drying that was going on in California during the late 19th Century. I expected to see the grapes but not the other fruits. Below is an excerpt about drying the fruit, the second tidbit is about the amount produced in the state of California. Enjoy!

Drying fruit has several advantages over canning or bottling. It is cheaper ; it may be adopted on an extensive scale ; the fruit may be kept with less care ; and being several times lighter than when fresh, may be sent long distances, or to foreign countries, at a moderate cost. When fruit-growers shall learn that dried fruit from the highest flavored sorts is as much better than that from the poor unsaleable varieties so often used for this purpose, as the best fresh fruit of the one sort exceeds the other, purchasers will also be willing to pay a much higher price for the best article. When, superadded to this, the fruit is dried rapidly so as to retain a clear, light color, and a perfect flavor, instead of the dark, half fermented fruit resulting from slow drying in bad weather, there will be no difficulty in finding a ready sale for all that may be offered in market. When abundant seasons occur, the surplus should be saved by drying, and may be kept another year.
In some parts of the Western States, houses are erefited for drying fruit, and are warmed by fire heat, by means of a furnace with a fine extending around the building, similar to that formerly used for green-houses. This flue is covered with sheet iron. An ample ventilator is placed at the top for the free escape of the large volumes of watery vapor which rise from the drying fruit. Trays or hurdles, about two feet wide, six feet long, and three inches deep, with small strips or laths forming the bottom, are placed in three tiers, one above the other, with a foot or more of space between them. Long strips of scantling, laid horizontally, extending the whole length of the house, and six or eight feet outside, form a sort of railway track on which a frame with rollers runs in and out through a wide door, for running in the fresh fruit and bringing out the dried. A house, ten by fourteen feet, and eight feet high, has been found sufficient for about two barrels of fruit at a time, and about twenty-four hours complete the drying process.
Fig. 170 represents a small, portable, fruit-drying house, capable of being carried to the orchard, and used on the ground. It consists of a small building from two and a half to four feet square, or of any other convenient dimensions, the lower part covered with sheet iron to prevent danger from fire, and containing a small stove, extending through the house, from the rear of which passes the stove-pipe on the outside, the upper portion of which is seen in the figure. The fuel would be more completely economized by bringing the pipe back again, and passing it up on the same side as the door of the stove, reversing the place of the doors for introducing the shelves.
Source: The American Fruit Culturist ©1868

Fruit drying is now one of our recognized industries. That judgment, experience, and money are required in this branch of the fruit business in California goes without saying. The dried fruit markets of the United States furnish the greatest and most available outlet for the vast output of dried fruit, which is increasing in volume year by year.
The markets of the South Pacific Islands and Australia have been partially developed and are taking fair quantities of dried fruit this season. Our dried fruits are also being gradually introduced into the various large cities of Europe, several trial shipments, consisting of carloads of choice apricots and peaches, having been distributed in the Old World at good prices. A very large, profitable trade will certainly result from the proper introduction of California dried fruits into England. The output of dried fruit in this State from the crop of 1890 was 48,700,000 pounds, or 2,435 carloads, classified as follows:
Apples 1,000,000 pounds.
Apricots... 8,500,000 pounds.
Peaches 12,250,000 pounds.
Pears.. 600,000 pounds.
Plums 1,000,000 pounds.
Prunes 14,000,000 pounds.
Grapes... 10,500,000 pounds.
Nectarines 600,000 pounds.
Figs 350,000 pounds.
On a basis of six and one half pounds (which is a liberal allowance) of fresh fruit to one of dried, exclusive of prunes and grapes, which require three and four pounds, respectively, we find that the quantity of fresh fruit used amounted to 241,300,000 pounds, or 12,065 carloads. If that quantity of fruit had been shipped East in the fresh state, the transportation charges, say nothing of other expenses, would have amounted to $5,127,625, as against $730,500, the cost of shipping 2,435 carloads of dried fruit at $300 per car, or 14 cents per pound. This shows a saving to growers and shippers of $4,397,125 on one item—dried fruit.
Source: Biennial Report ©1892

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sand House for Railroads

I'm not sure that I'd ever given much thought to the Railroads needing or using sand before but below is some basic information on a Sand house build for and maintained in Richmond VA. from "Buildings and Structures of American Railroads."

Sand-house at Richmond, Va., Richmond & Alleghany Railroad.—The sand-house of the Richmond & Alleghany Railroad, shown in Figs. 174 and 175, is a good type of a cheap sand-house, where a limited amount of sand is used.

The house is a low frame structure, 16 ft. 6 in. × 14 ft. 6 in., with an open bin, 6 ft. 6 in. X 14 ft. 6 in., adjoining one end of the building for the wet sand. In operating this house the wet sand is delivered from cars into the open bin, and from thence it is shovelled, as required, through an opening in the side of the building into an interior storage-bin for wet sand. A cast-iron sand-drying stove is located in the middle of the house, which is filled from the wet-sand bin. As the sand dries, it drops to the floor through openings in the sides of the stove, from where it is thrown on a screen placed over the dry-sand bin at the other end of the building. The enginemen are required to enter the house and fill their buckets with sand directly from the dry-sand bin.
The frame is 10 ft. high on the front of the building and 9 ft. on the rear. The principal sizes are as follows: sills, 4 in. x 6 in. ; plates, 4 in. X 4 in.; corner and door studs, 4 in. X 4 in.; intermediate studding, 3 in. X 4 in., spaced about 18 in.; nailers, 3 in. X 4 in.; rafters, 2 in. X 6 in.; posts for bin partitions, 3 in. X 4 in.; rails for bin partitions, 4 m. X 6 in.; floor in bins, 2 in. ; outside sheathing, J-in. vertical boards with battens; roof-sheathing, Jan. boards, covered with tin.
While, as stated above, this is a representative design for a cheap sand-house, it could be improved by roofing over the outer wet-sand bin, and the second handling of the wet sand from the outside bin to the interior one should be avoided.

Friday, March 11, 2016

American Eclipse (Horse)

Horses and Horse racing were a huge part of the 19th Century people. Below is a description of American Eclipse. Initially I thought to just give you a couple of tidbits about a few of the American horses during the 19th Century but after reading the history of these horses I thought some of you might glean some interesting ideas to flavor your historical novels with.

AMERICAN ECLIPSE was bred by Gen. Nathaniel Coles, of Dosoris, L. I., on May 25, 1814. His sire was Duroc, and his dam Miller's Damsel, by imp. Messenger. The colt was weaned on November 10, and not broken until September, at three years old. The following March he was trained and given a trial of two miles, which afforded high satisfaction to his owner. When only a suckling of five months old, General Coles had named him "American Eclipse," on account of the high promise he gave of stride, strength and speed. While a colt he was not confined, but in the winter season he was turned out every fine day; he was first shod in the spring, when three years old. His first race was in May, 1818, when he started for the purse for three-mile heats at Newmarket, L. I., and won it with ease, beating Black-eyed Susan and Sea Gull, then called the best three-mile horse of the day. The following spring American Eclipse was sold to Mr. Van Ranst, who, in June, 1819, started him in the four-mile heat purse at Bath, beating Little John, by Virginia Potomac; Bond's Eclipse, by First Consul; and James Fitz James, by Sir Archy. The following October he again ran and won the four-mile heats purse at Bath, beating Little John. Fearnaught, and Mr. Bond's colt, the two latter being withdrawn the second heat; time, 8:13—8:08. He then made two seasons at the stud on Long Island, in the spring of 1820 and 1821, covering, as a common stallion, at $12 50 the season. It was not contemplated to bring him on the turf again, but the Legislature of the State of New York having remodelled the law respecting racing, and a society being reorganized specially for the improvement of our breed of horsos, Mr. Van Ranst was induced again to put Eclipse in training for the four-mile heat race, to be run over the New Union Course, L. I., in October of that year. For this race four horses started, viz., American Kclipse; Lady Lightfoot, by Sir Archy; Flag of Truce, by Sir Solomon; and Heart of Oak. The betting was two to one on Lady Lightfoot, but Eclipse beat her handily in two straight heats, distancing her in the second heat; Flag of Truce and Heart of Oak being drawn after the first heat; time, 8:04 —8:02. In May, 1822, Eclipse won the purse of $700, four-mile heats, on the Union Course, beating Sir Walter, by Hickory; time, 7:54—8:00. The following October he again won the $1000 purse over the same course, beating. a second time, Sir Walter, Duchess of MarIborough, by Sir Archy, and Slow and Easy, by Duroc; the first heat being run in 7:58, after which the mares were withdrawn, and Sir Wralter being distanced in the second heat, which was not timed. A day or two previous to this race, a challenge had appeared in the New York papers from Mr. James J. Harrison, of Virginia, offering to run Sir Charles against American Eclipse over the Washington Course, four-mile heats, for $5000 or $10,000. Mr. Van Ranst promptly accepted this challenge, and chose the larger stake, so that the object of the contest might correspond with the fame of the horses. The time of running was fixed for November 20, 1822, and at the appointed hour both horses were brought out, and the riders mounted, but instead of running agreeably to the challenge, Mr. Harrison gave notice that, as his horse, Sir Charles, had met with an accident, he would pay forfeit. He at the
same time proposed to run a single dash of four miles, for $1500 a side, which the owner of Eclipse at once agreed to. The horses started, Eclipse, who carried 126 Ibs. against Sir Charles's 120 Ibs., taking the lead. On the fourth mile Sir Charles broke down, and Eclipse won in 8:04. In the evening of the same day, William R. Johnson, Esq., of Petersburgh, Va., the recognized "Napoleon of the Turf," offered to produce a horse, on the last Tuesday in May, 1823, to run a race of four-mile heats against Eclipse, over the Union Course, L. I., according to the rules of that track, for $20,000 a side, $3000 forfeit. The challenge was immediately accepted by Mr. John C. Stephens, in consequence of which Colonel Johnson, on the day mentioned, brought on the course the four-year old chestnut colt Henry, by Sir Archy, dam by Diomed, bred by Mr. Lemuel Long, Halifax, N. C., who, two weeks previous, had beaten Betsy Richards, in the four-mile-heats race, at Petersburgh, in 7:54—7:58. Colonel Johnson, when he made the match, intended to run the bay colt John Richards, by Sir Archy, but becoming lame, while en route for the North, Henry was substituted for him, although in a private trial John Richards had proved his superior. The race is one of the most memorable events in the annals of the American turf, and was productive of the most intense and wide excitement throughout the length and breadth of the continent. It was considered as a match between the North and South, and sectional feeling ran high respecting the issue. More than twenty thousand people assembled to witness it, and the betting on the result was enormously heavy, each section backing its representative racing champion without stint or limit. Henry, carrying 108 Ibs., was ridden by a lad; Eclipse, nine years old, 126 Ibs., was mounted by William Crafts. Henry took the lead in the first heat, and was never headed, winning hy half a length, apparently well in hand, in the fastest heat ever run to that day in America in 7:37}. On the call for the second heat, Mr. Samuel Purdy, then warded as the best amateur horseman in the country, mounted Eclipse. Henry, who was the favorite at odds of three to one, again took the lead, and held it until the last quarter of the third mile, when Mr. Purdy made a push for the lead. Eclipse soon reached his rival and passed him at the commencement of the fourth mile, and beat him the heat in 7:40, by thirty feet. Henry having been pulled up after passing the distance pole, the loss of the heat being evident. Upon being' summoned for the third heat, the great trainer Arthur Taylor mounted Henry, instead of The boy who rode him in the first two heats. At the signal, Eclipse took the lead, which he kept to the finish of the race, beating Henry some three lengths, Henry having been reserved for the last quarter; time, 8:24. The twelve miles were run in 23:50A. This established Eclipse's reputation as a racehorse. ()n the evening of the same day the match was run. Colonel Johnson challenged J. C. Stevens and the friends of Eclipse to run Henry against Eclipse the ensuing Fall over the Washington Course, for any sum from $20,000 to $50,000 a side, $10,000 forfeit. The challenge was declined, and Eclipse never ran again. In his latter days he was sent to Kentucky, and made several seasons there, and died, in SheIby County, Ky., in August, 1847, in the thirty-fourth year of his age.—Spirit of the Times.
Source: Famous Horses of America ©1877

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Proper Settings for Various Rooms

For those of us writing historical novels we often need to refresh ourselves with the various customs and manners of the past. Below are some excerpts from "Manners of Modern Society: Book of Etiquette" ©1878 about how various rooms in the house should appear. Enjoy!

The morning-room should be cheerful and sunshiny, and wear a domestic, cosy look. It is not fitted up with any particular style of furniture. The curtains and covers will be of some kind of smallpatterned chintz, with a carpet to match. Nothing very grand or very new should find its way into this apartment—nothing stiff or formal. Tables here and there, and chairs of different sorts and sizes, a stand with plants, a small piano, a low book-case—these are the principal features in a room of this description, a general elegant deshabille pervading the whole.
The fittings and furniture of the dining-room must be grave, formal, and massive; but not too elaborate. The most prominent feature is the sideboard. The dining-table used to rank high in beauty and finish, but now that is little cared for; and, provided the top be a broad one, it may be of white or any kind of wood, in these degenerate days when the cloth is never removed for dessert.
The carpet and drapery of this room should be dark, and yet warm and bright-looking, and there must be no ornaments save pictures—oil paintings —" a room hung with pictures is a room hung with thoughts"—and one or two ornaments on the mantelpiece.

The library presents generally a sombre aspect; its walls lined with lofty book-shelves, and one or two tables for the purposes of holding writing materials, pamphlets, and papers.

And now we enter the room which, though most persons try their best, so few succeed in furnishing and arranging tastefully; for, after all, the arrangement of the furniture adds greatly to or takes away from the appearance of the room. This is, par excellence, the lady's room—unless the house is large enough to afford her a boudoir—and the character of the lady herself may be told by inspecting that one room. How very seldom we see the model drawingroom! No upholsterer's routine work should be visible here in stiff suites of furniture (except in case of a drawing-room reserved for special occasions); elegant refinement should reign predominant. cheerfulness should go hand-in-hand with taste. Easy chairs are here a sine qua non. There seems to be a natural affinity between civilised beings and easy chairs, for everybody secures one where possible; therefore let them predominate in the drawingroom—some with high backs and some with low, some with straight backs and some with round, in all nooks and corners. Tables must be placed here, there, and everywhere, and yet not in the way; flowers or plants in vases, scattered about; and ornaments, simple or costly as the case may be, but always in good taste, and, above all things, not overcrowded. But the drawing-room will not be complete, nor yet have its properly comfortable look about it, unless there are plenty of books to be found on the tables, and these should be readable and entertaining volumes of prose and poetry, illustrated works, and magazines, which will not only serve their original purpose, but also supply subjects for conversation at all times, and more especially during that mauvais quart d'heure which precedes a dinner.
The greatest charm in such a room is, that it impresses you with the feeling that it is a resort constantly occupied, used, and enjoyed by the lady of the house. There is something indefinable, which chills and depresses one, on entering a room only used on very state occasions—one that is just inhabited while receiving visitors; a room where the fire-irons are arranged in stiff angles; every appliance in formal array, evidently never exercised in daily wear; where the tables are geometrically studded with smartly-bound unread volumes, and the prim couch and stiff chairs look as if they were meant for anything but to be sat upon.
Family comfort and enjoyment lie dead in a room of this description. This idea, once so prevalent, of having a " best room," is less general nowadays. It is a piece of folly and bad taste which has often been decried. A writer to the Connoisseur complains: "I have elegant apartments, but am afraid to enter them. All the furniture, except when we have company, is done up in paper; it is so genteel that we of the household must not use it commonly, which I consider a ridiculous absurdity and a great hardship."
To ensure comfort in one and all rooms, care should be taken that they are equably heated, neither too hot nor too cold—so that one is not roasted by the fire on one side and frozen by a cold draught of air on the other. Francis, sometime Emperor of Austria, said that it required as much talent to warm a room as to govern a kingdom. Of course part of that talent must be supplied by the architect; but judicious management is also required to preserve the equability; and a room full of people will become irrevocably depressed and glum when they are half-stifled with heat or shivering with cold.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

1880 Fashions

House Dress


Young Lady



Hair Style

Hair Dress

Summer Dress

House Dress

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Folks in Florida have been harvesting cabbages for a month now. I recently sent my husband to the farmer's market to pick up a head of cabbage to make stuffed cabbage. He mis-understood and brought home 4 huge heads of cabbage, needless to say we've been cooking cabbage in all sorts of ways.

Below are some 19th Century Recipes for various cabbage dishes.
Boiled Cabbage.— Carefully clean a nice head of cabbage, divide into halves, and with a sharp knife slice very thin, cutting from the center of the head outward. Put into boiling water, cover closely, and cook rapidly until tender; then turn into a colander and drain, pressing gently with the back of a plate. Return to the kettle, add salt to taste, and sufficient sweet cream to moisten well; heat through if at all cooled ; dish, and serve at once. If preferred, the cream may be omitted, and the cabbage served with tomato sauce or lemon juice as a dressing.

Cabbage and Tomatoes.— Boil finely chopped cabbage in as little water as possible. When tender, add half the quantity of hot stewed tomatoes, boil together for a few minutes, being careful to avoid burning; season with salt if desired, and serve. If preferred, a little sweet cream may be added just before servingCabbage Celery.— A firm, crisp head of cabbage cut in slices half an inch or an inch thick, and then again into pieces four or five inches long and two or three inches wide, makes quite an appetizing substitute for celery.

Cabbage Hash.— Chop fine, equal parts of cold boiled potatoes and boiled cabbage, and season with salt. To each quart of the mixture add one half or three fourths of a cup of thin cream; mix well and boil till well heated.

Chopped Cabbage, or Cabbage Salad.— Take one pint of finely chopped raw cabbage; pour over it a dressing made of three tablespoonfuls of lemon juice, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, and a half cup of whipped cream, thoroughly beaten together in the order named; or serve with sugar and diluted lemon juice. Strained tomatoes with a tablespoonful of lemon juice to the pint also makes a nice dressing.

Mashed Cabbage.— Out a fine head of cabbage into quarters, and cook until tender. A half hour before it is done, drop in three good-sized potatoes. When done, take all up in a colander together, press out the water, and mash very fine. Season with cream, and salt if desired.

Stewed Cabbage.— Chop nice cabbage quite fine, and put it into boiling water, letting it boil twenty minutes. Turn into a colander and drain thoroughly; return to the kettle, cover with milk, and boil till perfectly tender; season with salt and cream to taste. The beaten yolk of an egg, stirred in with the cream, is considered an improvement by some.
Source: Every-day Dishes and Every-day work ©1897

Stuffed cabbage.
Choose a large white, close cabbage, take off all the hard green outside leaves, and blanch it; cut out the heart and press between two plates to squeeze out all water. Make a stuffing with finely-minced sausage-meat, four yolks of egg and marrow, mix well together and spread a teaspoonful between each leaf, tie up the cabbage to its original shape—be careful not to cut the leaves with the string—simmer over a slow fire in stock, season with a bouquet of herbs, onions, a saveloy, carrots, a pinch of grated nutmeg, salt, and black pepper, cover the whole with slices of bacon ; shake the stew-pan occasionally so that the cabbage may not stick to the bottom and get burnt. Dish up the cabbage after cutting off the string. Pass the sauce through a tammy, clear of all grease, stir in a little thin browning, and pour over the cabbage.
Source 366 menus and 1200 recipes ©1882

Mrs. E. F. Spence. One cabbage; boiling salted water; 1/8 teaspoon soda. The cabbage should be fine and of medium size. Wash, quarter, and put it in a kettle of boiling salted water to which the soda has been added. Boil twenty minutes. Serve hot.
C. S.
Cabbage; 4 tablespoons cream; I tablespoon butter; 1 egg; pepper; salt.
Select medium sized heads that feel firm and heavy. Shave the cabbage very fine, and let it lie in cold salted water one hour. Drain and place in plenty of boiling water. Cook rapidly for ten minutes, then drain; add butter, pepper, salt and cream. Simmer until it is nearly dry. Just before serving, beat the egg to a cream; stir quickly into the cabbage; boil up once and serve.
Mrs. H. L. Parlee.
One cabbage; I teacup milk; 1/2 teacup vinegar; butter the size of a walnut, pepper; salt.
Slice the cabbage fine; put it in a sauce pan with the milk, butter, salt and pepper. When it boils, add the vinegar; cover closely and cook slowly until done. Less vinegar may be used or none at all. If cream is used instead of milk, less butter is required.
Mrs. M. J. Danison.
One head cabbage; some cooked veal or chicken; 1 egg, (yolk); salt; pepper.
Choose a large fresh cabbage and cut out the heart; fill with the veal, or chicken chopped very fine, highly seasoned, and rolled into balls with yolk of egg. Then tie the cabbage firmly together, (some tie a cloth around it, ) and boil in a covered kettle two hours.
Source: How We Cook in Los Angeles ©1894