Kodak Craze circa 1893

Thank you to Lori Parkinson who found this clipping in the front of a family scrapbook circa 1893. The woman attended Mt. Carmel (Illinois) High School and Northwestern.  Today's parents worry about the inappropriateness of photographs their teenagers post on Facebook, but this worry is nothing new.  Parents worried about the influence of photography on their children more than a century ago. I don't have the whole clipping and I haven't been able to find ... Continue Reading

Oldest Living Revolutionary Widows

As of June 30, 1898 five women appeared on the pension rolls as widows of Revolutionary War soldiers. Esther Damon of Plymouth Union, Vermont age 84 Nancy Jones of Jonesboro, Tennessee age 84 Rebecca Mayo of Newbern, Virginia age 85 Mary Snead of Parksley, Virginia age 82 Nancy Weatherman of Lineback, Tennessee age 88 I've searched for years for images of these women. Esther Damon appears in volume 1 of the Last Muster Series and ... Continue Reading

Wedding Wednesday: A Couple from the Mid-1890s and Crayon Swindlers

The spectacle of the Kim Kardashian/Kanye West wedding is outside the pocketbooks of modern brides, nineteenth century high society wedding with white gowns, diamonds and multi-course reception meals were too expensive and frivolous for most of our ancestors as well. It was pretty typical for a man to purchase a wedding suit to be married in and for his bride to wear a new dress for the event. It was usually a dress the bride ... Continue Reading

Tech Tuesday: Listen to Historical Figures Speaki

There's a new treat for users of wikipedia.  Voice recordings.  That's right. Along with biographies the BBC has shared voice recordings from some of their programs. Take a listen to Emma Thompson, from The Film Programme, November 28, 2013 or Jane Goodall from BBC Radio 4 programme Woman's Hour January 26, 2010. Unfortunately the links don't work in this blog format. You can listen by searching for their names on Wikipedia. What does this have ... Continue Reading

Wedding Wednesday: General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Daughter Minnie

When Maria Ewing Sherman married Thomas William Fitch on October 1, 1874.   Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman and his wife, Ellen Boyle Ewing  had several children including their oldest, Maria who was known as Minnie.  Her marriage to Naval Lieutenant Thomas William Fitch was a Washington social event attended by President and Mrs. Grant. It was covered by newspapers across the country. The bride and groom wed at 9:30 am at St. Aloysius ... Continue Reading

Celebrity Wedding: Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren, 1863

No doubt about it. P.T. Barnum was a showman extraordinaire.  He knew how to get attention. In April 1863, two of his stars General Tom Thumb (Charles Stratton) and Minnie (Lavinia) Warren married.  These well-known celebrities were well known to the American public. Their wedding was a spectacle. Warren's dress was designed and made by Madame Demorest, at her establishment in New York City. Demorset was a fashion trend-setter with her magazine, "Demorest's." Two thousand ... Continue Reading

Wedding Wednesdays: 1890 Veil

Wedding circa 1890 In the late 1880s to early 1890s brides wore headdresses and long veils. Leaves and seed pearls piled high on top of up-swept hair was the fashion. Long trailing ribbons of pearls and greenery frame her face. The groom wears a matching corsage. Continue Reading

Wednesday Weddings

Keeping up with email, blog posts and social media is a full time job.  That's why I LOVE blogging prompts. Let me introduce you to Wednesday Weddings. I own several hundred wedding images and can't wait to start showing them off.   Wedding Couple circa 1890 Don't you love the tentative expression on their faces as they pose for this portrait!  Not all brides wore white gowns.  A very nice dress and some accessories (flower ... Continue Reading

Weekend at the Museum: Historic Threads: Three Centuries of Clothing

In honor of the National Genealogical Society Conference in Richmond, Virginia in May I've selected an exhibit on the Colonial Williamsburg site. This online exhibit lets viewers take a visual stroll through their costume collection in Historic Threads: Three Centuries of Clothing.  A beautiful piece of embroidery provides the backdrop for two choices--learn about the clothing or view pieces from their collection.  I chose to look at the exhibit. A caption and description accompanies each ... Continue Reading

Daguerreotype Dangers

In 1842, the French playwright and author Honore de Balzac posed for a daguerreotype. The realistic nature of this reflective image led him to declare that he'd never pose for another. He thought it would steal a bit of his soul each time. Honore de Balzac, by Bisson, 1842 There are many tribes who believe (or believed) this to be the case.  So did this idea spring up spontaneously in various cultures around the world ... Continue Reading