Strange But True

Strange But True

  • Inexpressibles

    The name given to the tight trousers worn by some Regency gentlemen, such as the notorious Beau Brummell and his ‘dandy’ followers,  as they showed off their leg muscles.

  • What did Victoria do first

    after her coronation in 1837?  Have a parliamentary meeting?  Have tea with all the royal dignitaries?  No – she gave her dog, Dash, a bath.

     

  • Now that’s what we call a cake!

    Victoria and Albert’s wedding cake was a colossal 9 feet wide and weighed 300 pounds.

     

  • Victorian ladies’ knickers had no middle

    Once they got all those big dresses on, they couldn’t reach their knickers to pull them down, so they could stand over a potty to wee with these on instead.

     

  • Would you wee in your dining room?

    Victorian gentlemen did! Some dining rooms (like ours) had a special cupboard to house a chamber pot so all the gentlemen could go for a wee without leaving the table (once the ladies had left the room, of course!).

     

  • The last ducking stool to be used in England

    (in 1809) can still be seen not far from us in the Priory Church, Leominster, Herefordshire. It’s huge.

     

Handy Hints

Handy Hints

  • An insect trap

    Scoop out the inside of a turnip, scallop the edges, and place it downward in the earth. The insects will pass into it as a place of retreat through the holes, and the cucumbers, squashes, melons etc., may soon be clear of them.  1852

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • Anti-magnetic properties of the onion

    The magnetic power of a compass needle, will be entirely discharged or changed by being touched with the juice of an onion.

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • To clean gilt buckles, chains &c.

    Dip a soft brush in water, rub a little soap on it, and brush the article for a minute or two, then wash it clean, wipe it, and place it near the fire till dry, then brush it with burnt bread finely powdered. 1823

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • To remove grease from books

    Lay upon the spoon a little magnesium or powdered chalk, and under it the same; set on it a warm flat iron, and as soon as the grease is melted, it will be all absorbed, and leave the paper clean. 1852

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • Antidote against mice

    Gather wild mint, put it where you wish to keep them out, and they will not trouble you. 1852

     

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

  • Keeping your kettle clean

    To prevent teakettles coating with lime – put the shell of an oyster in the teakettle and the lime will adhere to it, instead of coating the sides. 1852

    As with all our historical handy hints, this is a real tip from a Victorian book. We cannot say that it’ll work and it’s up to you if you want to try!

     

Clothes & Shoes

Clothes & Shoes

Victorian children’s clothes often made them look like miniature adults. Here you can see the ‘best’ clothes of a little boy and girl, which would have been worn when visitors came to tea, for parties and other social occasions. The girl’s dress is made of velvet and taffeta, whilst the boy’s suit has gleaming glass buttons made to look like diamonds. Families with less money could sew their own children’s clothes using the cloth from adult ‘hand-me-downs’. The two pairs of shoes show those of a rich and poorer girl. The patent leather boots are soft, with thin soles held on by tiny nails. The poorer girl would need much more hard-wearing footwear, with wooden soles and metal ‘shoes’ tacked on.

In the classroom: 

Look at the clothes. What are they made of? Do you think they belonged to rich or poor children? Why are there not many clothes left from Victorian times which were worn by poor children? Look at the shoes: which pair belonged to a rich girl and which to a poor girl? What are they made of? Do they look comfortable? What is the wooden ruler for? Do you have some clothes or shoes that you keep for ‘best’?

children's clothes
children's shoes
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