Category Archives: History

Gunpowder Flasks

Gunpowder Flasks

Powder flasks have been in use since the early 15th century to carry the black powder necessary in the use of firearms. Whether made from ox or cow horns (appropriately called a “powder horn”) or from wood and iron, powder flasks had to not only hold the black powder, but also keep the powder dry.… CONTINUE READING…

Skin Care for the Regency Lady

Skin Care for the Regency Lady

In an era before Avon or Mary Kay, the fair maidens of the Regency Era relied upon homemade concoctions. Fortunately, well-bred ladies weren’t without resources. Magazines of the day devoted pages to the topic of cosmetics and skin care, in between fashion plates and gossip. Then, in 1811, a publication titled The Mirror of the… CONTINUE READING…

Vocabulary Rocks! Reduplication Rhyming Words

Vocabulary Rocks! Reduplication Rhyming Words

The repeating of parts of words to make new forms is called reduplication. There are various categories of reduplication words: rhyming, for example okey-dokey exact, for example wee-wee ablaut (vowel substitution), for example zig-zag The impetus for the coining of these seems to be nothing more than the enjoyment of wordplay. The words that make up… CONTINUE READING…

Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak

Originating in Ireland, bubble and squeak migrated into England as a common breakfast meal somewhere before the middle of the eighteenth century. As a dish with the sole purpose to not waste leftover food from dinner the night before, it was essentially a mish-mash of vegetables shredded or chopped small and combined with slivers of… CONTINUE READING…

For Precious Infant Heads: Pudding Caps

For Precious Infant Heads: Pudding Caps

In the eighteenth century, children’s clothing underwent a gradual evolution from constricting garments patterned after those worn by adults to loose fitting dresses similar to those worn by women the standard apparel for both sexes. Along with this philosophy of freedom, the practice of swaddling infants tightly became a thing of the past. While clearly… CONTINUE READING…

Curling Irons, not as new as you might think

Curling Irons, not as new as you might think

The first, actual “curling iron” was patented by Sir Hiram Maxim (the same fellow who invented the machine gun) in 1866, but the device itself dates back over 6000 years. Considering antique curling tongs are seen or referred to in numerous cultures, it is doubtful a single person is responsible for the invention. Beauty is… CONTINUE READING…

Fun to Poke Fun at the Dandies!

Fun to Poke Fun at the Dandies!

“If people turn to look at you on the street, you are not well dressed.” The above quote is attributed to George Bryan “Beau” Brummell, and he wasn’t being ironic. Brummell was the trendsetter and undisputed master of the perfect tailoring and simplicity of understated style which became a hallmark of the fashionable Regency Era… CONTINUE READING…

Elizabeth Gurney Fry: Prison Reformer

Elizabeth Gurney Fry: Prison Reformer

Elizabeth Gurney was born in Norwich, England in 1780 to an influential and extremely wealthy Quaker family. Her father, John Gurney, was a partner in Gurney’s Bank, and her mother Catherine was from the Barclay family, founders of Barclays Bank. In 1798, when only 18, Elizabeth heard the preaching of American Quaker William Savery, who… CONTINUE READING…

Scotch Eggs

Scotch Eggs

Last Friday I published a blog on Picnic History. One of the essential features of a good picnic was food that could withstand packing and travel, and that was easy to pick up and eat. This instantly brought to mind a blog I wrote a very long time ago for Austen Authors on strange foods,… CONTINUE READING…

Fall or Autumn? Which is correct? Or, is that a sensible question?

Fall or Autumn? Which is correct? Or, is that a sensible question?

Today is September 22 and that is the official first day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. Most people are focusing on what new pumpkin-spice flavored food items they can nibble on while embellishing their houses with the plethora of harvest-themed decorations that are available, without caring one iota if the proper term is AUTUMN… CONTINUE READING…

Stockings, Hose, and Garters

Stockings, Hose, and Garters

Stocking, hose, sock… These are just a few terms for the many types of leg coverings that are woven or knitted of cloth, silk, wool, and cotton to provide both warmth and modesty. The styles, lengths, materials, weaves, etc. would change over the centuries, usually in response to garment fashion. Perhaps it may not come as… CONTINUE READING…