Friday, September 17, 2010

Victorian Fun Facts from Southern Illinois University

So in lieu of a more inventive post, which will be coming later today, I'm passing along some fun facts about the Victorian Era from the Southern Illinois University Museum:

When a woman entered a room, it was considered rude for a man to offer his seat to her because the cushion might still be warm.

People thought food digested better in the dark, so a dining room located in the basement was considered the best spot in which to eat.

A glance into a bedroom was considered improper if viewed by a visitor, so bedrooms were located on the second floor.

People were shy about having water closets, so they disguised fixtures as dressers and cabinets. Tubs were enclosed in wooden boxes that resembled large chests. People went to great lengths to hide toilets from view. In some homes, they were behind a curtain or screen, or even in a room of their own.

Children rarely saw their parents. A special trip was made to the nursery each evening, and the visit lasted about an hour.

Women made pictures, wreaths, and bouquets from their own hair or the hair of a family member to be framed and displayed in the parlor.

Some rocking chairs were designed to disguise a chamber pot. People had to be careful not to rock too quickly!

A lot of men used macassar oil to slick back their hair. Crocheted doilies, called antimacassars, were put over the backs of chairs to keep this grease from staining the furniture.

For a lady to show her ankles was considered very risque!

To control insects, many people kept a HEDGEHOG in the basement. It curled up and slept in the day, but roamed around the dark kitchen at night eating cockroaches and other insects.


fairyhedgehog said...

Those are interesting. Some I'd heard before, some not. I definitely didn't know about the hedgehogs!

Susan R. Mills said...

Very interesting. Thanks for the facts.

Clare K. R. Miller said...

So that's what an antimacassar is! It makes so much sense now. Thank you!