Friday 10 July 2020

Meanwhile... on the other side of the World

Modern digital film analysis can truly bring the past to life.

Here is a film from 1902 of street scenes in Halifax England.

From the YouTube header:
Second pass at this old film of Halifax, England in January 1902.  Updated version of an earlier, longer upload of the same film.  Speed corrected and added in sound for ambiance.  Film by the Mitchell and Kenyon company
 Enjoy this glimpse into the world of 1902.

Victorian Society of Alberta

Wednesday 8 July 2020

Corsetry & Couture

This is a fascinating blog, filled with useful information on fashion during our period.
Highly recommended.
Here is a sample of a post to "whet yer whistle".

Thanks for reading.
Victorian Society of Alberta

Defining 1880s Style- The Silhouette

 When it comes to mid to late 1880s style, it’s easy for one to conjure up visions of dresses with severely sculpted lines that were largely defined by an extremely angular “shelf bustle.” Naturally, as with all fashions, they manifested themselves in both extreme and moderate versions but it was the more extreme versions that caught the attention of the press and assorted satirists. One of the most oft-repeated quips was “one could set a tea service on top of the bustle.” 


From Fliegende Blätter; Band LXXVIII (1883), p. 147.






Here’s just one example from an 1883 German humor magazine in which the women is likened to a Centaur.





Interestingly enough, the above cartoon was made in 1883 when the bustle was re-emerging- perhaps they were ahead of the fashion curve? 😉
All joking aside, to a great degree, 1880s style was defined by the “shelf bustle” as shown in the picture below:
Evening Dress, American or European, c. 1884 – 1886, silk;
 The Metropolitan Museum of Art (C.I.63.23.3a, b)
Structure was everything in Victorian fashion and below are some examples on how the distinctive 1880s silhouette was created:
Bustle, c. 1885; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (M.2007.211.399)
Please check out the rest of this excellent article at:

Tuesday 7 July 2020

July Book Tuesday

The next entry for our Book Tuesday feature.

Victorian Society of Alberta

The Cowboy Cavalry 
The Story of the Rocky Mountain Rangers
 - by Gordon E Tolton

When Native and Métis unrest escalated into the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, settlers in southern Alberta's cattle country were terrified. Three major First Nations bordered their range, and war seemed certain. In anticipation, 114 men mustered to form the Rocky Mountain Rangers, a volunteer militia charged with ensuring the safety of the open range between the Rocky Mountains and the Cypress Hills. The Rangers were a motley crew, from ex-Mounties and ex-cons to retired, high-ranking military officials and working, ranch-hand cowpokes. Membership qualifications were scant: ability to ride a horse, knowledge of the prairies, and preparedness to die.

This is their story, inextricably linked to the dissensions of the day, rife with skirmishes, corruption, jealousies, rumour, innuendo and gross media sensationalizing . . . all bound together with what author Gordon Tolton terms “a generous helping of gunpowder.” Tolton’s meticulous research reveals unexplored perspectives and little-known details.

How to be a Victorian 
– by Ruth Goodman

Ruth Goodman believes in getting her hands dirty. Drawing on her own adventures living in re-created Victorian conditions, Goodman serves a sour bustling and fanciful guide to nineteenth-century life. Proceeding from daybreak to bedtime, this charming, illustrative work celebrates the ordinary lives of the most perennially fascinating era of British history. From waking up to the rapping of a knocker-upper man on the window pane to lacing into a corset after a round of calisthenics, from slipping opium to the little ones to finally retiring to the bedroom for the ideal combination of love, consideration, control and pleasure, the weird, wonderful, and somewhat gruesome intricacies of Victorian life are vividly rendered here. How to Be a Victorian is an enchanting manual for the insatiably curious.

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Happy Dominion Day!

Or as we say in these modern times...

Happy Canada Day!

Wishing everyone a safe, happy and fun Canada Day, 
from all of us at the Victorian Society of Alberta.

 153 years looks good on you Canada!