Sunday 19 February 2023

Happy Family Day

 I hope everyone is enjoying this gorgeous long weekend.

In honour of Family Day the Victorian Society of Alberta will have a display booth at the Military Museums here in Calgary.

We will be onsite between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday Feb 20th.

I will have my Victorian Internet display setup and of course we will be dressed for the occasion.
Rumour has it we may be visited by some Boer War gentlemen as well.

Come by and say hi!

The Victorian Society of Alberta

Family Day at the Military Museums


Friday 17 February 2023

February Fashion Friday

This month's fashion Friday post is by Victorian Society member Marian Gibbard.

The Victorian Society of Alberta


Perhaps you want to find a new item for your collection of vintage clothing or maybe you just wish to browse and explore the details of mostly Victorian clothing and accessories.  If so, it is absolutely worth spending some time exploring the Antique-Gown website

The site’s home page is deceptively modest but a quick glance at the New Listings will start to hint at the quality content within.  On the day I visited, there were more than 30 new items added in the past few weeks, and many, many older items. If you prefer to browse by item type, simply click the appropriate tab at the top of the page, and then follow through the sub menus on the left side of the category page.  

The majority of pieces are women’s clothing, but there are also men’s and children’s garments and a smattering of accessories. 

The real fun begins once you have found an item you would like to see up close. Clothing items generally include a date attribution, a general identification, the country of origin of the item if known, and photos of the whole object.  What really makes this site stand out to me, though, are the detailed descriptions and the variety and quality of the numerous close-up photos that are included. Invaluable for those people wishing to construct their own period appropriate garments, the high quality, crisp images of construction details, fabrics, and trims allow for an almost in-person inspection experience.  The photos on this site easily rival or exceed the quality of images on various museum sites, and in most cases showcase many more of the small details that are so important for fully understanding historical objects.


Here is an example of the quality of images included on this site from the first link below:

Non-clothing item entries tend to be somewhat shorter, and for some of the more obscure items the description is not available in English, but the quality of the photos and level of detail shown is still impressive. There are also quite a few uncommon but fascinating objects, ranging from graphoscopes to mannequins.

The next time you have some leisure hours to fill, why not browse Antique-Gown? It will definitely be both enjoyable and educational.

Here’s some links to some of my favourite items on the site

Winter Coat, ca. 1908

(So much passementerie work!) 

Winter Sleigh Ensemble, America, ca. 1880
(So warm and cozy looking!)

 Dressing Gown, ca. 1865,-ca-1865.html

(Sad that these are no longer in style)

Hat Pin Pillow ca. 1900-1905,-1920s-2.html

(Inspired to make one similar to this)


(How can you choose just one?)

 Graphoscope, ca. 1890,-ca-1890.html

(Didn’t know what these were, but now I want one)

Thursday 2 February 2023

February Book Tuesday

It seems in all the "fun" of the festive season I missed not one but TWO book Tuesdays!
I suppose it is a bit late for a New Years resolution to do better but I'll give it a shot 😀

This month I have a link to a source of fantastic historical books online and an example of one such as an example.

Looking for old books is easier now than it was because many used book sellers are online so a Google search for a title usually leads to someone with one to sell.

Private collections, Google, and others like Project Gutenberg have been madly scanning old books for years now and these are available in many different formats, OCR'd text, PDF, and Ebooks. One of the best places to go hunting is the INTERNET ARCHIVE a non-profit organization that collects information in many forms including electronic copies of books.

Internet Archive

From the About page:

The Internet Archive, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, people with print disabilities, and the general public. Our mission is to provide Universal Access to All Knowledge.

We began in 1996 by archiving the Internet itself, a medium that was just beginning to grow in use. Like newspapers, the content published on the web was ephemeral - but unlike newspapers, no one was saving it. Today we have 26+ years of web history accessible through the Wayback Machine and we work with 1,000+ library and other partners through our Archive-It program to identify important web pages.

As our web archive grew, so did our commitment to providing digital versions of other published works. Today our archive contains:

Anyone with a free account can upload media to the Internet Archive. We work with thousands of partners globally to save copies of their work into special collections.

Note that "41 million books and texts", that is where most of the Google scanned, Project Gutenberg, and other privately scanned books are collected.  

Just enter a search term, author, title, date, or sometimes even a quote and you will have a world of possible texts available to you!

Definitely worth bookmarking.

So to "whet yer whistle" check this gem out!

The PDF is available directly from this link:

A couple of reviews.

Reviewer: AncientAxim -December 23, 2020
Subject: Wow....
I wish I were more erudite as to be able to describe what I'm seeing here- this is incredible. If only our clothes makers went by this book (about all of them USED to, in olden days.. if not this one, a book like it) can you imagine wearing outfits cut to precision like this? The file itself is simply perfect and like the other review, high resolution & scanned wonderfully (THANK you... ) what a blessed relief from the miserable "google books" trash- don't let google get hold of files like this- they'll destroy them. 

Reviewer: Ratspeed - October 20, 2012
Subject: Holy Macaroni! I certainly hope to see more of WDF Vincent's works scanned in and OCRed as this one is! It's a veritable treasure trove of information never before released, afaik, to the public, in a high-resolution, professional format, in a copy that looks very well preserved. From what it looks like this is at least the 1898 edition, judging by the illustrations and layouts. Here's hoping that the men's editions are also made available. The copies that have existed for years on Costumer's Manifesto have been helpful but alas have always been in low resolution, scanned in by flatbed scanners and are also omitting several pages.

Have fun book hunting!

The Victorian Society of Alberta