Cost of Living, 19th century

Source: adapted from Portable Press.

In the nineteenth century there were few labor laws and even fewer laws to protect consumers from shady business practices. The average work week was 60 hours (10 hours a day, six days a week, with Sundays off).… Read more.

Paradise Sun. 19 July 1830




Special Edition

Monday,  July 19, 1830




Doctor Hannah Savard reminds the residents of Paradise that all  drinking water and water used in preparing food must be boiled.Read more.

Paradise Sun. 3 March 1828


The newspaper founded by Elizabeth Middleton Bonner after she retired from teaching.

Example column:

The Week of Monday, March 3, 1828



Friend has opened a law office in the new building next to the schoolhouse.  Please stop by to consult with him any weekday morning between eight and twelve of the clock.… Read more.

Coroners, 19th century

Coroner’s inquests were very common in 1880s in New York City. Any unusual death or questionable death had to pass by the coroner (or one of his deputies or assistants) and sometimes an inquest was  empaneled.

In the case mentioned below, the coroner was Richard Croker,  a life-long politician with no medical training whatsoever.… Read more.

Nineteenth century disease

From Wikipedia:

Epidemics of the 19th century were faced without the medical advances that made 20th-century epidemics much rarer and less lethal. Micro-organisms (viruses and bacteria) had been discovered in the 18th century, but it was not until the late 19th century that the experiments of Lazzaro Spallanzani and Louis Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation conclusively, allowing germ theory and Robert Koch’s discovery of micro-organisms as the cause of disease transmission.… Read more.


Hartshorn is not a term you hear often these days.

The best source for information on 19th century terms, especially when it comes to housekeeping and medicine (in my experience) is, where out of print works are made available to read online.… Read more.

Travel in the 19th century

On the Rails

See also the article on .

If you want to travel by rail from Manhattan to St. Louis, from Chicago to Austen in the years before the Civil War, you will find not one or two but eleven possibilities.… Read more.

Artistic Dress Movement

A Private View at the Royal Academy, 1881

This painting is the work of  William Powell Frith, and was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1883. It depicts a group of distinguished Victorians visiting the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1881, just after the death of the Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.… Read more.


In 1879 the New York city government hired the Brush Electric Light Company to build a generating station at 25th Street. Electric street lights installed on Broadway between Union Square and Madison Square were first turned on on December 20, 1880.… Read more.


Rudimentary Statistics

Comparison of labor statistics over time is far too complex a subject to tackle here, but some points can be made.

Manual or unskilled laborers were those who dug ditches, worked on farms, and took on any work that didn’t require training.… Read more.