Category Archives: 1890s

Tipis and Puppies

After  Andrew Jackson’s Trail of Tears pushed many Native Americans west in 1838-1839, the available land Indians were allowed to ‘own’ grew smaller and smaller, until it was practically non existent.  Small pockets of reservation land have been maintained even today; however, the land taken from them grew exponentially as the white man colonized the North American continent from the very beginning.

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Lipton’s Tea


Lipton’s Tea had a late start compared to many tea companies like Twinings, starting in 1889 in Glasgow, Scotland.  Many tea companies were well established by this point, thanks to the East India trading company and the demand for tea in the colonies during the late 1700s.  A business man at heart, Thomas Lipton felt tea prices too high, and searched for a better way to stock his own market with low priced, but high quality tea.  He purchased his own tea plantation in Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) in 1890, and successfully marketed his tea throughout England and the United States.  His tea gained popularity so quickly that Queen Victoria knighted him in 1898.

Perhaps it’s not steeped in rich history like Twinings, but it sure does have that underdog American value to it!

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Shorey’s Books and the Pocket Shakespeare

For the (all too brief) year that I lived in England, I sent myself out on several pilgrimages to see important homes and museums of revered authors: Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll, and William Shakespeare to name a few. I purchased old books and new books, each with a different history-whether I was creating its history, or just adding to it.  I purchased several of Shakespeare’s works, hoping to finally understand his way with Iambic pentameter (I still look for antiquated Shakespeare, even though I have a large collection already!)  And while my understanding is certainly growing, I can’t help but admire Shakespeare’s tenacity on writing as a whole, his cleverness, his mysterious life, and his continued popularity.

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Fairy Lights Burning Bright

The holidays are just around the corner, and everyone is putting up their festive decorations and Christmas trees.  I found this cute little ad for electric lights on Christmas trees, which some companies coined ‘fairy lights.’

GE+Brochure xmas

Image courtesy of George and Bill Nelson, from Bill’s Antique Christmas Light Site.

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Under the Mistletoe

It’s the time of year to get out those ugly Christmas sweaters, be cozy by the roaring fire while roasting chestnuts, and drink some delicious mulled wine or eggnog at a holiday party.  But don’t get caught standing unaware under a branch of mistletoe!

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, c.1896.

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Music Flashback

Yesterday, my favorite artist released a pre-order of his new album, which comes out in October.  Me, with my love of vintage media, snagged one of the 2k vinyls for sale.  And in honor of this musical loveliness, I looked into some old songs through the Library of Congress.billy murray

Here is one of the many catchy songs available to researchers.  Sung by Billy Murray (1877-1954), it was just the type of music to be played in a club because of the ease of which you could dance to it.  Numerous dances were created as a result of the changes in music, with many variations to match the styles of the time.  The song above is characterized as a Ragtime, and people would dance a foxtrot to its rhythm.  Murray had a very prolific career, recording over 400 songs in the first half of the 20th century.  In the very early years of recording, he recorded most notably for Edison and Victor, two competitors in the growing phonograph market.

*Just as a side note, I had originally embedded players from the LOC onto this site, but they weren’t showing up when I tried to preview, so I apologize for the unnecessary windows!

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