Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Such Language! Part 28

More lexigraphic levity and laughter, courtesy of the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue. Enjoy!

Mouth: a silly fellow. A dupe. To stand mouth; i.e. to be duped. Sir Archibald is such a mouth that he believed my little sister’s claim that she’s engaged to the Duke of Wellington.

Oak: A rich man; a man of good substance and credit. I have no use for empty titles; I’ll take an oak over a spendthrift viscount any day.

Elbow-shaker: A gamester, one who rattles Saint Hugh’s bones, i.e. the dice. Aunt Amelia might want to be more vigilant about the people my cousin Sarah associates with at parties; rumor has it that Sally has become quite the elbow-shaker, and will have to pawn her earrings to cover her losses.

Baker-knee’d: One whose knees knock together in walking, as if kneading dough. My brother Thomas is glad that knee-breeches are no longer worn at town parties, as he is ferociously baker-knee’d.

Queen Street: A man governed by his wife, is said to live in Queen Street, or at the sign of the Queen’s Head. His friends tease Papa about living in Queen Street, but he is very happy to have Mama take care of all the fussy and boring bits of life.

Smoky: Curious, suspicious, inquisitive. My little sister’s angelically blank expression when discussion at dinner turned to diary-keeping was decidedly smoky.

Willow: Poor, and of no reputation. To wear the willow; to be abandoned by a lover or mistress. Henry has been wearing the willow since Georgiana met the young Duke of Flatpurse, but I suspect it will be Georgiana’s turn next as the Duke was seen taking Miss Plumpocket riding in Hyde Park.  

Friday, September 25, 2020

Pictures from Wonderland

First—thanks to Roxanne C, for your comment last week. Contact me at reginascott@owt.com. I know you mentioned you had a copy of the book you won. Let’s see what else I can find you.

The heroine of A Distance Too Grand, Meg Pero, is a photographer, specializing in stereographs, those double pictures that allowed people to approximate three-dimensions in her time. But when I was researching Yellowstone National Park for the second book in my American Wonders Collection, Nothing Short of Wondrous, I discovered another early photographer had made his mark there.

Frank Jay Haynes was born in Michigan in 1853. He didn’t do well at his first profession, traveling salesman, so, when he went to live with family in Wisconsin, he took the opportunity to apprentice as a photographer. F. Jay opened his own studio in 1876 in Moorhead, Minnesota. But he wasn’t content to stay there. It seems that traveling part of his salesman’s job stayed with him throughout his life.

Less than a year later, he started taking his equipment on the road, traveling via stagecoach from Bismarck, North Dakota, to Deadwood, South Dakota, taking pictures of the scenery and the people along the way. The next year, he traveled from Bismarck to the Pacific Ocean and followed that up with a tour down and up the Missouri River. His pictures made excellent prints, postcards, and, yes, stereographs.

Perhaps because his popularity was growing, he won a contract with the Northern Pacific Railroad to take publicity shots along the line to Bismarck. With a free pass to ride any train, he could go where he liked, when he liked. Along the way, he met then Yellowstone superintendent Philetus Norris, who invited him to come tour Wonderland and photograph its scenic beauty. During his two months in the park in 1881, F. Jay shot more than 200 pictures. And he came back the next year to shoot more.

Again, his stature grew, to the point that, in August 1883, he was chosen to accompany President Arthur in touring Yellowstone and serve as the official photographer. He still found time to photograph the golden spike ceremony of the Northern Pacific in Montana. But Yellowstone had so impressed him that he applied for and won a concession to be the park’s first official photographer. His studio opened in 1884.

But Yellowstone was only really accessible from May through September. What do to the rest of the year? F. Jay purchased a Pullman car from the Northern Pacific and refitted it as a traveling studio, calling it the Palace Studio Car. He traveled all over the west for the next 20 years in that car, taking pictures of local places and local folks. He was part of the one of the first winter tours of Yellowstone in 1886 and photographed the journey from my native Tacoma to Glacier Bay, Alaska, in 1891 for the Puget Sound and Alaska Steamship Company.

When he passed away in 1921, his son Jack, who had been helping him, inherited his business and carried on the tradition until his death in 1962.

And if you’d like to experience a little of Yellowstone, hop over the Goodreads, where you can enter a giveaway of a print copy of Nothing Short of Wondrous, due out October 20, 2020. 

Picture perfect!

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A Fine Harvest...of Tassels?

After an exceptionally hot and dry summer, the weather has suddenly turned cool and autumnal (though still dry) here in New England…and in fitting with that “hello Fall!” theme, I’m pleased to present, courtesy of the September 1810 (though the outfit is stated as being for October) of La Belle Assemblée, a “Pelisse Dress of Autumn.” And oh, what an outfit!

The description reads, A pelisse dress of autumnal brown sarsnet, made low in the neck, trimmed down the front and round the bottom with a rich trimming of vandyked white satin, ornamented with silver frogs; the sleeves buttoned on the inside of the arm, to correspond with the front of the dress; over the bosom is tied a light white net mantle, scalloped, and ornamented with acorn tassels. White satin bonnet, with a bunch of wheat in front, and short lace veil. Brown sandals and gloves. Green parasol.

The pelisse dress, on its own, is pretty snazzy, though the description and the image are somewhat at odds: the text describes the front trimming to be silver frogs (a popular borrowing from military uniforms), while the illustrations puts in tassels. The sleeves buttoning up the inside of the arm are a neat conceit, though the decorative panels over the breasts are not quite the thing (though this sort of thing appears in several La Belle Assemblée from around this time.) There appears to be either a white petticoat or underdress as well, which you can see peeping out below the vandyked hem.

The hat is…interesting. I rather think the bunch of wheat is a tad much, though certainly in keeping with the autumnal theme of the ensemble. The little face veil is fun and flirty, and can also be seen in several other outfits of the time in La Belle Assemblée. And the general tassel theme of the outfit is continued in the green parasol, ornamented with more of the same.

But it’s the white net mantle that really draws the attention: purely decorative, of course, as it doesn’t offer much in the way of warmth or shelter from the elements. But can’t you just see those deep ends of the “scollops” fluttering in a cool autumnal breeze?—unless, of course, the little acorn tassels (again, perfect for autumn!) weigh it down.

And of course, we can’t forget the fashion accessory at the lower right-hand side of the image. Were it two hundred or so years later, might this fashionable miss carry her dog in her reticule? 

What do you think? Will you be sporting tassels this fall? 😉

Friday, September 18, 2020

More Happy Birthdays, with Presents!

Like Marissa, I find it hard to believe we’re on our 13th year of blogging. We’ve shared posts on fashion, locations, historical figures, our books, our trips, and all kinds of research. Here’s a few statistics. Nineteen Teen has been

  • Viewed more than 930,000 times
  • Visited by readers in the US, UK, Russia, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, The Netherlands, Australia, China, Brazil, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Poland, Spain, Japan, and Qatar.
  • Commented on more than 4,000 times

And we’d love more comments!

So, where would you like to see us go from here? What sorts of posts delight you the most? Do you miss the Young Bluestockings Book Club? Would you like to see more guest posts?

Anyone who comments on this post before Thursday evening 9/24 East Coast US time, will be entered into a drawing for an autographed print copy of A Distance Too Grand (October 2019), the first book in my American Wonders Collection. I was delighted to see it getting some love this week from reviewers.

The bloggers behind Lone Star Literary Blogger’s Choice Awards for 2019 named it Best Christian novel of the year and gave it the Perfect 5 award too. That award is for any book the bloggers reviewed last year that earned a 5-star review from every blogger on the tour. Nine of the 52 books received that award. So honored! 

And, in something guaranteed to have a historical author running for her smelling salts, Booklist named it one of the Top Ten Romances for the last year! 

So, got a comment for us?

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Happy Birthday to Us…Yet Again!

We’ve done this so many times now that I’ve decided I'm having one of these installed on my keyboard.

Once again, it’s NineteenTeen’s birthday…and this year, we are appropriately able to claim “teen” status as this is our thirteenth year of blogging.

(Marissa pauses to sit back in her chair and stare out the window in shock for a long moment.)

It being our birthday and this being a history blog and all, cake is of course in order…perhaps this “wedding cake” Victorian house would appropriate for a party, for a change of pace? Not very edible, but so very pretty!


Thirteen years. I’m still in shock.

Anyway, 13 years and 1,245 posts later, Regina and I are still at it. We thank you most sincerely for following along our bloggy journey, and that you’ve been amused, entertained, and (occasionally) informed by our posts. If there’s a topic we haven’t written about that you would like us to investigate, or a subject youd like us to revisit and provide more info on, drop us a line and well do our best to oblige.

And in the meanwhile, please celebrate with us! After I’ve recovered from my shock, that is.


Friday, September 11, 2020

Oh, Goody, Goodies!

I had a lovely Labor Day. Hope you did too. And I return bearing gifts!

First, through September 13 (so hurry!), you can enter a drawing for a chance to win a print copy (yes, print!) of all 24 of these books. Every. Last. One. Wowsers! These are some authors I personally adore, including Rachel Fordham and Joanna Barker. Many of the books are just out or out in October, so you’ll be getting them hot off the presses.

To enter, click this link and follow as many of authors as you’d like on BookBub. Easy, peasy!

Second, if you preorder the next book in my American Wonders Collection, Nothing Short of Wondrous, by the end of September, you’ll get access to a free, gorgeous set of backgrounds for your phone, computer, and tablet. Go here, and fill out the form, and you’ll be pointed to the download site.

Enjoy your goodies!