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London Sewer Hunters in the 1800s

By Geri Walton | January 28, 2014

London sewer hunters, often called toshers, were those people that ignored roguish odors to descend into London’s sewers and scavenge, pan, and retrieve “tosh,” which was the term for copper. During the 1800s the term tosher gained a much wider application than it does today. These long ago toshers also searched dumps, scavenged at the…

Slang, Euphemisms, and Terms for the 1700 and 1800s – Letter T

By Geri Walton | January 27, 2014

The following slang, euphemisms, and terms are for the letter T, and primarily taken from Francis Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue published in 1811.

Hat Fashions for March 1898

By Geri Walton | January 24, 2014

According to The Delineator, which was a women’s magazine founded by the Butterick Publishing Company in 1869, the cold winter was giving way to a balmy spring, and warm-looking felts and somber velvet hats were being replaced by a “profusion of flowers, gay ribbon, bright silk, and fancy-colored straw hats.”

Ailments, Complaints, and Diseases in the 1700 and 1800s

By Geri Walton | January 23, 2014

Common ailments, complaints, and diseases were a mystery in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Physicians were often baffled and did not have a clear understanding of microorganisms or how diseases were transmitted. They believed in the longstanding central principle of Western medicine, known as the Humoral theory, which believed in balancing the four humors—blood (sanguine),…

Tea History in the United Kingdom

By Geri Walton | January 22, 2014

Tea was not always a part of English history. However, it was destined to become a part once a small ad ran in 1658 in one of London’s weekly newspapers called the Mercurius Politicus. The newspaper announced the sell of the “China Drink called by the Chineans, Tcha, by other Nations Tay alias Tee ……

Crossing Sweepers: Children and Adults

By Geri Walton | January 20, 2014

In exchange for a gratuity, crossing sweepers swept a path — known as a “broom” walk — ahead of pedestrians as they walked down the street. A job as a crossing sweeper was one step above being considered a beggar and the last chance for an individual to earn an “honest crust.” Those who performed…

Slang, Euphemisms, and Terms from the 1700 and 1800s – Letter S (Sq-Sz)

By Geri Walton | January 17, 2014

The following slang, euphemisms, and terms are for the letter S, from Sq to Sz, and primarily taken from Francis Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue published in 1811.

Phrenology: A Head’s Bumps and Indentations

By Geri Walton | January 16, 2014

Originally known as cranioscopy, phrenology was a revolutionary pseudoscience that determined personality and the development of mental and moral faculties based on the external shape of the skull and its size. Franz Joseph Gall, a German physiologist, neuroanatomist, and pioneer in mental functions in the brain, discovered this in 1796 when he examined people’s heads…

Climbing Boys of the 1700 and 1800s

By Geri Walton | January 14, 2014

A climbing boy, also known as a chimney sweep, was an occupation some children performed during the 1700 and 1800s. Climbing boys were frequently orphans and as young as three years old. Small size was a requirement for chimney sweeps, and for that reason many climbing boys outgrew their job by the time they were…

Slang, Euphemisms, and Terms of the 1700 and 1800s-Letter S (Si-Sp)

By Geri Walton | January 13, 2014

The following slang, euphemisms, and terms are for the letter S, from Si-Sp, and primarily taken from Francis Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue published in 1811.