Questions tagged [19th-century]

The 19th century began on January 1, 1801, and ended on December 31, 1900.

43 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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582 views

What is this old dual-disc metal object with a spindle? [more pictures added]

[Updated: There are now pictures of both top and side views. Scroll to bottom of post to see the side views.] While sorting through family artifacts, I found a black metal two-layer disc with a long ...
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58 views

Why did Frederick VI claim the Haraldskær Woman was a Norwegian queen?

Frederick VI was the last king of Denmark-Norway. During his reign a woman’s well preserved body was discovered in a peat bog, and Frederick claimed it was that of Queen Gunnhild. Frederick’s ...
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188 views

How long did it take to buy a house in 1870?

I'm interested in how long it took to carry out major transactions in the nineteenth century compared to today. On the one hand, I expect there was less formality; on the other hand, less information ...
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173 views

Who owned the ship Ensayo, and what were they doing near Baja California in 1842?

According to Plummer's The Shogun's Reluctant Ambassadors, in 1842, sea drifters from the Eijū-maru were picked up and by the Ensayo, a "Spanish pirate ship" with a Philippine crew. It was "carrying ...
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What did a 19th century New Orleans Yellow Fever immunity passport look like?

In response to proposals for a so-called "immunity passport" system to be developed so that people who have recovered from COVID-19 can return to life as usual (without being subject to ...
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66 views

Which ship took Tolman to Kamchatka?

William Tolman was reportedly a mechanic from New England who got to Petropavlovsk on a whaling ship in 1813. Somehow he stayed behind and lived his whole long life in Kamchatka. None of the sources ...
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229 views

Guadalupe Victoria's imprisonment

In 1821 Agustín Iturbide formed a ruling junta for newly independent Mexico that excluded his prominent fellow revolutionary officers. Near the end of 1821, Iturbide imprisoned several that may have ...
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145 views

How was city cleaning financed and organized in the late 19th century?

This answer about usage of horses contains a brief description of the situation of New York. Are there examples where city cleaning was done by firms or was the communal government responsible for ...
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168 views

Did most colleges in the United States have semesters that began in September and ended in January during the 1890s?

I have been researching college calendars from the 1890s and have found that their semesters are very different from most "modern" semesters in the United States. Here are two examples: Texas, Bryn ...
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69 views

Was it ever common practice to make “wax” seals out of bread (especially in the mid-1800s)?

In Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Purloined Letter", there is this quote in which a seal on a letter is replaced by bread: D-- rushed to a casement, threw it open, and looked out. In the ...
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240 views

Was lobster considered a poor man's food in the Georgian era?

Many years ago I took a tour through a restored Georgian-era house in Dublin (best €2 I spent that summer). This included some pretty good explanations on the everyday life and customs in that period, ...
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146 views

How many criminal exiles were sent to Kamchatka?

Exile in Siberia was a well-known punishment for criminals in Imperial (and Soviet) Russia. Exiles, who could be common criminals or political prisoners, were forced to walk in irons to their new job ...
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181 views

Where exactly were the British occupations in the Egypt Campaign?

Wikipedia says that Murad Bey would accept the British occupations in Alexandria Damietta and Rosetta. Murad had reportedly offered money to the French forces to leave Egypt and offered to ally ...
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121 views

Ethnic composition of antebellum Massachusetts

What was the ethnic composition of Massachusetts in the decades before the Civil War? I am particularly interested in knowing what percentage of the population claimed English, Scottish, North Irish, ...
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64 views

What's a major 19th Century history of the American Revolution from a British perspective?

I recently read McCaulay's History of England, which he initially projected to cover in detail events up to the reign of Queen Victoria. I was excited to see his take on the American revolution, ...
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151 views

Did the Duke of Cambridge wear rouge?

I'm looking for evidence that the Prince George, Duke of Cambridge - Queen Victoria's cousin and the Commander-in-Chief of the British Army - enhanced his complexion by the judicious and semi-discreet ...
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335 views

Are the coal mining revenue provided in the “Gentleman Jack” realistic for 1830s?

The "Gentleman Jack" series is based on the diaries of Anne Lister - a XIX century woman, often declared as "first modern lesbian" (the "gentleman" is apparently a slur, ...
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111 views

Were there any missing opera actresses in Paris between 1881 - 1910?

As you might have guessed (or maybe not), my question was merely risen by the mystery of the Opera Ghost, from the Phantom of The Opera written by Gaston Leroux. I have been all over the internet in ...
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141 views

What did people do about kerosene lamp fires?

In the late nineteenth century, kerosene lamps were widely used for illumination. They were effective and affordable, though had the nontrivial disadvantage of being a significant fire hazard; a lamp ...
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37 views

When did the defeated General José de la Cruz sail back to Spain?

José de la Cruz was a Spanish military commander in Mexico's wars of independence. He was finally defeated by his ex-subordinate, Pedro Celestino Negrete in Durango, just after the Treaty of Córdoba, ...
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145 views

How did Adam Worth make sure his crooks didn't keep what they stole?

I'm currently reading through the The Life and Times of Adam Worth and as much as I'm fascinated by Adam Worth and his mastermind for 19th century crime, there is one thing that the book fails to ...
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133 views

Making bread at home: daily or weekly

My grandmother used to tell me about the life of field workers in her (and her grandmother's) time, going from the 1950s backwards to the 19th century (in Portugal). This often included baking bread ...
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108 views

What did Boston shoemakers do with cattle brands?

In the Mexican era, whole cattle hides were California's principal export. To prevent theft law enforcement sometimes checked the brands on hides before they were exported by sailing ship. Most went ...
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Charles Darwin's dog in 1858

What would have been the breed and name of Charles Darwin's dog at Down House in 1858? The black and white retriever (Bob) which appears in a photo dated 1863, the Pomeranian (Snow) or someone else?
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Antebellum White Collar Workplace Architecture and Design

Does anyone know what offices would have looked like in the U.S. roughly between 1830-1860? In particular, did clerks and others work in a more open plan environment, or did people tend to have their ...
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Was there something in Lord Palmerston's career that made him associated with temporary appointments becoming permanent?

While researching the quote "nothing more permanent than something temporary", I stumbled upon this quote from the "Royal United Service Institution Journal" from 1888: I fear ...
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Can you identify this European uniform or awards?

This is my great great grandfather. I am having trouble identifying the uniform. It should be from around 1860-1890 ish. It would be from a German speaking country. The story that was passed down was ...
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106 views

Could a person in Victorian UK be in charge of their own money at 18 years old?

Could a male or female in Victorian UK be in charge of his or her own money at 18 years old? (Circa 1888) Could a legal guardian argue in court that since the age of majority was 21, he should be in ...
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What decided the First Sekhukhune War?

I'm trying to find out more about the First Sekhukhune War, and in particular exactly how and why Sekhukhune won. As wars in historical times go, it seems to be very sparsely documented. Here's what I ...
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100 views

To what extent was the US government financed by land expropriations between 1790 and 1846?

How significant was land expropriation as a source of US federal, state, and local government revenue between 1790 and 1846? I chose 1846 as the breakpoint because of the Walker Tariff; feel free to ...
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49 views

What are some sources on college life in the second half of the 19th century USA

Could someone please direct me towards books (diaries, memoirs...) on college life (particularly dental colleges) in the USA in the second half of the 19th century (particularly 1870s)? Thank you!
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Where can I learn about mortality rates for 19th century American sailors?

I would especially like to know the difference in survival rate for whalers versus merchant sailors in New England. It seems to me that Melville discussed this in Moby Dick (which of course need ...
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111 views

What percentage of first births were illegitimate in 19th century England?

One peculiarity of Victorian England is the rather very high number of illegitimate births and premarital conceptions relative to the periods before it. Illegitimate births and premarital conceptions ...
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Did Jamsetji Tata write a letter to Swami Vivekananda?

Many sites 1, 2, ... claim that Jamsetji Tata wrote a letter to Swami Vivekananda on 23rd November, 1898.  Is it true that Jamshedji Tata wrote such a letter?
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What was the family relationship between British neo-Nazi politician John Tyndall and the 19th century physicist of the same name?

John Tyndall was a neo-Nazi British politician who chaired the National Front and who was the chairman of the British National Party from 1982 to 1999. According to his obituary in the Daily Telegraph,...
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Where did United States colleges rank internationally during the 19th century?

I have read that the USA was far behind Europe until maybe the 1930s. But just what were the limitations of US colleges prior to that? EDIT: I realize there was unlikely to have been any published ...
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99 views

What food might they have at the Cold Harbor, Virginia, in 1860?

Cold Harbor Virginia was named for an inn, the Cold Harbor. You could stay there but you could not get hot food. It seems that already in 17th century Virgina a "cold harbor" was such an inn 1. It ...
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60 views

Early 20th Century Vienna - memoirs of Travelers

I am searching for memoirs of travelers who went to Vienna in 1900-1913. What they saw and did, where they ate etc and am having a hard time finding anything.
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98 views

How significant were government-linked enterprises as a source of revenue for the United States between 1790 and 1846?

What proportion of US government (federal,state,local) revenue came from profits or debt issuance of government-linked enterprises between 1790 and 1846? I chose 1846 as the breakpoint because of the ...
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78 views

Were there farms in the early 19th century in England, which only focused on agriculture?

I think back in the day most farms consisted of both agriculture and livestock, but I think, there must have been exceptions. I'm also especially interested in small-scale family-based farms. The ...
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152 views

After the end of slavery at the closure of the US civil war, what percentage of former slaves stayed at their previous workplaces?

Upon the abolition of slavery in the USA, there were suddenly millions of former slaves set free. But they were left without an obvious workplace. On the other side, millions of jobs done previously ...
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69 views

What were the demographics of New Orleans in the 1890s?

What were the demographics of New Orleans in the 1890s? Population, race, born overseas vs born in the US, that sort of thing. And what would be the best source to do more research about New Orleans ...
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How much would it cost to bribe a prison warden in New England in the year 1800?

The value of money from one decade to another is a very confusing topic - in my opinion, anyway. For instance, something called the CPI Inflation Calculator states that $1 in 1800 was the equivalent ...