5 odd facts about the Victorian era
It was an interesting time: the industrial revolution was in full swing, and the world as we know it was slowly starting to materialize. These 5 odd facts prove that the Victorian era was one of the strangest and most fascinating periods in the history of humanity.
#1 Arsenic on the menu
A product of the smelting industry, arsenic became a sort of panacea in Victorian times. It was used in dyes and rat poison, but also, unbelievably, as a treatment for skin issues, low libido, and even cancer and asthma. Needless to say, it claimed many lives before being identified as a powerful poisonous compound.
#2 The mourning industry
Victorians took mourning very seriously. Not only was wearing black socially mandatory, but mourning periods varied strictly based on one’s relation to the deceased. There were shops completely dedicated to selling mourning clothes. Some people would even go so far as to wear special mourning jewelry, sometimes containing their own tears.
Spiritualism was a wide-spread fad in this era. People would go to seances with friends and family in the hopes of contacting deceased loved ones. Hypnotists drew huge crowds and occultists were in high demand. In fact, the Victorian era is when the Ouija board first gained popularity.
#4 Morbid photography
The Victorian Era saw the early days of photography. However, the practice was still in its infancy and would only be used to commemorate very special occasions. Strangely enough, a common practice was to immortalize an image of the family with the recently deceased.
#5 Social calls
The Victorian people had quite a few strict social norms. For example, it was a known fact that visits to someone’s house were only polite during the afternoon, usually between 3 and 5 PM. It was considered extremely rude to call on someone before or after and even close friends and relatives would abide.
Which of these facts about Victorian times surprised you the most? Do you know any other interesting things about this incredible period?
Try to answer these fun trivia questions about Queen Victoria:
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