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Monday, January 30, 2012


Gleanings from Old Shaker Journals by Clara Endicott Sears

     Reading this on line as part of the great amount of research I'm doing for my current novel.
Yesterday I completed a couple of hours on the subject of New England women's underwear in the nineteenth century. A lot more involved than it may sound not just because of changing fashion trends over those decades, but because of the differences among the classes. I want to know what the poor and rural young woman had going on under her skirt because it is so important to me that my historical fiction be quite historically accurate. Most of the information available is, not surprisingly, about what was under the abundant skirts and hoops of the wealthy class. Fun work, but frustrating, almost gets my panties in a bunch. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)
      On a related note, I am also trying to figure out what term residents of New England had for the outhouse in the latter half of the 1800's. I doubt they referred to it as the outhouse, and think privy is too British, but haven't seen any other references. Please respond if you have any ideas.

                                         1850's split bloomers

1 comment:

  1. So you've discovered there's a world of historical research to be had right from your desk, in the form of digitized public domain books. is a nice source, they don't have as much on their digital shelves as Google does, but they do a far better job scanning them and have a much more searchable interface.

    I'm headed to the Dartmouth Special Collections Library this Saturday to photograph something not yet digitized which I found looking for something only semi related - A one hundred thirty three year old unpublished treatise no one has lain eyes on in a lifetime but the Collections Librarian I asked to dig it out.

    Geeky stuff can be found looking up somebodies historical bloomers.


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