Fun Facts About the Victorian Era

In the Victorian Era, Britain expanded, taking control of many countries, kingdoms, and colonies around the globe.

People typically spent their free time listening to brass bands or attending shows which featured hypnotism or communing with the dead through mediums.

Steam power enabled mass production – the simultaneous manufacture of multiple products at once – which greatly expanded manufacturing output.

1. The first chocolate Easter eggs were made

Eggs have long been associated with Easter since ancient Zorastrians presented them to their King Norwuz (at least 6,000 years ago!). Egg-shaped toys were made in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as well as cardboard or papier-mache eggs decorated with satin or silk coverings for hiding treats inside.

Victorian-era chocolate was widely available and more accessible, yet still relatively expensive – usually reserved for special events like birthdays or Valentines Day. Fry’s, now part of Cadbury, produced the first Easter chocolate eggs in 1873.

Poor Victorians survived on diets of bread and dripping (fat from roast meat), potatoes and rotten vegetables. Charity organizations were formed to feed those in need as well as care for poor children; children often worked in factories or mines as workers themselves.

2. Museums began to open

The Victorian Era (1837 -1901, named for Queen Victoria’s 63 year reign, 1837-1901) was one of transformation and industrialization, as new inventions like steam trains made transportation simpler and faster, and people became more interested in religion and politics; Charles Dickens used his writing to push social reform agenda.

Factory workers, coal miners and chimney sweeps were common during this era; children often expected to work too, especially if their parents weren’t wealthy enough. If a child worked hard enough they might even make it into school despite teachers lacking resources and classes often being enormous! Parlour games like charades and musical chairs arose during this period – though some were quite dangerous; Snapdragon involved holding up a bowl filled with rum-soaked raisins above one’s head before trying to catch them using fingers.

3. Rat Catchers were paid to catch rats

Victorian cities were plagued with an epidemic rat infestation that spread disease, blocked drains and devoured food supplies. To control their population, rats were caught either manually or using traps.

Jack Black became known for his entertaining rat catching antics and was even profiled by Henry Mayhew for his comprehensive account of London street life, “London Labour and the London Poor”.

Black started breeding fancy rats and selling them to customers as another means of making additional income – since rat catching wages were quite low at that time. Due to its perceived danger and difficulty, young children were often recruited as workers; three pence was the typical rate paid per rat caught.

4. The first Christmas cards were sent

Victorian society had strict social etiquette rules. Wealthy families employed servants to take care of household duties while children were taught “be seen and not heard”.

Sir Henry Cole, the inaugural Director of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, commissioned John Horsley to design a card that would cost one shilling each – more than what many Victorians earned daily wages! It went into print in 1843.

Early cards weren’t personalized and featured traditional motifs like nativity scenes and snow-scenes; but by the 1880s Louis Prang began printing cards featuring more unusual subjects: turnip men (half vegetable/half man), bloodthirsty bears, and dead robins – these cards proved highly popular – many Victorians saved them like stamps or coins and displayed them in albums!

5. The first photographs of dead people were taken

The Victorian Era encompassed the period between 20 June 1837 and Queen Victoria’s death on 22 January 1901, which witnessed numerous groundbreaking inventions and exploration, yet many people lived in dire conditions; poverty was widespread, often killing those exposed to toxic fumes from coal fires or sudden illness.

As a means to cope, many families started taking photos of their deceased loved ones as a form of memento mori (reminding themselves they would all die). While it might sound morbid today, this practice was actually quite common during Victorian times. Photographers would pose them by fixing their hair or opening their eyes; objects such as drums or hourglasses would also be included to represent life and death in each photo taken; the results were both poignant and unnerving – known as memento mori or reminders to reminding us all we would all one day pass from this life we call earth.

6. The first fairs were held

Victorian Era was an age of amazing inventions such as electric lights, cars, blimps and more – many of them showcased at fairs where people would gather to view them.

Social inequality and poverty were prevalent during this era; many children were expected to work in factories, mines or as chimney sweeps from an early age. Many charities were established during this time to aid poor and working class individuals; such as Barnardo’s and Salvation Army.

The Industrial Revolution enabled mass production of goods. People also engaged in collecting objects from around the world – such as botanical and zoological specimens – which they would dedicate rooms of their home for. Victorians also believed strongly in spiritualism and hypnosis, holding many public events featuring seances or fortune telling that would generate income for performers.

7. Queen Victoria finally emerged from mourning

Victorian society witnessed great change as more people could enjoy leisure time. Seaside holidays became increasingly popular and museum, library, and other public building visits increased significantly; spectator sports and music halls also became common pastimes among working class people.

Queen Victoria emerged from mourning in 1874 with renewed vitality, attending state balls and making public carriage appearances; she gained back the respect of her subjects.

She and her husband raised nine children and 42 grandchildren together and she learned four languages – English, German, French and Hindustani – through self-teaching and was extremely stubborn; at one point there were six attempts on her life! Although small in stature but fierce, candid and determined; she became known as “The Grandmother of Europe”.

8. False teeth were often taken from dead people

Victorians were fascinated with death and would mourn loved ones up to two years posthumously, wearing black clothing and keeping photos of deceased relatives on display in their houses!

False teeth were typically made of elephant and hippopotamus ivory, which could stain and stink over time and break. Because this material tended to discolor with age and wear down over time, scavengers would stalk battlefields post-battle with pliers ready to plunder dead soldiers’ mouths for its value as dental treasure.

Poor Victorians struggled to secure enough food. One way they managed to stave off hunger was visiting music halls where, for just one penny admission fee, you could watch musicians, comedians and plays!

9. Parents named their children quite bizarre names

Victorian-era children began being named after both of their parents. Additionally, parlour games like charades and musical chairs were first developed during this era.

Victorian-era scientific inventions made it easier for people to produce goods and send them far away, including steam power discovery which ultimately resulted in the Industrial Revolution.

Victorian society was famous for enforcing stringent rules of social etiquette. For instance, women weren’t permitted to look behind them while walking!

Women were also notoriously known for the double standard they held when it came to sexuality; men desired sexual stimulation while women engaged only as an act of pleasing their husbands, leading to heated arguments over sexual matters during this period. Furthermore, their underwear consisted of bloomers which only covered one leg instead of covering any unmentionables that might exist at that time.

10. The first Auctioneers Act was introduced

The Victorian Era (1837-1901) saw an explosion of invention, exploration, social reform, voting rights expansion and mass leisure activities like seaside holidays, libraries, theatres, museums and spectator sports being introduced into everyday life.

At a time of immense social upheaval and immigration from overseas and within Britain, immigrants flocked to cities for work – many coming directly from colonies – while money exchanged hands both ways as Britain helped shape an empire that later helped mold Britain itself.

Victorian poets Robert Browning and Alfred Lord Tennyson experimented with dramatic monologue and more lyrical styles of poetry that was popular with the public at large. Furthermore, women’s underwear became crotchless!

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