The Edison Talking Doll is just what it sounds like: a doll, with a small phonograph in its body, mass-produced by Thomas Edison’s lab in the 1890s -- and it … shrieks. It’s like an unearthly Carol Kane screaming in a wind tunnel, trapped in the body of a lifeless totem. Listen at your own risk. Even more Edison Talking Doll recordings.
This indignant map exposes the seamy underbelly of 1890s Washington, D.C., naming and locating “saloons” and “bawdy-houses” in the so-called Murder Bay neighborhood, located east of the White House. The Library of Congress, which holds the map, tells us that it’s a newspaper clipping from the 1890s, without a known author or publisher. (Slate.com)
"....many a tragic episode in family life is superinduced by the baleful influence of a tortured stomach. Mighty is the hand that holds the ballot-box, but mightier is the hand that wields to advantage the pepper-box, the salt-spoon, and the sugar-shaker." read the entirely of Maud C. Cooke's, Breakfast, Dinner and Supper; or, What To Eat and How To Prepare It (1897) online and enter a world of home remedies, large scale recipes, sound advice, leftover wizardry, squirrel stews, scientific digestion, and horrible things done to vegetables.
The Bicycle Craze of the 1890s had a significant impact upon women's lives. Leaders of the women's movement saw bike riding as a path to freedom. Many women cyclists enjoyed the freedoms and experiences bikes gave them. Although many health experts recommended biking to women for its health effects, other health experts and some moralists saw dangers in letting women venture off into the wild blue yonder with and without men, danger in potential physical damage to women's bodies, disaster in letting them adopt "unfeminine garb" - and of course, they might enjoy it TOO much. [more inside]
Rio Wang has posted a fantastic 1892 photo album of Russian army fashions.
The Historic American Sheet Music archive at the Duke University Library has over 3000 pieces published in the United States available online, from the 1850s up to 1920. Composers represented include well-known names such as Scott Joplin, Irving Berlin, and John Philip Sousa. All the music is now in the public domain, and may be printed and performed freely. [Note: Language or stereotypes may occasionally be NSFW.]
"In terms of language, it is also the most offensive official Major League baseball document that we have ever seen." An auction house obtains a one page letter sent to baseball players in 1898, outlining the league's new anti-cursing policy. Includes lots of examples of the kind of language that is not allowed. Nervous auctioneers not sure how to exhibit it. Purely of historical interest, naturally. [more inside]