Gilded Age Bibliography
1890 to 1904
copyright 1997 by Historical Novelists
One of the biggest problems with this period
is that all the photography is black and white, so that after
several hundred photos you start to get the subconscious image
that the world was grey, and everything drab. Be sure and look
at fashion journals with coloured plates and the painters of
the period to see how colourful everything still was.
Be sure and catch the Atlas of Civilisation
series, in this case the WWI and before chapters of The Cultural
Atlas of France, The Cultural Atlas of Russia, etc.,
depending on your locale.
- Illustrated Guide to New York. Compliments of Hotel
Jefferson, New York, 102-104-106 East Fifteenth Street, one door
east of Union Square. John E. Chatfield, proprietor ***
- 1895: [New York]
- Handy little ephemera. T3
- Boxing; a guide to the manly art of self defense (1900): New York, American Sports Publishing Co
- Pictorial guide to Boston and the country around (1902): Boston: G.W. Armstrong Dining Room &
- Rand, McNally Boston Guide to the City and Environs,
with Maps and Illustrations ...
(1900): New York, Chicago, Rand, McNally & company
- Where and How to Dine in New York; the Principal Hotels,
Restaurants and Cafés of Various Kinds and Nationalities
Which Have Added to the Gastronomic Fame of New York and Its
Suburbs (1903): New York,
Lewis, Scribner & co.
Abelson, Elaine S.
When Ladies Go A-Thieving: Middle-Class
Shoplifters in the Victorian Department Store *****!
Oxford University Press, 1989; 292 pg, index, sources in Notes
While ostensibly an investigation into the invention of the kleptomaniac,
it is most valuable for its detailed presentation of life before
department stores, what the early ones were like, how they developed,
and how they became part of middle-class women's lives. Not at
all dry, despite the scholarly research. T3
A Practice Guide to Whist by the Latest Scientific
Methods. With the Laws of the Game
(1891): Ames, Fisher: New York, C. Scribner's son
Appelbaum, Stanley, editor
The Chicago World's Fair of 1893: A
Photographic Record ****
Dover Publications, Inc. NY; 116 pg, text
128 photos of the Beaux Arts buildings and such novelties as
the Ferris Wheel. T3
All Drawn By Horses *****!
Newton Abbott, Long & NY; David & Charles, 1979
Good text with line drawings by the author, and an invaluable
2-page glossary of coach terms. Freight wagons as well as phaetons;
in fact, heavier on the wagons, which do all the duty of trucks,
while on the streets of old only the richest had the carriages
equivalent to cars. T2
- Slaves in the Family ***
Ball tracked down the descendents of his ancestors' slaves, and
gives a chronicle of the lives they led. An insight into African-American
life through ten generations. T2
Constables' guide; containing a full exposition of
their rights, privileges, duties and liabilities, giving the
statutes, both civil and criminal of the state of New York, with
annotations, decisions, explanatory notes, forms, and a digest
of their fees (1904): Bender,
Melvin (Melvin Thomas); Hinman, Harold Jay: Albany, N.Y., M.
Blum, Stella, editor
Paris Fashions of the 1890's: A Picture
Sourcebook with 350 Designs, including 24 in Full Color *****!
Dover, NY; 88 pg
Young women's and children's fashions in England, with a French
bent, from The Young Ladies' Journal. T1
Victorian Fashions and Costumes from
Harper's Bazar, 1867-1898 *****!
Dover Publications, Inc., NY; 320 pg, 1000+ illos
Stellar costume book, detailing materials and colours as well
as styles, but most valuable for its illustrations of how women
did their hair in the period. T1
Twenty Thousand Years of Fashion; the
History of Costume and Personal Adornment ***
Harry N. Abrams, 1966; 440 pg, index, glossary
Strong in this period, well illustrated, with photos of surviving
garments when possible. T1
Bray, Peter, editor
Transport Through the Ages **
Taplinger Publishing Co., Inc., NY, 1971; illos by Barbara Brown
Covers a bit of everything, from dugout canoes on. Emphasis on
later periods. T2
Dinner is Served ***
Archon Books, Hamden, CN, 1968
British meals of the day and their conduct; Part Two covers 1660
to 1900. Do remember how much Eastern Society follows Britain.
Brockett, Oscar G.
History of the Theatre ***
Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1977
Good university-level text on staging conventions, acting forms,
audience behavior, etc. T3
Lydia Pinkham is Her Name ****
Farrar, Straus, & Co., NY, 1949; 279 pg, no index, no bibliography
The story of Mrs. Pinkham and her Vegetable Compound, the vicissitudes
of the company's control by her descendents, changes in advertising,
and the post-War vindication of it containing estrogenic compounds.
New York Life at the Turn of the Century
in Photographs ****
Dover Publications, Inc., NY; intro and notes by Albert K. Baragwanath
120 shots from the Byron Collection, always a good source. T2
Photographs of New York Interiors at
the Turn of the Century *****!
Dover Publications, Inc., NY; 176 pg
131 more photos, of bars, hotels, and lushly Edwardian homes,
New York; A Guide in Comprehensive Chapters (1903): Childe, Cromwell: [Brooklyn] Brooklyn Daily
Cooke, Maud C.
- Social Etiquette, or Manners and customs of polite
society: containing rules of etiquette for all occasions... *****!
- London, Ont.: McDermid & Logan: 1896
- All etiquette books have value for giving
norms and showing what your lower class scum are watching from
The Ziegfield Follies ****
Bonanza Books, NY, 1956
A fascinating exploration of the one-man theatrical phenomenon,
who created a lavish theatre tradition still surviving in the
Folies Bergere and Las Vegas. A biography that delves deeply
into the productions and the players. A list of the Follies from
1907 to '31 with theatre used, opening night, and featured players.
Lavish with pictures, the beauties of their days. T2
Victorian and Edwardian Fashion: A Photographic
Survey, 1840-1914 *****!
Dover Publications; 240 pg, 235 photos (most two to the page,
The text is wonderfully researched, with period comments on fashion,
cosmetics, emigrant kits, dyes and colour combinations -- priceless!
Must read, even though very European. T2
Goodrum, Charles, and Helen Dalrymple
Advertising in America; the First 200
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, NY, 1990; 288 pg, oversize,
index, bibliography, heavily illustrated
The reproduced ads are illuminative of the difference in speech
and attitudes between then and now. Also good for fashion for
everyday people (rather than society frontrunners - ads tend
to target the middle class), idealised beauty, and just what
brands were available. T3
A Visitor's Guide to the Greater New York, Jersey
City and suburbs; (1896):
Gunnison, Herbert Foster,: [Brooklyn, N.Y., Eagle Press;
Hale, William Harlan, and the editors of
The Horizon Cookbook and Illustrated
History of Eating and Drinking Through the Ages ****
American Heritage Publishing, Inc., 1968
Part One has the description of customs and habits, foods available,
and some interesting art. Part Two has the tastiest recipes,
done for the modern kitchen. Especially hits this period in Part
Hogg, Ian V.
The History of Fortification ***
St. Martin's Press, NY, 1981
Clear, interesting and accurate overview from 7000 BC through
the 1970's, well illustrated with photos and diagrams; bibliography
and glossary. T3
Rand, McNally & Co.'s Handy Guide to the Country
around New York, for the Wheelman, Driver, and Excursionist.
With Original Maps and Illustrations (1897): Ingersole, Ernest:
Chicago, New York, Rand McNally & Co.
Trance: A Natural History of Altered
States of Mind ****
Paladin/Grafton Books, London, 1990
A history of animal magnetism, mesmerism, hypnotism, and related
phenomena, especially the parts that do not fit materialist scientism.
Details the researchers and their studies through this century.
People's Names: A Cross-Cultural Reference Guide to
the Proper Use of over 40,000 Personal and Familial Names in
over 100 Cultures *****!
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, NC; 1997;
613 pgs, index, select annotated bibliography
The Contemporary half will provide your world-wide naming needs,
both individual and family names. There is a special chapter
on Victorian-American individual names. T1
Jaynes & Co.
- Price list of drug store goods: including an entirely
new and second series of menus for one week of each season in
the year 1898 ... compiled especially for them by Miss Fannie
Merritt Farmer. *****!
- 1898: Jaynes & Co., Boston, Mass.
- A different catalog, that not only details
a drug store for you, but gives you the fast-food menu at the
lunch counter. T3
Klein, Cora C.
- Practical Etiquette *****!
- Chicago, A. Flanagan, 1899
- Any etiquette book larger than a pamplet
is always an amazing portal to the era. T1
A History of Costume ****
1930; New York, G. Howard Watt
Hand-sized, info-packed, based on surviving clothes first and
artwork secondarily. Author's line drawings of construction and
detail. Neophytes should use with a picture book, which it will
greatly clarify. T2
Nineteenth Century New York in Rare
Photographic Views ****
Dover Publications, Inc., NY; 151 pg
A Victorian collection of photos originally for stereographs.
Maccannon, E. A: .
- Commanders of the dining room; biographic sketches
and portraits of successful head waiters ****
- New York, Gwendolyn Pub. Co; 1904
- Portraits of the best-known and highest class
maitr d's. While NY based, this is a good guide for most other
MacColl, Gail, and Carol McD. Wallace
To Marry an English Lord ****
1989; Sidgewick and Jackson, Ltd., London,
Whether the hunting of titles by rich young Yankee women (and
some Western heirresses), or the hunting of heiresses by bankrupt
(largely British) noblemen, the cross-Atlantic traffic forever
changed both Society and possibly world affairs. These are the
details from Mrs. Astor's Four Hundred to the weddings, the parties,
life in England, and how to remarry or at least play around.
Covers 1860 to about 1910. T2
Matthews, Frederick C.
American Merchant Ships, 1850-1900 ****
Dover; 960 pg in 2 vol, 195 B&W illos
The builders, tonnage, voyages, cargoes, and stories aboard of
322 vessels. Surely one is the ship you're looking for! T3
Mayer, Grace M.
- Once Upon a City;
- 1958; Macmillan Co, NY.
- This is gigantic, based on the Byron family
photographs (so it has photos on almost every page) and researched
to the point that the author has picked up an authentic period
"purple prose" style. Printed brown on ivory and, if
you like this period, sitting and reading this, on a pillow to
support it, will be hours of delight. T1
Meyer, Ethel S
- A Practical Dictionary of Cookery: 1200 Tested Recipes
- 1898: London: J. Murray
- One way to find out the when, how, and what
of meals. T3
Miller, William H., Jr.
The First Great Ocean Liners in Photographs:
193 views, 1897-1927 ***
Dover; 149 pg, 190+ photos
Mostly exteriors (gad, another black thing with chimneys!), but
the interiors are informative, especially the few not in first
Mills, Betty J.
Calico Chronicle: Texas Women and Their
Fasions, 1830-1910 *****!
1985; Texas Tech Press; 191 pg, 104 photos
Frontier, pioneer, and other plain, common, unfashionable folk,
with whom the country is filled. What they wore and even how
they took care of it. T2
Nock, O .S., editor
Encyclopedia of Railroads ****
Galahad Books, NY, 1977; 480 pg, index
History of railroads and equipment over the entire world, including
Africa, Asia, and south America. Sections on equipment and operation,
also the great luxury trains, past and present. Gorgeous colour
layout, oversize. One lap-breaker worth the effort of lifting.
The Greater New York Guide Book (1897): Ober, Corolyn
Faville: New York, Boston [etc.] The Morse Co.
Oppel, Frank, editor
Early Flight: From Balloons to Biplanes
Castle, a division of Book Sales, Inc., Seacaucus, NJ, 1987
Great compilation of period aeronautical articles, from 1869
to 1912, though mostly from 1908 on. We sometimes forget how
many questions people had about flight, and what strange byways
it took. Eight articles on ballooning, seven on airships, the
rest on planes. T2
"Shattered Nerves": Doctors,
Patients, and Depression in Victorian England ***
Oxford University Press, 1991; 389 pg, index, bibliography hidden
in the Notes
Interesting history of the development of psychiatry in England,
with occasional flashes of influential development in France
and America. Some case histories, more histories of the doctors,
good definitions in text, but retains that dry, scholarly air
even at its best. Vital if you are going to have anyone go off
their head or consult a mad-doctor. T3
- Thirty years a detective: a thorough and comprehensive
exposé of criminal practices of all grades and classes,
containing numerous episodes of personal experience in the detection
of criminals, and covering a period of thirty years' active detective
- 1884: New York: G. W. Carleton
- Allan Pinkerton made his name synonymous
with "private eye" (his trademark was "The Eye
that Never Sleeps"), besides running counterintelligence
for the Union in the War Between the States. There's hundreds
of plots hiding in here. T2
Murder by Gaslight ****
Michael O'Mara Books, London; Gallery Books, W.H. Smith Publishers,
Inc., NY, 1991; 219 pg, no index, no bibliography
True crime. Ten English murder cases, often multiple murder,
from the 1890's through 1910 or so. These may be in the news,
then again, they may just give you an insight into the mind of
period criminals, who did not have to worry about fingerprints,
blood-typing, and the rest, and period detectives, who had to
find other ways to nail murderers. T2
Price, Julius M.
- Dame Fashion: Paris-London, 1786 - 1912 ****
- London: S. Low, Marston; 1913.
- Right up to date. T1
Riis, Jacob August
- How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements
of New York *****!
- 1890, C. Scribner's Sons, NY
- Historically, a groundbreaking book on the
ral life of the lower classes, worth reading for itself. For
the histfi writer, just invaluable. Must-read, if you are walking
by a slum or just on the streets of any large city. T1
Salmonson, Jessica Amanda
The Encyclopedia of Amazons: Women Warriors
from Antiquity to the Modern Era *****!
Paragon House, NY, 1991; 290 pg, no index, bibliography
The institution of the real physical exam for the military kept
most women out of the military in combat roles, but it should
be noted that one of the top French pilots of WW1 was Lt. Helene
Dutreaux, who is usually hidden from impressionable females.
In any place where total war sweeps, some women become combatants
because non-combatants are only easy victims, not safe. There
are still lots of entries. T2
Scheffel, Richard L., project editor
Discovering America's Past **
Reader's Digest Books, Pleasantville, NY; 1993; 400 pg, index,
An omnium gatherum of inventions, customs, practices and lifestyles,
divided into 11 chapters by topic, such as "Educating America"
which follows educational development as a series of short articles
(half to full page) on unusual (to us) practices or noteworthy
developments. Heavily illustrated, flashes of information, one
of which may suit you. Best for the pages in the back listing
Living History sites you can visit. T2
Sears, Roebuck, Inc., edited by Fred L. Israel
- 1897 Sears, Roebuck Catalogue *****!
- 1897; reprint from Chelsea House.
- Simply everything the ordinary person could
want, from house goods to horse goods, bicycles to medicines,
with ordinary prices. T2
Antique Cars *****!
Exeter Books, NY, 1981; illus. by Mike Atkinson; 93 pg, index,
technical information table.
Shows the 81 early autos -- 1860 to 1918, gas or steam, all sorts
of configurations and drives -- in the usual photos, but also
in colour paintings that remind you how cheerfully bright, like
coaches, these cars often were. Even an otherwise all black one
will have red spokes on the wheels, or brightly coloured leather
Severa, Joan L.; Forewords by Nancy Rexford
and Claudia Brush Kidwell
- Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary
Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900 ****
Kent State University Press; January 1995; Hardcover, 540pp.
Expensive, but revelatory. Gives the clues for telling a lower
class person dressed in their best from the true upper class
look. Look for at library! T2
Wild Women: Crusaders, Curmudgeons and
Completely Corsetless Ladies in the Otherwise Virtuous Victorian
Conari Press, Berkley, CA, 1992; 249 pg, no index, bibliography
150 mini-biographies (none over two pages) of unconventional
women. Good to whet the appetite for further research in the
bibliography. Note the social hell these women caught, too, for
their actions. T2
Guide to Greater New York (1900): Walker, George H. & co., pubs.: Boston,
Mass., G. H. Walker & co.
Corsets and Crinolines *****!
Theatre Arts Books, 1954
Underpinnings, 1600's to 1925, in period art. T3
The Cut of Men's Clothes, 1600-1900 *****!
Theatre Arts Books, 1964
The most fashionable men's dress, in period illustrations, with
tailor's patterns, period comments on colours and fabrics, etc.
The Cut of Women's Clothes, 1600-1900 *****!
Theatre Arts Books, 1968
The same for women. Both books show fastenings! T3
Wehman, Henry J.
- The Mystery of Love, Courtship, and Marriage Explained ***
- 1890; NY; Wehman Bros
- Of course it's coy and PG rated. Did you
really expect differently? T2
Wilson, James S.
- The Modern Art of Making Love: A Complete Manual of
Etiquette, Love, Courtship and Matrimony ... ****
- 1900; Akron, Ohio: Saalfield
- One must always remember that before the
Atomic Age, "making love" rarely meant sex: it meant,
wooing, courting, even if the person being wooed was a mistress.
Wise, David Burgess
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the World's Automobiles ***
- 1979; Quarto Publishing, Ltd., Chartwell
Books, Book Sales Inc, Secaucus NJ.
- This is not organized by year, but by brand.
This means you slog through the pages looking for period brands
you never heard of, and early days of surviving flags. That can
get you leads, because the treatment is pretty surface compared
to my favorite Old Cars catalog. T3
American Memory ****!
For everything American, whether books, maps,
pamphlets, or pictures. The Library of Congress might have up
what you're looking for, as well as things you never imagined
Dining Through the Decades *****!
An entertaining overview on popular trends
in American cuisine from the 1900s through the 1990s. Includes
recipes from each decade
Over 200 articles on the succession, courts,
development of titles, lines of descent, legalities of claims
to titles, etc. on the upper classes of Europe. Some refer back
as far as this period. These are topics often covered nowhere
at all. As well, portrait galleries of various families can be
H-GIG Historical Times & Places
A thorough-going linksite maintained by the
University of California at Riverside, H-GIG sorts by area, by
era (ancient, Medieval, early Modern, Modern<yours>, and
20th C<also yours>), or by topic (military, women, etc.).
It's a good place to start a hunt for books and essays online.
Internet Modern History Sourcebook
Halsall, whom we know from the Internet Medieval
Sourcebook, is responding to demand in the world by now compiling
an onl-line library on modern subjects. As it grows, you never
know what has been lately added.
Making of America****
Cornell is hosting a site heavier on periodicals
Project Gutenberg ****
Since 1971 putting classic books into electronic
form. We just read a translated German novel from 1904 postulating
a very different Great War, thanks to these guys. However, any
note of when a book was originally published is an accident.
So you need to know what book you want when you go here.
Maps of Switzerland****
German language site provides them from 1549-1939
Monograph on Corsets
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