On the 24th May 1819 a baby girl was born who would live through one of the most developing periods in our country’s history. That little girl was Alexandrina Victoria the daughter of the Duke of Kent and the granddaughter of King George III. She was of course Queen Victoria.
It wasn’t such a great period of change for the Queen but also to a greater extent for our ancestor.
Can you imagine how life changed for our ancestors? In 1837 most of our ancestors will have lead very simple lives where their sole priority would have been the survival of them and their family. They literally worked to live. By the end of the Victorian era this would have started to change.
So what did change? I suppose what didn’t.
The Victorian era saw the introduction of the bicycle, trains became much more common and planes were not too far off. Then there was the steam ship and faster journey times.
The first post boxes arrived on the streets of Britain in 1859. They were green in colour and spread through the land. This meant you could post your letters easily and without anyone else knowing who you’re writing to. This was a great invention as before you would have had to go into the post office and hand over your letter. The first stamp appeared in 1840 with the penny black.
Easter eggs appeared in 1873 made by Fry’s chocolate and look how well they took off. Also jelly babies. They started in Lancashire in the 1860’s but then they were made in Sheffield by Bassets. They still exist today. Do you bite of the head or the feet first?
Close to my families heart comes and invention from 1846, the sewing machine. I have a lot of dressmakers and seamstresses in my ancestry. How much did life change for them. No longer did they have to sew garments by hand. The sewing machine would mean hems could be sewn in record time. This would have meant they could make garments faster and thus make more so more income. This did mean that anyone could buy a sewing machine after Signer perfected the design but you had to have the skill to use it.
The Bessemer converter. A big invention for my home town of Sheffield. This lead to the development of strong light steel. It also lead to people flocking to the city to live for the jobs the steel works provided. A big change if you’ve lived in the countryside all your life.
Not exactly but electric lighting was introduced and lightbulbs. Admittedly not many of our ancestors will have used them due to the cost, but it gave hope that one day they wouldn’t have to use candles and smelly oil lamps anymore. Then with the development of hydroelectric it became even cheaper to produce.
The Victorian ear saw the invention of the phonograph and the gramophone. So things could be recorded on the phonograph and played back on the gramophone. No more musically evenings round the piano forte! Also by the end of the era the radio was newly developed.
Now our ancestors, if they could afford it, could take to family and friends throughout the land.
So as the period developed so too did what our ancestors had access to. Some would have been dreams they could only wish for whereas others other would have revolutionised their lives. So know if someone asks what the Victorian era did for our ancestors you have some facts to offer them.
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my Family History Ramblings on genealogy and history in general. I hope you find it informative and hopefully funny!