Victorian era

Were nipple rings really a Victorian fashion fad?

Suffering for Victorian Fashion: The Grecian Bend

In the 1860s, American women bent over frontward to remain fashionably relevant.

When Limping Was En Vogue

In 1869, a strange fashion trend was afoot among the hippest London ladies. With the assistance of canes and mismatched shoes or specialty pairs with different heel heights, they affected what was called the Alexandra Limp.

How to Travel Like a Victorian Lady

Priceless do's and don't for going abroad from Victorian lady travelers who didn't let their bustles hold them back from seeing the world.

19 Attractions on the Map of a Woman's Heart

Victorian-Era Vagina Slang

Lady Inventors: The Swimsuit Liberator

When did people start smiling in photographs?

If Instagram had existed during the Victorian era, selfies would probably contain a lot more prune-face than "duckface." By the mid-19th century, camera technology was still in its infancy, and exposure took several minutes. Beginning in the first British photo studio, as academic Christina Kotchemidova discovered, photographers would request patrons to say "prunes" instead of "cheese" to make them purse their lips together.

Psycho Ladies Bicycle: The First Bike For Women

In part to due to this social panic, the Starley company stepped in again in 1889 with the second bicycle specially designed for ladies. David V. Herlihy notes in "Bicycle: The History" that in 1888, the Smith National Cycle Company came out with the Ladies' Dart Bicycle, but it couldn't keep up with demand, and Stanley quickly overtook the ladybike market. The Starley model came with an adorable wicker basket chock-full of chocolates and tampons (just in case!) as well as an emergency modesty poncho. Just kidding! But the name of said ladybike is no joke: Psycho Ladies Bicycle...

Madams who ran brothels in the West were some of the wealthiest in the U.S., and running a brothel gave Victorian era women financial independence and social clout. Join Caroline and Cristen to learn more about notable madams.