Tuesday, March 22, 2011

historical fads, attributes, and lives rediscovered

Here are several things I learned this weekend, not all of which are relevant to this blog:

While running registration for a French and Indian War conference this weekend, I came across a girl with a piece of jewelry that, until now, I had only seen in portraits from the 16th century:

image source: The Anne Boleyn Files

Yes, that is a replica of the necklace worn by Henry VIII's ill-fated second wife, Anne Boleyn, in many depictions of her from the time period:

image source: English History

When I questioned the girl she told me that she had ordered the necklace from a site called The Anne Boleyn Files, which explores the time surrounding the reign of King Henry VIII of England as well as the veracity of representations of Anne Boleyn, especially in shows such as The Tudors and movies such as The Other Boleyn Girl.  There is more Tudor/Elizabethan replica jewelry on this site, although not for those with small wallets- everything looks rather masterfully crafted, and the price reflects the quality of the merchandise (as shown in the photos, of course.)

Another participant of this conference gave me a heads-up on a TV series that came out 12 years ago, around the same time that many reality TV series such as Survivor were starting to make their mark.  Made by PBS, the series is called The 1900 House.  It records the experiences of a modern family living in a controlled environment consisting of a Victorian-era house fitted out in Victorian appliances, decor, and technology.  The family must dress in Victorian dress whenever they are in the house, and must live as the Victorians lived. The person who told me of the series said that it was not a "Let's stick a 21st century family in the 19th century and see how long they survive, mwhahahahaha!" type show, but rather the journey of a family who is genuinely interested in trying to live like the Victorians.

Now I need to find a copy of this series and add it to my growing queue of movies and TV shows to watch.

Finally, I received a package in the mail yesterday containing my very first pocket watch!

I apologize for the poor quality of the images.  If I want to take photos my only option is my laptop's built-in camera, which makes everything rather fuzzy and requires me to hold at weird angles in order to take the photos.  This battery-operated pocket watch consists of a gold-plaited timepiece with antique engravings on the sides and back, covered by a sepia-tinted glass cover.

I have been wearing it so far by clipping the chain into a belt loop and then placing the watch in the small pocket on the right-hand pocket of my jeans.  While I was trying to find out the name of that little pocket, I also managed to find out the utility of it.   According to the blog "Not Yet Published," it was invented specifically by Levi Strauss in the 1870s to hold pocket watches.

image source: Not Yet Published
The mystery of that annoying little pocket has finally been solved for me!


  1. Everything old is new again.

    Can you imagine how many people would be upset -- and wouldn't know why -- if Levi Straus stopped putting that little pocket there? :-)

  2. Thank you for solving the mystery of the tiny pocket!

  3. I always assumed the tiny pocket was for small change. But the pocket watch theory makes sense, considering how long ago the jeans were invented.

    (My dad tells me my great great grandmother always called them "blue denim trousers", when they were fashionable and my dad wanted his first pair... She was such a proper grand old lady... XD)