A lecture by Mary Jeanne Bialas. The audience is part of the program in this lecture, which brings to life the customs, sights, and sounds of travel in late-19th-century New York State. Exploring the preparations of a wealthy Victorian industrialist and his wife as they get ready to travel, participants learn about transportation modes, rules and etiquette of the road, proper attire, and the era's social expectations. Trunks and satchels are packed and ready to go, filled with antique and vintage undergarments, outer-garments, shoes, and valuable accessories for a successful trip to anywhere in 1890. (There's no such thing as packing lightly for a wealthy Victorian.) As the trip progresses, hardships and joys become the main focus. Rather than being told that life was different back then, the audience experiences it firsthand, by unpacking the trunks and other luggage, and comparing the perceived needs and standards of the Victorian era to today's travel customs. This program includes an exhibit of post-Civil War travel outer garments and accessories for men, women, and children. Digital projection enables large-scale presentation of graphics and photos of transportation and travelers.
Funded project of the New York Council for the Humanities. The New York Council for the Humanities is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.