Welcome to the Historical/Victorian Cat Society pages for
OCCUPATIONS. Since we are no longer limited to the Victorian era
purrhaps you can new about some other "old-time" or "historic"
Meow Prince Sir Wally,
We were very interested in what that household staff would be
like in a Victorian home. After some research we did this
Hope you enjoy it and find it as interesting as we did:)
Servo Duke of CLAW
Nikita La Femme is owned by a nurse so she found this info
Nurses were considered servants until the beginning of nuring education
in northern Europe in the early 19th century with the Protestant
Deaconess Movement. The deaconesses, housed in motherhouses, cared for
the sick and infirm. The first secular effort to train nurses began in
1836, when the Reverend Theodore and Friederike Fliedner established a
school in Kaiserwerth, Germany, offering three-year courses in nursing.
Graduates could dispense medicines and nurse ill and convalescing
patients, and by 1864 the school had trained 1600 nurses and had
motherhouses as far away as Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 1851, Florence Nightingale visited the Kaiserwerth school.
Nightingale, who came from a well-to-do British family, decided to
devote her life to the care of the sick. In 1854 she volunteered to
serve during the Crimean War, and was appalled by the lack of trained
nurses and orderlies. Upon her arrival, Nightingale transformed the
poorly ventilated, vermin-infested Barrack Hospital in Scutari into a
clean, well-managed facility, and within six months the death rate fell
from 40 to 2 percent. After the war Nightingale returned to London and
founded her own nursing school. In 1859, Nightingale published Notes on
Nursing,which became required reading for all nursing students.
Despite these European advances, American nursing was still in its
infancy at the outbreak of the Civil War. There had been no effort at
organized nurse training. As in Europe, it required a war to bring about
When the war began, the only nurses were in the religious orders, namely
the Catholic Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of Charity. These nurses
soon were overwhelmed by the large number of casualties the war
produced, forcing the U.S. Government to establish the Army Nursing
Service in 1861. The Service, headed by Dorothea Dix, faced many
obstacles, including the prejudice of male surgeons. Dix herself refused
to accept any woman who was not "plain of appearance" and at least
thirty years old.
Women nurses usually worked in base hospitals well away from the front
lines. However some, like Clara Barton, served in battlefield hospitals,
earning Barton the nickname "Angel of the Battlefield." Other notable
nurses during the Civil War included author Louisa May Alcott, whose
book Hospital Sketches describes the touching and dramatic life as a
Civil War nurse. Runaway slave Harriet Tubman also served as a nurse
during the war, and for her work on the Sea Islands of South Carolina,
Tubman received a government pension in 1892.
The work of these and thousands of other women advanced the professional
status of nursing in the United States. In 1861 a professional nursing
school was organized in New York City, and others followed during and
after the war in many locations throughout the country. The Civil War
proved to be a watershed in the quest toward professional nursing in the
Policemen in Victorian England
Submitted by Silvermyst
When Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837, there
were only Police Officers in London. By the end of her reign
in 1901, a national system of law and order, not very different
to that of today, was in place.
During the first half of the nineteenth century, the population
of Britain increased rapidly and there was a large scale movement of people from the countryside to the towns. Workers
from the rural areas were attracted to the developing towns by
the prospect of jobs in the new industries. The towns increased
in size very rapidly with resulting overcrowding and poor sanitation leading to poverty and disease. Many people had little choice but to resort to crime - stealing food and clothes - in order to survive. At this time there was little
or no social support or welfare. Some of the new towns became
relative havens for the criminal, attracted by the possibility
of obscurity amongst the teeming population.
I wish to meow about my Meowmie's great-uncle Albert Arthur Strout who
married her grandmother Edith Gray's sister Florence at Trinity Church in
Boston, Massachusetts in 1902. Albert A. Strout was born April 24, 1864, in
Bangor, Maine. Believe it or not, he ran away from home at the age of
sixteen and joined the circus. In a few years, he teamed up with two other
acrobats and under the name of the Melvelle Brothers they played under the
great tent with P. T. Barnum and traveled all over this country, Mexico and
England. In ten years of performing they had reached their peak and the
strain began to tell. Their muscles became less resilient and they gave it
up, for once stiffness begins to grip a circus performer he has only two
courses of action. He must get himself some white paint and join the ranks
of the clowns, or he can say good-bye to the big top. The three Melvelles
chose the latter course.
Phineas Taylor Barnum was born on July 5, 1810, in Bethel, Connecticut. He
was the oldest of five children. He showed at an early age his flair for
showmanship. He sold lottery tickets at the age of twelve. In 1842, Barnum
hired Charles Stratton, who became world famous as Tom Thumb. The two became
close friends and were so successful that, in 1844, they had an audience in
England with Queen Victoria. While Barnum's name will forever be connected
with the great American Circus, it is often said that his greatest success
came in 1850, when he presented European opera star Jenny Lind to the
American public. The "Swedish Nightingale" sang 95 concerts for Barnum.
In 1854, Barnum wrote and published his own autobiography: The Life of P. T.
Barnum, Written by Himself. Sixteen years later, his association with the
entertainment form that still bears his name would begin. Barnum was sixty
years old when P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and
Circus made it's debut. At that time, his was the largest circus venture in
American history. Barnum grossed $400,000 in his first year of operation.
By 1872, Barnum was already referring to his enterprise as "THE GREATEST SHOW
ON EARTH." P. T. Barnum's Traveling World's Fair, Great Roman Hippodrome and
the Greatest Show on Earth covered five acres and accommodated 10,000 seated
patrons at a time...and, to reach more people took to the rails. One of his
biggest successes came in 1882 with his acquisition of Jumbo who was dubbed
as "The Towering Monarch of his Mighty Race, Whose Like the World Will Never
See Again." Jumbo arrived in New York on April 9, 1882, and attracted crowds
on his way to his name becoming a part of the language. In 1883, one of
Barnum's coups was staged as Barnum walked Jumbo across the Brooklyn Bridge
to test the strength of the new engineering marvel.
In 1881, Barnum joined forces with James A. Bailey and James Hutchinson. The
result was "P. T. Barnum's greatest show on Earth, And the Great London
Circus, Sanger's Royal British Menagerie and the Grand International Allied
Shows United." It soon became known as the "Barnum & London Circus." Barnum
and Bailey went their separate ways in 1885, but soon teamed up again in
1888. That year "Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth" first toured