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Artifact Corner: Victorian Greenhouse

Hi Everyone, and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be exploring a room in our museum. This is Betsey’s green room. This room was an addition to the home done in the early Victorian period. Betsey was a plant lover, and had the most beautiful gardens, but winters in the North Country are very cold. In order to keep plants alive, you need to bring them indoors. Let’s learn a bit more about the history of greenhouses and why they became so popular during the Victorian era.

The first recorded greenhouses or hot houses were in Rome. Pliny Elder reported that the Emperor Tiberius ate cucumbers every day, and that in order to do so, he needed to create a temperature controlled environment to grow them in year round. The cucumbers were stored under frames or in cucumber houses glazed with either oiled cloth, known as “specularia,” or with sheets of mica. According to San Jun Yoon in their work, “Advanced Horticultural Techniques in Korea: The Earliest Documented Greenhouses,” the first description of a heated greenhouse is from the Sanga Yorok, a treatise on husbandry, from the 1450’s. The treatise contains detailed instructions on constructing a greenhouse that is capable of cultivating vegetables, forcing flowers, and ripening fruit within an artificially heated environment, by utilizing ondol, the traditional Korean underfloor heating system, to maintain heat and humidity; cob walls to retain heat; and semi-transparent oiled hanji windows to permit light penetration for plant growth and provide protection from the outside environment. The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty confirm that greenhouse-like structures incorporating ondol were constructed to provide heat for mandarin orange trees during the winter of 1438.

The first of what we would consider modern greenhouses were built in Italy in the sixteenth century to house the exotic plants that explorers brought back from the tropics. They were originally called giardini botanici or botanical gardens. Experimentation with greenhouse design continued during the 17th century in Europe, as technology produced better glass and construction techniques improved. The greenhouse at the Palace of Versailles was an example of their size and elaborateness; it was more than 490 ft long, 43 ft wide, and 46 ft high. In the 19th Century greenhouses experienced a seismic shift in growth, particularly in England. With improvements in glass and ironwork technology, glass houses could be built to a monumental scale. The conservatory at Kew Gardens in England, is a prime example of the Victorian greenhouse. The greenhouse has over 15,000 panes of glass and covers over 16,000 square feet! It is massive.

Our green room is clearly not to the scale of a place like Kew Gardens, but still serves the same function. The mostly glass addition allows tons of light to warm the space, and keep it at a reasonable temperature for plants throughout the winter. Betsey loved this space, and we do too. On a cold February day, when the sun is out in full force, it is warm and cozy room to spend some time in. It’s a very Victorian room and we are so lucky to have it be a part of our museum. Thanks so much for stopping by.

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Artifact Corner: Miniature by Charlotte Demming

Hi everyone, and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at a small portrait in a metal frame. This portrait is diminutive in stature, but quite grand in its details. This is a bust of a woman, painted on ivory, and set in a gold frame. There is a concave piece of glass covering the ivory portrait. On the back, in ink, is written the following inscription:
Copied from an original painting by Sir Thomas Lawrence in the year 1821 – a Magdalene. Done at Buffalo N.Y. in October 1835 – by the privilege of the possessor considered very very good. Charlotte Denning Artist.
Let’s try to learn a bit more about this miniature painting.

If the inscription on the back is true, this is a copy of an original artwork by Sir Thomas Lawrence. Lawrence was born on April 13th, 1769 in Bristol, England. Lawrence was a child prodigy, where his father was an innkeeper at the Bear Hotel in the Market Square. At the age of ten, having moved to Bath, he was supporting his family with his pastel portraits. At eighteen he went to London and soon established his reputation as a portrait painter in oils. He became one of the most popular portrait artists of the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. His ability to capture the likeness of a subject was renowned. He painted many of the English aristocracy including Queen Charlotte, and notable English figures, such as the Duke of Wellington. Thomas Lawrence died suddenly at the age of 61 in 1830, and the remainder of his works in his studio were sold quickly to pay off his debts.

So, how did a woman in Buffalo NY come to see the original and copy it? That’s an excellent question, and quite simply we don’t know the answer. There is not a lot known about Charlotte Denning. In some instances, her portraits are signed Charlotte D E N N I N G, in others it’s spelt D E M I N G. I know that is states on the back of this portrait that it was painted in Buffalo, but it looks like Charlotte also lived here in Plattsburgh. She was active as an artist between 1830 to 1874. She exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York City, which was founded in 1825. In 1834 artist and one of the founders of the National Academy of Design William Dunlap states that “Miss Charlotte Denning, miniature painter of Plattsburgh, NY.” Given that Charlotte lived in Plattsburgh, it’s not unreasonable to assume someone from our family purchased or was gifted this piece of art from her.

This miniature portrait is housed in a metal standing frame potentially made of bronze. It has scrolls and grape leaves, and is in quite good condition. The portrait itself is in excellent condition, likely because it is covered with glass. It is a beautiful piece and we are so lucky to have it in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by.

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Artifact Corner: James and Elizabeth Kent

Hi Everyone, and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at two portraits in our collections. These portraits are of James Kent and his wife Elizabeth Bailey Kent. Both of the pieces are prints from original portraits. The original pieces were done in the late 1700’s. The portrait of James was done when he was 25, and the portrait of Elizabeth was done when she was 20 years old. Let’s learn a bit more about James and Elizabeth Kent.

James Kent was born in 1763 in the town of Fredericksburg, in Duchess County, NY. His father, Moss Kent was an attorney in Duchess County, and also served as at the Surrogates court for the State of New York for Rensselaer County. Not much is known about his very early life, but he followed in his father’s footsteps and attended Yale for law. He graduated in 1781, and returned to New York. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1785, and began practicing law in Poughkeepsie, NY. In April of this year he also married Elizabeth Bailey. By all accounts it was a very happy union, and the two were very devoted to each other. By 1793, James was having trouble supporting his growing family, and moved them to New York City. He had been offered and accepted a position as a professor of law at Columbia University in Manhattan. He taught there for five years. His career really flourished when he was appointed to be a justice in the New York State Supreme Court in 1798. In 1804 he was appointed to the Chief Justice role in the New York State Supreme Court, a position he held for 10 years. In 1814 he became the Chancellor of New York, which the New York Court of Chancery was the highest court in the State of New York from 1701 to 1847. During this time, James and Elizabeth had four children, three of which survived to adulthood, named Elizabeth, Mary, and William Kent.

According to Amelia Kessler in the paper “Our Inquisitorial Tradition: Equity Procedure, Due Process, and the Search for an Alternative to the Adversarial,” as chancellor, Kent inspired the development of modern American discovery by allowing masters to actively examine witnesses during depositions (rather than following the old English procedure of merely reading static interrogatories), and he allowed parties and counsel to be present for depositions. These innovations led to the modern deposition by oral examination. In 1837 James retired, and he and Elizabeth moved to Summit New Jersey. James passed away in 1847, and Elizabeth died in 1851.

Now, the name Kent is probably ringing a lot of bells for you, given that we are the Kent Delord House museum. And that’s part of the reason we are exploring these portraits. Why are we named the Kent Delord House museum? What did James Kent have to do with our house? Well, the property was owned initially by Elizabeth Bailey Kent and James Kent. In 1810 Henry Delord and his wife Betsey purchased the property from them. The property had a small two room cabin with a half story above it, which the Delord’s expanded into the home you see today. When the last member of our family passed away, it was eventually decided that the home would be turned into a museum. At the time, in the 1930’s, how many people knew the Delord name, versus how many people knew the Kent name? Well, James Kent had served as the Chief Justice for the New York State Supreme Court, so his name was very recognizable. Hence we became the Kent Delord House museum. Both of these prints are in good condition with very little fading or discoloration, and we are so lucky to have them in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by!

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Artifact Corner: Playing Card Ball Invitation

Hi Everyone, and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at a playing card, the Queen of clubs to be exact. But, this is more than just a playing card, this is also an invitation to a ball. Henry and his wife Betsey were being invited to a ball at Israel Green’s Tavern in their long room. The invite was sent by Louis Ransom, Benjamin Tyler, and Nathaniel Platt, who list themselves as the managers of the tavern. This ball took place in 1806, which was before Henry and Betsey were living at the home here in Plattsburgh. The use of a playing card as an invitation is quite interesting! Let’s learn a bit more about the history of playing cards, and their many uses.

Playing cards were most likely invented during the Tang dynasty around the 9th century AD. The first writing about a card game is mentioned in a 9th Century text from the Tang Dynasty. It describes Princess Tongchang, daughter of the Emperor of Tang, playing the “leaf game” in 868 with members of the Wei clan, the family of the princess’s husband. According to a historian from the Song Dynasty, the rules for this game were lost by the time he was writing about it in 1067. Playing cards found their way to Persia and became very popular, continuing to spread across the Middle East. They then spread to Egypt by the 11th Century, and became widely played. The oldest surviving cards in the world are four fragments from Egyptian playing cards found in the Benaki Museum, which is in Athens, Greece. They are dated to the 12th and 13th centuries. Playing cards first appeared in Europe in the 1370s, probably in Italy or Spain and certainly as imports or possessions of merchants from the Islamic Mamlūk dynasty centered in Egypt. Like their originals, the first European cards were hand-painted, making them luxury goods for the rich. Among the early patterns of playing card in Europe were those probably derived from the Mamluk suits of cups, coins, swords, and polo-sticks, which are still used in traditional Latin decks.

From about 1418 to 1450 professional card makers in Ulm, Nuremberg, and Augsburg created printed decks. Playing cards even competed with devotional images as the most common uses for woodcuts in this period. Most early woodcuts of all types were colored after printing, either by hand or, from about 1450 onwards, stencils. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, and far more mechanization of production, cards could be quickly and easily printed. It was at this time that we see people using playing cards for all sorts of purposes, other than game play. In 1749 a playing card was used as an invitation to a ball, and in 1765 playing cards were used as admission cards to the classes at the University of Pennsylvania. Also in the 18th Century, the French writer and poet Voltaire left a playing card with a message on the back at a friends house when he found that his colleague was not at home. Playing cards were small and portable, and far more sturdy than regular paper. They were an easy way to leave a quick note.

Most of the cards that were used as invitations to events were often collected at the door of the event, like a ticket. This is why it’s so exciting that we have this card, so few of them have survived, because the establishment would simply throw them out following the ball. Clearly Henry Delord wanted to remember this ball, and that’s why he saved it. It is a fantastic example of early playing cards, and a little glimpse into the Delord’s life in Plattsburgh. We are so lucky to have it in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by!

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Artifact Corner: Victorian Gel Capsules

Hi Everyone, and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at a package of Victorian gel capsules from the apothecary of Fannie Delord Webb Hall. Fannie set up her medical office in the back of the home to treat people, and we have a vast array of the medicines that she had. One of the pieces was this box of gel capsules, which was used to make some bitter or unpleasant medicines more palatable. Let’s learn a bit more about gelatin and the invention of gel capsules.

Gelatin is defined as a translucent, colorless, flavorless food ingredient, commonly derived from collagen taken from animal body parts. It is brittle when dry and rubbery when moist. The first recorded experiments into gelatin were done by a man named Denis Papin. In 1682 he discovered that you could boil animal bones and extract a glutinous material from them. Gelatin comes from the collagen found in the bones, connective tissue, and the skin of pigs, cattle, and other animals. Boiling the bones extracts the protein, which then “sets up,” or partially solidifies, as it cools. If you ever made soup, this is what produces the gelatinous, fatty layer on top of a pot of homemade animal stock.

So, how do we get from the discovery of gelatin to the gel capsule? Well in 1833, pharmacist Joseph Gérard Auguste Dublanc and his student François Achille Barnabe Mothes filed the first patent for a gelatin capsule. Their invention consisted of “bladders made of gelatin” – produced by dipping a gelatin solution into a small leather bag filled with mercury. The empty capsule form was filled with liquid-based medicines introduced by a pipette and then sealed with a drop of gelatin. Many of the drugs prescribed to patients in the 1800’s could irritate your mouth and throat. Some examples of ingredients and their cures are arsenic for anemia, strychnine for constipation, belladonna for colic in babies, mercury for skin conditions, cocaine for alcoholism, and heroine for coughing fits. All of these things are poisonous, and when you ingest poison, your body will try to get it out go you. The gel capsules would allow the “medicine” to get into your system. Now, this has been stated in other videos of ours, but just to remind everyone, please do not try any Victorian medicinal recipes at home.

Today we use gel coated medicine all the time. If you check you medicine cabinet, you’ll likely find some. These capsules are in very good condition, given their age. The box itself has faded due to exposure to light, but is still in good condition. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the medical practice of Fannie Delord Webb Hall, and we are so lucky to have it in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by.

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Artifact Corner: Saw Mill Lithograph

Hi Everyone, and welcome back to another Artifact Corner. Today we will be looking at a lithograph from 1869. This is a portrait of the R.W. Adams Steam Saw Mill, in Clinton County, NY. This picture would have been published as part of a set of lithographs from all around Clinton County. We are not sure why they separated and saved this particular image, but the timber industry in the North Country was booming in the mid to late Victorian period. Let’s take a look at the history of the timber industry in New York, and and learn a bit more about the R.W. Adams Steam and Saw Mill.

As Europeans began to settle in New York, they need raw materials, and the most pressing need was for lumber. Cutting down tress by hand, and then sawing them into useable parts was incredibly laborious and time consuming. So, any place that had a source of running water, which could be converted to power a mill, quickly became a hub for industrial activity. Saw mills began to spring up all around New York City, and throughout the Hudson River Valley. Any excess timber that was not being used or sold here would be shipped to England and Ireland for sale. The first documented sawmill in the Adirondack region was at Queensbury in Warren County, just south of Lake George. The mill was built in 1764 by Moses Clement. Another sawmill was constructed in 1767 at Willsboro in Essex County, located on the shore of Lake Champlain, by William Gilliland, and a third was erected in 1772 in Ticonderoga, Essex County. The primary species of tree harvest in New York was the white pine, but spruce and white cedar were also sought after. Small scale lumbering began as early as 1803 in the Adirondacks, but by the 1820’s, the timber industry had exploded. By the 1830’s the large old growth pines had almost all been harvested. Pine trees grow incredibly straight and tall, and are therefore perfect for ships masts, which were in high demand still in the early 1800’s.

Early saw mills were relatively simple structures. They were mostly an exposed upright saw powered by a water wheel. Eventually, mills operated two saws working simultaneously, which were referred to as a gang mill. Early sawmills were constructed next to rivers or other bodies of flowing water, which provided power for saws as well as an easy route for shipping trees to the mills. Once the lumber was harvested the easiest way to transport it was by floating it on a body of water, rather than trying to drag it through the mountains. The R.W. Adams and Company Saw Mill began work in 1865. They owned six square miles of land from which they harvest their timber. Operations at the mill lasted until a fire swept through the mill in May of 1877. The entire production was destroyed. The mill was rebuilt, but never operated under the same name. The peak of the logging and timber industry in the Adirondacks was during the 1860’s and 1870’s, the same time the Adams mill was in operation. Logging still continues in the North Country today, but not nearly to the same scale that it once did.

Our picture is in good condition, with some minor staining. The lines are still sharp and clear on the piece, likely because it has been stored away from light, and in acid free paper. It gives us a glimpse into the industrial past of Clinton County, and we are so lucky to have it in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by!

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Sunny Morning by MusicLFiles
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/7813-sunny-morning
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://cemmusicproject.wixsite.com/musiclibraryfiles

Secret Garden Tour 2022

Last weekend was the Secret Garden Tour put on by the Kent Delord House Museum Garden Club. We wanted to share the experience with all of you. Special thanks to all the gardeners for opening up these amazing spaces to the public!

Interested in joining our Garden Club? Check out more info here

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Happy Indie Ukulele by WinnieTheMoog
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/6666-happy-…
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://linktr.ee/taigasoundprod

Artifact Corner: Mirrors

Hi Everyone, and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at a couple of mirrors that we have in our collections. Our mirrors are from the late Romantic era through the Victorian period. Mirrors would have been used not only to see your reflection in, but also as a way of spreading light. When our museum was a home, they had no electricity, so evenings were lit by candles and oil lamps. Putting a candle in front of a mirror will help radiate the light further through the room, making the long winter evenings a bit more enjoyable. Let’s learn a bit more about the history of mirrors.

Humans have always wanted to see what they looked like. The first mirrors used by humans were most likely pools of dark, still water, or water collected in a vessel. The earliest manufactured mirrors were pieces of polished stone such as obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glass. Examples of obsidian mirrors found in Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) have been dated to around 6000 BCE. Mirrors of polished copper were crafted in Mesopotamia from 4000 BCE, and in ancient Egypt from around 3000 BCE. Polished stone mirrors from Central and South America date from around 2000 BCE onwards. By the Bronze Age most cultures were using mirrors made from polished discs of bronze, copper, silver, or other metals.

Glass began to be used for mirrors in the 1st century CE in Rome, with the development of soda-lime glass and glass blowing. Glass mirrors continued to evolve and improve throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

During the early Renaissance, a fire-gilding technique developed to produce an even and highly reflective tin coating for glass mirrors. The back of the glass was coated with a tin-mercury amalgam, and the mercury was then evaporated by heating the piece. But this was an expensive and laborious process, which meant that these pieces carried a hefty price tag. It wasn’t until 1835, when German chemist Justus von Liebig invented a silvered glass mirror process, that mirrors became more affordable. His wet deposition process involved the deposition of a thin layer of metallic silver onto glass through the chemical reduction of silver nitrate. This silvering process was adapted for mass manufacturing and led to the greater availability of affordable mirrors. Currently mirrors are often produced by the wet deposition of silver, or sometimes nickel or chromium (the latter used most often in automotive mirrors) via electroplating directly onto the glass substrate.

Mirrors are used for so many things in our lives today, not just to check our reflection. Our three mirrors are in good shape, and look incredible when you have candles flickering in front of them! They harken back to our homes history before electricity, and we are so lucky to have them in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Music: Acoustic Breeze by Benjamin Tissot, www.bensound.com

Artifact Corner: Ice Box

Hi Everyone, and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at an unassuming box that sits next to a wall in our kitchen. This is an ice box from the 1870’s. It has a wooden exterior, and the inside of it is lined in either zinc or tin. Inside the zinc or tine box you would place ice and the foods you needed to keep cool. An ice box like this was not necessary during the winter, for those of us who live in a northern climate. It was most likely only really used from late Spring through early Fall. Let’s learn a bit more about ice boxes and the history of refrigeration.

The dilemma of how to preserve foods have been with us through almost all of human history. Since we as a species settled down, and started farming, we needed to find a way to make our food stuffs last more than a couple of days. There are many ways to preserve food, and we won’t go into all of them in this episode, but a very effective way was to keep it cold. Mold can not grow, and therefore spoil your food, at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. While our forbearers likely didn’t know the exact temperature that mold would grow at, they knew keeping food cold would make it last longer. The first recorded use of refrigeration technology dates back to 1775 BCE in Ancient Sumer. It was there that the region’s King, Zimri-lim, began the construction of an elaborate ice house fitted with a sophisticated drainage system and shallow pools to freeze water in the night. The Greeks and Romans would use snow placed in deep storage pits keep their food cool. Using ice houses or ice pits was a common practice throughout the Middle Ages, particularly in warmer climates.

The first form of artificial refrigeration was invented by William Cullen, a Scottish scientist. Cullen showed how the rapid heating of liquid to a gas can result in cooling. This is the principle behind refrigeration that still remains to this day. Cullen never turned his theory into practice, but many were inspired to try to realize his idea. Thomas Moore, an American businessman, created an icebox to cool dairy products for transport. He called it a “refrigiratory” until he patented “refrigerator” in 1803. In 1876 German engineering professor Carl von Linde patented the process of liquefying gas that has become part of basic refrigeration technology. His findings led to his invention of the first reliable and efficient compressed-ammonia refrigerator. Refrigeration rapidly displaced ice in food handling and was introduced into many industrial processes. In 1927 General Electric introduced the “Monitor-Top,” which became the first refrigerator to see widespread use – more than a million units were produced. The compressor assembly, which emitted a great deal of heat, was placed above the cabinet. These refrigerators used either sulphur dioxide or methyl formate as a refrigerant. Up until 1929, refrigerators with vapor compression systems had caused several fatal accidents when the toxic gases leaked. Research was initiated to develop a less dangerous method of refrigeration, leading to the discovery of Freon, which became the standard for almost all domestic refrigerators. Freon is not the most environmentally friendly, and so most modern refrigerators use a chemical cal HFC-134a.

Our ice box was a very common thing to have in your home in the 1870’s. Refrigeration technology took some time to take hold, and an ice box was not complicated to own or operate. Our ice box is in good condition, even though the hinges are a little worn. It is a wonderful glimpse into the late 19th Century kitchen, and we are so lucky to have it in our collections. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Music: Acoustic Breeze by Benjamin Tissot, www.bensound.com

Artifact Corner: 1830s Letter

Hi Everyone, and welcome back to another artifact corner. Today we will be looking at a letter that Henry Webb sent to his future wife, Frances Henrietta Delord. He sent this letter to her on August 4th, 1832, which we can see in the top right hand corner of the letter. He opens the letter by addressing Frances as “My Beloved French Girl.” He was writing her a little over a week before their wedding, which took place on August 13th in the Gold Parlor Room. At the time he was sending this letter, he was tending to his business in Albany, preparing to be away for his wedding and his honeymoon. Letter writing was the only form of communication for Henry and Frances in 1832, and pretty much everyone else! Let’s learn a bit more about the history of letter writing.

The history of writing and having a fully fledged writing system appears in multiple cultures around the world. In Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) cuneiform was used between 3400 and 3300 BCE, and shortly afterwards in Egypt we have hieroglyphs at around 3200 BCE. By 1300 BCE we have evidence of a fully operational writing system in late Shang-dynasty China. Sometime between 900 and 600 BC writing also appears in the cultures of Mesoamerica. The first letter ever written was believed to be one sent by Queen Atossa of Persia in around 500 BCE. It has been cited as the most important letter of all time by history and humanities professor Bríd McGrath, of Trinity College, Dublin. In the ancient world letters might be written on various different materials, including metal, lead, wax-coated wooden tablets, pottery fragments, animal skin, and papyrus. Through the Middle Ages, letter writing was reserved for the wealthy, because vellum (a fine parchment made originally from the skin of a calf) was very expensive. By the late 15th Century, paper was becoming more affordable, and therefore more available for the average person.

The 18th and early 19th Centuries were really the golden age of letter writing. During this time period, authors and people in power began to publish their letters. The goal was to save the letters for posterity, and potentially craft a narrative to make themselves look better or more important. Technology would change the way we communicate drastically in 1844, when the first telegraph message was sent. By 1866, a cable had been laid across the Atlantic, so that the US and Europe were linked. Information could now be transmitted across an ocean in real time. In 1876, the telephone was patented, and the technology took off like wildfire. The telephone definitely altered the way people communicated, but the invention of the internet and email truly ended the golden age of letters.

With cell phones and computers, very few of us send letters. The obvious exception is business transactions, but even most of those are now done via email. We are very fortunate that the Delord’s and Webb’s saved most of their letters and we still have them to this day. They are a wealth of information about our family, and we are so lucky to have them. Thank so much for stopping by.

Music: Acoustic Breeze by Benjamin Tissot, www.bensound.com