19th Century


Have you ever had a part of your body restricted? Your foot? Waist? Have you ever worn a corset? I must admit to trying Spanx now and then and feeling constricted. But Ethel Granger takes the corset to another level.

Ethel Granger in Vogue Italia: The woman with the world's smallest waist

Vogue Italia shows an image of Ethel when she was younger. Click on this link to see the article.

How small is Ethel? This image shows the smallest sized corset waist in the late 19th century.

Corsetted mannequin in a corset shop

To show off a corset to the best advantage, the smallest size available in a corset was usually put on display just like modern shops where the small sizes are always put on the mannequins. – Corsets and Crinolines

Update: Lest one thinks that corsets are a thing of the past, here is Romanian-born model Ioana Spangenberg, with a waist of 20 inches. Click here to read more about her.

People have speculated that Ioana could not have achieved this effect without a corset.

Gentle readers, while this blog is not commercial (and this press release is), fun facts about ice cream are always welcome! Cowabunga Ice Cream company cites cool facts, fun figures and tasty trends about ice cream!

John Bull and his family at an ice cafe, 1815. Image @Newcastle University*

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month (July 17, 2011) as National Ice Cream Day.  “According to The International Ice Cream Association, the U.S. ice cream industry generates billions in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands of citizens,” notes Ellen Schack, founder and CEO of Cowabunga Ice Cream. “They report that about 9% of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, contributing significantly to the economic well-being of the nation’s dairy industry.”

Did you know?…

  • Each American consumes a yearly average of 23.2 quarts of ice cream, ice milk, sherbet, ices and other commercially produced frozen dairy products.
  • The Northern Central states have the highest per capita consumption of ice cream at 41.7 quarts.
  • More ice cream is sold on Sunday than any other day of the week.
  • Ice cream and related frozen desserts are consumed by more than 90 percent of households in the United States. (Source: Mintel)
  • Ice cream consumption is highest during July and August.
  • In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.
  • The most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States is vanilla (27.8%), followed by chocolate (14.3%), strawberry (3.3%), chocolate chip (3.3%) and butter pecan (2.8%). (Source: The NPD Group’s National Eating Trends In-Home Database)
  • Children ages two through 12, and adults age 45 plus, eat the most ice cream per person.
  • The average number of licks to polish off a single scoop ice cream cone is approximately 50.
  • The History of Ice Cream and the Cone:
    1. The true origin of ice cream is unknown, however reports of frozen desserts have been reported as far back as the second century B.C.
    2. The first official account of ice cream in America was recorded in 1700 from a letter written by a guest of Maryland Governor William Bladen.
    3. In 1812, Dolley Madison served a magnificent strawberry ice cream creation at President Madison’s second inaugural banquet at the White House.
    4. The first ice cream cone was produced in 1896 by Italo Marchiony. Marchinoy, who emigrated from Italy in the late 1800’s, invented his ice cream cone in New York City. Around the same time a similar creation, the cornucopia, was independently introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
    5. Stephen Sullivan of Sullivan, Missouri was one of the first independent operators in the ice cream cone business. In 1906, Sullivan served ice cream cones at the Modern Woodmen of America Frisco Log Rolling in Sullivan, Missouri.

Cowabunga ice cream

Sources: International Ice Cream Association, a constituent organization of the International Dairy Foods Association (www.idfa.org )

Post, courtesy of Cowabunga, which has recently has gone national through its online storefront at http://www.CowabungaIceCream.com. The firm originally operated at the Jersey Shore community.

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This web site, Victorian/Edwardian Paintings  is well worth a visit! Most of the paintings and painters are obscure or unknown, but their images are evocative of a past age.  Click here to enter the site or click on the captions to read more about each painting.

Charing Cross to Bank Omnibus

Orphans, George Adolphus Storey

1810 gilded wood armchairs, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Splendor and Elegance: European Decorative Arts and Drawings from the Horace Wood Brock Collection highlighted a selection of the museum’s Regency collection.

In 2009, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston acquired a pair of Irish Regency monopodia armchairs owned by the Second Earl of Caledon, Du Pre Alexander, the son of the 1st Earl, James Alexander, who made a tremendous fortune in India. In 1776, James Alexander purchased the Caledon estate in County Tyrone, Ireland from Edmund Boyle, 7th Earl of Cork and Orrery, whose father had acquired it by marriage into the Hamilton family of Caledon in 1738. It is likely that a suite of these chairs were commissioned for Caledon castle.

Louis XVI clock with vestals carrying the sacred fire, Paris, c. 1789

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