Fun Facts About the Victorian Era

When you think of the Victorian Era, you might picture a repressed English society. Women couldn't show their ankles due to societal norms set by class and gender rules of the time. The time period known as the Victorian Era included the years 1837 until 1901. Queen Victoria reigned during this period. While social norms were restrictive during that time, England went through enormous transformations during the Victorian Era, politically and economically. There were many new inventions that happened during then along with many social changes that began to equalize the social classes and narrow the gap between poverty and the upper class.

Inventions

The Victorian Era was filled with the development of new inventions. In 1876 the telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell and the radio was invented in 1895 by Guglielmo Marconi. The camera, toilet, sewing machine, vacuum, train and stamp were all created during the Victorian Era. Factories began to be powered by steam, and the police force was created during this period. The introduction of these inventions helped to streamline day-to-day processes and create new working options. Social and health aspects of daily life improved with the advent of these inventions as people could now travel by train, utilize indoor toilets, clean with vacuums and communicate with the telephone. The intention of the radio brought news and entertainment to families in a way that had never existed before.

Morals and Conduct

During the Victorian Era, there were extremely strict codes of morals and conduct. Children were not allowed to be loud and did not spend much time with their parents. Children from upper-class families had less interactions with their parents because they were often raised by governesses or nannies, indicating their family's wealth level. Parent-child interaction during the Victorian Era was limited in reflection of gender and societal norms of the times. The gender-assigned parent roles also came into play with children learning the roles through their parents' behavior and their place in the class structure. For example, a lady did not wear a dress that would show her ankles and men did not call a single woman by her first name unless they were engaged. Maintaining a high level of societal, gender and economic roles dictated class interactions as well.

Social Structure

The Victorian Era included the upper class, the middle class, and the working class. The households that had the most money had servants during this era. The Industrial Revolution occurred during the Victorian Era, which made the division of classes not as large. In particular, the middle class earned much more income after the Industrial Revolution and were considered wealthy by many. This greater earning potential started to narrow the wealth gap. Middle class Britains began hiring servants and governesses which echoed the societal behavior of the wealthier upper class.

Hospital, Surgeries and Health

Tuberculosis caused the most health-related deaths during the Victorian Era. People who became ill during this time were sent away to “workhouses.” When a person needed to have surgery, there was no painkiller or anesthesia provided meaning that operations were hours of unbearable pain and agony for patients. Odd beliefs about health and wellness persisted in the Victorian Era. One example is that people often dined in their basements because they thoughts food would digest better in the dark. During the Victorian Era, growth meant that England's population nearly doubled. This was due in part to there being no catastrophic epidemic or famine in England during the 19th century.