My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, takes place in 1870.
Which one of the items below would have been invented by this date and could have been sold in a shop such as Rutledge Mercantile, owned by my story’s hero, Miles Rutledge?
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Leave your guess in a comment. To make this more fun, use only your current knowledge rather than performing a search on Google or making a dash for your reference books.
On Monday 2/13, I’ll update the post to include the answer. I’ll also leave it in a comment, so if you want to know the answer, you could subscribe to the comments on this post.
Have fun guessing!
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And the answer is: #3 Roller Skates.
Roller skating was a quite the thing in the 1870s. The fad had reached the West. Several of the Gold Rush-era towns in California had roller skating rinks, including my town of Placerville. Some offered lessons for the ladies before opening for their public sessions.
American football was started in 1879 by Walter Camp, a player and coach at Yale.
Bicycles with same-sized wheels first appeared in the mid 1880s. An Irish veterinarian named Dunlop developed an improved version of the bicycle with pneumatic tires in 1888 so that he could provide his sickly son with a less jarring ride.
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The royalty-free designs above come from the Victorian Goods and Merchandise book and CD-rom from Dover Publications that is part of my reference library.