Friday Fun Victorian Style

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?

#1 Bicycle with two same-sized wheels

#2 Football

#3 Roller Skates

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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.


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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30 Responses to Friday Fun Victorian Style

  1. I did not know this about the skates. I would have said skates were invented in the 1900s. I do remember those darn things popped off just as I was getting up a head of steam!

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