A Victorian wife was instructed in all matters relating the running of a household, including the handling of money. She was to “take an honest pride in appropriating the money” which her husband entrusted to her.
The above quote is from my 1890 edition of Manners, Culture and Dress. The author, Richard A. Wells, included information on how a wife was to conduct herself in regard to her purchases: “Be very careful also, that you do not spend more than can be afforded in dress; and be satisfied with such carpets and curtains in your drawing-room as befit a moderate fortune, or professional income.”
I don’t know about you, but I found the phrase “moderate fortune” somewhat amusing, since a fortune is, by definition, a large amount of money. Perhaps this was the author’s way of letting his reader know he was addressing the middle classes. After all, those with vast fortunes wouldn’t have to concern themselves with the price of curtains, would they?
Since living within one’s means was a virtue in Victorian times, children were taught to be careful with the money given them. Saving money was admirable. Thus, a bank was a popular children’s toy.
Which one of the three toy banks below would not have been for sale in a mercantile in the year 1870, and why? You can leave your guess in a comment.
Update and Answer
The register bank would not have been sold in 1870,
Cash registers weren’t invented until the 1880s.