The Victorian Era and Style

The Victorian Era coincides with Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837-1901.  It was an era of industrialization and scientific invention.  Railroads and steamships improved transportation of people and goods.  Inventions such as the telephone and telegraph, the radio, and the sewing machine changed everyday life.  The Gaff family embraced these changes and built many profitable businesses.

Society and daily life primarily remained conservative.  Manners and etiquette were important.  Women in the upper classes were not employed outside the home.  Men worked in business and government and women worked with benevolent causes and the church.  Women dressed conservatively with floor or ankle length dresses. 

Social events centered around church activities, county fairs, musical performances, acting companies, and guest lecturers to name a few.  Letter writing was used extensively even though the telephone and the telegraph were invented during the era.  Courtships were very proper and weddings were often held in the bride’s home.