Branch Line

What did the middle class do for entertainment in the 19th century English home?

In order to be considered middle class you had to have at least one servant. Most servants were female. To us middle class 19th century homes would seem overcrowded with furniture, ornaments and knick-knacks. However only a small minority could afford this comfortable lifestyle.
In the 1870s and 1880s many middle class people had bathrooms built. The water was heated by gas.--------- During the 19th century sports became organised. The London Football Association devised the rules of football in 1863. The first international match was held between England and Scotland in 1872. In 1867 John Graham Chambers drew up a list of rules for boxing. They were called the Queensberry Rules after the Marquis of Queensberry. The Amateur Athletics Association was founded in 1880.
Polo was first played in Britain in 1869.
Several new sports and games were invented during the 19th century. William Webb Ellis is supposed to have invented Rugby at Rugby school in 1823 when he picked up a football and ran with it. Although a form of tennis was played since the Middle Ages lawn tennis was invented in 1873. Snooker was invented in India in 1875. Volleyball was invented in 1895.
At the end of the 19th century bicycling became a popular sport. The safety bicycle was invented in 1885 and in 1892 John Boyd Dunlop invented pneumatic tyres (much more comfortable than solid rubber ones!) Bicycling clubs became common.
Ludo was originally an Indian game. It was introduced into Britain c. 1880.
Archery was considered a suitable sport for women in the 19th century. It was supposed to be 'ladylike'.
Reading was also popular in the 19th century. In 1841 Edgar Allen Poe published the first detective story The Murders In The Rue Morgue. The first Sherlock Holmes story A Study in Scarlet was published in 1887 by Arthur Conan Doyle.
Many middle class people enjoyed musical evenings when they gathered around a piano and sang.
Middle class people were very fond of the theatre. In the late 19th century there were also music halls where a variety of acts were performed.
In the 19th century going to the seaside was very popular with those who could afford it. The first pleasure pier was built at Brighton in 1823 and soon they appeared at seaside resorts across Britain.
The steam driven printing press was invented in 1814 allowing newspapers to become more common. Stamp duty on newspapers was abolished in 1855, which made them cheaper.
------------- One new hobby in the 19th century was photography. Henry Fox Talbot took the first photograph in 1835. However photography was more than just a pastime. In 1871 a writer said that one of the great comforts for the working class was having a photo of a family member who was working a long way off. They could be reminded what their loved one looked like.
The first cheap camera was invented in 1888 by George Eastman. Afterwards photography became a popular hobby.
In the late 19th century town councils laid out public parks for recreation. The first children's playground was built in a park in Manchester in 1859.
----------- Lastly, for those who like shopping, the first department store opened in London in 1863.---- These greatly improved during the 19th century. In the mid 19th century travel was revolutionised by railways. They made travel much faster. (They also removed the danger of highwaymen). The Stockton and Darlington railway opened in 1825. However the first major railway was from Liverpool to Manchester. It opened in 1830. In the 1840s there was a huge boom in building railways and most towns in Britain were connected. In the late 19th century many branch lines were built connecting many villages.
The first underground railway in Britain was built in London in 1863. Steam locomotives pulled the carriages. The first electric underground trains began running in London in 1890.
From 1829 horse drawn omnibuses began running in London. They soon followed in other towns. In the 1860s and 1870s horse drawn trams began running in many towns.Meanwhile at sea travel was revolutionised by the steam ship.In the early 19th century the recipient of a letter had to pay the postage, not the sender.http://www.localhistories.org/19thcent.html.-------- At some point in the Victorian era, the novel replaced the poem as the most fashionable vehicle for the transmission of literature. This fundamental shift in popular taste has remained to the present day. Serial publications in magazines and journals became more and more popular. http://www.online-literature.com/periods/victorian.php ------ http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_life_like_in_the_upper_class_19Th_century_Britain ---- http://immigration-online.org/98-entertainment-and-immigration.html

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