Friday, August 25, 2017

This Day in History: August 25, 1885 (Surprising!)

by USA Today Bestselling Author Kristin Holt

To say I'm enamored with history is a bit of an understatement. I stumbled across two captivating articles, published on August 25, 1885--132 years ago today. First, a plea for unattached women to make their way to Garfield county [sic]... to become wives. Among other (G-rated) advertised duties, to "feed us". Second, detailed instructions on how to make sandwiches. Both articles appeared in the Topeka Daily Capital of Topeka, Kansas, on August 25, 1885.

First, to the county deprived of enough marriageable women. This article was reprinted from the Denver (Colo.) Tribune [sic].

GIRLS WANTED. Topeka Daily Capital of Topeka, Kansas. August 25, 1885.

This fashion plate illustrates what women wore (at least the wealthy in Paris and the Upper 500 in New York) in 1885. I imagine they'd have to swap for calico and more functional designs to meet the work cut out for them as wives in a rural county in the West.

1885 fashion: Image courtesy of Pinterest

Second, to sandwiches. Apparently, sandwich recipes, like all other menu options (and recipes) were appealing to readers of the day.

And women needed instructions how to make sandwiches well. (giggle) Just look at the length of this newspaper article. Note that this lengthy instruction was attributed to Harper's Bazar (spelled truly this way until later when the double-a made it Harper's Bazaar).

The Making of Sandwiches. Topeka Daily Capital of Topeka, KS. August 25, 1885. Part 1 of 3.
The Making of Sandwiches. Topeka Daily Capital of Topeka, KS. August 25, 1885. Part 2 of 3.
The Making of Sandwiches. Topeka Daily Capital of Topeka, KS. August 25, 1885. Part 3 of 3.

This cover image of Harper's Bazar is from October of 1885, so the sandwich instructions couldn't have been contained in this issue. But I liked the illustrations of dresses (another great visual of the times and seasons). And the appearance of antique paper.

Cover of Harper's Bazar magazine, dated October 1885. Image: Pinterest.

So, now that you've had an introduction to the "big news" on August 25, 1885 (132 years ago today), what do you think?

Would you have gone to Garfield county [sic] to try your luck and finding a worthy groom? Or would you be tempted by the certain entertainment behind the plea from so many bachelors?

Now that you've read Harper's Bazar instructions on the fine art of sandwich building, what culinary creation will you stack next?

~ Please scroll down and reply ~

I've written more articles like this one--with a focus on This Day in History.

A Kansas argument about (liquor) temperance.
Skype?! And Oleomargarine--you won't believe what year!
Women's duties earn and keep her husband's love.
Coming 8-30-17, Love Stories (The Best and the Worst!)
Cigarettes for asthma, Fire and fire insurance...
And don't forget our Sweet Romance Reads Newsletter! The issue that just came out announces WINNERS of various sweet romances by our authors.

Copyright 2017 Kristin Holt LC


  1. Absolutely fascinating, Kristin! My sandwich-making culinary skills are sorely lacking. :)

    1. Isn't history amazing? I think the difference between sandwiches of yesteryear and sandwiches of today is the amount of cooking we do. Raw, basic ingredients THEN, to ready-to-serve foods NOW. I love reading old recipes. Informs so much of my Victorian-era writing. =) Thanks for reading!

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  3. This had me chuckling...What a lot of work to make a sandwich! And I confess I have never steamed ham in my life! Thank you for a peek into the life back then! (I had to correct my spelling, thus the deleted post above, LOL.)

    1. Thanks so much, Kathryn. I see we both love history in much the same way. It's amazing how much work women went to to simply make a sandwich (for example, baking the bread!).
      Thanks for sopping by!

  4. Thanks for all the interesting history.

    1. Hi Merrillee! Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed this glimpse into the past.