Fascinating Victorian Traditions We Can't Believe Existed

By Sophia Maddox | April 26, 2024

The Smell Of Victorian London

The Victorian era was a time of contrarian ideals: They covered themselves completely but fetishized the female figure, they were obsessed with cleanliness but practically lived in a sewer, and they prized marriage and family above all things but sold their wives at auction. It's possible that the Victorians couldn't see the forest for the trees, but maybe they were just a generation full of weirdos.

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(History Collection)

The worst and weirdest thing about Victorian London was that it smelled horrible. There was raw sewage in the River Thames, people used the alleys like their own private bathrooms, and the air was thick with coal. In 1858, a heat wave took the stink of brown River Thames across London, finally convincing the government to look into cleaning up the city.

Visiting Hours

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Today, the standard "wyd?" text is the only requirement to arrange an impromptu hangout, but that wasn't the case for Victorians. Ladies were expected to be ready to host visitors from three to six in the afternoon, with any time after reserved for very close friends and relatives, and anyone else who showed up outside those times was considered a serious jerk.