September 24th, 2008

Upper middle-class family in Victorian London?

Setting: London, 1880s

Where would an upper middle-class family be likely to reside in London? I'm working on a piece that involves a character in the present day doing some census research regarding family history, and he would need to narrow it down to more than just "London". I've searched on Google and have done a great deal of research on the Victorian period, in general, but I'm not very familiar with the different areas of London.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

When Hospital I.D. Bracelets Began

I'm writing a story in which I want someone to be identified by her hospital I.D. bracelet, circa 1949. Googled so far: hospital wristband history, hospital bracelet history, (and replace history with "use.") I can only seem to find current procedure for color-coding. I've read through some of those in hopes that there might be a throwaway line about the origin of hospital bracelets, but no such luck.

Tracking down people pre-internet

I have no idea what to Google for this. I tried "people-finding," "directory information," "tracking down people without the internet," but it's all contemporary, of course. I should probably just read some old detective novels.

Setting is an AU United States, 1985.

My characters are attempting to track down a woman with only her name and a former address to go on. She's since moved to a different state. I can give her an unusual name, if that helps.

Nowadays, they could just type her name into yellowpages.com, but what would they have done 23 years ago? I feel incredibly stupid for not knowing this.

Age to begin corset training

Setting: Victorian England (steampunk), late 1800s (80s or 90s, haven't really pinpointed a specific year yet).

Research so far: I've googled Victorian corsets, corset training, and the like but seem to get only contemporary/modern sites for the latter, and history of corsets or corset makers for the former. I looked on the Victorian Web but wasn't able to find anything on this there either.

I'm looking for the approximate age a girl would begin wearing a corset, or training her body/carriage to handle one. My character is a 15-year old aristo girl with a very strict aunt so they would have gone by the book of rules for the era. Somewhere online I once read that they started children as young as toddlers in corset training; I didn't bookmark the site and now can no longer find it or determine whether it was a legitimate claim. Any help in the matter would be greatly appreciated, thank you.
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