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Fun and Entertainment in the Victorian Era
Transcript of Fun and Entertainment in the Victorian Era
Day 1, Block 4
Mr. Bausback's class
The Mutoscope was a device similar to a giant flipbook in a box. It was lit by electricity, but the image reel was hand-cranked. Each machine could only play one film. Many mutoscope films, unfortunately, had very inappropriate subject matter, however quite a few of them were perfectly harmless.
You looked in through here
That frame would be showing
See the Seaside!
Ozone For Your Health
In the Victorian Era, many quack doctors were using supposedly healthy "electrical machines" on their patients. These machines often gave off ozone, a molecular form of oxygen and a powerful antiseptic. People began to associate the smell of ozone with healthiness. When people noticed that the seaside smelled like ozone, they began to believe that the seaside is good for one's health.
The smell of "ozone" at the seaside was actually rotting seaweed. Not only that, ozone isn't even healthy - unless it's blocking ultraviolet light in the ozone layer, which people did not know about in the Victorian era.
Despite all this, the belief that sea air is healthy persists even to this day. After all, who's going to argue with a doctor that prescribes a day at the beach?
Unfortunately, when more modern forms of cinema like the projector were invented, many mutoscopes were destroyed.
Luckily, some still exist today, and their relatively simple construction allows modern versions to be made.
So, what was considered entertainment?
Economic and Financial Effects of Entertainment
The Political Side of Entertainment
There was a major change in the behaviour of workers.
With the industrial revolution, some workers had less work to do and, thus, had more spare time to do whatever they pleased. This, in turn, led to some very interesting innovations and developments just to keep people entertained and away from the filth of the city. Some people went to Blackpool, a town situated on the north-west coast of England, to rest and relax on the beach. Others went to the theatre...
The beginning of celebrity!
Sarah Bernhardt was one of the world's first and most famous film stars.
"The Divine Sarah"
According to Wikipedia (I'm no lawyer, I needed help!)
The Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the first Bank Holidays in the United Kingdom.
The Act designated four Bank Holidays in England, Wales and Ireland (Easter Monday; Whit Monday; First Monday in August; Boxing Day in England and Wales and St Stephen's Day in Ireland), and five in Scotland (New Year's Day; Good Friday; First Monday in May; First Monday in August; Christmas Day).
In England, Wales and Ireland, Good Friday and Christmas Day were considered traditional days of rest (as were Sundays) and therefore it was felt unnecessary to include them in the Act.
The Act was repealed in 1971 and superseded by the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, which remains in force.
Now that holidays from work were supported by law, people had more time for vacations and leisurely activities - hence the rise of entertainment!
Brass bands and bandstands became popular in the Victorian era.
Bandstands are simple constructions set up in parks where bands could play. They still exist today.
A Victorian-era bandstand in a modern-day photo
Born Rosine Bernardt in October 1844, to parents Julie Bernardt and an unknown father, she was a French stage and film actress.
She started her stage acting career in 1862 while still a student at the Comédie Française, France's most prestigious theatre.
Sarah was one of the first movie actresses. Her debut role was when she played Hamlet in the two-minute film "Le Duel d'Hamlet" in 1900, which was not a silent film but rather a sound- and moving image-synced film created with the new phono-cinema-theatre system. She starred in eight motion pictures and two biographical films.
In 1905, while performing in Victorien Sardou's La Tosca in Teatro Lírico do Rio de Janeiro, Sarah Bernhardt injured her right knee. Her leg never healed properly and was eventually amputated.
Technically this bit does not take place in the Victorian era.
Sarah was a very strong and brave person and did not let that ruin her career. She continued to act and make films, often without using a wooden prosthetic limb; she didn't like using it. She went on a tour of America in 1915, and on returning to France she continued to play in her own productions until her death in 1923. Her later successes included Daniel (1920), La Gloire (1921), and Régine Armand (1922).
The rides and attractions at the fairgrounds, pleasure beaches and arcades cost money to play or ride. The owners and inventors got rich off the profits from the use of the attractions.
Easy travel led to a new industry: tourism!
Places like Blackpool became primarily devoted to attracting tourists.
The Victorian era marked the rise of vacations and entertainment as we know them.
"Blackpool." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Sept. 2013. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackpool>.
"Penny Arcade (venue)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Aug. 2013. Web. Sept. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_arcade_%28venue%29>.
"Pier." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Sept. 2013. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pier>.
"Sarah Bernhardt." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Sept. 2013. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Bernhardt>.
"What the Victorians Did for Us: "Pleasure Seekers"" BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 2013. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0085k4z/episodes/guide>.
"What the Victorians Did for Us." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 July 2013. Web. Sept. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_the_Victorians_Did_for_Us>.