Around the House - Fullerton Arboretum

Around the House
Victorian Society of Heritage House
May, 2015
News From the Prime Minister:
The Vera Wang "Barbie Doll" has
found a new home along with all the
items sold during our Porch and Attic
Sale. Our total sales were around
$1200 and donations were near $200.
This is a drop from our previous
year's sales. This may have been
primarily because of the $10 entrance
fee this year versus the previous $5.
Regardless, we may want to reevaluate this fund raiser.
Cheers, Ben
Oil In Them Hills:
Dry grass, bugs, rattlesnakes, wild animals, heat,
burns, asphalt puddles and oil pumps were some of the obstacles
that the oil worker faced when in the Olinda Oil Fields. Once a
small town of approximately 3000, Olinda never quite boomed, but
did have some workers living in homes, plus a few businesses, a
social hall and a Methodist Church. Most lived in rooming houses
nearby. The town of Olinda was developed in 1897 when the #1
well was drilled in an area being developed by the Santa Fe railroad
to provide oil for their trains. This first well is still pumping about
two barrels a day with a horsehead pump. The original wooden
derrick is long gone.
The nearby town of Randolph was renamed Brea, meaning asphalt.
Brea had the Pacific Electric Railroad connection, making it easier
to travel to the Los Angeles area. As oil production became more
abundant in other areas, the workers in Olinda moved away and
the little town’s population decreased.
The Docent League arranged for speakers, lunch and a tour of the
museum for all those who were able to attend. The Chino Hills
Discovery Center was the main meeting area. One docent speaker,
Chris Farron, was raised there. He spoke on family history of some
residents. After questions were answered, shuttles took docents to
the museum near #1 well. The museum is located in the former
field office and contains a vault for records and explosives, a
warehouse and photos showing history of the area. There is also a
two mile historical walk that provides scenic views of Orange
County and provides a walk back in history of the early oil
production pioneers.
A question regarding Dr. Clark attending to oil workers’ burns was
asked. The museum has no information regarding Dr. Clark being
on the site. We hope to check his ledger and provide information
that will answer this inquiry.
Those who attended the meeting returned to their homes having
had a great day and having a head full of new information.
Collars—Men’s Attire:
At first glance gentlemen’s attire appears to
have changed little in the years from 1860’s to 1900’s. But one
must look again! During the 1860’s clothing was wrinkled and
worn looking. Hair, including facial, was unkempt and slovenly
combed. This was noted especially among government workers and
political hacks. A “just out of bed” look seemed to be very popular.
In the mid 1870-1880’s tonsorial habits became neater and
gentlemen began trimming their hair and mustaches. Clothing
became more trim-fitting and vests had most of the buttons closed
under the jacket.
As one neared the turn of the century, the men continued to keep
their clothing and facial hair neat and tidy. Sack suits did go to
three buttons and were even more fitted. Cuffs appeared on the
trouser legs and vests almost always matched the more sober colors
of the suit.
Detachable collars appeared in men’s clothing around 1827, when a
wife decided she was never going to get that “ring around the collar”
dirt out of her husband’s shirt—or so the story is told. These new
collars were hand made until 1870’s. The collars were washed,
starched, and pressed, until they became worn and unusable. Then
new machines became capable of making linen collars that were
mass produced by manufacturers to be used by a new growing
class of office workers. Due to the bright, clean collars being
present on so many men, the term “white collar worker” entered the
common language.
Linen appears to have been the material of choice. Linen was
laminated onto cardstock and called linene. These collars came in
various styles. Changing fashion in each decade degreed height and
style of the front collar tips. Some collars and tips were so high the
wearer could not easily turn his head without getting poked in the
chin. (Many ladies will smile at this fashion nonsense and think it is
about time the men suffered from fashion foolishness!)
In the 1870’s celluloid was lined with linen. These collars were very
stiff and could be cleaned without having to starch and press the
article each time the collar was washed with soap and water.
The Sears Catalog of 1900 has linen, celluloid and rubber collars for
sale. A variety of styles are offered and collars could generally be
bought in sets of one, two or a dozen. An idea of cost would be $.13
for one, $.25 for two and $1.35 for a dozen.
Add linen or celluloid cuffs, plus a shirt front of the same material
and one will have a true “white collar worker”!
Did You Test Yourself:
The previous newsletter contained several
questions relating to items in the house that are discussed with our
guests. Here are some answers. Did you test your knowledge?
1. The kitchen is painted instead of having wallpaper. The walls
could be easily cleaned of the smoke and soot. The color green
was added to kitchen walls in the late 1890’s. Psychologists
noted that green was a calming color and would surely calm
the nerves of the housewife.
One’s arm and hand were used as the “thermostat” to
determine oven temperature. Putting one’s hand into the fire
and knowing the length of time you needed to keep it there to
get the desired temperature for a standard wood/coal burning
oven was a standard for the period. Time and usage helped the
Victorian cook determine cooking temperatures in the oven.
2. Various types of clothing are found in the bedroom.
Nightgown, black, elegant dress—could have been a matron’s
dress or a mourning dress, detachable collars (both men and
women’s) and bloomers. The bifurcated bloomers were also
called “picnic bloomers”. One would not have any hygiene
worries while exploring the wilds of the forest or outdoor
venues when wearing these bloomers. One could just go into
the bushes, take care of nature’s call without showing one’s
ankles, then return to the pleasures of the day.
3. The pantry contained various items for household usage. The
ice cream maker is one of the favorite items with the children.
Canned goods, dry goods (such as flour, beans, cornmeal), and
various mechanical devices. We have a food grinder, an apple
peeler and a cherry pitter.
4. There are eight or nine Dr. Clark items in the doctor’s office.
The ninth one is a copy of the photograph of Dr. Clark when
he ran for office of County Coroner in 1894. The other items
are the two Civil War items belonging to Joshua Martin Clark,
the two diplomas for George Crook Clark, the doctor’s roll-top
desk, his chair and two prescriptions from the 1920’s.
5. There was a barn for three horses and a pump-house with two
floors. The lower floor would have been for storage and the
upper was probably used as a residence by the Doctor’s friend,
Billy, the handyman. The pump-house at our Heritage House
is not the original to the doctor’s house.
Dates to Remember:
No May Meeting due to Victorian Tea.
May 9: Victorian Tea at Pavilion.
June 11: Potluck & Ice Cream Social, 5 Pm, to be held at Pavilion.
July 9: Martha Leonard will present talk on Salvation Army History.
August 13: Work day at the House. 9 Am. Bring buckets and
cleaning supplies and lots of energy to make our painted lady bright
Historical information:
Black Tie Guide—second edition
Reproduction Sears 1900 Catalog
Written by Dana Waite-May 2, 2015