Saturday, October 31, 2009

Intertwining Facts & Fiction Illustrating a Fairy Tale

The original "Story of the Three Little Pigs" is credited to James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, 1843 in London. This is the beginning of the golden age of children's books. Also this was the early Victorian period.

The saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax in Brussels in 1841 and a year later was patented in France.

The modern type of suspenders were invented in 1822 by Albert Thurston and were at once almost universally worn due to the high cut of mid-nineteenth and early twentieth century trousers. That's from Wikipedia!

In 1853 Levi Strauss, 24 years old from Germany invented today's "blue jeans". The California gold rush was in full swing and the prospectors needed heavy canvas fabric for tents and wagon covers. This is what Levi brought to sell at his brother's New York dry goods store. The miners told Levi, "You should have brought pants!," because nothing they wore was strong enough to last. Strauss made the canvas into waist overalls which the miners liked except they tended to chafe. He then substituted a twilled cotton cloth from France called "serge de Nimes." and that fabric became known as denim and the pants were nicknamed blue jeans.

The forerunners of the roller coaster were created in Russia in the late 1400s. During the winter they built hills of wood and packed them with snow. Water was sprayed over this and once it froze, it was used for a slick track. Guides, holding riders in their laps, would take riders down the slopes. This progressed until the early 1800s when ice slides came to France. Since France had milder weather the "Snow and Ice" version was converted to a conveyor belt system. The first wheeled coaster was called the "Russian Mountain" and premiered in 1804 in France.

Please let me know what other historical facts you come up with regarding this time period - mid to late 19th century. Maybe we can incorporate these into the illustrations. It makes for a much more interesting and fun book to read.

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