This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

The Victorian Era and its backlash

The Victorian era is, technically, the era of the long reign of Queen Victoria of England, from 1837 to 1901. But that's not really the *Victorian Era* of design. The Victorian Era of design is a time from after the end of the Civil War in the United States until the end of World War I, which is roughly 1870 to 1919. from a design standpoint, it is strongly influenced by the Industrial Revolution.

In general, you can recognize Victorian Era design by it's excessive ornamentation. Whether you are looking at a house built in the Victorian Era, or furniture, or books, you will see a lot of scroll work, a lot of detail, to the point of being excessive to most people's eyes. The reason for all of this ornamentation was simple, industrial processes had made doing this much cheaper. Before the Industrial Revolution, all of that ornamentation had to be done by hand, and was wildly expensive. When it all became mass produced, it was cheap and easy to give a *luxury* look to things, and people did.

Design always does a backlash against whatever is existing. The backlash against the excessive ornamentation started after the turn of the century with, of course, a trend towards simplicity. The most important school of design was in Germany, at the Bauhaus School, which, incidentally, was shut down by Adolph Hitler, who considered it too modern. But the influence of the Bauhaus remains to this day. And although Victorian homes, furniture, and design is cherished by collectors today, no one designs like that any more.

The modern era began in 1919, with the end of the Victorian Era. It has flowed through such genius as Frank Lloyd Wright, and continues with the buildings, and designs, that you see today.