It’s certainly impressive that billiards has been around for this long. And what is even more impressive is that the sport hosted a world championship even back in the Victorian age. In this photo, a match is played between one Charles Dawson (the reigning champion of that year) and one Edward Diggle.
Though they’re not competing for the title of world champion, billiards was clearly taken very seriously. Between 40 to 50 men are watching the game and every pair of eyes is on the match. Usurpingly, every man present in the room has shown up in a three-piece or two-piece suit, tie, and hat. We’re guessing that billiards was rather an upper-class affair.
Before the Obstacle Course
Who’d have known that the Victorians had their very own obstacle courses? Naturally, they’d be a much more basic version of our own obstacle courses. That said, the Victorians still had them. This photo is evidence that even during the Victorian age, there were those individuals who had a thirst for competition and for getting down and dirty.
Speaking of getting down and dirty, the men pictured here are getting on their stomachs and wriggling through empty barrels for their obstacle course. Some of them have abandoned formal clothes, but there are one or two who can still be spotted in shirts and waistcoats. However, it seems like the men who opted to be casual made their best choices as they were making the most progress.
Some Tennis Fun
We’re not quite sure that’s how the sport’s played, but these two Victorian women look like they’re having plenty of fun. Interestingly, lawn tennis was invented during Victorian times. Of course, we’re pretty sure humans have hit round balls with some type of club or racket-like object on lawns at earlier times. However, in 1860, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield patented lawn tennis and it soon became popular among women.
Here we see two women sporting two rackets. Though they seem to be amusing themselves with the rackets, this photo reveals the popularity of tennis, especially lawn tennis, with the Victorians. Interestingly, the two women in the full dresses and gloves are completely covered up even if they’re playing tennis.
A Physician with His Friend
And no, we didn’t mean one of the skeletons. You might not recognize the name Reginald Southey, but he was a physician during the Victorian age. You might not be familiar with Southey, but you certainly have heard of his lifelong friend and the photographer of this interesting shot. The photographer behind the lens was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson a.k.a. Lewis Carroll.
While Lewis Carroll was best known as an author (the writer of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”) he was also a photographer, something Southey had encouraged. While Carroll’s photo which poses Southey with skeletons might seem a bit morbid, this fascination with death and skeletons was common among Victorians. Carroll’s photo would have been nothing new under the sun back then.
An Operating Theater
There are some of us who love period films. We simply love the past ages and would love to travel back in time. But our daydreaming stops at sickness, disease, and hospitals. If we’re truly honest with ourselves, hospitals are not places for the faint-hearted – and that applies even more so to any historical medicine and medical treatment.
Here, we have a scene from the operating theater of the Royal Free Hospital in London. We know that this photo was taken in the 19th century, but we don’t know the exact year. The Royal Free Hospital was the first to allow women in the surgical theater.