Etikettarkiv: Carpet Bag

Travel Advice and Hotel Etiquette for Ladies in the 1800s

Eduard Gaertner ( 1801-1877) Unter den Linden mit Oper
Eduard Gaertner (1801-1877) Unter den Linden mit Oper

Berlin, 3 July 1847

”In a couple of exquisitely decorated rooms in Hôtel de Rome on Boulevard Unter den Linden, yours truly is sitting with pen in hand to recall from memory the wonderments I have seen since my arrival in the great Prussian capital.”

This is Augusta’s first description of a hotel on the European continent during her and her mother’s journey down to Prague.  There are not many remarks regarding hotels in Augusta’s diary but Hôtel de Rome must have been the most impressive hotel. There, they engaged a servant to show them the attractions of Berlin.

Two days later, they arrived at Hôtel de Saxe in Dresden – the most luxurious hotel in town.

”Our stay here at Hôtel de Saxe is very nice and I would say elegant, if I had not just arrived from Berlin, with its fabulous, luxurious furnishings. There are certainly not, as at Hôtel de Rome, six or seven doormen in livery to greet you on the stairs and to take the things you carry. I have to admit that these elegant and conversable domestics made me embarrassed upon my arrival in the great Prussian capital. Here in Dresden, you miss the elegant, carpeted vestibules and staircases, this wealth of stuffed armchairs, canapés, and sofas; however, Hôtel de Saxe, although not as brilliant as Hôtel de Rome, is both gentile and comfortable.”

What could one expect from luxury hotels in the mid-1800s and what was expected of the guests?

In 1860, the American author Florence Heartly published The Ladies Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness. The book includes chapters on Travelling and on How to behave at a hotel.

“After breakfast, pass an hour or two in the parlor, unless you are going out, whilst the chambermaid puts your room in order.”

It just so happens that while writing this blog today,  I am staying at a hotel in Dubai and Heartly’s suggestion sounded like a good idea. Heeding the advice, I took Florence Heartly’s book and Augusta’s diary with me and headed for the “parlor” (aka, the mall connected to the hotel). Heartly’s second advice also sounded good: “It is best always to carry writing materials with you.”  I skipped her next etiquette rule for hotels: “Never sit down to the piano uninvited, unless you are alone in the parlor.” Instead, I ordered a cappuccino and started reading Heartly’s book – highlighting advice that Kerstin and I might need for our Göta Canal cruise and our train journey through Germany (with the exception of those regarding an escort):

Regarding your escort

  • If you travel under the escort of a gentleman, give him as little trouble as possible … [!]
  • It is best, when starting upon your journey, to hand your escort a sufficient sum of money to cover all your expenses … [hmm]
  • Find out the position and number of the stateroom occupied by your escort, in case you wish to find him during the night. [that is, if you were able to secure a stateroom to sleep in on the steamboat]

Regarding sea sickness

Avoiding seasickness by reading a book.
  • …never leave home without a straw-covered bottle of brandy, and another of camphor, in your carpet bag.
  • Try to occupy yourself with looking at the country through which you are passing, or with a book.

Regarding your luggage

  • Have a strong pocket made in your upper petticoat, and in that carry your money, only reserving in your dress-pocket a small sum for incidental expenses.
  • In your travelling satchel, carry an oil skin bag containing your sponge, tooth- and nail-brushes, and some soap.
  • Have also a calico bag with hair brush and comb, some pins, hair pins, a small mirror, and some towels. In this satchel, carry also some crackers or sandwiches…
  • In your carpet bag, carry a large shawl, and if you will travel by night, … your night clothes and what clean linen you may require …
  • If you carry a novel …, it is best to carry the book in your satchel.
  • If you are to pass the night in the cars, carry a warm woolen or silk hood – that you may take off your bonnet at night. No one can sleep comfortable in a bonnet.
  • Carry also … a large shawl to wrap round your feet.

At the hotel

  • When you arrive at the hotel, inquire at once for the proprietor. Tell him your name and address, and ask him to conduct you to a good room…
  • It is best to mention the time when you wish to breakfast, dine or sup.
  • If you stay more than one day … request one of the waiters always to meet you as you enter, and wait upon you to your seat.
  • When you have finished your meal, cross the room quietly; if you go into the parlor, do not attract attention by a hasty entrance ….
  • A lady’s dress, when alone at a hotel, should be of the most modest kind.
  • Never, even at supper, appear alone at the table with bare arms or neck.
  • If you wish for a carriage, ring, and let the waiter order one for you.

Those were Heartly’s advice for travelling ladies. Augusta and her mother probably knew all about travelling etiquette. Now, Kerstin and I will also know what is expected of us when we embark on Augusta’s Journey.

William Powell Frith (1819-1909 ) The Railway Station

Varje tidsålder har sina behov – min nya datorväska

Jag har tidigare skrivit om väskor på 1800-talet, och om mina planer på att sy en kappsäck till vår tågresa i höst.

Nu är den klar, min ”Carpet bag”, som kommer användas redan på Göta Kanalfärden 30 maj. Och materialet till väskan kommer som vanligt från IKEA.
Jag köpte två fåtöljöverdrag på rea i höstas, men fick bara plats med en fåtölj, så när jag letade i hyllorna efter ett passande tyg, låg det överblivna överdraget bara där och väntade i sin plastpåse!

Kappsäckar och Carpet Bags

Carpet bags kom med järnvägen. Först var det hoprullade Brysselmattor som användes för att värma sig med i de kalla tågvagnarna. Så småningom sydde man kappsäckar av de knutna mattorna. Men allt detta hände långt efter Augustas tid, när man börjat anpassa sitt pick och pack efter det nya sättet att resa. Men vi har ingen möjlighet att ta med koffertar i 1840-talsstil på vår resa, så det får bli en liten avvikelse när det gäller vårt bagage.

Kappsäck Örebro läns museum

När jag nu ändå gjort våld på vår tidstypiska utrustning, är det lika bra att fortsätta. Så min kappsäck är en blandning av Muminmammans väska och väskorna i Harry Potterböckerna där man kunde komma in i en annan värld. Här finns allt jag behöver i form av Mac, kamera, objektiv och externa hårddiskar. Men jag har även plats för en handbunden dagbok, stålpenna och kritor. Och plåster för skavsår. Väskan är nästan så stor så att man kan krypa in i den. Det tycker i alla fall katterna att man kan.


Material som jag använde

(om det är någon som får för sig att sy en likadan)
• Blommig canvas (från IKEA)
• Grått linnetyg till foder
• Stålbågar till bygel – jag använde smala spikband och klädde in dem med plast. Satte ihop dem med små bultar i yttersta spikhålet. Det är säkert lättare att köpa färdigt!
• Skumgummi att lägga i botten av väskan och vadd att fordra sidorna med, mellan yttertyg och foder (jag vill ha en mjuk botten för att inte elektronikprylarna ska skadas.
• Skinn att sy handtag av samt canvasband att lägga inuti handtagen.