During the nineteenth century, vacationing started to become popular among the working class. This was largely due to the leaps in industrial technology that were made at that time. Less time at work meant more time to play! Working class Victorians were proud of there newly acquired leisure time. While, today, we may consider the Victorians to have been modest people, they were actually quite ostentatious when it came to social status. Souvenirs brought back from vacation were a wonderful way to show off your social status!
Most Victorian souvenirs were functional as well as decorative. Common shapes were toothpick holders, creamers, cups, tumblers, trays, plates, spoons and bowls but many other forms exist. Souvenirs enjoyed a long popularity - the height of which was from about 1890 to 1910. During this time, souvenirs were a booming business, and evidence of that fact has been preserved. You can find so many different souvenirs, that most collectors have narrowed their interest down to one type. Some choose to collect just "pink luster" or just "ruby flash", while others collect souvenirs from a particular place such as Gettysburg, Coney Island, or Niagara Falls. Here is a picture of a few of the different kinds of souvenirs you may find.
Valley Forge Plate, Yellowstone Plate, Niagara Falls pitcher, Watkins Glenn dish, Ephrata Plate, Bangor ME goblet in ruby flash, Jennie Wade Museum creamer in ruby flash, Gettysburg 1863 (commemorative) creamer in custard glass, Allentown Pink Luster vase, various spoons incl. Pocono Mts. PA, souvenir pin from Engelberg
Souvenirs are interesting items to collect for beginners and old hats alike! Beginners can easily find a good variety of affordable pieces. This lets you create an impressive collection in a short amount of time. But for those of you who enjoy the hunt just as much if not more than the collection itself, you can choose a specific type of souvenir such as the ruby flash items pictured below. They are harder to find and usually more expensive, but the end result is well worth the extra price and effort.