May 2021.
The ‘Ragged Victorians ‐ The Great Unwashed’ is a living history group,
re‐enacting the lower classes of Victorian England.
A shilling was a week’s wage, dog’s dung was a valuable commodity (used by tanneries at the time for processing hides) and half a penny was the difference between life or death. Poor Victorian 'Street' people with no homes, no income and no benefit system for support, survived by whatever means they could. The already inadequate facilities in place soon crumbled and very swiftly the squalor of poverty, spread. The nation was in crisis and even the newly formed police force founded by Sir Robert Peel, (Peelers) struggled to cope with the huge increase in crime that poverty brought to the cities.
In 1851 the 'Great Exhibition' opened, showing the marvels of the age, but for each exhibit on display, hundreds of people were dying in the name of progress. Henry Mayhew was a reporter who witnessed and documented the degradation in his four volume series, which chronicled all levels of society. Charles Dickens wrote novels about it, but it was a long time before any real progress was made to improve the lot of the poor.
lives of the 'rag n bone' man, coster girl, petty thieves, vagrants, road sweepers, rat catchers, beggars, prostitutes, muffin men and many more. With Peelers attempting to keep control of the unruly classes, usually fighting a losing battle!
They also research characters to fit in with specific events such as the sailors and fishermen’s wives they portrayed at the Tall Ships Festival in Greenwich. Normally they wander through the crowds interacting with the public or occasionally acquire a
"We had many friends showing great interest in what we were suggesting, and so we took the plunge to set up a group that was to focus entirely on Victorian England in the 1840/50s"
The group was established in July 2013, to recreate the dress and occupations of the poor and oppressed of the mid nineteenth century. Some of them had been dabbling with civilian lower classes with other societies, but they had always dreamt of their own group, one that would be better researched and as accurate as we could make it. When the opportunity eventually arose, they jumped at the chance and soon formed a living history group, that was to focus entirely on Victorian England in the 1840/50s.
They chose this period of history because of the huge changes happening at the time. The early Victorian era had started off hard. The ‘New Poor Law’ with its humiliating workhouses, hadn't helped the plight of the needy, plunging the masses towards an all time low, into what is now known as "The hungry 40's". The Industrial Revolution had swamped the cities with people trying to make a living, honest or otherwise. Dickens described London as "Wealth and beggary, vice and virtue, guilt and innocence, repletion and the direst hunger, all treading on each other and crowding together" 
They named themselves the ‘Ragged Victorians – The great unwashed’ as this is what the unfortunate people at the time, were so often called. As living historians they try our utmost to capture their struggle for survival by replicating the clothes, mannerisms and paraphernalia of the time and are constantly researching and improving their impressions.
The group is made up of a mixture of seasoned re‐ enactors and people completely new to the re‐enacting scene, They currently have 24 adults and 4 children and several more on their guest list. Their recruitment policy could be considered strict, though this is only to protect the high standards of what they’re trying to achieve and to make sure that they have a good mix of people who get on with each other - they are a friendly group and make sure that anyone who joins is given lots of help and information.
The ‘Ragged Victorians’ portray a whole range of classes from criminal to middle, reflecting the rapid change happening in society. Using original source materials, including the works of Henry Mayhew and Charles Dickens, they strive to achieve the most authentic impression possible, of what life was like around 1851."

They offer a variety of skills, including street history at general events and fairs, educational talks and living history at historic sites. The 'Ragged Victorians' research and respectfully enter into the
temporary pitch, until they are moved on, They love mingling amongst the public watching them recoil from our unhealthy
complexions and cold hard stares. Any event or location that wants to enhance their visitor’s Victorian experience is considered. They have also been working on a static display consisting of a gypsy camp and an arena in which they recreate a prize fight.

They mainly do educational/historical events, stand alone Victorian events, multi-period/timelines, Victorian fairs, Christmas markets, Steam rallies are all amongst the events they have done in the past. Basically, if a venue wants Victorians then all they need to do is get in touch, and if they available and can accommodate their needs then they cheerfully help out.
We also do photo shoots as we find photographers are very interested in what we do. We found, very early on in our venture, that we were getting crowded by photographers and were not able to do what we were hired by the venue to do, ie talk to the public!. So we tried to solve the problem by issuing a 'policy on photography' and giving photographers the opportunity to photograph members at private events. We only do 2 maybe 3 a year as this is not our main interest, they're just serve a purpose (eg keeps photographers happy and we get a few nice pictures)
Although Victorian prize fights often lasted hours and a win, could literally determine life or death of a fighter, they have managed to condense the savagery into a shorter time, and (so far) haven’t killed anyone! The first time they brought the camp and the fight together at an event, they won the ‘Best arena display’ award, which was a complete surprise and great indication that all our hard work was paying off.
Their aim is probably best summarised by the words of one of our greatest sources of information, Henry Mayhew.

"Our earnest hope is that through our interpretations we may serve to give the public a more intimate knowledge, of the sufferings and the frequent heroism, under those sufferings of the poor" 
The whole Balmoral style drew its name from the Scottish estate purchased by Prince Albert in 1852. The royal couple enjoyed the seclusion of the area as a refuge from the pressures of the monarchy, but the rugged, outdoor terrain brought about a style, which was either directly Scottish inspired, or a sturdier adaptation of what was worn in the cities.

These shoes were meant to be worn outdoors, but are both feminine, and reflect
the fashion taste for which Victoria was so widely imitated.

Based a pair in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, these shoes are rich in detail. The Scottish Castle was purchased by Prince Albert in 1854
Old Bethpage Village

 Old Bethpage Village Restoration opened in June of 1970 as Long Island’s living history museum! Not only is it the island’s premiere living history destination, but it is also Long Island’s most visited museum, welcoming tens of thousands of school children and families alike annually.
Nestled on 209 acres of fields and woods, Old Bethpage Village Restoration (OBVR) is a one-third scale 19th century village with historic homes and buildings from all over Long Island being brought to one place. Our main farmhouse, the Powell’s farmhouse is the only building original to this property. These structures span the centuries, having been built between the 1660’s and 1875.
 Since our collection of buildings were built over several centuries, they were all restored to specific years for cohesion. Of our many lovely buildings, the one which had the most famous “resident” of our restoration village is also our oldest home on property. Built in approximately 1660, the Peter Cooper house (Cooper did not reside there until the early 1800’s) is a fascinating display of early American Architecture, not to mention that Peter Cooper, one of America’s most influential inventors and philanthropists of the mid-late 19th century, has quite the history himself.
Cooper is a holder of dozens of patents, the creator of the first steam train in the United States, the Tom Thumb, founder of renowned college, The Cooper Union in Manhattan, and was an 1876 Presidential election candidate (Greenback party).
On top of our over 18 historic buildings which are open for visits, and our 53 other historic structures on property, OBVR also boast many historical trade and craft demonstrations including blacksmithing, broom making, spinning, weaving, hat finishing, baking, basket weaving and many more. These can be seen daily (not all occur every day, call for more information!).
Additionally, OBVR holds dozens of annual and new and unique events and programs throughout the operating season. These events include an annual Civil War era Independence Day Celebration, a Decoration Day ceremony, Candlelight Evenings in December, the Long Island Fair (in collaboration with the Agricultural Society of Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties), and numerous
Revolutionary War, Civil War and WWII encampments (in conjunction with the neighboring Museum of American Armor).
OBVR also has weekly Old Time Base Ball
Programs | OBVR

Our 19th century programming is what brings history to life! Our talented musicians and dancers set the antebellum atmosphere, and our craft classes and children's toys and games enable visitors to experience the 19th century first-hand!

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games on weekends from May through September. In fact, OBVR is credited nationally as being one of the first museums to accurately play 19th century base ball (this was even featured in the October 1998 magazine of Smithsonian, as well as being a skit of Conan O’Brien’s, which he fondly refers to the most favorite thing he has done on late night television).
Over the now 51 years (in 2021) that Old Bethpage Village Restoration has been open, there have been hundreds of programs, events and demonstrations which have always gained interested by the community, and attracting visitors from all over the
country and the world. The collections and most importantly the interpreters and volunteers are first class and are dedicated to their crafts (no pun intended). The amount of time, effort, and passion that goes into bringing history to life at Old Bethpage Village Restoration is second to none and is well worth a visit!
Currently (Spring 2021) Old Bethpage Village Restoration is open from 10:00am-4:00pm Friday-Sunday,
For more information, and to contact the museum, please call or visit:

Old Bethpage Village Restoration
1303 Round Swamp Road
Old Bethpage, New York, 11804
Phone: 516-581-2016
The National WWII Museum is pleased to announce that construction has begun on The Liberation Pavilion. The last pavilion in the master plan will tell the story of liberation not only of Concentration Camps and POWs but of whole countries. Special galleries will focus on the saving of cultural treasures by the Monuments Men and on the return of American GIs to their homes. A theater will be included with a film detailing the continued importance of WWII today.
Stay tuned to the museum's web site for updates and opening information.
Construction begins of the National WWII Museum's Liberation Pavilion
WWII Museum in Gettysburg Coming!
The WWII American Experience facility is currently under construction outside of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

WWII American Experience strives to educate, preserve and honor. The main goal is to educate the public about the sacrifices made during the world's largest conflict of the 20th century, both on the battlefield and on the home front.

We would put a smile on a Meigs' face!
We are continuing to build stock and finally have two of our products on hand for immediate shipment.
Economy Blouses.

Size 38-50 are in stock and ready to ship! Doubtlessly one of the best selling items in our line, is now in stock and ready to ship!

General Lee was rumored to have brought his Army to Gettysburg to resupply his men with shoes. Once again, Gettysburg has become the place to come for shoes. Military brogans are in stock, and we are building inventory of other styles. We will announce each as they fill the shelves. Don't want for the Confederates to make the first move!
Discounted magazine subscription offered to our cusotmers!
Vegetable Dyed Confederate Blankets!
The blanket project has admittedly drawn out far longer than I expected, but we are finally taking delivery of this first lot in the next week. We are extremely happy and relived to get this on the road.

The first batch will be vegetable dyed confederate ones with the banding/brindling, shortly thereafter, the federal ones will be delivered.
Brook Kovalcik.
Brook's involvement with Civil War living history was inspired by a trip to Gettysburg at age 7, that was spurred by a viewing of the movie Gettysburg. When he was 12, Brook and his mother Darnell, joined his first Civil War living history group, The Blue and Gray Brigade. The group portrays both the Union and Confederate sides at local living histories throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. Until he was old enough to be shoulder a musket, he served as a flag bearer and helped man display tables at living histories. Along with Civil War living
history, Brook at age 16, became involved with local French and Indian War, and Revolutionary War living history. He also served as a guide at the French and Indian War fort, Fort Ligonier. Despite branching out to other eras, he is most passionate about the Civil War era. In 2018, Brook began to take an interest in more authentic reenacting and living history. Over the next
two years he upgraded his impression to more authentically reflect the common Federal infantryman. He also encouraged others in his group to do the same and the group has grown as a result of theseefforts to improve authenticity. With a growing group, he hopes to soon carry the regimental colors more often and in a more authentic manner. When he was younger, Brook's involvement in living history was at the local level and sometimes in
Gettysburg, but he now travels to other states such as Virginia and Georgia to participate in reenactments and living history. He joined Mess No. 1 with fellow Brigade member Brian Shupe to expand their nationwide opportunities in authentic re-enacting
 Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brook looks forward to participating in large authentic events outside Pennsylvania with Mess No. 1 and organizing more authentic events in Southwestern Pennsylvania. "At age 20, I'm gonna try to fit in all the events I can while I still have the time." Currently, he and Brian Shupe are planning more authentic living histories to educate locals about the Civil War history of the Pittsburgh region.
P. M'Dermott Wholesale Stationers items.
An incredibly convenient item, which is a pocket sized version of the widely produced song sheets
An item long held as classic tract to be carried by the Federal soldiers, we are proud to be offering this limited production item.
A staple item, that is handy for a variety of applications.
The British invasion!

English army brogans have arrived and are being shipped to customers. We are quickly catching up on back orders and are building stock.

We are glad to see that events are starting up again, and the hobby is emerging.

Gettysburg has always been a mecca of sorts for military history. The World War II weekend at the Reading Mid-Atlantic Air museum is on for June 4-6 2021, and the Daniel Lady farm is hosting events throughout the year. Click on the images for more information.
American Battlefield Trust Celebrates the "Great...

(Washington, D.C.) - The future of America's hallowed ground, the battlefields on which its formative conflicts were decided, is more secure today, after the "Great American Outdoors Act" has become law.

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