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Show & Tell: A 19th Century Chatelaine

Chatelaine (USA), ca. 1860; silver, gold wash, ivory, enamel, glass. Cooper Hewitt/Smithsonian Institution

This is an unusual example of a Victorian chatelaine, a fashionable accessory that allowed women to hang a group of small tools on their bodies for convenience’s sake. This chatelaine, held by the Cooper Hewitt Museum, could be affixed to a woman’s waist, like most chatelaines were. It could also be worn around the wrist, like a charm bracelet, offering its wearer a decorative accent as well as some use value in the form of a small chain purse, a mirror, and a locket.

"'Chatelaine,'" writes historian Monica F. Cohen, “derives from the medieval word for a castellan, or a keeper of the castle or chateau who wore at his or her waist the key to the castle’s various rooms.” The chatelaine’s popularity as an accessory in the 1860s, Cohen argues, was due to a growing Victorian belief in the importance of rational housekeeping in a woman’s life. Besides being beautiful and ornamental, and convenient to wear, the chatelaine told the world that a woman had domestic responsibilities, and that she took those responsibilities seriously.

A wide variety of items hung from the waists and wrists of Victorian chatelaine-wearers.  In a Collectors’ Weekly interview with Genevieve Cummins, who wrote a book on the subject of the chatelaine, Cummins outlines the many types of chatelaines she has found in her research: sewing chatelaines with pincushions, scissors, and needle cases; chatelaines for artists, with paint boxes and containers for brushes; mourning chatelaines, with space to carry reflective reminders of a loved one’s loss.

The chatelaine was so popular that it showed up in cartoons in London’s Punch magazine, which gently mocked the accessory’s ubiquity among women, imagining chatelaines that would chain children to a mother, or chatelaines that would be so large as to drag a woman’s entire body forward slightly from the waist. Cummins told Collectors’ Weekly that the chatelaine wearer accepted a certain amount of encumbrance, in exchange for fashion: “Certainly, they clanked; when they moved, the chatelaine would’ve made a lot of noise … It’s a very characteristic noise, and I think that was part of your status.”

The example above was made a couple decades into the chatelaine’s popularity. Margaret Flower finds mention of chatelaines in World of Fashion in 1839; the items fell out of favor a few decades later, but came back into style in 1863, when Britain’s Prince Albert Edward (later Edward VII) married a fashionable young Danish princess who wore a chatelaine in public. But by 1887, Jeanenne Bell writes in a book about Victorian jewelry, “the Young Ladies’ Journal felt it necessary to explain to the younger generation what a chatelaine was.”

 

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The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, HighSpeedInternet.com took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit HighSpeedInternet.com.

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Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site HowMuch.net created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and Cable.co.uk, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view HowMuch.net’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site HowMuch.net.
HowMuch.net

[h/t Thrillist]

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