30 Facts, Customs, And Traditions Of The Victorians: The Weirdest People In Human History

CULTURE | May 10, 2023

Written by Jacob Shelton

The Victorian era was a time of contrarian ideals: They covered themselves completely but fetishized the female figure, they were obsessed with cleanliness but practically lived in a sewer, and they prized marriage and family above all things but sold their wives at auction. It's possible that the Victorians couldn't see the forest for the trees, but maybe they were just a generation full of weirdos.

Modesty Panels

(Getty Images)

Victorians liked their women modest, or maybe they were so sex-obsessed that any exposed flesh would drive them insane. Either way, one way the people of Victorian England kept their gals as pure as the driven snow was with a "modesty panel," a simple slab of wood nailed or propped up close to a desk or other structure that revealed a woman's ankles and kept adventurous creeps from looking up their skirts.

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Jacob Shelton


Jacob Shelton is a Los Angeles based writer. For some reason this was the most difficult thing he’s written all day, and here’s the kicker – his girlfriend wrote the funny part of that last sentence. As for the rest of the bio? That’s pure Jacob, baby. He’s obsessed with the ways in which singular, transgressive acts have shaped the broader strokes of history, and he believes in alternate dimensions, which means that he’s great at a dinner party. When he’s not writing about culture, pop or otherwise, he’s adding to his found photograph collection and eavesdropping on strangers in public.