Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Edwardian Age Ikea. Oxymoron?


An Edwardian club chair.  Marion Nicholson Blair used this chair.In the series Upstairs Downstairs Mr. Bellamy has a very similar chair in his parlour.

 (You can read all about her early life at the Tighsolas website that showcases her family letters from the 1908-1913 era.  I am writing a digital trilogy based on the letters. The first ebook is Threshold Girl, about her sister Flora, a college girl in 1911/12.)

Well, today, someone came to my Tighsolas website looking up "Dorothy Nixon" Gone with the Windows Video.

Gone With the Windows is an essay I wrote a few years ago that is now in a couple of ESL (English as a Second Language) textbooks and also is posted on my website.

 Occasionally an ESL  student will come to my website trying to find an answer to a question about the essay.

This time (I am assuming) a student was looking for a real shortcut, a video. It's a visual day and age, that's for sure. And this search engine request reminds me of that.

Of course there is no video for my essay, but I am beginning to think I must someone make my essays more visual. And I don't mean by merely painting pictures with words as in 'show' don't 'tell'.  That's old hat.

Many thousands of students have come to my Tighsolas website looking up this and that and they usually find what they want. Titanic Fashion, Women's rights, Suffrage movement in Canada, Laurier Era cost of living, women in 1910....

But just this week I had to laugh: someone came to my website looking up "Edwardian Ikea."

Lord Bellamy: Hudson, Lady Lindamere  has just sat on that new chair my parlour and crushed it to pieces.  Where did you get it?"

Hudson: At a new furniture store on the Kensington High Street. Ikea. It's called borgdeborgsyfar.

I say this because I just saw a program where some craftsman recreated the main parlour of the Titanic and they created a leather club chair from scratch using 100 year old methods. It took a number of highly-skilled craftsman many days to make this chair and a total of (I think) 60 man hours or more of labour. The chair was filled with horsehair.

The chair pictured above  is also from the Edwardian era and, I can tell you,  it weighs a tonne.  Solid piece of work. It's been re-upholstered many times, but maybe originally it contained horsehair.

That's why I had to laugh: The words "Ikea" and "Edwardian" seem to be rather oxymoronic (is that a word?) contradiction in terms.

I am thinking of going through my archives and making  a list of the ridiculous requests. 1800 automobile is one I remember. But then the search may have been just a high school student and to a 14 year old 1900 and 1800 are no different.  (Actually, the first auto, a kind of wheel chair with a boiler behind it, was invented in 1820, so maybe not so ridiculous.)

I just checked, Ikea was founded in 1943, closer to 1910 than 2010!!