The craze for orchids grew in the late 19th century and the wealthy are spared no expense to obtain them. This guide provides access to materials related to "Orchidelirium" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1789-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
Orchids are sold to raving Victorian woman at prices upwards of thousands of dollars. Bold men seeking wealth journey to the most dangerous parts of the Amazon in search of the perfect flower. Aptly named orchidelirium, this unique, floral craze grips the country in the late 19th century. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
Orchids are at the height of popularity and fashion for the affluent class during the Victorian Era.
Charles Darwin publishes On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing.