It’s said that if we don’t learn from history, we’re doomed to repeat it. That’s an ominous warning against not learning the lessons of war and tyranny, but the beautiful parts of history are worth repeating. Here’s how we’re keeping some of those beautiful aspects of history alive today:
- Vintage and antique items
People love vintage items for many reasons. For some, it’s the allure and luster of presenting someone with a vintage diamond engagement ring from the late 1800s. Others are fascinated by owning an Elgin pocket watch that belonged to someone with an unknown story. People with wealth often acquire heirloom rings with a known story, like Kate Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring that belonged to Princess Diana.
Even when the previous owner is unknown, vintage items always tell a fascinating story on their own, and leave many open-ended questions.
- Vintage home décor
Sometimes people collect décor like drapes and dressing tables from a specific time in history. Owning that décor makes them feel as if they’re living in that time period.
Each individual has their reasons for being drawn to artifacts from another time. Some people try to live every aspect of their lives in another time, like the people in Jennifer Greenburg’s photoshoot discussed on Wired.com. Greenburg spent more than a decade photographing a real-life Rockabilly community – people who live as if they’re in the 1950s. Although they sport the clothes, hair, cars, and homes filled with 1950s memorabilia, Greenburg says none of them take on the radical views held back then.
The 1920s are popular, too
For several decades it’s been trendy to decorate homes with furniture from the 1920s. If you walk into any hole-in-the-wall café in a busy city like Hollywood, you’ll find mismatched velvet couches and chairs that look like they came right out of a movie set.
Décor from the Victorian era is popular among those with enough money to decorate their homes from top to bottom in cherubs, flowery drapes, and porcelain trinkets.
- Vintage clothing styles
Clothing styles tend to repeat every couple of decades, and often with a twist. It’s hard to look at any fashion today and not see the past in some way.
Although many people dislike fashion from the 1970s, many 70s fashion trends were inspired by the Edwardian era with a mix of 1930s and 1940s. 1970s fashion was all about functionality and comfort, and that’s what we still see today. Everyday formal wear has yet to return, and we can thank the 70s for that.
- Baby names
Nothing keeps history alive more than vintage baby names. According to sources, a handful of popular names from 1920 are back in style including:
If these names seem common to you, it’s because some wonderful parents have decided to keep history alive.
- Victorian architecture
Originating during the reign of Queen Victoria, Victorian architecture has remained popular ever since. The homes are usually two or three stories high with stone or wood siding. Inside, Victorian homes are known for having odd wings and bays in every direction, and being covered in textured siding and shingles.
Victorian architecture was inspired by the elaborate Gothic architecture focusing on beauty rather than practicality. Perhaps that’s why many doorways are small and impossible to move large pieces of furniture through. Most homeowners widen doorways out of necessity, but some don’t; they want to live true to the time period. Those who can afford it have custom furniture built inside of each room, the same way furniture was built for old castles.
Victorian architecture holds its value
Victorian homes hold value, but not in the way you might think. There’s a niche market for Victorian homes, and where it’s located makes all the difference.
Many neighborhoods in vacation cities are full of beautiful, Victorian homes, which often rent for $6,000 per month or more. When restored and in the right location, a Victorian home can be a lucrative investment.
- Live Action Role Playing
There are people involved in Live Action Role Playing (LARP) who keep just about every time period alive. Many of these people are historians who perform reenactments for guided tours, but many are people who enjoy playing the roles of the past at places like the Renaissance Faire and other Medieval groups.
Repeating history can be beautiful
Not everything from the past is detrimental to our society. There are many lessons to be learned, but there are also aspects of beauty to be preserved.