Fast Facts: The Gay Nineties!



Renee Ryan, here, still fighting a really tight dealine so we’re back to the FastFacts blog. Today, in honor of my current manuscript (set in the 1890s), I’ve decided to give some quick facts about the decade known as The Gay Nineties.



  • Top Ten Popular Boy Names: John, William, James, George, Charles, Joseph, Frank, Robert, Edward, Henry
  • Top Ten Popular Girl Names: Mary, Anna, Margaret, Helen, Elizabeth, Ruth, Florence, Ethel, Emma, Marie
  • Top Inventions of the Decade: Stop Sign, Tabulating Machine, Shredded Wheat, Ferris Wheel, Bottle Cap, Medical Glove, Candy Corn, Volleyball (the game), Zipper, Mouse Trap
  • The Suffragette Movement began in earnest
  • X-rays were discovered
  • Helium was discovered

In Fiction: The first Sherlock Holmes mystery was published








Also, in fiction: Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray









Finally, the first modern Olympic Games were held April 6, 1896 in Athens, Greece

Olympic stadium


Leave a comment and I’ll put your name in a drawing to win my September release, HIS MOST SUITABLE BRIDE.

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22 thoughts on “Fast Facts: The Gay Nineties!”

  1. I always thought it interesting that they called it the Gay Nineties, though it was anything but gay. I wonder if the people living though the depression, Spanish American war and unemployment thought it was gay.

    Good luck on meeting your deadline!

  2. I love knowing these facts of the nineties! And even today the beautiful name Emma is still a winner. Of course, I am prejudice as that is my precious granddaughter’s name.

    Thank you Renee!

  3. Margaret, isn’t interesting how certain words can take on a whole new meaning in such a relatively short time period? ANd, yes, thinking there were a lot of people who were very happy to say goodbye to that decade! 😉

  4. Candy corn? That is cool. I certainly didn’t realize it was that old! Very cool that was the first Olympic games also. Thanks for the history!

  5. May I just say that whoever invented the mousetrap has my undying gratitude.

    And when you think of it, the mousetrap remains almost mythical in that people say, “Invent a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”

    Which makes me wonder more about the mousetrap and the guy who invented it. (guy? I’ll bet it was a woman!!! No matter what the history books say, that’s got WOMAN written all over that invention!) I wonder if the world beat a path to his door?

  6. Love the facts, Renee! I loved the tidbit on Sherlock Holmes. Did you know he was a cocaine addict and there’s people that think he’s real. Sheesh. I love the evolution of names, too. Why are Emma and Elizabeth and Anna still so popular and (shudder) Ethel and Florence are not? Good post, good luck with the deadline. xo

  7. I am really surprised with your list of top inventions of the decade in addition to x-rays. I also didn’t realize Oscar Wilde wrote in the 1890″s. It just seems these things aren’t that old. Amazing how our perspective changes as we get older.

  8. I was surprised that Sherlock Holmes was published in the 1890’s. I had always assumed that Doyle was more contemporary with Dickens.

    I did enjoy the fun little bits of knowledge that you and the other authors share with us. Thank you for that.

  9. Great post. I love learning about different inventions and when they were accomplished. I thought the mouse trap was older. Behind every good male inventor is a very strong woman with an idea.

  10. I like the names of the gay 90’s; they all seem ‘normal’ and easy to say and spell. I’m also glad the medical glove was invented as I’m a nurse and really appreciate the personal protection it gives to my job. I’d love to win your book. sm

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