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"The Forgotten Victorian Craze for Collecting Seaweed"

Above: Selected plates from Margaret Gatty’s “British Sea-Weeds.” Biodiversity Heritage Library/public domain

"This woman…is one of… one of Victorian Britain’s many female seaweed hunters. Beloved by figures like Queen Victoria and George Eliot, seaweed-hunting became a popular way for women to tap into the enthusiasms of their era—and contribute to the burgeoning annals of science.…

…As the seashore itself gained a reputation as a restorative landscape, plenty of women found themselves there, either recuperating from illness or seeking family-friendly summer fun. Many of them were already diehard scrapbookers, and seaweed makes a particularly rewarding collage subject: not only does each specimen’s strange color and shape present a design challenge, its gelatinous inner structure means that, when pressed onto paper, it actually glues itself to the page.…"

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-forgotten-victorian-craze-for-collecting-seaweed

(Came upon this from following up on Kevin Kelly's tip for using atlasobsura.com for finding "…obscure, very offbeat attractions…" to wherever he is traveling. http://kk.org/cooltools/)

If you're not interested in seaweed, still check out http://www.atlasobscura.com.

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