Name That Decade

I love pretty much anything to do with history, but it’s no secret that my favorite part of history is nineteenth-century American history. Today, we’re going to play a game to see how much you know about the different decades of the nineteenth century in America. I’m going to give you a clue and you have to decide whether that clue belongs to the 1800s, 1810s, 1820s, 1830s, 1840s, 1850s, 1860s, 1870s, 1880s, or 1890s.


The cage crinoline or hoop grew to widespread use by the middle of this decade, relieving women of numerous petticoats and expanding skirts to their maximum size. Also, the steel hooped crinoline was patented.

Cultural Trends

These three decades encompassed phrenology’s first heyday, during which employers could demand a character reference from a local phrenologist to ensure that a prospective employee was honest and hard-working.


In this decade, William Blackstone of Indiana built his wife a washing machine as a birthday present. It was the first washing machine designed for convenient use in the home.

Major Events

This decade saw the rise and fall of The Great Rebellion.

Historical Figures

Mary Dixon Kies became the first American woman to be granted a patent in this decade.


In this decade, Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner” (originally titled:  “Defense of Fort McHenry”) and set it to the tune of Anacreon in Heaven.


In this decade, American painter John Singer Sargent’s portrait of “Madame X” (also an American) caused a scandal upon its debut in Paris.


Colorado officially became a state in this decade.


The golden spike was driven to join the rails of the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States, connecting the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads in the final year of this decade.

Mail Service

The U.S. Post Office issued its first postage stamps in this decade. One (5 cents) depicted Benjamin Franklin. The other (10 cents), depicted George Washington.


Recipes for a cake named “angel food” began appearing in cookbooks during this decade. Also, printed references to desiccated eggs (dried eggs) began to appear.


Fashion – 1850s (Learn more.)

Cultural Trends – 1820s-1840s (Learn more.)

Inventions –  1870s (Learn more.) (Check out this fascinating video!)

Major Events – 1860s (Learn more about the final battle.)

Historical Figures – 1800s  (Learn more.)

Music –  1810s  (Learn more.)

Art –  1880s (Learn more.)

Statehood –  1870s  (Learn why it took so long.)

Travel –  1860s (Learn more.)

Mail Service – 1840s  (Learn more.)

Food –   1880s (Learn more about the history of angel food cake or dried eggs.)

How did you do? Did you have fun? If you’d like to see more posts like this, let me know!


Test your knowledge of nineteenth-century American history with this fun quiz! (CLICK TO TWEET!)

Can you Name That Decade? #AmericanHistory

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