Walter Nelson's Historical Lectures

ImageImage>Over the years, Walter Nelson has presented lectures on a wide variety of historical topics. Each lecture is tailored to the needs and interests of the audience, and can either be done in a modern style, with computer, projector and sound equipment, or if integrated into a historical program, done in a style appropriate to a less technological era.

Walter focuses on bringing clarity to otherwise complex topics and exploding popular myths and misconceptions.

Walter infuses all of his programs with energy, humor and audience engagement. When appropriate, he wears the historical costume of the era in question. He can provide all his own A/V equipment.

Listed below are some of the topics of Walter's past lectures, which he has presented to such organizations as the Pasadena Museum of History (Walter & Sheila were "social historians in residence" there in 2011), The Workman Temple Homestead Museum, the University of Redlands, the American Cinematheque, the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles, Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site, the San Diego Vintage Dance Society, the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, the Huntington Library, the Banning House Museum and many others. He has also appeared on camera as an expert on the HBO Penn & Teller show (Victorian Etiquette) and the History Channel "Modern Marvels" (primitive firearms).

Selected Lecture Topics

  • Good and Bad Manners in 19th Century America
  • The history of men's formal wear
  • Dr. Zarkoff, have the robot fetch my Zeppelin: the Art Deco era imagines the future
  • Travel in the 1920s and 30s
  • Practical costuming for living history docents
  • Jazz age etiquette
  • Dances of the Ragtime era
  • Quackery and Snake Oil in 19th Century America
  • The Pseudo-Science of Phrenology
  • Medieval Medicine
  • "First Person" and "Third Person" impressions in historical education
  • A novice's guide to using technology for historical education
  • Good manners in the Regency era
  • Dueling and civilized violence in the early 19th Century
  • How people dressed in Spanish and Mexican California
  • Warfare in the Middle Ages
  • The Civil War soldier
  • Vice and sin in Regency Britain

And many more...

If presentations on these topics, or other topics related to social history, military history or dance history interest you, contact Walter for pricing and availability.

Walter is located in the San Fernando Valley area of Southern California. Programs that require travel will be priced accordingly.

Since Walter has a full time "day job", he is generally available only on weekends and evenings. He regrets that he therefore cannot offer school programs.