From the Chaosium website:
Being a Compendium of Various Useful Articles and Sundries for the Victorian Era, Together With Information Pertaining to Their Use
This volume is more than just a price list: its aim is to provide both keeper and player with as much information as is possible within these few pages about the way people over a century past lived and worked -- the sorts of items that were available (and when they were invented), how they were used, even at times what people knew.
This is particularly important because the 19th century is perhaps the single most remarkable period in the history of the west: no other century, not even our own 20th century, saw such amazing change and development. If an educated person could be transported nearly two hundred and fifty years into his future to meet with a counterpart in 1800, there is not much that he would see and experience that would not be immediately understandable. While he might marvel at the Montgolfiers’ balloon or be awestruck at the enormous steam engines of Watt and Newcomen that was now beginning to pump water and lift ore from mines, these things would be easily understood. He might lift an eyebrow at the democratic experiments in the American colonies and in France, but he would easily recognize their origins in Athenian Greece and the senate of Rome. Wind, the horse, and the strong human back still provided most of the motive power; and man rarely traveled faster than on the back of a fleet horse.