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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: sew_arub_sew
Date: 01-03-2006, 10:11 AM (1 of 6)

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because

the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how

things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

These are interesting...

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly

bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they

were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to

hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when

getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of

the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the

other sons and men, then the women and finally the children Last of

All the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose

someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with

the bath water."

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood

underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so

all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.

When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip

and off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.

This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other

droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big

and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how

canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
Hence the saying "dirt poor."

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when

wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their
footing. As

the winter wore on, they added more thresh until when you opened the

door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in

the entranceway.

Hence the saying a"thresh hold."

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle

that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added

things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get

Much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers

in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.

Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite awhile.

Hence the rhyme, "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas

Porridge in the pot nine days old."

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.

When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.

It was a sign of wealth that a man could "bring home the bacon."

They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all

sit around and "chew the fat."

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid

content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing

lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for

the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt

bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the

top, or "upper crust."

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination

would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone

walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them

for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of

days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait

and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake."

England is old and small and the local folks started running out

of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would

take the bones to a "bone-house" and reuse the grave. When reopening

these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks

on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So

they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through

the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.

Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the

shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by

the bell" or was considered a " dead ringer."

And that's the truth... Now, whoever said that History was boring!
"Your struggle is not greater than your reward"
User: sew_arub_sew
Member since: 12-19-2005
Total posts: 7
From: MaryW
Date: 01-03-2006, 10:48 AM (2 of 6)
Hello Arub, nice to see you. Where have you been all this time?
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: emorrow
Date: 01-05-2006, 06:51 PM (3 of 6)
Wow! I am speechless and that, in itself, is amazing!

User: emorrow
Member since: 02-26-2005
Total posts: 13
From: Mom of Six
Date: 01-06-2006, 12:21 PM (4 of 6)
My sister just sent this to me. I thought you might like it

This will boggle your mind, I know it did mine!

The year is 1905. One hundred years ago. What a difference a century
Here are some of the U.S. statistics for the Year 1905:

The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.
Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.
There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily
populated than California.
With a mere 1.4 million people, California was only the 21st most
populous state in the Union.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
The average wage in the U.S. was 22 cents per hour.
The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist
$2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and
a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home.
Ninety percent of all U.S. doctors had no college education. Instead,
they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in
the press and by the government as "substandard."
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg
yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into
their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii,
and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.
The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at
the local corner drugstores.
Back then pharmacist said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives
buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a
perfect guardian of health." (Shocking!)
Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time
servant or domestic help.
There were about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.
Happiness is having time to sew!!
User: Mom of Six
Member since: 11-03-2001
Total posts: 1115
From: sew_arub_sew
Date: 01-18-2006, 10:19 AM (5 of 6)
Loong....Story... Glad to be back.

Take care

"Your struggle is not greater than your reward"
User: sew_arub_sew
Member since: 12-19-2005
Total posts: 7
From: MaryW
Date: 01-18-2006, 01:25 PM (6 of 6)
Don't be such a stranger. :smile:
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
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