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Interesting Historical Facts

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la4angus

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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:
> 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
dogs,
> cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it
rained
> it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall 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 really
> mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts 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 the floor to help keep their
footing.
> As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened
> the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed
the
> entranceway. Hence the saying a "thresh hold."
>
> * * * * * *
> 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 the stew had food in it that
had
> been there for quite a while. 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 and
> 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 them 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 thought 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 "graveyard 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! ! ! ! !
> Educate someone...Share these facts with a friend...
 

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