A BIT OF HISTORY

 

 
>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:
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>
>
>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.
>
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>
>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."
>
>
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>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."
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>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 posts and a sheet hung over the
>top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.
>
>
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>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 adding 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?)
>
>
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>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 q! uite a while. Hence the rhyme, "Peas porridge hot, peas
>porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."
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>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."
>
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>Those with mone! y 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.
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>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. Someon! e 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."
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>England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places
>to bury people. Therefore, 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, 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."
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>And that's the truth... Now, whoever said that History was boring ! ! !
>!
>Educate someone...

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