Subject: 17TH CENTURY ENGLISH...
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 15:08:44 EST
Subject: Fun with history
The next time you wash your hands and complain that the water temperature isn't just the way you like it, think about the way things used to be...real honest to goodness 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.
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 supports 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. Which posed a real problem in the bedroom, where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with tall 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, like slate tiles that would get very 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 out. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway to catch the thresh -- hence, 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. This would make 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 a 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.
Most people did not have pewter plates, but did have trenchers. They are a piece of wood, with the middle scooped out, to form a bowl. However, trenchers were often made from stale bread, which was so old and so hard, they could be used for quite some time. These trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms and mold got into the wood and old bread. And after eating off these wormy, moldy, trenchers, people would get "trench mouth."
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, which was called the "upper crust."
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. 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. Then someone would sit in the graveyard, all night long (on the " graveyard shift") and listen for the bell. Thus, the expression, he or she was "saved by the bell" or considered a "dead ringer."
And...whoever said, "History was boring?!"
Subject: ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 21:59:53 -0800
From: Donna and Ken Briney firstname.lastname@example.org
I enjoyed this and hope you will, too...
YEAR OF 1902
This ought to boggle your mind, I know it did mine! The year is 1902 , one hundred years ago ... what a difference a century makes. Here are the U.S. statistics for 1902....
The average life expectancy in the US was forty-seven (47).
Only 14 Percent of the homes in the US 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 US and only 144 miles of paved roads.
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 residents, 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 US was 22 cents an hour.
The average US 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 US took place at home.
Ninety percent of all US physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended 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 cost 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 prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.
The five leading causes of death in the US were:
- Pneumonia and influenza
- Heart disease
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 30.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.
There were no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
One in ten US 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 corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."
Eighteen percent of households in the US had at least one full-time servant or domestic.
There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire US.
I started to add a few editorial comments, but it would have been too hard to know when to quit!!
Just think what it will be like in another 100 years. It boggles the mind...
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Three Little Words
I suppose some degree of commerce would grind to a halt if telephone solicitors weren't able to call people at home during dinner hour, but that doesn't make it any more pleasant.
Now Steve Rubenstein, a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, has proposed Three Little Words, based on his brief experience in a Tele-marketing operation that would stop the nuisance for all time. The three little words are: "Hold On, Please..."
Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each Tele-marketing call so much more time-consuming that sales boiler rooms would grind to a halt. When you eventually hear the phone company's "beep-beep-beep" tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.
Three little words that eliminate telephone soliciting. Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end?
This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a "real" sales person to call back and get someone at home.
What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible.
This confuses the machine that dialed the call and it kicks your number out of their system.
Since doing this, our phone calls have decreased dramatically.
> Another Good Idea:
When you get "ads" enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return these "ads" with your payment; let the sending companies throw their own junk mail away.
When you get those "pre-approved" letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, Do not throw away the return envelope.
Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes, right? Well, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes.
Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Citibank.
If you didn't get anything else that day then just send them their blank application back!
If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them. You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing!
Eventually, the banks and credit card companies will begin getting their own junk back in the mail.
Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and the best of all they're paying for it...Twice! Let's help keep our postal service busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that's why they need to increase postage costs again.
This might be one of those articles ("junk E-Mails") that you'll want to forward to your friends.
Send this to a friend ... or two ... or three...or fifty! maybe if enough people follow these tips, it might work.
A NUMBER OF THESE ARE GREAT QUOTATIONS - many of which I never heard before
- A graceful taunt is worth a thousand insults." -Louis Nizer (1902 - 1994)
- "I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here." - Stephen Bishop
- "He is a self-made man & worships his creator." - John Bright
- "He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill
- "A modest little person, with much to be modest about." - Winston Churchill
- "I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." - Irvin S. Cobb
- "I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." - Clarence Darrow
- "He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)
- "He has sat on the fence so long that the iron has entered his soul." - David Lloyd George
- "Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas
- "Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?" - Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)
- "His ears made him look like a taxicab with both doors open." - Howard Hughes (about Clark Gable)
- "He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others." - Samuel Johnson
- "He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." - Paul Keating
- "He had delusions of adequacy." - Walter Kerr
- "There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure." - Jack E. Leonard
- "He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know." - Abraham Lincoln
- "You've got the brain of a four-year-old boy, and I bet he was glad to get rid of it." - Groucho Marx
- "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." - Groucho Marx
- "He has the attention span of a lightning bolt." - Robert Redford
- "They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge." - Thomas Brackett Reed
- "He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them." - James Reston (about Richard Nixon)
- "In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." - Charles, Count Talleyrand
- "He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." - Forrest Tucker
- "Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" - Mark Twain
- "A solemn, unsmiling, sanctimonious old iceberg who looked like he was waiting for a vacancy in the Trinity." - Mark Twain
- "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain
- "His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." - Mae West
- "She is a peacock in everything but beauty." - Oscar Wilde
- "Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go." - Oscar Wilde
- "He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." - Oscar Wilde
- "He has Van Gogh's ear for music." - Billy Wilder
- "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." - Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
- He stepped into the stream but the water had already moved on.
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