A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The end of the 1500's

Canada Goose
In their second year they find a mate and in most cases will stay as a couple all of thier lives. If one dies, the other usually will find another mate. No reason not to think they experience sadness when their mate dies.

 To conclude the 1500's... 
   Those with money had plates made with pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach out 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 had trenchers - a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. After eating off wormy trenchers, one 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 or 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, drink and wait and see if they would hold on for a "wake".
   England is old and small and they started running out of places to bury people. So, they would dig up coffins, remove the bones to a house and reuse the grave. When opening these coffins, one out of 25 were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people who were still alive. So they thought of tying a string to the wrist and 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".

That's all folks. Have a great weekend.


  1. I enjoyed reading your series on the 1500s. I love word play etc. so it was interesting to hear where many of our phrases come from, although I'm not 100% sure I believe every one of them. Great close ups on the birds too.

  2. that's a really nice shot of the pair That light is perfect on 'em! They can get a bad rap but I still love these guys. I have some good goose stories but they're too long for a comment! :)

  3. I could learn from the geese, and I think that there might be a few others out there who could as well... just a thought!

    I'm curious where you are getting all of this enlightening information from, I'd like to cite the one about the "upper crust" for one of my papers I'm writing for my woman's studies course, if you don't mind this is.

    Have a wonderful day! Cheers!

  4. Feel free to use this however you want. I always thought it would be good stuff to keep in the memory bank for parties and such. You could toss these little tidbits out and impress people whenever the occasion arises. Unfortunately the hard drive of my memory bank fails to retain much information these days.

  5. Thank you Sinbad.

    If I want to impress I just use the terminology I'm learning in university, nobody has a clue what I'm talking about but damn do I sound intelligent! lol Just kidding, but these are interesting facts, my middle child is a useless information collector and he might get a kick out of these. I'll have to bookmark this though because I, like you, have this memory that will remember bits and pieces but not the entire concepts which will ruin the story then I'll look like a complete idiot! ;-) Cheers!

  6. Great pile of facts. Over this side of the pond we get the canada geese turning up in winter. I suppose back in the 1500 they wouldn't have much of an idea where they came from (Mr Columbus's expedition being only a few years earlier)

  7. well I'm feeling very edified by all of this wonderful information. and I'm so happy knowing that geese will find another mate if one dies. I've always wondered about that, knowing that they mate for life. have a great weekend John! And Sinbad too!

  8. I also very much enjoyed reading about the 1500s. Some phrases sounded familiar. Keep up the great blogging!

  9. It's been fun reading the 1500s posts. I'm with another poster, I'm not sure I can believe all of them or not, but they make perfect sense when put into perspective. :)

    Oh, and I like the geese too. Got so caught up in reading, I had to go back and take a better look!

    Good post!

  10. Excellent post and what a nice photo. Never seen one of these before.

  11. Beautiful picture and interesting info on the 1500s. Wonder how our life will be viewed in 500 years.

  12. Great photo of the geese.I seem to always have problems when it comes to bird pictures.


I appreciate my commenters. Thank you. Sometimes you may ask a question which I am all too happy to answer. But if your comment comes in as Betsy-noreply-comment - I cannot reply back. Change you comment settings to include an e-mail address and then bloggers can reply.