A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Life in the 1500's

Song Sparrow
I feel sparrows are the under appreciated of the bird world. Seems you never see pictures of a sparrow.
This little fellow was flitting around the water picking out little crawlies to eat. I got his photo only because the weather turned back into January weather, the wind was blowing, the air was cold, I wimped out on my planned hike and ended up sitting on a bench in the sun by the county park lake for an hour.

I was tossing out some papers when I came across one I have had for a long time and forgot about. I like this sort of stuff. Maybe you might also.

Facts about the 1500's  
   Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and were still smelling fairly 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 the other men and sons, 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 in 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 pets (and bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained the straw 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. So a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That is how canopy beds came into existence.

-more to come-


  1. ha ha! I didn't know any of those fabulous tidbits of info. thanks for the edification. the most interesting for me was how women and children were last in line for the bath. women were most likely the ones fetching, heating, and pouring the water too. great post John; that paper is something I could see myself saving too and then finding later. the hard part is deciding if I should toss it or keep saving. but now it's saved forever in the archive of your blog! beautiful sparrow photo too btw.

  2. I'm glad I didn't live at that time.
    Nice picture of sparrow. I feed the sparrows every day, it's many of them here,and hard for them to find something to eat during winter.
    Have a nice evening John:) (nice name)

  3. I agree about the sparrows and I love your facts about the 1500's! Crazy! And to think we still carry a bouquet of flowers today in weddings!

  4. Like the others, I'm infatuated with learning the roots of common sayings. So many thanks for this post. Where in the world did you find these facts?

  5. ahh i love sparrows! We've had a huge bunch of chipping and white-throated sparrows at our feeders lately. I love watching them. We finally got a tiny bit of snow so they're pretty cute in the white stuff.
    Your song sparrow is pretty sweet :)

  6. Yes, good we did not live at that time, although we would have known no better.

    I do not recall where I got the information as it was long ago. I am taking this from a print-out I have.


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