Questions marked with this tag should concern habits and customs in normal people's lives. This can be limited to some epoch in history and to some region.

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0
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0answers
43 views

How did physical exercise originate in the Western world?

This is a list of mentions I found with my short googling: The yoga exercise technics were well-known in Asia as a both physical and mental health cure for a long time. According to Wikipedia, ...
18
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6answers
3k views

What were shoe soles made from in previous ages?

Today, nearly all commercial footwear has a sole made of either rubber or plastic with rubber-like qualities. It's a great material for the job, but it comes from a tree that's native to the Americas,...
2
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1answer
77 views

What was the age distribution in the Bronze Age? How do I find out?

What was the age distribution in the Bronze Age? How do I find out? I've seen citations "around" (encyclopedias and wikipedia) that say the life expectancy in the Bronze Age was around 26 yet this ...
0
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0answers
43 views

How were children affected in the English Civil War

How were children affected during the English Civil War? I can't find any information, just children's articles about the ECW. Can anyone provide me with any links, sources or just some information?
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5answers
1k views

Life in the middle ages for ordinary people? [closed]

From studying medieval history and reading related literature, I know enough about day to day life in the sense of life expectancy, work, pleasure, etc. My question is, given that human nature is ...
2
votes
0answers
75 views

What was church life in England like after the act of supremacy in 1532? Did churchgoers find any change in the sacraments from day one? [closed]

Where did Henry VIII find the priests to administer the services? How were they bound? Could (or did) any priests refuse to follow the new ways? Why were only the monks targeted for dissolution? ...
6
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2answers
180 views

How did people count before Fibonacci published Liber Abbaci?

Counting as we know it, including zero as a number, was brought to the traders and merchants of Europe by Leonardo of Pisa (whom we now know as Fibonacci) by his book "Liber Abbaci" in 1202. This ...
6
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1answer
253 views

Before iron was common, what did common people use for door hinges?

Door hinges are very old, but they've usually been made out of iron or bronze. Before metal was widely available and inexpensive, what did common people use for door hinges?
2
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0answers
138 views

Polite forms of address in Ancient Rome

My Latin dictionary only lists ere for sir, which is how a slave would address his/her master. But how would a lower status Roman address a person of higher status - for instance, a wage-labourer to ...
-2
votes
1answer
151 views

How did Britain rule Sri Lanka? [closed]

How did Britain rule Sri Lanka. Apart from the Great Rebellion, in which the British Empire brutally repressed the Kandy kingdom, there isn't a lot of info on how life was really like under foreign ...
2
votes
0answers
77 views

Any sources on day to day governance in the ancient world? [closed]

EDIT: I've been asked to make this question simpler so here is my best attempt: I'm looking for sources, either primary, secondary, or even good pieces of historical fiction, that deal with the daily ...
13
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1answer
838 views

What were birthdays like in Medieval times?

I considered putting this question on Worldbuilding SE, but decided it would be better suited here, as it is about history. I am doing some research for a fantasy medieval novel, and I was wondering ...
5
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3answers
236 views

Since when does people not translate their names when moving from a country to another?

I was interested in the process of changing the names of people from a language to another. Most monarch have a different given name in different languages, however this phenomena also applied to ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Who started/popularized the department store perfume gauntlet?

Anybody with functional olfactory senses who has been to a department store knows that nearly every one places the perfume counter right at the front of the store, where every patron is forced to walk ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

What was the range of people's social lives like, before the technology for long distance communications developed?

We know a lot about some famous people from letters they have written and received. It seems that a lot more communication with people who were important in their lives was written instead of face-to-...
10
votes
1answer
449 views

When did retailers stop wrapping purchases in paper and twine?

Listening to stories from relatives, it sounds like it was a near-universal practice (in the US, before the 1970s) to wrap retail purchases with brown paper and twine. Searching for information about ...
3
votes
1answer
183 views

Was the grooming ritual of clipping one's toe/fingernails common practice in the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean/Mesopotamia?

In most societies today, keeping one's nails trimmed within a few mms of the top of the nail plate is the grooming standard. Do we have evidence that clipping nails when they reached a certain length ...
6
votes
1answer
177 views

When did chairs with arms and backs develop in Europe? [closed]

There are numerous depictions of early / high medieval Popes, Kings and Bishops sat on thrones, with arms and a back, and the saddles of the high medieval period had a padded back, but every depiction ...
1
vote
0answers
125 views

Where does the employer / employee deference, subservient relationship come from? [closed]

I'm interested in understanding where the deep seated social and psychological(?) feeling of subservience between employee and employer came from. For example Deming and others would advocate more of ...
4
votes
3answers
556 views

Fish/Shark skin sandpaper

It seems to be a well-established fact that sharkskin was used as sandpaper. This includes the use of the skin of rays and dog sharks. My question is: A. how far back does this practice go? B. were ...
4
votes
1answer
232 views

During the Middle Ages, how many people could fishing feed?

I known fishing was pretty popular in the middle-age. But I don't know how many people could be fed by a single fisher? I'd like to know it mostly for river fishing but I'm also interested by sea ...
5
votes
0answers
384 views

Origins of knife and fork language etiquette

There is an etiquette of placing knife and fork on a plate while resting or after finishing. For example this cheat-sheet (there are a lot of texts and images like this on the web): I found this ...
20
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5answers
4k views

How common was smoking in first half of the 20th century?

When watching movies that were made in first half of the 20th century, one can see many people are smoking (cigarettes), but it is not they smoke all time long. I refer to the movies, because they ...
4
votes
1answer
305 views

What were common reasons people attended executions in mid 1930s.?

In The Green Mile movie (1999) the main character is a guardian in jail and performs death penalty executions. One can see that on such executions some external people come to watch (as "external" I ...
15
votes
4answers
784 views

What would be accurate illustrations of vikings and viking culture?

Vikings didn't have horned helmets as is often depicted. Where can I find accurate representations how vikings and viking society looked?
2
votes
0answers
327 views

First-hand sources for medieval urban life in central Europe

I am a teacher and I would like to do an exercise with my students concerning the urban life in the Middle Ages. I am looking for original, first-hand sources who describe urban life from the 11th ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

Cattle handling in the 19th century

In the largest cattle raising countries - Australia and the USA, huge free ranging herds were kept. Nowadays, we use yards and crushes for husbandry activities such as drafting and calf marking (...
4
votes
1answer
877 views

How did people clean their teeth in the past? (Greco-Roman to medieval age)

How did people clean their teeth in the past? How in these days the tooth decay was faced?
8
votes
1answer
417 views

What did 19th century playgrounds look like?

In the beginning of the novel Cold Mountain, a character recollect his childhood at a school house (maybe in the 1840s or 1850s in rural North Carolina) and describes flinging his hat out onto the ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

How did people deal with ice on the roads during the horse-and-buggy era?

Before there were cars, people traveled in a horse-drawn carriage, sometimes over cobble-stone covered roads. Back in those days, was anything done to keep the traveled roads free from ice or snow? ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How did people cut their nails in the past?

How did people cut their toe and fingernails before we got nail clippers after the industrial revolution? Would they have had a fair amount of ingrown toenails, especially in the colder regions where ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do some playing cards have only one eye?

At some point, playing cards graduated from having wildly varying designs to having a standard design. Kings of Hearts are now "suicide kings," because of the sword behind their head, and Jacks of ...
3
votes
1answer
258 views

When did static electricity become a common occurrence?

I was wondering if there are references to static electricity in any classic works. I understand There were many people experimenting with it over the millennia, but was it also a common household ...
8
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3answers
3k views

How rich were carpenters in the Roman province of Iudaea in the 1st century AD?

According to the Biblical account, Jesus was the son of a carpenter, Joseph of Nazareth (Matthew 13,55). Apparently carpenters were not among the wealthy. Be that as it may, how rich could a ...
38
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3answers
2k views

What was the typical peasant's diet like in Europe during the High Middle Ages?

I know that wheat, barley, rye, onions, lettuce-like plants and turnips were common but how common were other things like meat or cheese? I've heard the "plowman's lunch" was a concoction of the dairy ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How regularly did the Romans bathe?

I guess the answer may be different for rich people who had their own baths and others who visited the public baths.
12
votes
1answer
501 views

When did nose-picking became socially condemned?

Nose-picking is a common and well known socially condemmed habit. However, this condemnation seems to be a purely social behavior with very little grounds on medical risks; it is even done by other ...
6
votes
1answer
605 views

How did IKEA design evolve?

How did IKEA develop the characteristic style? I know there is a catalog each year, but I'm looking more for a summary and overview of the design evolution. I understand it's not as significant as, ...
7
votes
1answer
219 views

Who invented modern bookends? (both model T and model L)

In ancient times the bookends were made from very heavy materials to sustain the weight of the books, while the modern ones use a smarter technique: while they are light, they are shaped so that they ...
4
votes
1answer
378 views

Invention of Planned Obsolescence

Excluding style obsolescence or any type of advertising, when was the first form of planned obsolescence concerning shortening the life of a product by making it break sooner or forcing a consumer to ...
6
votes
1answer
352 views

Why some amphoras are pointwise in the bottom?

Most liquid containers, such as barrels, are flat in the bottom and thus easy to store and pile up. However, some ancient amphoras were pointwise in the bottom arguably making them less easy to store....
4
votes
1answer
691 views

Korean Traditional Clothes for each Dynasty

I searched everywhere but couldn't find a site that provide detailed clothes worn by the people of Korea in ancient time. I would like to search the changes in fashion and costume over time. Here are ...
3
votes
1answer
473 views

What is the origin/history of the practice of standing up if an elder or respectable is approaching?

It is usually witnessed that whenever someone respectable (parents), of a higher status (king/president) or an elderly approaches e.g. enters the room, people tend to stand-up as a sign of respect. ...
6
votes
3answers
257 views

What containers were used for food prior to the industrial era?

Today, when you go shopping, most of the food are kept in plastic or paper containers (or tin can). What types of containers were used to sell, transport and keep the food before plastic ? and ...
6
votes
1answer
186 views

What is “Mary's Part”?

The poem on this gravestone in RI refers to "Mary's part." What does this phrase mean?
19
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2answers
821 views

What would a Norseman in the early 11th century have worn as daily clothing?

Most of the Norse clothing we know about seems to come from burials. However, in many cultures, bodies dressed for burial are wearing either "good" clothes, or special clothes for the dead. Is there ...
8
votes
1answer
196 views

Where can I find detailed accounts of cash-less payment in medevial and ancient times?

In his book "Debt: The first 5000 Years" David Graeber writes that during most of the middle ages and antiquity coins were seldom used in day-to-day dealings, at least of the more rural population. He ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Specialization of labor among the ancient Maya

How specialized were laborers among the ancient Maya? Would the same person dig irrigation ditches and plant corn? Would the same person go into battle and hunt in the forest? Would jade carvers go ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Historical and biblical names for bottles of wine

According to sources like the linked sizes list at Wikipedia entry about bottles of champagne and other kinds of wine, various sizes of bottles took their names after ancient Jewish kings and other ...
2
votes
1answer
349 views

Where did the masquerade ball come from and what was its original concept?

I mean a kind of party which guests and hosts hide their faces behind different masks or/and wear odd clothes. Surely there is no certain idea about main concept with me unless perhaps it has roots in ...