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28

Snow removal takes a lot of effort. It was easier to switch out wheeled carriages for sleighs. Sleighs work better with more snow, so that according to this article: in the 18th and 19th centuries, "snow was never a threat" to road travel, "but rather it was an asset." The more densely packed snow became, the better. Some municipalities even had ...


20

It certainly meshes up with my memory of the way things were in the early 70's. But my memory may be exaggerated too. (I was anti-smoking way before it was cool.) It wasn't true that everyone smoked all the time, but it was certainly true that there were no real restrictions on locations smoking was allowed (short of near propane tanks). The first local ...


16

Leather was probably the most common material. The most basic transportation technology of the medieval era was the foot ... Those who did not go barefoot ... wore simple shoes. These shoes were made from leather, including the flat sole. - Wigelsworth, Jeffrey R. Science and Technology in Medieval European Life. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. ...


14

By the 1970s, smoking in the USA was starting to come down from its peak in the early 1960s. (Note that this is slightly deceptive in the early years of the 20th century, when cigarettes were relatively rare but cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco, and pipes were relatively common.) I don't watch Mad Men, so I'm not certain of the characters' ages, but I ...


11

One kind of shoe not mentioned in the other answers are those using bast soles. "Bast" is fiber from tree bark. Bast shoes or lapti, were once worn by poorer members of Northern European cultures. These were usually made from birch or linden. They are woven like a basket, and so are quite distinct from the wooden clog or hard wooden-soled shoes mentioned in ...


11

Be careful using movies as research for the commonality of smoking in the early 20th century. Film stars were paid by various elements of the tobacco industry to be seen smoking and paid to smoke in films. Here's a link to a reasonable summary of the scale of this advertising: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7632963.stm


10

Tyler Durden's comment does a great job with the first two parts of your question. This answer addresses when playgrounds began to look like the things we have today. Short Answer: The modern American playground was championed by progressives in the 1880s-1890s; the most common playground equipment was all invented by the 1920s; and New Deal money made ...


10

Yes, most men smoked For men born in USA between 1900 and 1930, about 80+% of them had been smoking at some point; and during 1920-1950 ~70% of them were current smokers.[1] This matches other countries - at ww1, for example, all soldiers generally received also a tobacco ration with the expectation that most of them will need it. For UK statistics, see ...


9

In Europe, different demands were placed on shoes based on different climates. People around the Mediterranean tended to wear sandals with wooden soles and leather thongs due to the warmer climate. If complete coverage was required, the entire foot might be encased in leather. In some places or situations, a clog would be worn, particularly if one was ...


7

First of all, I want to remark that people in the first half of 20-s century knew about health risks of smoking. I don't think any new discoveries were made in this area in the second half of the century. Second, all answers above address the situation in the US, so let me add some first hand experience from other countries (I grew up in former Soviet Union ...


5

Obviously this varies considerably by location as well as occupation and social standing - I'm afraid 'peasant' covers a wide array of people. I'm more familiar with the English diet than anything on the continent, but by far the bulk of their sustenance came in the form of pottage. Basically throw whatever green things you are currently getting from the ...


4

As others have mentioned, leather has been to preferred choice of material for the soles of footwear for thousands of years. An interesting fact is that one of the technologies that gave the Romans such an advantage was their hardened leather sandals which allowed them to march 20 miles a day, every day. Untreated leather and animal skins would wear out ...


3

Unfortunately, I had trouble finding a source of evidence to link to you for this, but I recall that, in a high school US History class, we watched a documentary on the death penalty, and it covered the history of it. There were some hand-painted signs advertising the killing of a known convict, but I can't recall what period they were from. That said, the ...


3

I am a regular stackexchange user but never in the history boards before. This post caught my eye. My Great Grandmother lived as a pioneer homesteader/farmer in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Her father died when she was very young, and her older brother badly injured his knee on a nail that worked itself loose on a horse drawn sleigh. He moved into the city to ...


3

@twoshedas answer, currently the accepted one, mentions just one approach but there were others. For example, in Montreal, Canada, large shafts that lead from the street level down to the sewers were used by city workers to push snow off the street and out of sight. From UnderMontreal A 19th century snow-dump shaft at the beginning stages of the Cote ...


3

With a paring knife. That's why nail parings are called, well, nail parings. Also, there were nippers similar to modern yarn cutters which were in common use since Roman times. Yarn cutters look like this:


2

Leather for sure. My boots are all leather except for a piece of rubber at the bottom of the heel. "Tough, firm, resistant to wear" exactly describes traditional leather use. The soles and any other parts are replaced as needed; my "cheap" boots as a teen lasted 10 years, and my current Ostrich ropers are 15 years old and "like new". Nylon/rubber/synthetic ...


2

The first verifiable mention I could find was in Theophrastus (circa 300 BC): [Lyngourion] has the power of attraction, just as amber has, and some say that it not only attracts straws and bits of wood, but also copper and iron, if the pieces are this, as Diokles used to explain. -- Theophrastus


2

I've seen here in UK demonstrations by U.S. cowboys of cutting into a herd with a larriot, and very effective it is. So many of the cowboy films show herds being driven at speed for miles, which is far from the truth. WE presumably are talking about domestic breeds rather than buffalo, even if they are roaming in a wild context. The stock would never get any ...


1

A general practice, even among very primitive people, is to use twigs. If you gnaw on a twig, its end will fray; then you can use the frayed end as a sort of a brush. If you ever do a lot of camping, you learn this very fast. Ancient Romans used tooth powder such as pumice or very fine sand and linen cloth. They also used various cleansers and astringents ...


1

Kit, Regia Anglorum are the premier Early Medieval living history society in the United Kingdom. They actively research historical social and military life, and have built permanent settlements in the Norman and Anglo-Saxon style, as well as having Viking ships. See http://www.regia.org/research/history/vikings.htm and ...


1

The design commonly used in American cards today is derived ultimately from French decks going back to the Renaissance. The earliest common American interpretation was by an artist named John Cazenave about 1800 about whom little is known. His designs were improved and much more widely printed by Charles Bartlett circa 1830. Then, around 1850, Samuel Hart of ...



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