Questions tagged [everyday-life]

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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2
votes
1answer
137 views

What would a small-scale merchant in Renaissance Italy consider a necessity at home?

Presume we have a small-scale merchant in Renaissance Italy. By "small scale" I mean someone who has a shop and a house but isn't big enough to be a "rich merchant". I believe that something like ...
3
votes
0answers
195 views

Was lobster considered a poor man's food in the Georgian era?

Many years ago I took a tour through a restored Georgian-era house in Dublin (best €2 I spent that summer). This included some pretty good explanations on the everyday life and customs in that period, ...
4
votes
1answer
212 views

What is the earliest recorded reference to a bubble floating in the air?

What is the earliest reference to a bubble floating in the air?
3
votes
3answers
602 views

Is it true that Nazi Germany replaced prices ending in .99 by round prices and called this “Aryan pricing”?

On a questionable website full of revisionist pro-nazi propaganda, which is not worth linking to (*), I found the following statement: Along the same lines, I remember a National Socialist ...
53
votes
2answers
11k views

Why does Japan use the same type of AC power outlet as the US?

Does it have something to do with the US taking part in aiding reconstruction of the country after WWII? I've tried googling around for an answer, but every site I find simply states the outlet style, ...
2
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0answers
135 views

Is there a meaning in a name marked on the rear of a headstone rather than the front?

I have found a family headstone with the names of the deceased on the front (with many details), and a military cross (for their son) in front of the stone. On the rear of the stone is a name and age,...
15
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1answer
295 views

How exactly were beer/bread made in Ancient Egypt?

I'm writing a novel set in large part in Ancient Egypt and am incorporating many tasks of everyday living into the narrative. The one I'm stuck on is the making of bread and beer (which were ...
16
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2answers
4k views

What is meaning of 4 letter abbreviations in Roman names like Titus Flavius T. f. T. n. Sabinus?

I am reading about Titus Flavius Sabinus (consul AD 47) and cannot find meaning of T. f. T. n. in his full name as written in Wikipedia, "Titus Flavius T. f. T. n. Sabinus." All I have found is a ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Addiction in history [closed]

I would like to know how communities have coped with addiction problems in history, especially with regard to alcohol and gambling. How did the community define such people? And what they did to solve ...
17
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0answers
466 views

Did men and women feast together in the early medieval East Francia?

I am interested in important feasts of the upper classes (nobility), e.g., Easter or the baptism of important heirs, in the Eastern Frankish kingdom around 900 AD, specifically the Duchy of Saxony. ...
0
votes
2answers
156 views

Looking for good documentation about daily life under Stalinist USSR

I am contemplating the idea of making a role playing game set in USSR under Stalin, specifically the period between when he gained full power (roughly 1930) and operation barbarossa (June 1941). I am ...
48
votes
5answers
16k views

What did babies eat before the advent of modern blenders?

Modern baby foods are commonly made using various strengths of blender, but what was used before then? I assume something like a potato masher, but that would only work for a few foods. So what was ...
4
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0answers
298 views

What was the average day like for a 15th century English peasant or agricultural Labourer?

Because I live in a major urban American city of nearly 500,000 (Colorado Springs), I am finding it difficult to wrap my head around the idea of medieval subsistence agriculture. I am particularly ...
16
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2answers
5k views

How did people in the desert stay cool in the past?

Putting on layers of clothing, building insulated shelters or simply lighting a fire are some simple yet effective ways of staying warm. Humans have shown they are quite adept at keeping themselves ...
2
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0answers
126 views

Making bread at home: daily or weekly

My grandmother used to tell me about the life of field workers in her (and her grandmother's) time, going from the 1950s backwards to the 19th century (in Portugal). This often included baking bread ...
6
votes
1answer
187 views

Do we have a notion of how common private bathing facilities were, in Rome at late Republican times?

For example, there are small private bathtubs in Pompeii, but this is about 150 years later and in a period that practices were changing, as more people became wealthy enough to have such things. My ...
13
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1answer
745 views

How did people say “I have to go to the bathroom” before the bathroom and pipes were common?

I am writing a story in a medieval world of fantasy, and today a little girl is trapped next to her brother in a hole. The girl has to go to the bathroom, but I do not know how to be someone that age ...
1
vote
2answers
372 views

What animals did South East Asians ride in the Middle Ages?

I just got curious, what animals were used by Asians (peasants and rich people) for riding in the Middle Ages? In the west region of the Earth people rode horses, but I guess horses were not common in ...
4
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1answer
480 views

What was clothing in ancient Palmyra like?

What is known about what people used to wear in the city of Palmyra during the third century AD? Was it more similar to Roman or Persian fashion of the period?
48
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6answers
22k views

How did people wash dishes before dish detergent?

Using a sponge and dish detergent is a convenient way to clean one's dishes and utensils, but how did people clean their dishes before the invention of dish detergent?
11
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1answer
532 views

Was there self-censorship in private correspondence in the early 19th Century?

I've been reading collections of letters and journals (generally relating to the Napoleonic Wars) published in the first half of the 19th century. Often these contain words that have been partially ...
8
votes
2answers
651 views

Why were Roman dice elongated?

According to this article, Roman dice did not always have the modern cube-shaped form: [I]n contrast with modern dice, they weren’t always exactly cubes. Sometimes they were noticeably a bit ...
4
votes
2answers
112 views

What is the definition, usage, and etymology of “Sandy ware”?

Wikipedia has the category "Sandy ware in the Portable Antiquities Scheme" Is it a kind of pottery? Or a type of coating for pottery? That's what I would understand from this page. What would it have ...
8
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3answers
3k views

Did French people in 19th century not bathe every day?

I am currently watching Ikoku Meiro No Croissant episode 4. In this episode, Yune tried to take a bath, but it didn't work out nicely. So in the next morning, Claudel-san said that: Only rich ...
23
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2answers
4k views

What was life like for an adult Victorian chimney sweep?

What was life like for an adult Victorian chimney sweep? I'm looking into my family history at the moment and my great-great-grandfather is listed on an 1881 census as a chimney sweep. I thought this ...
5
votes
1answer
730 views

How did the Faroese heat their houses?

As Faroe Islands' "low temper­atures during the growing season, stormy winter weather, and variable winter temperatures are unfavourable for tree growth", there are hardly any trees on Faroe Islands. ...
3
votes
2answers
630 views

What happened during a Viking Feast?

I am looking for information about Viking feasts. The only information I found, was about their food, what they ate and so on. But are there any sources of information about the typical schedule of a ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

Is there any resource to learn interiors of a house for particular classes in 17th Century in Bohemia?

I would like to learn details of the living places for particular classes and professions in Bohemia in 17th Century. (For example a burgher, or carpenter guild master etc.) I try some novels written ...
4
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0answers
329 views

Did people at the time think that the founding fathers were religious men? [closed]

People today think for some reason that the founding fathers were religious men, you know "Good-old Christians" and the sort. Of course this isn't exactly true. Sure, they did think a god of some ...
2
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0answers
666 views

When did the term “9-to-5” emerge? [closed]

I'm an American. I have heard many pop culture references to a full-time job as a "9-to-5". However, an ordinary full-time job is typically clocked as eight hours a day starting from 8:00 AM and ...
1
vote
1answer
934 views

What percentage of British people during the industrial revolution were rich?

I am doing some research for school and I was wondering what was the percentage of British people during the industrial revolution (The 1760 to 1840 period) were rich? By 'rich' I mean a person that ...
9
votes
2answers
348 views

How did pre-Columbian Americans shear their alpacas?

What tool did they use to separate wool from the animals?
3
votes
0answers
914 views

How did physical exercise (stretching) 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
511 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
463 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? ...
8
votes
2answers
564 views

How did people count before Fibonacci published Liber Abbaci? [closed]

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
749 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?
7
votes
1answer
2k 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
379 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
209 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 ...
12
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4answers
1k views

When did people stop translating their names when moving from one country to another?

I was interested in the process of people changing their names from one language to another. Most monarchs have a different given name in different languages. However, this phenomenon also applied to ...
4
votes
1answer
262 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-...
22
votes
2answers
10k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
344 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
443 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
14k 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,...
6
votes
0answers
563 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
24
votes
7answers
11k 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 ...