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Quirky things that people have done 'in the day' that people would gasp at today..

Discussion in 'The Home Front Woman' started by Lollipop, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. Joie DeVive

    Joie DeVive One Too Many

    It's called dampening. Those were linens that were waiting to be ironed. In the days before steam irons, it was a really effective way to get the wrinkles out of cottons and linens. Sometimes you see old pop bottles with lids that have holes in them. Those were used to sprinkle the water on the fabric before rolling it up and putting it in the fridge.
  2. cecil

    cecil A-List Customer

    There's a photo of me similar to this but a champagne bottle is the prop. I saw a recent version of the photo that was posted on the net and met with outrage. I couldn't believe it! Who in their might rind would not see that it was a joke?
  3. cecil

    cecil A-List Customer

    I'm with your grandmother on this one! I have piles of thick, coarse, curly hair and got head lice when I was about eleven. After trying two different lice shampoos from the pharmacy my mother acted on the advice of an older lady and doused my head in kerosene. Worked a treat! I escaped chemical burns but my scalp was a bit tingly for a few days. Still, it was a darned sight better than that infernal ITCHING. I'm scratching my arms now just remembering it. Yeuch.
  4. Lillemor

    Lillemor One Too Many

    Of all the things I remember, how could I forget this one?!
  5. My dad was a child of the 50s (born August, 1948). Living in Malaysia back then, when it was still a largely developing country was...interesting, to say the least.

    Dad used to tell me a story about his neighbour. At the time, (probably around 1955 or maybe a bit later), when my father was school-aged, his neighbour used to drive my dad to school.

    The car was an old, beat up jalopy. Half the time it wouldn't even start. The electric starter was toast and hadn't been repaired, so apparently the old guy had to get the car started the old-fashioned way...with a hand-crank! Dad used to tell me how he'd wake up, have breakfast and then watch his neighbour wrestle with the crank-handle, to get the car started. If the car didn't start...no school --- too far to walk, and there was no reliable public transport in those days. It was the car, or bust. No-one else in the neighbourhood had a car back in those days. So this old clanker was like the proverbial 'village bicycle'.

    Assuming the car started, my dad then hopped in, pride of place in the front seat, next to the driver.

    So far, so normal.

    Here comes the special bit.

    Like I said...there's no public transport and the school is too far away for people to walk to. So...what does my dad's neighbour do? He drives around the block, picking up the kids for school in this, barely-functioning old beater, and drives them off to school! As many as twelve kids (or even MORE!) crammed into a battered old 1930s sedan. Dad used to say how kids would cram themselves in like sardines (when you got bench-seats, you would!). They'd have a row of kids at the back...and then another row of kids who would sit on the first row's lap, and then probably another FOUR kids (or more!) crammed in the front seat, next to the driver!

    And they did this every single day of the school year...all the way there...and then all the way back.

    Remember this is the 1950s...no safety belts. The car's already old...so the brakes don't work too great...the roads are largely unpaved and muddy...full of pot-holes...and it's about 35 degrees (94-96F) outside...even without the sun...Try going to school like that every day!

    --- --- --- ---

    Just reading through this thread and noticed a few things mentioned on page 1...

    Cutting fingernails so that they were sharp and pointy. My grandmother was a child of the 20s and 30s, and to this day, she still cuts her fingernails in that really sharp, pointy style.
  6. Cricket

    Cricket Practically Family

    My mother and grandmother were not afraid to do this to me in public. Sometimes "the look" would work, but when all else failed, it was time for the hand to meet the butt. And yes, no one batted an eye.

    Of course, I am not saying to "beat" your child, but my son was going crazy in the book store, and I did the slight tap on the behind, and the cashier looked like she was going to call DHS.

    Oh well, my son got his act together. I just felt odd with the lady staring at me.
  7. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    My mother's commute to school was about the same, but as I recall, somebody had a small bus or at least a bigger vehicle. The kids had to ride their horses to the bus stop, and it was very cold some days in northern Wyoming.
  8. Joie DeVive

    Joie DeVive One Too Many

    My Mom used to ride her horse to school sometimes too!

    My parents grew up in the 50's and there are a number of stories of things that people would shudder at.

    My Dad and his brothers ran wild through the countryside. They ate wild onions, wild asparagus and berries when they were hungry.. They also weren't above snagging something out of a farmer's field.

    My Dad talked about playing with fireworks as a kid. They would tape bottle rockets to those little balsa planes. He also described how they lit a cherry bomb, put a coffee can over it and stood on it.. :eek:

    My dad and his brother and sisters lived about 20 yards from a ditch and train tracks. They once floated a washtub in the ditch like a canoe to try to reach the plums from the tree growing on the banks. I guess one of them nearly drowned doing this. As I understand it, when nobody was looking, the kids played chicken with the train..:eek:

    My grandparents had a few interesting ones too.

    One of my Grandfather's favorite amusements was to drive fast out onto a frozen lake and stomp on the breaks and SPINNNN!!!!

    My other Grandfather and his brothers also got into plenty of trouble. One of their favorite pranks was to move outhouses back about 3 feet in the middle of the night. Ewwww!
    They also once took apart a Model T and reassembled it on the roof of a neighbor's barn... lol (I'm not sure who the car belonged too...)
  9. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    My father traveled on horseback, by himself at age 14, two days to a rodeo. And Judge Judy once thought it was just awful that a couple of 19-year-old girls took a vacation to Florida by themselves. Everyone in my family up to my generation was on their own by age 19! In fact, my one of my aunts married at 15 (no, they didn't have to get married). Now I have nieces and nephews in their 30s still living at home or getting money from their parents.
  10. My mother, a forties kid, remembers hitch-hiking to the next town with a friend to go to the movies -- at the age of ten.

    I never did that myself, but I did routinely ride my bike to the movies -- a six mile ride along US 1 on a single-speed coaster-brake Schwinn Hollywood. No helmet, either.
    scottyrocks likes this.
  11. Lillemor

    Lillemor One Too Many

    From 5 I took the bus alone to school, if it wasn't on strike that is. See previous post on this thread.

    At 9 y.o. I remember taking younger students on public transportation and walking through metropolitan areas I didn't already know to find some public school where they'd booked dental appointments for us. To visit a friend who was in hospital just to find out she'd checked out that day. I did research on dogs for a school report, I arranged interviews with a dog...erh..shelter and dog police school and had to take another younger student I was working with, with me and transfer between busses and trains.

    I took the plane alone the first time when I was 11 but the airhostess "guide" forgot me so I was on my own. Same thing happened at 12 and I had a hysterical and crying 14 y.o. cousin with me so I had to find my way around the airport we were changing at and comfort her. There were red ears when we showed up at the plane unguided! Both times I was flying Denmark- CA, USA. On the way back on the second trip, we cancelled the guide altogether!

    Today, I've no idea how public transportation works. I gave up on that when I was expected to stand on the side of a busy road with a pram and two boys on either side to wait for a transfer bus.:rolleyes: I'm not as independent as I used to be.:eek:

    My boys are 10, 8, and 6 and they don't go any where on their own! My brother was 12 before he was allowed to walk any where he'd have to cross streets and at least 14 before he was allowed to take a bus to the nearest mall. 16 before (to my knowledge) he was allowed to get around on his own by train and bus to any where new, with transfers or far away.
  12. Catarina

    Catarina New in Town

    My grandmother was born in the 20's. Back then, women thought washing their hair while menstruating would somehow affect the head and make them go insane. So when bathing during their periods they'd wear a pot on their heads. I always laugh imagining my grandmother and her sisters bathing with a metal kitchen pot on, to ward off the crazies! lol
  13. Paisley

    Paisley I'll Lock Up

    It sounds like a precursor to the tin foil hat.
  14. My dad's family had a lot of kids, so did my mum's family. My mum's family would share bedrooms. My dad's family would share BEDS. I think they had something like...8 or 9 people in the family back then (dad's side only) and something like...four sisters and three brothers...and grandma and grandpa...all sharing two beds.

    Does anybody remember any of those whacky 'home remedies' or 'housewives' tales' that their mothers or grandmothers used to use? Like pouring kerosene on your hair to kill lice or whatever?

    When I used to still have really bad dandruff, my mum used to treat my head with...wait for it...


    I forget exactly what it was supposed to do or how it worked, but apparently it was one of those old-timey things you did to try and clean the scalp or something. You tipped the oil into your hair and rubbed it around and then just let it sit there. I spent the whole day walking around smelling like a cross between a barbershop and a fresh, garden salad. I can't even remember if it was effective or not.

    My grandmother used to talk about treating injuries (burns, I think), with olive oil or something similar. She never tried it out on me (I never got burnt), but it was one of the things she mentioned.
  15. We were always taught to put butter on burns. My ex's mother was a nurse, and was horrified that I believed in such "ridiculous voodoo."
  16. 23SkidooWithYou

    23SkidooWithYou Practically Family

    I think I could have a crush on your Grandfather! :)

    :eek:fftopic: I noticed you did an edit for a spelling error. Just an FYI, I am one of the world's worst spellers! eg "kerosine" lol So, please excuse any glaring mistakes!
  17. I've heard stories like that. Some kids who went to my school a long time ago (they're probably middle-aged by now), did a similar thing. They disassembled a VW Beetle and reassembled it on the roof of one of the science buildings and left it there.
  18. Joie DeVive

    Joie DeVive One Too Many

    :) Thanks he was quite a fella.

    He also rode rodeo in the 30's and 40's so I'm wondering if he didn't cross paths with Paisley's granddad.... I'd say it's a distinct possibility.

    And don't worry about your spelling. I was a teacher, so I'm a bit of a stickler about my own mistakes. I don't tend to notice them from other people. :D
  19. Joie DeVive

    Joie DeVive One Too Many

    I thought of another story that today would probably get CPS and the police called these days..

    My Dad was one of seven kids. One day his dad took a bunch of them into town to the store (sans seat-belts no doubt). When it was time to go home, he rounded the kids up, got them in the car, and only when he was halfway home did he realize that he was missing one of his, and had someone else's!! lol He had to turn around and go back to the store to return the child that wasn't his, and locate the one he left behind.

    If it happened today he'd be sent to prison for kidnapping and child neglect! :eusa_doh:
  20. Hahahaha!! Oh that's priceless!

    Gotta love all these old stories...

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