Did You Know. People used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot & then once a day it was taken & Sold to the tannery.......if you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor"
But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot......they "didn't have a pot to piss in" & were the lowest of the low
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be.
Here are some facts about the 1500s:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell . ...... . Brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting Married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, 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 with 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 cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it 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 mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.
In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old. Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would Sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.
England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive... So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.
And that's the truth....Now, whoever said History was boring?
Did ya know?
Texas has a gross state product of $1.645 trillion (2017), the 2nd largest in the U.S. As of 2015, Texas is home to six (6) of the top 50 companies on the Fortune 500 list and 51 overall (3rd most after New York and California)............. Texas's household income was $48,259 in 2010 ranking 25th in the nation.
Did you know that "upper case" and "lower case" refer to the physical cases where printers keep their letters?
"Get the lead out" refers the Wagon Master telling settlers to remove lead used for bullets out of wagon while going up hill. Lead was the most heavy thing in wagon.
World War II Aviation Gasoline
It has always puzzled me as to why the German Luftwaffe kept on using 87 Octane Aviation Gasoline while the Americans and British used 100 Octane Gasoline in their Spitfire Fighters and Americans used 130 Octane in our P-51 and other fighters. This morning I discovered the reason!
This article by the British Society of Chemists was declassified in 2014
It seems that the German and British aircraft both used 87 octane gasoline in the first two years of the war. While that was fairly satisfactory in the German Daimler-Benz V-12 engine, it was marginal in the British Rolls-Royce Merlin XX engine in British aircraft. It fouled the spark-plugs, caused valves to stick, and made frequent engine repair problems.
Then came lend-lease and American aircraft began to enter British service in great numbers. If British engines hated 87 octane gasoline, Allison 1710 engines built by General Motors, loathed and despised it.
Something had to be done!
Along came an American named Tim Palucka, a chemist for Sun Oil in their Southeast Texas Refinery. Never heard of him? Small wonder, very few people have. He took a French formula for enhancing the octane of gasoline, and invented the "Cracking Tower" which produced 100 octane aviation gasoline. This discovery led to great joy among our English cousins and great distress among the Germans.
A Spitfire fueled with 100 octane gasoline was 34 miles per hour faster at 10,000 feet. The need to replace engines went from every 500 hours of operation to every 1,000 hours. That reduced the cost of British aircraft by 300 Pounds Sterling. Even more, when used in 4 engine bombers. The Germans couldn't believe it when Spitfires that couldn't catch them a year ago started shooting their ME-109 E and G models right out of the sky.
Of course, the matter had to be kept secret. If the Germans found out that it was a French invention, they would simply copy the original French patents. If any of you have ever wondered what they were doing in that 3 story white brick building in front of the Sun Oil Refinery on Old Texas Highway 90, that was it. They were re-inventing gasoline.
The American Allison engines improved remarkably with 100 Octane Gasoline, but did much better when 130 octane gasoline came along in 1944. The 130 octane gasoline also improved the radial engine bombers America produced.
The Germans and Japanese never realized that we had re-invented gasoline. Neither did our "friends" the Russians. 100,000 Americans died in the skies over Europe. Lord only knows what that number would have been without "Super-Gasoline".
And it all was invented just a few miles west of Beaumont, Texas and we never knew a thing about it.
SONS OF HERMANN. The Order of the Sons of Hermann in the state of Texas (also known as Hermann Sons) was the largest fraternal insurance benefit society headquartered in Texas; its home offices were in San Antonio in 1994, when its 161 lodges had a membership of 80,000. From the time of its founding in San Antonio on July 6, 1861, until 1920, the Texas order was part of a national order of the Sons of Hermann. A few men of German descent organized the order in New York City in 1840, naming it for Hermann the Defender, an early German hero known also as Arminius. By 1848 there were six Sons of Hermann groups with 800 members in the United States, and, on December 25, 1848, a national grand lodge was formed in Milwaukee. In 1861 two representatives of the national grand lodge came to San Antonio to organize the first Hermann Sons lodge in Texas, Harmonia Lodge No. 1. It was natural for the organization to find fertile soil in San Antonio, since many Germans had come to the area after 1845. On March 27, 1890, the Texas grand lodge was formed, consisting of Harmonia Lodge of San Antonio and seven other newly formed lodges in Austin, Taylor, Temple, Waco, La Grange, Brenham, and Houston. These eight lodges had a total of 242 members. Within a year ninety-two more lodges were formed. In 1896 the first sister lodge, exclusively for women, was dedicated at Sherman. In 1920 the first mixed lodge for both men and women was established in San Antonio, and that trend has continued. Currently, the order has family lodges as well as single-sex lodges. In 1920 the Order of the Sons of Hermann in Texas, which by then was financially stronger and had more members than all of the lodges in the rest of the United States combined, broke away from the national order of the Sons of Hermann and became autonomous and independent of the national group. Complete transition from the German language to the English language by the Texas order was begun early in the 1930s and completed by 1937. Originally all of the members were of German extraction, but by 1965 only about half were, and by 1994 membership was open to all ethnic groups. Since 1916 the order has maintained a retirement home at Comfort, Texas, and since 1954 it has operated its own summer youth camps for junior members on its campgrounds in Comfort. Local lodges offer scholarship opportunities to the youth in their communities.
For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. When you are 14, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday with 22 million people killed. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until you are 20. Fifty million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. When you're 29, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, global GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. When you're 41, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war and the Holocaust kills six million. At 52, the Korean War starts and five million perish. At 64 the Vietnam War begins, and it doesn’t end for many years. Four million people die in that conflict. Approaching your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, could well have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening. As you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? A kid in 1985 didn’t think their 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was. Yet those grandparents (and now great grandparents) survived through everything listed above.
Perspective is an amazing art. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this.” In the history of the world, there has never been a storm that lasted. This too, shall pass.
On Novermber 1, 1824, King Ferdinand VII of Spain, recently restored to his throne by the French, awarded the Austrian Prince Klemens von Metternich with the title Duke of Texas. Of course, in practice, Mexico had already achieved independence from Spain, and James Monroe had declared that the US would combat any attempt by European powers to intervene in independent countries in the Americas. I don't think that Metternich ever set foot here or that anyone here ever recognized his authority. Still, that's a little piece of Germanic (though not German) history of Texas.
I was there the one and only time ZZ Top played in La Grange Texas.