The Good Ole Days??
Rules and Regulations
By Geiger, 1872
Office employees will daily sweep the floors, dust the furniture, shelves, and showcases.
Each day fill lamps, clean chimneys, and trim wicks. Wash the windows once a week.
Each clerk will bring in a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day's business.
Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to your individual taste.
This office will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p. m. daily except on the Sabbath, on which day it will remain closed.
Men employees will be given an evening off each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go regularly to church.
Every employee should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefits during his declining, so that he will not become a burden upon the charity of his betters.
Any employee who smokes Spanish cigars, uses liquor in any form, gets shaved at a barber shop, or frequents pool or public halls will give a good reason to suspect his worth, intentions, integrity and honesty.
The employee who has performed his labor faithfully and without faults for a period of five years in my service and who has been thrifty and attentive to his religious duties and is looked upon by his fellow men as a substantial and law-abiding citizen will be given an increase of five cents per day, providing a just return of profits from the business permits it.
And you thought the rules of today's workplaces were tough!
Life in the 1500's
Discover how some of today's sayings and customs originated.
You will be surprised!
Most people got married in June. Why? They took their yearly bath in May. In June, they were still smelling pretty good but were starting to smell so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide their body odor.
When they took a bath, they would fill a big tub with hot water. The man of the house would get the privelige 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 that time the water was pretty thick.....thus the saying; "don't trhow the baby out with the bath water."
The water was so dirty, you could actually lose someone in it.
A Little about the houses........
Most of the houses had a thatch roof. Thatch meant thick straw, piled high with no wood underneath. Little animals would get in the thatch roof to stay warm. All the cats, dogs, mice, rats, bugs and other small animals lived in the roof. When it rained, it became slippery and wet so sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.....thus the saying; "It's raining cats and dogs."
Since there was nothing to stop things from falling into the house, they would just try to clean up a lot. This posed a real problem in the bedroom, where bugs and other droppings from animals could really mess up your nice clean bed, so they found if they would make beds with big posts and hang a sheet over the top, it would prevent that problem. Hence..."4 poster beds with canopies".
Most houses had dirt floors. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt....thus the saying; "dirt poor"
Wealthy people had slate floors but in the winter they would get slippery when they got wet. To solve this problem, thye started spreading thresh on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they would just keep adding more thresh until when they opened the door it would all start slipping outside. So....they put a piece of wood at the entry way...."a thresh hold".
In the kitchen, they would hang a big kettle over the fire. Every day they would light the fire and start adding things to the pot. Mostly they ate vegetables and didn't get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, they leave the leftovers in the pot to get cold over night and then start all over the next day. Sometimes the stew would have food in it that had been in there for a month! Thus the rhyme....."peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."
Sometimes, they would get their hands on some pork. This was a special occasion. When company would come over, they had a rack in the parlor where they would bring out some bacon and hang it up to show it off. It was a sign of wealth and that a man could really "bring home the bacon". They would cut off a little to share with their guests and they would all sit around and "chew the fat"
If you had money, your plates were made of pewter. Sometimes food with a high acid content caused lead to leach out into the food. They really noticed it happened with tomatoes. So they stopped eating tomatoes for 400 years!
Most people didn't have pewter plates though. They had trenchers. Trenchers were pieces of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Often times, worms would get into the wood. After eating from the trencher with worms, they would get "trench mouth".
If you were traveling and stayed an an Inn, they usually served bread. The bread was divided according to status. The workers would get the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family would get the middle and the guests would get the top or "upper crust".
A little about death.......
They also had lead cups and when they would drink ale or whiskey from them, the combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. This caused people to think they were dead. They would pick them up, take them home and get them ready to bury. They would lay them out on the kitchen table for a couple of days, the family would gather around to eat, drink and wait to see if they would wake up. Thus the custom of holding a "wake".
Since England is so old and small, they started running out of places to bury people. So, they started digging up coffins, taking the bones out and reusing the graves. This is when they discovered that some of the coffins had scratch marks on the inside. One out of 25 coffins were this way and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they decided they would tie a string on their wrist and lead it through the coffin, up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night to listen for the bell. Thus the saying "graveyard shift". If the bell would ring they would know that someone was "saved by the bell" or he was a "dead ringer"
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