1700s

Trundle bed or truckle bed?

trundle bed

What do trundle beds mean to you? The last one I saw was in a hotel where a small child’s rollaway lived under the main bed in daytime. This is exactly how they were used in thousands of American homes in the 19th century and before. And their history goes back much further too. For […]

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Marrow scoops, spoons & table manners

silver marrow scoop spoons

A silver marrow scoop is an elegant solution to a problem most of us don’t have today. How can you get the tasty marrow out of meat bones without abandoning your table manners? Upper class diners adopted new rules of etiquette during the 1600s. Forks appeared on posh tables to help people eat with a […]

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Household expenses for a “middling” 18th century family

18th century family budget

What could you afford if you were of “middling station” in England in the 1760s and 1770s? You would have plenty of beer, ale, meat, and soap, but no wine, according to a detailed budget in Madam (Mary) Johnson’s book on household management. She suggests the mistress of her middle class home will spend £16 […]

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Drying clothes near the ceiling

ceiling clothes dryer

It’s winter in northern Europe, and there’s no electricity. How can you dry your laundry? One of the best places of all is a laundry room in the servants’ quarters of a mansion house. A generous ceiling height means you can have frames for wet clothes and household linen in the warmest, dryest part of […]

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