As I don’t want to go on another rant about health woes, I’m going to talk about the things I’ve been learning recently in writing my newest project.
1) The History of Bacon – Fascinating, really, considering how much bacon Americans eat. “Why did you want to learn about bacon, Hillary?” Because my main character eats it in a 1700’s setting and I wanted to make sure I represented the food correctly there.
2) Toothbrushes – The first mass produced toothbrush was made in 1780. Before then, people in Europe traditionally wrapped a rag around the end of a twig to scrape their teeth off. The Asians had a bristle brush that they used for hygiene as early as the 1200’s, though.
3) Leeching/Blood Letting – Leeching and blood letting were used to cure just about anything wrong with anyone ever up until the late 1900’s. The belief was that you could bleed the toxins out of a person. There were many tools used for this over the years, all of which resemble small torture devices. One of the main implements was called a Scarificator:
You can imagine what those blades did. Some of the machines had the ability to produce suction, and attachable cups you could drain the blood into. Apparently, these items are hot with antique dealers today.
4) Nightcaps – No, not the booze you have before you try to get into someone’s pants. People wore hats at night not because they wanted to look awesome but to (yay) keep the lice away.
And there’s your FYI for the day!