May 7, 2012

TEEN LIFE WAY BACK WHEN: No Cars, No Planes, No Motorcycles - No Kidding!

So what are we talking about here – some futuristic, post- apocalyptic world brought about by a cataclysmic event in which all modern conveniences are reduced to dust and man must get about by – gasp! - walking?  No…we are talking about life in the nineteenth century.
If we were to be plunked down in say, 1880, we would get around mostly by walking.  And we wouldn’t get very far.  The average walking speed for an adult is about three miles per hour.  So it would take over three hours to go ten miles.  Of course, some folks had a horse or a horse and buggy.  Still, on average, a horse and rider or a horse pulling a buggy could only go about four miles per hour, so things had to be close to home.  That’s why just about every neighborhood in the city had a small store within walking distance that carried most of the items needed for daily use.  For rural dwellers, going to town for supplies was a major event undertaken only a few times a year.  There were no big box stores in the burbs and no shopping malls on the edge of town.

There’s an old building in downtown Minneapolis.  If you look high up on the brick wall, you will see a faded sign advertising “LIVERY”.  This building was once a stable for the care and boarding of horses.  Back then, instead of service stations on every corner, there were livery stables, blacksmith shops and shops for harness and tackle.  Instead of automobile showrooms, there were showrooms for shiny new buggies, carriages and wagons.
Imagine a world in which the only sounds coming from the sky are from birds, not jet engines.  Imagine a world in which the sounds of traffic consist of the clop, clop of horse’s hooves, the jingle of harnesses or the tinkle of sleigh bells.  Imagine a world where a man’s job consists of cleaning up horse manure from the streets!  When you think about it, life in the nineteenth century might seem as strange to us today as any future world we could imagine.

Next Topic:  TEEN LIFE WAY BACK WHEN: No Smart Phones, No Cell Phones, No Phones At All

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