marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

tidbits cross time

In colonial America, court was often held actually in the tavern -- though they did have rooms to conduct it in.

In imperial Rome despite the stupendous cost, saffron was used to dye hair blond.  (Blond hair wigs, from German or Gallic slaves, were easier.)

While planning for Operation Sealion, many German forces kept forgetting they were dealing with a stretch of ocean, with tides, not a river.  Indeed, mountain troops being trained to deal with the cliffs were surprised at how the water level changed.

One senator arguing against Asian immigration said that workers who lived on beef-and-bread could not work beside those who lived on rice; they would not raise the others to their beef-and-bread standard but be dragged down to a rice standard.

The mid-nineteenth century revolution in dying meant that corsets were soon available in a wide range of colors.

An early nineteenth century English traveler commented that in New York City they had twenty ways of dressing an oyster, though only one to dress meat.

Venetian gondolas are black as a result of a sumptuary law that combatted the rivalry in adornment and gilding.

Only in the seventeenth century were dressmakers allowed to form a guild in France, because it was more suitable for girls' and women's modesty to have a woman do it.

Coca-Cola turned to using Santa in ads because of a promise not to use children -- it contains caffeine, you know, and parents might not have realized it, and let children whom they would not let drink tea or coffee yet drink Coke.  It may have helped solidify the jolly man in red, but the New York Times commented on how the red-clad Santa had been the common image a few years early.

Printed calicos were the first inexpensive colors that the poor could wear.

After Protestantism, writers in England recommended that they still go on eating fish on days to prevent the depletion of the animal stock.  Others urged it for health reasons.

In the 18th century, new molds for jellies appeared, with the design on the outside.  You would float them in the transparent jellies until they left a gap that you could then fill in with opaque jellies to get -- the moon and stars, or fish, or what have you.

After the French Revolution, one law quickly passed said that people could wear any attire suitable for their sex without answering for it at law.  Still, the Revolution had an affect:  color vanished for black, white, and gray.

One writer, talking of the War of the Roses, wrote that it was like a play written divinely, that Richard, though a tyrant, had so reduced the royal family that the heirs of Lanchester and York were a woman and a man, both unmarried but marriagable, and so brought about an end to the war.

French provincial costumes, despite Romantic notions about their ancestral longevity, actually hit their peak in the Second Empire.

19th century New York saw the advent of the ice cream saloon.  This was not as respectable as its successor, the ice cream parlor.  Young couples might manage to meet there despite parental disapproval.

The reason why the Model-T was available in any color as long as it was black was that black lacquer dried much faster than any other color.

In 19th century France, unmarried women were not allowed some colors and adornments until they were for the trousseau.  They were to look more like angels and less like reliqueries.  Then, this might help attract a husband for her simple tastes -- easily revoked after marriage when she was allowed to indulge herself in dress.

Medieval kings and nobles found it dangerous to cut back on the expense of feasts, because it betrayed weakness on their part.

For reasons of hygiene the Temple Market at Paris was the only place for second-hand goods.  It was a risk of a family's reputation to buy there, though the prospect of good stuff that had been worn only once had brought even princesses.

Prohibition hit the fancy restaurant business hard.  Not only were drinks a major component of their profits, it took ingredients out of the chefs' hands.  Particularly French chefs.

One early American home economicist warned that the decreased fertility of the higher branches of the human race (aka the upper classes) was seldom discussed in terms of the weakening effect of a pampered appetite (aka overeating).

At the World Fair, people were not to tip the waiters at the Soviet Union booth -- as was loftily explained, only exploited workers needed tips, not being paid a fair wage.  Then, Americans had only taken up tipping in the late nineteenth century, which had been disdained as unAmerican before then.

In 19th century France, you could make a call in a short dress, or one with a train.  The former was only for between equals, and when a very intimate friend of the superior family.

Victorian novel heroes often had blond hair in light of the current day racial theories.  The association for women, of hair dyes and flooziness, which came forward in the Restoration, was still too strong and heroines went on having black or dark hair.  (To be sure, the Nordic type was not only blond but large.  Some American novelists actually gave themselves large-boned heroines that they described as not beautiful; others declared that their Anglo-Saxon ancestry had some Norman blood, to make the heroine delicate.)

In Plymouth Massachusetts, among the early laws was one stipulating that locals could only drink in a tavern for an hour.

Tags: historical tidbits, world-building: buildings, world-building: clothing, world-building: economics, world-building: food, world-building: law, world-building: races, world-building: social classes, world-building: social structure

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