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15 Fascinating Things That Our Ancestors Did

By Nitin Bhatnagar, 26 June 2018

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11Smoking on planes

At the present time, smoking is prohibited in public places, planes, etc. but this was not the case about 50 to 60 years ago. Yes, you read it right! Smoking was not considered to be a bad habit then and it was completely legal to smoke in planes, restaurants or public places.

Smoking on planes

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12Poor hygiene

This might irk you if you like to do things in a hygienic way. Individuals in several medieval countries were of the opinion that water brought illness and lice were ‘the pearls of God’. Not only common people but royals also thought likewise. Isabella I of Castille washed only twice in her lifetime; the first was at birth and the last was before her marriage. As per a testimony, a cavalier commented on her dirty nails and hands and she replied, “Oh, if only you could see my feet!”

Poor hygiene

Image Source: image.viettimes.vn

13Cat burning

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Harming animals presently is a punishable offense; however, you will be surprised to know that burning cats was a sort of entertainment in France in the 17th century. Parisians used to gather at Place de Greve for dancing, singing and playing during a midsummer bonfire and for making the get-together amusing, people used to bring live cats, hang them over the fire and see them burning. This was a slow process and as cats screamed, people enjoyed and partied. The reason for selecting cats was that they were associated with witches and devils. They could also throw a fox into the fire at times.

Cat burning

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14Live alarm clocks or knocker-uppers

It is not a problem to set an alarm nowadays as we have the facility of doing it on an alarm clock or mobile phone. However, between 1750s and 1950s, this job was done by professional knocker-uppers who used to wake up early in the morning and knocked on the windows of their clients using a long stick.

Live alarm clocks or knocker-uppers

Image Source: www.fatosdesconhecidos.com.br

15Using rocks as toilet paper

In modern times, people use toilet paper or water to clean themselves but in ancient times, Greek people used pebbles, rocks and pieces of pottery to clean themselves up. Sounds absurd but it is true! The other things which were used by people for the same purpose include sheep wool, coconut shells, plant leaves, corn cobs, cloth, sponge, etc.

Using rocks as toilet paper

Image Source: boredomtherapy.com

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