Skip to comments.11 Skills Your Great-Grandparents Had That You Donít
Posted on 06/02/2014 3:35:50 AM PDT by kingattax
Our parents and grandparents may shake their heads every time we grab our smart phones to get turn-by-turn directions or calculate the tip.
But when it comes to life skills, our great-grandparents have us all beat. Here are some skills our great-grandparents had 90 years ago that most of us dont.
While your parents and grandparents didnt have the option to ask someone out on a date via text message, its highly likely that your great-grandparents didnt have the option of dating at all.
Until well into the 1920s, modern dating didnt really exist. A gentleman would court a young lady by asking her or her parents for permission to call on the family.
The potential couple would have a formal visit with at least one parent chaperone present and the man would leave a calling card. If the parents and young lady were impressed, hed be invited back again and that would be the start of their romance.
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.ancestry.com ...
They had MORALS.
Not having writing material cheaply available, they had better memories. Not having TV they had longer attention spans.
They knew fewer people and had better attachments to them. They had a sense of community and knew their neighbors.
They knew how and when to fight.
I read once that 1/3 of all Revolution-era marriages were to pregnant brides. Their morals may not have been much better than ours, but their willingness to accept responsibility for their actions was evidently much greater.
I’m 70. Except for making lace...I’ve done all those things....and I’m female.
Yes...every desk had an inkwell and we learned to write beautiful script in the second grade.
It was part of our lessons...writing essays or our spelling words or writing "I will not talk in class".....100 times.
What disposable diapers in the 1930s? My children were born between 1960 and 1965, and there were NO disposable diapers that worked. We “wore out” 9 dozen cloth diapers for 4 children. They saw the end of their useful lives as shoe shine cloths and furniture polishers.
There was plenty of “behind the barn” stuff going on.
Dust rags...Yes....now I have to use my old socks.
We were not issued ink until the 6th grade which is when we substitued the pen with the removable nib for the pencil. Each desk had an inkwell, and we were required to bring a home-made “pen wiper” at the start of school in September.
The boys just put a couple of rags on a string, but the girls carefully crafted pen wipers that had lacy and beribboned covers. By the time we got to 7th grade we used ball point pens, but we all had to go through 1 year of struggling with real ink and a pen.
Furthermore, In my first office job we were all issued pens and their own inkwells/stands. These were fancier than the pens we used in 6th grade and could be filled with a little suction device, like a fountain pen. I think they were made by Cross, or one of the famous pen companies.
We drove across country when my oldest was just 4 weeks old in 1960, and we tried to use disposable diapers for the trip. Everything just poured out the side — they weren’t absorbant at all. My husband went down to a drug store on a stop and bought a package of Kotex and placed a pad inside each disposable diaper — worked great.
Of course, the reason most today don’t possess those skills is because there’s no demand.
Making lace? I know several people who do. It’s a hobby now, because the everyday demand isn’t there.
Calligraphy? Again, several hobbyists. It might look beautiful, but it’s painstakingly slow, can be messy, is costly, and there are easier ways to write a letter now.
And that brings up writing a letter to begin with. Now that the Post Office has said that the ~400 bulk/junk mailers they do business with are far more important than your first-class mail, why would anyone bother to use them? There are faster, cleaner, and more-interactive ways to communicate.
There are still PLENTY of people out there who know hunting/fishing, butchering, and field-dressing, at least in the free areas outside the liberal enclaves known as “cities”. And more than a few of those also know enough about bartering and haggling to conduct an exchange of the fruits of their labors with each other. They probably also know a thing or two about lighting fires without matches or a lighter.
And darning socks? Sure, it was useful when socks were actually expensive or hand-made and therefore worthy of preservation. A lot of folks back then knew how to drive a horse-and-buggy too, but I note that particular skill didn’t make the “list”. Likewise using an outhouse, drawing water from a well, walking 5 miles each way to town, or freezing your ass off in the winter because there was only one woodstove in the house to keep it warm.
This article is little more than rose-glasses nostalgic twaddle that conveniently ignores all the inconveniences that these skills masked. Ink-and-pen writing was the *only* means of communication for everyday matters, because there weren’t many telephones. Many folks also did without things like electricity, indoor plumbing, or modern medicines, and few people today would willingly go back to such a standard of living.
Just a brief expansion: around the time the skills in the OP article were in widespread use, Texas was all but unlivable. There’s only one non-manmade lake in Texas. Everything else is the result of damming up streams that don’t even flow year-round. Try living there back then when you didn’t have air-conditioning. I’ve seen enough Texas summers to know I wouldn’t want to try living there back in 1890.
I can’t make lace. Other than that I can and have done those things.
I’m 64 and I’m really glad I was not born 100 years ago.
My oldest is 25 and we did cloth diapers also, though I’d buy disposables for traveling.
In the late 80s the lefties were all over TV hyperventilating that we’d soon be out of landfills because of disposable diapers. So anyone who noticed thought I was some stupid greenie. “Um NO, disposables are a really expensive!”
I was privileged to do that one time, writing it on the blackboard */ but I don't think it was as much as 100, probably around 50. The lesson took, I didn't talk in class again. */ Do they still use blackboards? I'm way out of touch with school stuff.
All of my great aunts and great uncles got married because of pregnancies lol! These are the most God-fearing, salt of the earth people that I know. When the young men came back from Europe and the Pacific, they ushered in the baby boom regardless of marital status. The difference is that back then they did get married and stuck with each other regardless of the circumstances.
Our next chicken croaked via the guillotine.
Gutted my first deer at age 18...and I'm female.
Not exactly prepping but it is interesting. I’ll let you judge the ping worthiness.
Heck, I’m only 50 and I’ve done 10 of those things as well. I don’t know how to make lace.
Hey this sounds like an episode of 18 and counting.....I love this show by the way. If only the population acted like the Duggars......how wonderful this country would be.
Nope, it’s White Boards, Laptop or a Power Point Presentation these days.
I’ll take life with air conditioning, microwaves, indoor plumbing, and all the rest of the goodies of modern living.
Who wears lace anymore anyway?
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
Growing-up in the 50’s & 60’s ,I lived most all these things. .
The authors unfortunately forget to mention one skill, at least, that all moderns have that the Oldsters never did: scamming the taxpayers.
THAT at least, has been elevated to an art form.
I don’t know that they had longer attention spans. It could just be that....hey, is that an ant on the desk?
I recently found out that my great grandfather worked for the railroad in northern Michigan. One tragic day his leg was crushed by a train car and the leg was amputated on his kitchen table...........
Time marches on.
2. Hunting, Fishing, and Foraging
6. Darning and mending
7. Corresponding by mail
8. Making Lace - This is the only one I haven’t done.
9. Lighting a Fire Without Matches
10. Diapering With Cloth
11. Writing With a Fountain Pen
12. Growing your own food
13. Digging a well
14. Making a tool that is not available in the hardware store.
15. Spanking a misbehaving kid
16. Giving your kids chores to do
There’s a lot they didn’t have either including cheap international travel, cheap nationwide travel, access to information, cheap medications, etc.
There’s good and bad with progress. Nothing new.
They had a REAL education. I defy anyone to pass the either grade graduation test they had to complete.
And another major factor missing in todays youth, COMMON SENSE.
They were married, and at least your grandfather and great uncle were brothers, not half brothers, who knew who their father was. There are many today who are not as fortunate.
Exactly many things and skills are forgotten because they are no longer needed.
There are times when I wished that I had lived in the 19th century.
However, going to the dentist in the 19th century or having a serious medical issue in that time period is not something that I personally would have looked forward to.
One of the few good things were more critters, less people and cleaner waters.
It's over-rated. Flush toilets and indoor running water are pretty darn nice to have.
I have the skillsets to live a mid-1800s lifestyle. I chose not to.
I have this book - it’s fascinating.
I found it humorous that one of the reviews on Amazon complained that the book only included a picture of the device and not “how to make it”.
Another person commented back that, to the people of that era, the picture WAS “how to make it”.
.hey, is that an ant on the desk?
I use “hey did you see the shiny read squirrel”, when I lose my train of thought at the office.
Either people laugh ( of certain age) or I get very strange looks from the other age group.
In the military, we called that "Field expediency".
I have never dug a well, but repaired one twice in the dead of winter.
An experience I hope never to repeat
10 out of 11 here. I hate lace.
I tried making lace and thought I’d go blind.
There are currently more critters then there were 100 years ago, there were less people but the water was much less clean. There really is not that much truly clean water in nature and prior to sewage treatment plants there was a lot of stuff that was just dumped into rivers and streams.