Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What I wouldn't give for a...

I often wonder what new advances would most shock our ancestors. Obviously, airplanes would really freak them out...but I tend to wonder more about the little things that would be amazing to them. Last week I was reading through a probate packet from the 1840s for my ancestor, Charles Webb. My hand felt sympathy cramps when I saw how many times the poor clerk had to write out the same phrases. And this was only one of countless records. It led me to wonder about what that clerk would have given up to only have an eraser. Or a typewriter with a correction ribbon. Or a word processing program on a computer. I can't help but wonder what our ancestors would give for the little things we forget about...

2 comments:

Debi Austen said...

Running water always comes to mind for me. To be able to wash their clothes and take a bath easily would have meant a lot, I'm sure.

Joanne said...

I do this too! What about a microwave or stove - no need to chop firewood! Central heat and air and temperature controlled cars...on highways! I think about the water too. "It comes to you and you can control the TEMPERATURE?" Unbelievable! My former grandmother-in-law had a well and outhouse when I first visited her home in the 1980's. That all changed over time, but it made an impression on me that I'll never forget.