Here's mine (nicked from Cynthia Harnett in The Wool Pack) Before the spinning wheel became widespread every single thread in every single item of clothing would have been spun by hand by a woman with a drop spindle. We'd have all been walking around with a drop spindle stuck in our girdle so we could spin with one hand at odd moments.
What minor or major facts about the past make your head spin?
Amazes me quite how truth is often stranger than fiction. Gladiator made the emperor commodus a great pantomime villain but even hollywood didn't think it would be believable to have him force people to beat themselves to death with pine cones. Yet it seems that is what he did.
Yes about women's property. I watched a TV show the other day (Who do You think you are or something similar) and it said that if a woman owned her own business her husband was the owner of all the profits from that business until an amendment to the married Women's Property Act in the late 1920s.
But women owned their own property if they were widowed - there are quite a lot of instances where a widowed woman ran a successful business - there was one owner of a bell foundry that did better when she ran it. i can't remember the dates.