Advanced search

What questions do you have about stuff from History, or am I the only one?

(975 Posts)
EverySongbirdSays Sun 20-Nov-16 00:46:05

*Hi all, HQ here. We're moving this thread over to History Club now where Songbird will be starting a Part 2 thread for more History quizzical shenanigans*

The main history thing I've been pondering for the last couple of days since the weather shifted is the history of clothes.

So... how did Early Man manage in the winter, how did they make clothes out of animal skin?

After that, I understand that clothes production as we know it today began with the industrial revolution.

But how did people manage for clothes you know before we had cotton or machinery

How/when did we realise you could knit wool to make a jumper?

I'm sorry if it's a bit of a stupid question blush

Has anyone got any stupid questions I might know the answer to ?

JosephineMaynard Sun 20-Nov-16 00:48:59

I suppose you'd start by skinning an animal and wearing the fur like a blanket?

oldlaundbooth Sun 20-Nov-16 00:53:37

I've a question. I've no answers for you OP but I'm sure someone will soon.

Henry VIII had trouble having a son. Why didn't they just switch some poor servants baby boy with one of the newborn girls? And present it as Henry's?

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 20-Nov-16 00:55:02

OP, I have loads.grin Like how did we work out milking and drinking other animal's milk! And wtf was going on with yeast! Levened bread and alcohol are brilliant.

EverySongbirdSays Sun 20-Nov-16 00:56:32

Yeah I get that bit, but I had my big coat on, and I was still cold as fuck, and I was thinking, even if you were wearing a big animal hide you'd still be cold, and it's a wonder humans didn't die out with even the basic perils they faced. But how did it progress... from just cutting an animals skin off and wearing it, to cloth and proper clothes?

HarrietVane99 Sun 20-Nov-16 00:58:58

Look up Oetzi the Iceman, for early man.

Pre cotton and the industrial revolution people mostly wore woollen outer garments with linen underneath. Cloth was woven by hand.

Stockings were knitted from quite early on, but I think knitted jumpers may have been a 19th century development.

Briarthorn Sun 20-Nov-16 00:59:57

I think we've gone a bit backward. Cloaks must be much warmer than coats, surely? Cutting about enveloped in hide / fur including the head, face, neck and hands <snuggles further into slanket> is much more efficient at keeping body warmth in than something fitted with sleeves. Bloody fashion industry.

OohhItsNotHoxton Sun 20-Nov-16 01:00:17

We were probably a bit hairier that long ago.

EverySongbirdSays Sun 20-Nov-16 01:01:57

Henry actually DID have several sons. Katherine's sons. Most were stillborn or died quickly. This was "her fault" even though he had an STD

Anne Boleyn had a son who was stillborn and disabled. This was blamed at the time of her imprisonment on incest with her brother.

He then had Edward by Jane who was weak

By the time Anne, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr came along, he couldn't get it up half the time.

Their is suggestion that Katherine lost so many babies because he gave her syphilis - same for Anne's boy.

He DID have a bastard son called Henry Fitzroy who predeceased him.

Mary Boleyn's children one a son, were probably also his.

EverySongbirdSays Sun 20-Nov-16 01:03:24


Lucked Sun 20-Nov-16 01:04:35

I think with royal births there were always lots of invested people or their representatives spectating AT THE BIRTH so that couldn't happen

EverySongbirdSays Sun 20-Nov-16 01:05:49

On the front of milk and yeast.

Who was the first person to mix butter, eggs, flour and sugar and stick it in an oven?



I don't know what this grand scheme o'his is, it'll never take off grin

oldlaundbooth Sun 20-Nov-16 01:06:00

Thanks songbird.

But why didnt he just find a healthy chubby cheeked baby and pass it off as his own? Especially after all the babies his wives had lost and he wanted a healthy male heir.

ThatGingerOne Sun 20-Nov-16 01:06:56

I know for prehistoric man their physiology was different which allowed them to stay warm with no clothing - they also stayed in warmer climates (the first were thought to originate in Africa). We have this perception that they were in the freezing cold and snow all of the time but it is thought they probably migrated with the weather like animals do.

Its thought that prehistoric man started to wear ''clothing'' 170,000 years ago, probably when they were exposed to ice age conditions. They used animal hides for shelter at first then probably worked out they could keep warm by wrapping themselves in it.

CoolCarrie Sun 20-Nov-16 01:10:53

I have wondered the same about Henry. He had at least 2 illegitimate sons, but only one legitimate one. I think it would have been difficult to conspire without being found out and he was such a nasty piece of work.
Mary, Queen of Scots give birth to her son James 1 of England, 6 th of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle in a very small room. Many years later a small skeleton wrapped in a velvet cloth was found behind a panel in the same room,so perhaps James was substitute?

oldlaundbooth Sun 20-Nov-16 01:10:59

I've another one.

We hear all this advice from doctors, dieticians, obstetricians etc about the importance of a healthy diet in pregnancy. Fruit veg, etc, no alcohol, no caffeine, rest and relax etc.

So how on earth did these poor women in the 1800's manage to have 10/15/20 kids? They had little money, probably survived off bread, water and gin but still managed to carry kids to term.

I'm always amazed by the mother in Angela's Ashes, I think she had seven children altogether but lived in total poverty with a terrible diet.

EverySongbirdSays Sun 20-Nov-16 01:10:59


Because it wouldn't be a Tudor. Tudor bloodline. And besides when he died he had been granted a son and tried to overlook the idea he was frail. So died believing the tudor legacy was secure.

The theory (fictional ) Is that his grandmother Elizabeth Woodville was a witch and cursed her own line by accident but if you want to know more about that you want the Philippa Gregory books

PerspicaciaTick Sun 20-Nov-16 01:14:13

The Industrial Revolution began in the 18th Century.
All those sumptuous Tudor gowns with velvet and lace, Roman togas, Chinese silks, linen underclothes, knitted stickings. It was all made by hand by people, often women, sitting spinning, weaving and knitting fabrics which could be made into clothes, they made the boring everyday stuff too but clothing was all very expensive and valuable to the wearers. The Egyptians were knitting a thousand years ago. Looms and needles have been found dating back into pre-history.

EverySongbirdSays Sun 20-Nov-16 01:14:19

The answer to that is that on average girls were up the spout for the first time by 18 so prime of life, and with 20 years to have sex in and contraception didn't exist.

Infant and maternal mortality was high though

oldlaundbooth Sun 20-Nov-16 01:14:24

So their faith in the bloodline was that strong. Incredible really.

He was so corrupt in other things you'd have thought he wouldn't have been that bothered!

oldlaundbooth Sun 20-Nov-16 01:15:50

Cross post grin

Thanks songbird.

GiddyOnZackHunt Sun 20-Nov-16 01:17:26

I remember as episode of Who Do You Think You Are? where somebody's ancestor was identified as probably having syphilis. The first child was born and survived bit thereafter the problem began. They said it was typical that child #1 was apparently healthy but subsequent children weren't where the father was syphilitic. Hence the lottery of reproduction that Henry's wives went through. Plus you have to remember that only 'important' people were recorded then. Prior to Elizabeth I there was no requirement to keep church records and it's very recent that we record stillbirth at all. Less than 100 years ago my great aunt died before anyone went to town to register her so she never existed sad
With regard to clothing, plainly fine cloth existed for hundreds of years before the Industrial Revolution. The mass production of cotton from the colonies & America meant better and cheaper material for the masses but wool, silk and cotton were woven into prehistoric times. Wool was the basis of England & Wales' wealth by 1400

emotionsecho Sun 20-Nov-16 01:17:36

King James II's son was referred to as the 'Warming Pan Baby' and gave rise to the now defunct tradition of The Home Secretary being present at Royal births.

Smuggling a baby in and passing it off as Royal wouldn't work because of the belief that Kings were there by the grace of God and they didn't want to mess with Him.grin

Like you OP I often wonder about how humans decided to combine things, curiosity I guess.

EverySongbirdSays Sun 20-Nov-16 01:18:15

Have you ever seen what a ye olde condom looks like?

It's like a sock!

lananzack Sun 20-Nov-16 01:22:09

Oooh that's interesting about Mary's son and the discovery of the skeleton! I wonder if there's an actual link there!

I often wonder how things came to be created and why things happened in history. What are some other bizarre things you know about history OP? (As I can't think of a specific question... One will come to me soon enough! grin)

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »