Interesting facts...

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Interesting facts...

Postby h2ofwlr » Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:54 pm

Now I do not know for sure that all these are indeed facts, be they sure seem at least plausible. I 'm pretty sure the painting one is true, as I remember reading about that 20+ years ago as as the Lace one.

Enjoy :smile:


Interesting facts


In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are "limbs," therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, "Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg."

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As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October)! Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term "big wig." Today we often use the term "here comes the Big Wig" because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.

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In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The "head of the household" always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the "chair man." Today in business, we use the expression or title "Chairman" or "Chairman of the Board."

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Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told, "mind your own bee's wax." Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term "crack a smile." In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt . . . therefore, the expression "losing face."

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Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman . as in "straight laced". . . wore a tightly tied lace.

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Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the "Ace of Spades." To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead.
Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't "playing with a full deck."

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Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to "go sip some ale" and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. "You go sip here" and "You go sip there." The two words "go sip" were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term "gossip."

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At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in "pints" and who was drinking in "quarts," hence the term "minding your "P's and Q's."

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One more: bet you didn't know this!


In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem...how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with 16 round indentations.

However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys." Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey." (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you?)
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Postby Cupped-n-Committed » Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:22 pm

Huntin' seasons over, isn't it H2O?

You seem to have entirely too much time on your hands. :cool:
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Heres my bit of useless knowlege

Postby shocktroop » Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:45 pm

Ok, I got a bit of useless knowledge. Where does the croissant come from? Most would say it's french....but it is in fact Hungarian. Please forgive the dates, but way back when....the Turkish were fighting the Hungarians....the Hungarians were well fortified in a fort/compund. The Turkish got the great idea of digging a tunnel into the Hungarian camp. They dug into the camp, but there calculations were incorrect, when they surfaced, they came up into the bakery. The quick action of the bakers and cooks alerting the Hungarian troops quickly led to the defeat of the Turkish forces. So, in honor of bakers' quick reaction and in mockery of the Turks, the bakers whipped up a pastry, the croissant, mocking the Turks flag..which displayed the cressant.


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Postby gahunter » Sat Feb 05, 2005 8:48 pm

I've heard the one about the P's and Q's, but wives told their husbands to mind their P's and Q's. As a patron drank more and became more intoxicated, it wasn't uncommon for the bartender to change P's to Q's or add P's and Q's and therefore charge more money than was really owed. :salude:
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Postby shrpshtr » Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:52 pm

i love these little facts, thanks for sharing.
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Postby Swamp Puppy » Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:20 am

reminds me of the "rule of thumb" which came from an old tradition that a man could beat his wife using a tree limb that was no bigger in diameter than his thumb.

lol..some of those are almost believeable. others, like the brass monkey and the beeswax are stretching it a bit far. entertaining though. very funny.

:salude: :toofunny:
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Postby h2ofwlr » Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:33 pm

archeryrob wrote:Huntin' seasons over, isn't it H2O?

You seem to have entirely too much time on your hands. :cool:



Hunting been over almost 2 months now here. But Spring Snows is around the corner. :thumbsup:
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Hey I resemble that comment!!! Those are FIGHTING WORDS!!!
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Postby #1Waterfowler » Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:24 pm

How could people only bathe twice a year!!! :eek:

I like the "rule of thumb" theory!!! :laughing:
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Postby macdaddy » Fri Feb 11, 2005 7:55 am

That's easy, #1. Before the late 19th century (late 1800's) precious few had indoor running water. Moreover, many justified "dirtiness" by claiming that frequent bathing amounted to an "unchristian vanity." We didn't start smelling "good" until the 20th century, when indoor plumming & a newfangled thing called "showers" were installed in the bathrooms of the rich. By this time, too, "dirtiness" was coming to be considered unhealthy, "consumptive"(causing tuberculosis) & "low class" (hence the term "the unwashed").
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Postby Swamp Puppy » Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:56 am

yup..and here is another interesting fact along the "unclean" lines.

do you know why the traditional sailor's uniforms have that flap on the back? in the old days of wooden ships and long voyages, sailors used to coat their heads with pitch or creosote to keep lice and other bugs from taking up residence in their hair. the first "flaps" were nothing more than pieces of cloth tied around their necks to keep the tar, pitch. etc. off of their clothes and necks. eventually they began to attach the cloth to their shirts and finally the flaps became an intergrated part of their clothing.

now you know...

-Ed
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