Since this Facebook posting, we’ve visited Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. Visit their Facebook page, and in-person if you can.
Home Life in Colonial Days by Alice Morse Earle, 1898
By night the foot of the bed rested on two heavy legs; by day the frame with its bed furnishings was hooked up to the wall, and covered with homespun curtains or doors. This was the sleeping-place of the master and mistress of the house, chosen because the kitchen was the warmest room in the house.
The Colonial Table
The colonists had plenty of napkins; more, as a rule, than families of corresponding means and station own to-day.
Indian Corn & the Colonists
“In April of the first year they began to plant their corne, in which service Squanto stood them in great stead, showing them both ye manner how to set it, and after, how to dress and tend it.”
Colonial Meat & Drink
[Cider] was supplied in large amounts to students at college, and even very little children drank it. President John Adams was an early and earnest wisher for temperance reform; but to the end of his life he drank a large tankard of hard cider every morning when he first got up. It was free in every farmhouse to all travellers and tramps.
Colonial Hunting & Fishing
Patriarchal lobsters five and six feet long were caught in New York Bay. The traveller, Van der Donck, says “those a foot long are better for serving at table.” Truly a lobster six feet long would seem a little awkward to serve on a dinner table.
Food distribution from 600 AD to the 1700s appears to have had more human dynamism than after the Industrial Revolution. Producers of the food items, loudly hawked their specialty foods door-to-door, walking in the streets, or at a public market (similar to our Farmer’s Markets)–often using song or rhymed verse. Here are pictures of our past “supermarkets,” food prep, and dining experiences in the English-speaking world from the book, Short History of the English People…. Hover your cursor over each photo for a description, and click on the picture for an enlargement.