Thursday, August 26, 2010

Most Useful Domestic Article in Existence in 1898

I pick this book up at odd moments and read a page or two at a time. It's a slow way to read a book...a couple pages at a time...but there it is. The Leading Facts of English History by D. H. Montgomery. Second Edition, Revised. Ginn & Company, Publishers, 1898.

I am on page 357 with only 46 pages to go. The book begins with "Britain before History begins" and continues through Roman occupation, the Danes, Saxons, Normans, Feudalism, Reformation, the Stuarts, the American Revolution, yada yada. To compress that much history into 403 pages is a feat in itself! To read it through, page by page, is another feat, if I do say so myself.

A lot of kings died at the hands of others in this book. As did the next king. And the next. Sometimes their whole families were killed by succeeding kings. The English fought the French, then the Germans/Austrians, then the Spanish, then the French again, then the Spanish again, on and on and on. The Irish and Scots come into the picture now and then. Suffice it to say, ain't nobody happy with anybody. Everybody's killing everybody.

If you've never before been convinced of the depravity of man's sinful nature, you should read an abbreviated history such as this. You will see that it is not just in this generation that nation wars against nation, and people against people, and person against person. The human race continues with an ongoing, disgusting, continuous self-murder that rolls from one generation to the next. I'm surprised we haven't gone extinct for we are super efficient at the killing of ourselves.

But that is not what I proposed to blog today. No, I was going to type some very short chit-chatty Question of the Day for you to ponder. I'm sorry about straying from my original thought.

I read of this item on page 356, at the end of the second paragraph (in case you have a copy of this book on your bookshelf, which I doubt...the only possible possessors of this book being my friends Paul and Laurie in Chico. They like books. A lot.)

But I digress...so onward to the Question of the Day!

Can you guess what Montgomery named as the "commonest, and perhaps at the same time the most useful domestic article in existence" in England in 1898 when this book was printed? (Clue...it was invented in 1834 and, no, it wasn't toilet paper.)

(Oops, I have to edit the date of this invention...Montgomery says it this way: "..between the years 1829 and 1834, a humble invention was perfected of which little was said at the time, but which contributed in no small degree to the comfort and convenience of every one.)


Leave your answer in the comments.

P.S. The year 1898 was a mere 112 years ago. A lot has happened since then. Life is totally amazing!

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13 comments:

Scott said...

I didn't have a clue trying to guess but googling what was invented in 1834 I think I know. Of the various things I saw invented that year one kind of stands out. I don't think its the safety pin either though there may be a connection.

Kelly said...

Is it something to do with crops and agriculture?

WhiteStone said...

Scott...I edited the post. The item was invented sometime between 1829 and 1834 with several persons in different countries working on this item.

Kelly...I think in this instance, the word "domestic" indicates life within the home or in and around the person.

Kelly said...

Right or wrong, I hate to influence others with my guess. Do the names Hunt and Thimonnier have anything to do with it?

Scott said...

Well if its what I'm thinking - the same inventor also invented the safety pin - it fits your blog nicely.

Diane said...

Sewing machine?

Chez said...

You have me stumped WhiteStone however, I will continue to read these pages seeking enlightenment.

melissa said...

The match!

Mrs. Spit said...

I would have to guess the treadle sewing machine.

Debby said...

The refrigerator?

Scott said...

Wonderful, this book is online - and boy was I wrong.

WhiteStone said...

LOL, Scott. I found it online, too, and I wondered how long it would take others to find it. I found it by googling the quote. And, voila! There it was!

melissa said...

Yeah, I cheated and saw the e-text! ;)