Would you like to have lived in the 19th century?

NBF fan

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Dixie
I know most of us wonder what it would have been like if we were to have lived in the 19th century, especially during the Civil War era. Due to continued medical advancement, some might say it is a more desirable time to live now, but I think there are pros and cons to both time periods. Would you like to have lived in the 19th century? What would you like to have witnessed, or who is a person you would like to have met?
 
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David Knight

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Location
Pontefract, Yorkshire.
Sounds like you’ve really thought it through! 😂
Yes but after the Civil War the whole castle was demolished. The remaining ruins are interesting but the castle was nearly as big as Windsor Castle and is still owned by the Crown. Free entry means I go and have a look several times a year.
 

NBF fan

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Dixie
Yes but after the Civil War the whole castle was demolished. The remaining ruins are interesting but the castle was nearly as big as Windsor Castle and is still owned by the Crown. Free entry means I go and have a look several times a year.
That does sound interesting. Though, I’m sorry about what happened to your “small” pad! 😂 At least you get to still visit.
 

Pete Longstreet

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Call me crazy, but I would definitely choose the 19th century over any other to live in. While medicine and stuff wasn't as advanced as it is today, I don't have to worry about nuclear bombs, viruses, or anything like we do now. To mention there weren't any conspiracy theorists back then.
The 19th definitely had its share of fevers, diseseas, etc. Yellow fever, typhoid fever, bilious fever. Then epidemics of measles, mumps and others. I guess it's always a give and take. Things that are considered very treatable today, were potentially deadly back then, due to, as you stated, the lack of advanced medicine.
 

Lubliner

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Okay, here is a definite no; on Jamestown, no matter how much explorations and discovery I lust for. I have read some of John Smith's publishment, and the loss of over half the colony. Not a good place to begin a journey into another world of time. Brackish water where salt and fresh meet seems to have produced innumerable digestive ailments. A new environment exposed their own inbound diseases.
Lubliner.
 

Viper21

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Rockbridge County, Virginia
I think about living in the 19th all the time. Actually, I have since I was a young. It mostly stems from my interest in the CW, thinking about being a soldier in the army, marching, battles, what the generals voices may have sounded like. I also think about if I could handle the physical life style. I have worked out all my life, sports, sprinting, MMA... yet I truly wonder if I could make a 30 mile march then fight a battle... all while on 2 hours sleep and with no shoes. The things those men on both sides accomplished during that war truly fascinates me. Always has.
To be transported there, we'd struggle. To grow up there, we'd be fine. It's hard to beat the working man, or "old man strength". I'm a pretty in shape guy for my age. Competitive sports till 40+, blue collar labor profession for years, & a pretty physical lifestyle for a modern person. Firewood, redneck logging, etc... I've never been in to the gym, or that type of exercise. My sons are all monsters. Huge gym rats, muscles on top of muscles. All studs. You'd think the same, if you met them guaranteed. I'm still undefeated in arm wrestling, & still hold "the title" in messing around (grappling). :laugh: It's common for us to be sitting around the fire with a few cold ones, talking smack, & end up on the ground....lol. They are 28, 25, & 22. I'm 51. I've always told them, by the time you can whoop me, you won't. So far, so good..lol. Although I will concede, it's getting much harder, & I'm starting shy away from one of em...lol.

My point is simply, a real world physical lifestyle, is superior to manufactured strength. Cutting, splitting, loading, & stacking firewood is a better work out than curls, bench, lats, & dead lifting. Using a hammer creates more forearm, & wrist strength than dumbbells. Other than the wealthy, the average woman in the 19th century was tougher than the average man today. In so many ways, everyday life was physical. Easy days for them, would feel like hard days to us.

How many photos from the 19th century do you see overweight people in..?

I'd love to go back as a visitor, even hang out for a few days. Although, I know I'm soft compared to them. It would be a huge adjustment just to survive.
 

David Knight

First Sergeant
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Location
Pontefract, Yorkshire.
But you don't get to pick out WHO, only WHERE. Maybe you'd be a flunky. 😂 Or worse, maybe one of the people who were beheaded there. :eek:
I am a Knight so I do have flunkies. Richard II was starved to death (c 1400) at Pontefract Castle on the orders of Henry iv who usurped the crown. Thomas Duke of Lancaster was hung drawn on quarter on the hill I live on after revolting against Edward II in 1322. Also Katherine Howard Henry viii fifth wife was caught in relationship? with other men at Pontefract which eventually lead to her being beheaded at the Tower of London.
 

RobertP

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Nov 11, 2009
Location
Dallas
To be transported there, we'd struggle. To grow up there, we'd be fine. It's hard to beat the working man, or "old man strength". I'm a pretty in shape guy for my age. Competitive sports till 40+, blue collar labor profession for years, & a pretty physical lifestyle for a modern person. Firewood, redneck logging, etc... I've never been in to the gym, or that type of exercise. My sons are all monsters. Huge gym rats, muscles on top of muscles. All studs. You'd think the same, if you met them guaranteed. I'm still undefeated in arm wrestling, & still hold "the title" in messing around (grappling). :laugh: It's common for us to be sitting around the fire with a few cold ones, talking smack, & end up on the ground....lol. They are 28, 25, & 22. I'm 51. I've always told them, by the time you can whoop me, you won't. So far, so good..lol. Although I will concede, it's getting much harder, & I'm starting shy away from one of em...lol.

My point is simply, a real world physical lifestyle, is superior to manufactured strength. Cutting, splitting, loading, & stacking firewood is a better work out than curls, bench, lats, & dead lifting. Using a hammer creates more forearm, & wrist strength than dumbbells. Other than the wealthy, the average woman in the 19th century was tougher than the average man today. In so many ways, everyday life was physical. Easy days for them, would feel like hard days to us.

How many photos from the 19th century do you see overweight people in..?

I'd love to go back as a visitor, even hang out for a few days. Although, I know I'm soft compared to them. It would be a huge adjustment just to survive.
My Dad could definitely outwork me when he was 65 and I was 30. He used to say that hard lard could whip gym muscles any day of the week.
 

Pete Longstreet

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Hartford, CT
To be transported there, we'd struggle. To grow up there, we'd be fine. It's hard to beat the working man, or "old man strength". I'm a pretty in shape guy for my age. Competitive sports till 40+, blue collar labor profession for years, & a pretty physical lifestyle for a modern person. Firewood, redneck logging, etc... I've never been in to the gym, or that type of exercise. My sons are all monsters. Huge gym rats, muscles on top of muscles. All studs. You'd think the same, if you met them guaranteed. I'm still undefeated in arm wrestling, & still hold "the title" in messing around (grappling). :laugh: It's common for us to be sitting around the fire with a few cold ones, talking smack, & end up on the ground....lol. They are 28, 25, & 22. I'm 51. I've always told them, by the time you can whoop me, you won't. So far, so good..lol. Although I will concede, it's getting much harder, & I'm starting shy away from one of em...lol.

My point is simply, a real world physical lifestyle, is superior to manufactured strength. Cutting, splitting, loading, & stacking firewood is a better work out than curls, bench, lats, & dead lifting. Using a hammer creates more forearm, & wrist strength than dumbbells. Other than the wealthy, the average woman in the 19th century was tougher than the average man today. In so many ways, everyday life was physical. Easy days for them, would feel like hard days to us.

How many photos from the 19th century do you see overweight people in..?

I'd love to go back as a visitor, even hang out for a few days. Although, I know I'm soft compared to them. It would be a huge adjustment just to survive.
There's a lot of truth in that post. I remember working for my uncle (he was in his mid 50's at the time) and he used to carry two bundles of shingles up the ladder on his shoulder. Meanwhile... here I am this 20 year old guy who lifts weights and was struggling. I ended up dropping one of the bundles as I tried to copy him lol. Although as I start to season with age (39), many young guys and teens who I grapple with tell me I have "dad strength". I guess it's something that comes with age and life experiences.

I would agree that a women in the 19th century could most likely run circles around the average guy today. But I guess we are a product of our environment.

So with that being said... although I think of myself as being in decent shape, I can say I would most likely struggle. I can't even imagine 4 years of war under those conditions, not to mention with inferior equipment compared to today.
 

John Winn

Major
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
Fun discussion about "dad strength." I'm witnessing something like that these days. I and one other old guy have been doing all the preservation/restoration work at the cemetery where I volunteer for years. We're still going but I'm 71 and my partner is 76 and it's hard to say how long we'll be able to do the really labor-intensive stuff.

Anyway, this year we were contacted by a recent retiree who said he would like to learn and get involved and we were happy to accommodate him. He's maybe 64 but I know he joined the Marines at 17 and went into the construction trade afterward. He eventually had his own company and spent several decades building movie sets for Universal Studios. He's not obviously muscular but when he gets behind a shovel or a pick or a pry bar he's like a piece of machinery. And he attacks every job like we're all on the payroll and there's a deadline. I'd guess he could outdo a lot of twenty-somethings and one would probably not win a wrestling match with him. Because of the new guy we've completed three large projects this year when normally we only take on one big one (along with all the usual re-sets and glue jobs). I know he's got at least one son but he lives in California; I'd bet that kid's a go-getter.

I definitely feel actual manual labor builds harder bodies (I once had such) and I know absolutely those folks who lived in the nineteenth-century - men and women - were way tougher than us. Some of the stories I've collected still amaze me.
 

Viper21

Brigadier General
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Rockbridge County, Virginia
There's a lot of truth in that post. I remember working for my uncle (he was in his mid 50's at the time) and he used to carry two bundles of shingles up the ladder on his shoulder. Meanwhile... here I am this 20 year old guy who lifts weights and was struggling. I ended up dropping one of the bundles as I tried to copy him lol. Although as I start to season with age (39), many young guys and teens who I grapple with tell me I have "dad strength". I guess it's something that comes with age and life experiences.
Absolutely. Think of how sure you are of yourself today vs 20 years ago. Once we pass our physical prime, we make up for it with mental power. While I'm not physically capable of what I could do 10 years ago, I am a little wiser, have more experience, & more capable of seeing things before they happen, etc... I would bet money, so are you.

I can relate to your Uncle. FWIW, I've been a roofer for nearly 30 years. Two bundles up the ladder used to be routine :cool:

Funny story. I still carry bundles of shingles up ladders. Although, I don't carry two anymore. However, I made an exception a few years ago...lol. Had hired a new kid. He was about 25yrs old, & a muscle head. Gym Rat type. He talked a lot of smack before we started that morning. My right hand man & I just looked at each other & kind of nodded. A "Hmmm" moment. lol. Well, we get to the job, & mind you the hard work was done the day before. Today was shingle day. His job was to carry the shingles up for us... My right hand man was 60 at the time. He grabbed a bundle & ran up the ladder like it was nothing. I grabbed two, & ran up the ladder like it was nothing. Even though it was a challenge, I certainly didn't show it...lol

FNG struggled just getting a bundle situated on his shoulder. Keep in mind this kid was 190-200 & well built, with a ton of confidence. When he got to the top of the ladder, he was stuck. He couldn't move, he couldn't get the bundle onto the roof, & had a whole new perception of what real labor was....lol. We had to take the bundle off his shoulder cause he was paralyzed at the top of the ladder. :cool: When lunch time came...... he "ran to the store down the road". Yeah, he never came back....:laugh:
I would agree that a women in the 19th century could most likely run circles around the average guy today. But I guess we are a product of our environment.

So with that being said... although I think of myself as being in decent shape, I can say I would most likely struggle. I can't even imagine 4 years of war under those conditions, not to mention with inferior equipment compared to today.
Imagine trying to sustain on the calories they did :eek: I'm in awe of them myself. They were tough.
 

Lubliner

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@Viper21 I have to add your FNG walked off the job (pun intended). Now I might also say that I am no candidate for any award coming to heavy lifting. I have walked off one roofing job and made the blackball list. I was all of 120 pounds soaking wet, and was put at the top or the bottom of a ladder with a power-driven loader to carry the squares up one at a time. Either way was tough on me, and I passed that part, and then we got to a house and had to shovel the old shingles off. They finally put me down to pick up the debris, and by mid-afternoon, I told them no more. I didn't disappear, I just said I've had it. Another construction job was demolishing a hospital in Norfolk, Va. and they put me up on the third floor with a sledge hammer. After 4 days my left arm was numb and I quit without compensation (never claimed any). I gained extensive backpacking experience in my thirties and forties, and by the time I was 46 I could walk up Signal Mountain power line trail with a full pack, and loop down the front side, no problem. I am 67 now, and walking back from the mailbox can put me out of breath. I do walk a couple miles at a time, but nothing like I was used to. Repetitious lifting is not the way to go unless you want to train for meditation and strength. It has its advantages, I am sure. I am still 120 pounds soaking wet and much more of a homebody, but I do know my limits, and am much wiser with each year.
Lubliner.
 
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