The "Good" Old Days...Uh, Were They?

Photo Of My Great-Great-Grandmother~Glass Photo - image of my great-great grandmother...a glass photo
@pyewacket (43953)
United States
July 9, 2008 5:01pm CST
I'm kind of a nostalgic person and have always loved certain periods of the past. And let's face it, in the past our ancestors didn't have the concerns we have now...oh, yes, they had concerns...different concerns for the times. But they certainly didn't have to worry about rising gas prices as way back heck there weren't cars...food wasn't as costly...more food was home grown, there were no things as farm factories and meat foods were also locally farm raised, uh, what we would call "organic" and costing us now a small fortune to get "organic" But then I was thinking...Today for instance it's a lousy, muggy, God-awful muggy, humid day...and I'm not exactly a warm/hot weather fan...more of a winter person...give me wind chill factors, give me snow..give me refreshing cold weather than makes me more energetic and can just plain think better!One of the benefits as I see it in living in these times is that yikes, we don't have to dress the way our ancestors, like our great-grandparents did. If you're home heck you can putter around your home stark naked if you want..LOL...or at least prance around in nothing but a skimpy tee-shirt and shorts. In the "outside" world, one can also get away with wearing tank tops and shorts... Our ancestors? No such luck. I remember my mother and grandmother telling me, that in my great-grandparents day one ALWAYS had to be "proper" even in one's own home. A "lady" had to wear dresses to the floor in length, underneath she had to wear whalebone corsets, and tons of petticoats, hose and anklet type leather booties--YES IN THE SUMMER...and if the lady of the house left her home, she had to add gloves to her outfit. Women had long hair...yes, they might have tied it up in a bun, but women had long hair. Night apparel was a floor length nightgown with sleeves. Oh and I was told my great-grandmother had a sixteen inch waist! YIKES Men also were expected to dress properly even in their own home...A full fledged suit, with vest and usually made of wool, as cotton based suits weren't worn...as an aside and by the way...during the Civil War period, the uniforms of the soldiers on both sides were made of wool. So considering the wearing apparel our ancestors had to wear in the good ole days...like yikes, maybe the good ole days weren't so hot..uh, or maybe they were...LOL Would you want to dress the way our ancestors did? With all that paraphernalia? Did you also know in our ancestors day, one always carried smelling salts since everyone was usually passing out with the heat? Here's a photo by the way of my great-great grandmother and it's a glass plate--you can see the dress she was wearing
24 people like this
58 responses
• United States
9 Jul 08
Wow I always thought I wanted to go back to the "good ole days " to but thinking about the clothing and no air conditioning makes me think twice.I still would like to see some changes though I think things were better then.Most people helped their neighbors,and children were more respectful and didn't wear pants hanging down to their knees.I guess as far as the clothing went these people didn't know any different so it probably didn't bother them like it would us.We already know about air conditioning and shorts,t'shirts and stuff so we would miss it.They just didn't know anything different so they didn't miss what they didn't have. Jas
3 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
You make good points there...yes in the good ole days family values were a lot better, neighbor helped neighbor if need be. Now people living in most apt buildings (like me) don't even know who their neighbor is!
@sid556 (31031)
• United States
10 Jul 08
you guys are going back a very long way because the styles of the 60's and 70's are not very different from today. we wore halter tops and micro-mini skirts and skorts were called culottes...all the same. we wore torn up jeans...baggy clothes and even the clothes that look almost but not really like maternity clothes that girls wear now. They guys had long hair and the girls today well, they take more care than we did back then...they are beautiful. the biggest difference i see...peircings...we didn't have those. beyond that...not much.
1 person likes this
@Wolfechu (1193)
• United States
9 Jul 08
Mm, the 'Good old days'. Pollution through the roof compared to now, infant mortality rate of 10%, life expectancy of 50, the great Depression, world wars, 10 year olds mining coal, 8 year olds, erm, mining coal with the 10 year olds... I hear it was almost impossible to find a Starbucks too, let alone one with a wifi hotspot. The trouble with Nostalgia is that it isn't what it used to be ;). When people look back on the past and think how wonderful it was, they're selectively editing the bad things out of their memories. Just like how tabloid journalism today edits the good things out of the stories, because Bad News Sells Papers. The 'golden age' is a yearning for something that never really existed. We've never had it so good. And it only keeps getting better, despite all the moaning about it.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
Well maybe one should go back further??? Being part Native American this country must have been truly beautiful prior to the European invasion..LOL...no pollution, at all, and no hideous skyscrapers, cement sidewalks or roads just lots and lots of of wilderness--I'll take that!
1 person likes this
@dangaroo (234)
10 Jul 08
That's what I'd expect to hear coming from someone with a cat on their profile, cats these days couldn't give two hoots about a rat, some of them couldn't catch a television remote control let alone a rat. Perhaps these traditional moggies you talk of were as brave as lions and as hungry as a fat man with a hangover though?
@Annmac (950)
11 Jul 08
Dangeroo you obviously don't know much about cat's. A cat is recognisable as a cat whether it's a Siberian Tiger or a Hairless Spinx. Cats have never been fully domesticated as since earliest times and even now a lot of cats are kept to keep vermin out. Those instincts are strong and so if faced with a rat even my lazy old tom would fight! Luckily we don't have a rat problem, it's bad enough when he brings mice home! Our cats are just as 'brave' as their fore-bears! Let any but a hairless modern cat out in the wild and it would have a very strong chance of surviving. Even the most pampered of pets, hence the huge number of 'feral' cat's in our cities! You could send a cat back in time and he'd fit in, whereas we wouldn't.
1 person likes this
@umart13 (843)
• Ireland
10 Jul 08
I am always amazed how people forget history. If you lived in America in the 1930s, Germany in the early 1920s, England in 1946-48, in Eastern Europe in the 1950s and early 1960s, you may have had something in common -you could have been starving. You may have had hyperinflation as in Germany or Hungary, where you literally had to have a wheelbarrow full of backnotes to buy a loaf of bread. This makes our food- & energy-inflation situation today look like a picnic by comparison.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
15 Jul 08
No I haven't necessarily forgotten history or the situations you have cited...it's really not that much better....look at what happened recently in Haiti with the food riots since food is scarce there now. As for the past...one of the reasons my great-great grandfather came to America was to escape the "famous" potato famine of Ireland and he came here in 1851
@umart13 (843)
• Ireland
15 Jul 08
Hi packwacket! Well glory be! Nice to meet you. I'm from Dublin :-) If you need any help researching your Irish family tree I would be happy to help, or have you had it done already. I've been working for a number of years on a massive family project. It's as broad as its old, if you know what I mean. Do you know what county in Ireland your great-great-gradfather came from? Re: Price Rises! It's not just Haiti. A big surprise recently were the riots in Iceland. They are normally the coolest of the cool. The police in Egypt are making bread for the people and stated that they got there just in the nick of time to prevent a catastrophe. It's hitting everybody! Good to hear from you. UMart actually in Cologne, Germany
1 person likes this
@umart13 (843)
• Ireland
15 Jul 08
Correction: pyewacket
1 person likes this
@gemini_rose (16208)
9 Jul 08
No the good old days can stay just that for me! I have always had a bit of a thing for history and how it all seemed so glamorous to be a part of the Royal family back in the 1500s. After reading "The Other Boleyn Girl" I realise that actually there was nothing glamorous about it at all. I am happy with the time that I live in for the clothes I can wear and the way I can be to a certain extent and I would not want to live in any other time. All that I wish I could change are the horrible things in life. I do wish our weather would buck up though, if you like cold weather and rain then consider moving to UK during summertime, you are guaranteed colder wetter weather as that is all we have had so far.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
Well I haven't read that book (now a movie, right?)..I always loved the Medieval and Renaissance periods too...did you know a part of a woman's attire in those days was to have a filagree ball with potpourri in it and hung from a chain from their waists? The idea that if a person came near you that well, stank you'd place the ball up to your nose to mask the odor of the other person...remember..no deodorants or perfumes then...ewwwww
1 person likes this
@BarBaraPrz (14251)
• Hamilton, Ontario
10 Jul 08
Not to mention yearly baths...
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jul 08
Sometime ago I watched a show on PBS that dealt with exactly what we have been discussing. They had groups of people for different eras of time. Each person or group would live in that time period. These people were like us regular folks. PBS actually did a series of these. They had time periods from the 1600's, 1900's and 1940's which the latter was set during the London blitz. Each of these groups had to live the way that people of there time (the era that they were living in)without any modern comforts. The only modern thing they could have was a video camera so things could be recorded. So that meant the group that was chosen for the 1600's had to live EXACTLY as they did back then and that went for everyone in each era. It was very interesting. And it wasn't for a few days. It was for two to three months! I do admire the ones that were chosen. Don't know if I would do it! I think it is available on DVD now. Anyway,if I want to experience the good old days I'll just watch one on those dvds.
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31031)
• United States
10 Jul 08
wow..you go back even before my time and I'm pretty darn old. ya those days would have been hard to deal with. I grew up in the 60's 70=s era...times to remember! Now that was a time of change and yes...caught up in the middle...it was a sin to live with your boyfriend....couldn't wear jeans to school...heck..girls could not even wear pants to school. skirts had to be a certain lenth or else. I mean we had to wear our skirts long enough so the garter belt did not show when you reached....panyhose had not yet been invented. Tampons were new....most of us wore a belt that held on a pad that we hoped didn't ride up for anyone to see.....kind of like what the thongs that young girls now display proudly looked like. good topic!
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
I grew up in the 60s and 70s too..was born in 1955...actually back in my high school days we were allowed to wear jeans, but by then that was the height of the Woodstock generation...LOL...but in junior high school I had to be "prim and proper" and wear either a dress or skirt..OMG..I remember the days of wearing a "belt" for those pads...hehe..what a nuisance! It always slipped and slided anyway..LOL
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
Photo Of Me In My Rebel Hippie Years - image of me during high school
Oh..got to add since I saw some of your other comments...though I was young...maybe 13? My mother actually DID take me to see HAIR...very risque in those days...I WAS rebellious as I was the classic hippie...remember Nehru jackets...used to wear them..nope was too young to go to Woodstock but did see the movie then when it first came out. While this picture was taken of me the year I graduated high school and I had "toned" down just a bit by then it shows how I used to dress..uh try to figure which one is me...LOL
1 person likes this
@bonbon664 (3480)
• Canada
10 Jul 08
I worked at at pioneer village here, and in the summer it was brutal. Working in 90 degree heat with a full length, long sleeve dress was horrible. Although they didn't make us wear corsets, that's why a lot of women were passing out, they couldn't breath properly. My great grandparents came over here from England, and were primarly farmers, and boy was it hard work, even after they cleared the land and built their house. They never had a day off, hauled their own water, no electricity, brutal winters. The "good" old days, you can have em...LOL
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
One place I would love to visit is Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia...all the people that work there have to wear colonial style clothing...wonder how THEY feel? LOL
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jul 08
We have a place called Old Sturbridge Village here and they wear period clothing for all the demonstrations. They do candle making abd cloth making it is a fascinating place to go.
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (12174)
• United States
9 Jul 08
I think life was probalby ok in the 60's and 70's. Other than that I dont think i would ahve wanted to live in the "Old Days." I would have hated wearing all that uncomfortable clothing and I would have hated living in hot areas with no air conditioning. It would ahve been tough.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
Hehe....well I did live in the 60s and 70s and you're right life wasn't too bad then. But nope to live in the old days like prior to the 1900s and having to wear all those clothes would definitely not be up my alley
@amanda08 (647)
• United States
10 Jul 08
i am seriously uncomfortable with the way the economy and the environment are going.... when are we going to take action?
1 person likes this
@bowtieguy (5931)
• United States
12 Jul 08
I am much more of a winter person myself, I sweat easily and fair better in the colder months. I guess compared to most in todays times, I would be considered proper. I do have my casual moments, but could not imagine being layerd in so many clothes during scorhing temperatures. Things sure have changed a lot since the times of our ancestors, I can't begin to imagine what we will look like once I hit my golden years.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
13 Jul 08
I'm a winter person myself...I can at least think more clearly and have more energy..LOL. Thank goodness I DON'T have to dress like my great-grandmother did in her days during the summertime...
1 person likes this
@horsesrule (1884)
• United States
11 Jul 08
No, absolutely no, I would not want to live in the old days. It was way too oppressive, the clothes were too confining, there was no air conditioner and you had to struggle just to survive. Especially surrounded by all those oppressive rules! I like to look back to the past, I was a history major but there isn't any time period I would want to go back to.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
11 Jul 08
LOL--one of the other things my great grandmother was...a suffragette--one of those women that used to march and picket for women to have the right to vote..LOL
1 person likes this
@fxcash (105)
• Canada
11 Jul 08
Very valid points, makes one think though what our grandchildren are going to think of our good ole days and what future inventions will have improved life so that air conditioning and other currently modern inventions will be antique.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
11 Jul 08
It's be great if in the future they could invent an air conditioning system that doesn't affect the environment..wonder what computer will be like in the future? And maybe we'll have hologram messages instead of phones.
1 person likes this
@CharRay7 (1549)
• United States
10 Jul 08
Hi, I am a young 50 years old so I can remember back in some of the good ole days. lol I remember back when I was a little girl in the 60's and every day I would go out and play with all my friends all day long. The only time I would come home was for lunch and dinner and when the street lights would come on. Now with all the inside activities going on like internet, game systems etc., kids just don't go out and play that much and is it really safe anymore? As far as going further back in time, I don't think I'd want to go there. Those heavy suits and petticoats in the summer had to be terribly hot and uncomfortable. Not for me! lol Have a great day! Char :-)
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
11 Jul 08
In some ways it's a same how times have changed, like you it was so much safer to play outdoors back in "our" time (I'm 52), a kid (or parent) didn't have to worry about all the sickos and child molesters that exist now.
@Hatley (112951)
• Garden Grove, California
10 Jul 08
hi pye a lot of the women probably passed out due to the tight whalebone corsets and the tiny waists they had, no space to'get a deep breath of air. and hot and long skirts that dragged on the floor. could not have been too clean either as the gowns picked up dirt and mud. loland even swimming they wore coverup bathing suits made of wool. yuck. and yuck some more
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
When you think of it the women's dresses must have been always dirty at the hem...they didn't have paved sidewalks like we do now, but just dirt or earth--yikes must have been an "event" to wash the clothes in those days too...no washing machines
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (72854)
• Marion, Kansas
10 Jul 08
Yes, we have to count our blessings, and take our trade offs. My mom said that she was not allowed to wear "pants" to do the chores, if the men were expected back. Yes, women often got "the vapors". I am looking forward to seeing your great great grandmother. I must look like my relatives, many of them were very dour.
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
Another Photo of One of My Ancestors - image of another one of my ancestors...also a glass photo
I have another picture here....have no idea who this is..doesn't look like the same woman as the other photo, but it's one of my ancestors.
1 person likes this
@Rosekitty (19760)
• San Marcos, Texas
9 Jul 08
Pye's Mommy... If i lived back then i would have been living in a rebellious state of mind, since i couldn't wear those clothes at all and breathe..too hot in Texas and i'm sure back then it wasn't much better..so bring on the smelling salts and or let me live in a nice cotton slip of a dress..Chicken ranch anyone..LOL
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
No wonder women were always having a case of the vapors...know what that actually means? LOL I remember a comedian from the south one enlightened me what it meant...it meant that a person was passing noxious fumes...uh, in other words farts...
@ElicBxn (58157)
• United States
9 Jul 08
I always have issues with the "good old days." I don't like the SCA people with their idea that things were so great back in the middle ages - HA! Basically, if you had the leasure to do the things the SCA people do, you have to have servents, serfs and basically slaves. Now, just because our new fangled slaves are machines that wash our clothes, our dishes, we still have the "slaves" that make our cheap clothes for the ordinary life they lead outside of the "revels." No THANKS! I'll take the air pollution - I've got air conditioning! http://www.sca.org/
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
Unfortunately there really is still slavery...just heard a story last night how many parents in third world countries sell their children as slave labor...including ones to make our clothes
2 people like this
@howard96h (11694)
• New York, New York
9 Jul 08
Talk about an "hour glass figure" WOW! The women back then must have eaten very little to keep that appearance.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
My great-grandmother was a gay Gibson fashion model at one point because of her hourglass figure...LOL..a story was told that this was in her courtship days with my later to be great-grandfather..the story was that he followed her around to make sure there wasn't any hanky panky...LOL
1 person likes this
@tyc415 (5706)
• United States
9 Jul 08
There are certain times in the past that would be nice to visit but not something like that. I would be one of them passing out. No way could I wear all those clothes in the summer time.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
I could never cope wearing all those clothes either..I'm sweltering here in my tee-shirt as it is
1 person likes this
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
9 Jul 08
DOn't those pictures make you wonder when the smile was invented? I would be more concerned about the lack of deodorant...yuck. I think it may have been a bit more tolerable back then due to the lack of blacktop and brick buildings, there was more trees and grass which definitely helps. Where i worked last summer, it was very rural and it amazed me at night how comfortable it was when I got outdoors, then I got home and yuck...in the 20 odd miles it was much warmer and more humid. Yup, I remember Mom talking about the old days..she had to walk along the railroad tracks to pick up coal to heat the house. There were problems for sure..but very different problems.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
One of the reasons people never smiled in those old photos was due to the long time exposures to get the photos..some photos took several minutes to capture....imagine trying to smile for about five or more minutes...LOL. I'm kind of nostalgic thinking, wow I wonder what this country looked like before Europeans came here...I see movies like Last of the Mohicans and that beautiful natural scenery and think, wow, once this whole country looked like that.
1 person likes this
@meggan79 (436)
• United States
9 Jul 08
I am a big Renaissance fan, but I would never want to live in that time period. In every time period you are going to find better and worse things. I think because I am a woman I like the fact that I have rights and can do things that women in the past could never do.
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
10 Jul 08
Oh I love the Renaissance period as well...even the Medieval times...but yes, times weren't so great then either...uh, too many plagues for one thing...LOL
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jul 08
I loved your post... I would dress as my granmother did .. I think one of the sexiest thing a man can wear is a suit... I work in retail .. I always laught when some of the young people come in the store with there pants down pass there bottom with their boxers showing.. and to top it off they have to walk with there legs open to keep them up... I am like hellooooo I don't want to see what color boxers your wearing .. get some style.. Or a older woman wearing sweats whith baby phat across her bottom.. come on now .. when my husband and I use to go to nite clubs there were always dress codes.. dress to impress.. and even in schools.. back in the day things were alot dirrent.. children were in bed at a decent hour on a school nite. they were limited to how much tv they watched.. they had maners.. times have sure chenaged and not for the better .. I am only 51 but I wish I truly lived in the day of my grandparents. with the respect, style and class as they did :) just my two cents
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
11 Jul 08
Hehe...I'm 52 so grew up in the same "age" as you did...hehe..the woodstock generation. People used to make fun of us "hippie" type the way we dressed, but at least our jeans weren't hanging off our butts...LOL. You're right, children did have more manners. I have to laugh how people say children shouldn't be exposed to foul language...are they kidding? I hear four year old with mouths like truck drivers...gee, I never even used the word sh$t when I was a kid..LOL
• United States
12 Jul 08
OH MY God .. if I even told my father "NO" I saw the back of the hand.. bed time was at 9 PM..I see kids on the streets at a young age at 10 and 11 pm playing ball . I stand by my parents values with my son ( the only one left at home ) he has his bed time, he has his chores, he even has a dress code, If alot of parents took a stand and acted like parents sometimes half the kids today would not be the way they are . Just my two cents
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43953)
• United States
13 Jul 08
I do wonder what kind of ethics some parents have. You say you see kids playing at 10 at night? Nothing compared to here. Granted the parents are with them but I hear kids playing on the street as late as one or two in the morning! Like huh?