Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sounds Of The Past

I few days ago I awoke to the sound of a gentle rain.  Probably because it was quite early my mind wandered and I found myself wondering about the everyday sounds our ancestors heard that we no longer do today.  Some of these may still be heard, but by a much smaller percentage of people than in our ancestors' day.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these were the first things that came to mind.

Chopping wood
Butter churn (agricultural census schedules often ask about pounds of butter produced)
Sweeping (no vacuums)
Rug beating
Water pump
Horse trotting (also pulling a wagon or buggy)
Farm animals (hens, roosters, pigs, sheep, cows).  Check the agricultural schedule to learn what animals your family had.

Obviously, we could also play this game in reverse, listing the sounds we hear that our ancestors didn't.  However, this list would be extremely long as you can no doubt imagine.  I'll just mention a few things that tremendously alter our soundscape:  motor vehicles (especially if you live on a busy street), televisions and radios, phones and even just the hum of a refrigerator. 

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