10 Ways People Amused Themlselves Before Television


Join us on a us journey to a time BT (Before Television) and see what life was like from Medieval times through to the beginning of the last century. Check out our list, in semi-chronological order, from oldest to newest, of activities people commonly engaged in before the advent of the household, antenna affixed box!

Image via voennoeiskusstvo

Cheered on Jousting
From all the movies on middle ages that have graced the silver screen, both dramas and comedies, that we’ve happened upon, we can assume jousting tournaments were entertaining affairs! Though, one would guess, not for the loser! One can still participate in a joust today, at Renaissance fairs or jousting reenactments!

Image via superstock

Watched Hot Air Balloons
Way-back-when, when crowds with a fascination inherent in the times, both morbid and not, would gather for anything that took place in their city square, the launching of beautiful hot air balloons. In the time of Louis XVI hundreds of thousands of Parisians gathered to spectate in the first human ascents in a balloon. Some spectators, however, were so disturbed that they fainted, attacked the balloon if it went astray and began sinking towards the land, or even die as a woman who was at the first hot air balloon flight in England!

Image via uci

Attended Public Dissections
Bring on the morbid curiosity! It seems societies past either had nothing better to do or were genuinely found death fascinating and, as such, though public executions or dissections a family affair! Anatomical Theaters as opposed to ‘the’ Theater.

Image via flickr

Played Blindman’s Bluff
Hide and seek, Blindman’s Bluff, or other games that people could spend hours on end playing outdoors (the onset of growling stomachs and setting of the sun the only indicators of when to head back inside) was the norm for young and old alike! The age of long, drawn-out, parlor games have definitely come and gone, only a few, such as charades, remain popular today. The above photo, from this flickr set, shows young boys playing in turn of the century China.

Image via terryfallis

Read Detective Series
The most famous, in my opinion, detective series that were first published in a magazine or newspaper is Sherlock Holmes. The Strand Magazine, published in the UK up till 1950, was were the world was first introduced to the London based fictional detective.

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Had Picnics
How rewarding a laborious morning spent picking berries, and even harvesting crops, was when that afternoon the fruits (literally) of your labor paid off in a lovely meal in a park, on a patch of grass somewhere atop a hill, or by the beach where, on a hot summer’s day, the water would likely be enjoyed shortly afterwards.

Image via Mental Floss

Photographed Themselves
This one’s perhaps the only one that’s truly transcended time! To be fair, the invention of the camera, and its commercial use only picked up at the turn of the last century. Therefore, as a youngin on this list it might be no wonder it’s still popular today.

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Pulled Teeth
We think that this one might have been entertaining, for Dr. Horror! Though, before local anesthetics, there had to be something to allow the dentists, whose main tools were heavy-duty pliers, to keep mind-over-matter with all the blood gushing everywhere. And that something? Supplanting gore and horror with humor and enjoyment! We don’t recommend doing this at home…

Image via chestofbooks

Rode Escalators
Before Otis bought the patent to produce and sell escalators (then called ‘inclined elevators’), they were amusement park rides! What might be funny to know is that, at first, they only went in one direction – up! Only years later did everyone come to the conclusion that downward moving escalators were safe.

Image via oldradioshows

Tuned-in to Radio Comedies
If you haven’t had a chance to listen to a radio comedy, why not start with ‘Town Hall Tonight’ with the amazingly funny and entertaining Fred Allen (pictured above)!

This article was inspired by a post in Mental Floss.

written by soundfoodaround on 2012-01-24 #lifestyle #history #amusement #entertainment #games #hot-air-balloon #past #escalators #detective #old-world #blindman-s-bluff #radio-show

One Comment

  1. anafaro
    anafaro ·

    "Pulled Teeth". Love it! :D

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