What we take for granted, a private bedroom, was not a guarantee on 19th century passesnger ships. One might expect a "well-aired bed", but not much more.
Here is an innovative idea of providing special spring support in various zones.
Anicent European beds were built as hutches or cabinets. Some even had doors that fully enclosed and shut in the entire family. A midnight trip to the "bathroom" was not an easy event.
Bedstead production utilized the advancements in technology offering fine brass and painted metal funishes. The Industrial Revolution merged with the sleep revolution and liberated sleepy consumers with many choices, sizes, and options.
According to English Through The Ages by William Brohaugh our everyday life incorporated words from other languages. Here are a list of some interesting words we use and the approximate dates they entered the language:
Bed noun c. 700; verb c. 1100
Pillow noun c. 900
Feather bed noun c. 1000
Wire noun c. 900
Couch noun c. 1400 "type of living room furniture"
Bench noun c. 1000
Bedridden adjective c. 1100
Homestead noun c. 975
Brass noun "the metal" c. 1100
Cotton noun 1300 from Arabic qutn meaning raw cotton; early English called this "cotton-wool" and Bombast and Bombazine from French bombazine and Latin bombasinum c. 1555 for "raw cotton"
Bedchamber noun c. 1375
Fustian n. 1200 special cotton-linen twill cloth created in Italy
Den noun c. 725
Cradle noun c. 1000; "birthplace" c. 1600
Bedstead noun c. 1450
Cushion noun c. 1305; "pin cushion" c. 1600; "cushioning" c. 1800
Blanket noun c. 1300; "blanketing layer" c. 1630
Coverlet noun as in "bedspread" c. 1300
Stool noun "three legged stool" c. 900
Bolster noun Old English from German c 725. This word may descend from an ancient Indo-Eurpoean root bholg.
Canopy noun c. 1385
Tick noun c. 1342 " cloth covering for a mattress or pillow"
Parlor noun "living room" c. 1450
Tenement noun "residence building" c. 1400
Cottage noun "housing for poor" c. 1390; "small house" c. 1770
Curtain noun as in "concealing device" c. 1300
Desk noun c. 1365; as in "bookcase" c. 1570
Spinning Wheel noun c. 1425
Sofa noun 2. 1625 as a cushioned dais from the East; c. 1717 as a long, upholstered bench.
Dwelling noun c. 1400
Fan noun "cooling device" c. 1390
Cheesecloth noun c. 1400
Mattress noun c. 1300
Sleep noun/verb c. 900; "death" c. 1150; "sleepy" c. 1225
Furniture as a noun in 1539 was the conventional word for "any movable piece of property including provisions, supplies,and livestock" winning out over the two other choices furnitude and furniment; all coming from the Norman conquest of England.
An ancient Assyrian ivory inlaid headboard for a bed demonstrates the complex thought to create a special sanctuary for sleep!
"The Assyrians, Medes and Persians are known to have had beds- of stone, wood, metal, and sometimes elaborately decorated-as are the Greeks and Romans , while the barbarians of northern Europe were still sleeping on piles of leaves and moss", wrote David N. Durant in Where Queen Eilizabeth Slept & What The Butler Saw".
Check out more items from the past.