If You Went Back In Time . . .

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

Dutch7

40 Cal
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
228
Reaction score
324
Location
WPA
Many times I have thought I would like to be back in the 18th century and isn’t that what we do in this hobby, try to recreate the past with our hand made tools of life? My family came to PA early and carved out a life and produced generations, each getting a little easier as time passes ( as I sit in AC and communicate with the world on a smart phone). They lived hard in the old days, have no delusions about the Hollywood version of history we see on TV.
When I hunt with my flintlock and spend the day dark to dark in the woods, I have no fear of Indians or ruffians wanting my scalp or gear and I know there is a hot shower and a good drink waiting just over the mountain.
I’ll stay here and recreate the past 😊
 
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
15,267
Reaction score
10,057
Good thing I caught Pink Eye in 2nd Grade, because that's when they figured out I really needed glasses. I caught croup a couple times growing up and that might have killed me as a child in the 18th century. An early polio inoculation saved me from that disease. A lot of people died from measles in the 18th century and not too many people didn't catch that disease when I grew up.

After growing up in Iowa, I caught pneumonia in boot camp in San Diego in December, when it was a LOT warmer than back home. I copied my health records before I retired from the Corps and it is documented I had bronchitis 19 times and pneumonia 12 times in 26 years. I would not have survived that in the 18th century.

I'd be blind today from a detached retina and cataracts, if I had survived this long.

I'd probably be dead had they not taken out my thyroid a few years ago, as I had non-cancerous nodules on it that were restricting my breathing more and more each year.

I'd surely be dead of internal bleeding due to a herniated aortal stem below my heart, which they fixed and I was out of the hospital the next day.

What to do for money if you go back? Take small strips or pieces of silver and especially gold with you.

By the way, don't look down too much on using maggots and leeches, as they STILL use them today in modern hospitals the world over. Don't come near me with lancets and ESPECIALLY NOT a Scarificator, though.

Gus
 

Dispatch

40 Cal.
Joined
Feb 17, 2010
Messages
218
Reaction score
71
I would bring something that would make me an instant god amongst all cultures and languages.

Krispy... Kreme... Doughnuts...
Homer 1.jpg

Grin.gif
 

Gunny5821

Richard Turner
MLF Supporter
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
853
Reaction score
1,928
Location
Alabama
I would bring something that would make me an instant god amongst all cultures and languages.

Krispy... Kreme... Doughnuts...
View attachment 161955
View attachment 161956
Not Krispy Cream, but first time tribal people in Punjab Pakistan eat Duncan Donuts. There's a whole series of them eating American food, but one of the best is when they try cheese cake.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
22,571
Reaction score
20,171
Location
Republic mo
You would definitely need something like that.
We have our magic time machine we had best have some coin, or at least as LD says some bars of silver and gold
What skills do you have to make a living?
I’m a nurse so could I go back and hang out a shingle, pretend to be a doc?
Yes I could set a bone or sew up cut, but without antibiotics and other meds what would I do?
I can’t sew well enough to be a tailor.
I would get laughed out of a harness shop or gun shop.
I know nothing of black or white smithing
I can cook, but could I cook for a crew? I sure couldn’t cook fancy enough for a hotel or private home. I can ‘do my sums’ cold I work fast enough for a counting house,
Teach?
I would have to forget or at least not mention unknown things yet
I can tan a hide and make a candle, lots of little stuff. I still have to buy a lot.
Making a living on all my old timmie skills wouldn’t do
 
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
15,267
Reaction score
10,057
You would definitely need something like that.
We have our magic time machine we had best have some coin, or at least as LD says some bars of silver and gold
Not bars, as they couldn't make change. Most could not afford to buy a whole bar and the ones that could - would probably charge you for being a pirate. Strips could be cut, as they did by cutting up Spanish Milled Dollars into pieces of eight. Matter of fact, I would buy up old 14 Karet gold jewelry and melt them down into strips.
What skills do you have to make a living?

I’m a nurse so could I go back and hang out a shingle, pretend to be a doc?
Yes I could set a bone or sew up cut, but without antibiotics and other meds what would I do?

With the training and experience you already have, you would be miles ahead of most Doctors in the period who proudly wore their blood and pus-stained aprons to show their "experience."

Take a book on what natural medicines were and are used then and now. Of course, you would tear out the cover sheet/s and any dated pages.

Teach?
I would have to forget or at least not mention unknown things yet

You could be a school master, but not a private tutor, unless you can read Latin and Greek.

Valuable trades to learn would be a Brewer or Whisky distiller.

Gus
 
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
15,267
Reaction score
10,057
For most of my life, I would have to have brought at least two pair of period spectacles with my prescription in them.

I would have tried for a "clark position" (what they called a clerk) or better still, set up my own mercantile shop in a good sized town. There I could additionally make and sell leather items I made in the living quarters.

Gunsmithing would be out for me, as I've never been trained on a blacksmith's forge.

Gus
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
1,125
Reaction score
2,073
Location
A trebuchet defended holler near Nameless, TN
Go to a local grave yard and look at the tombstones from before 1900. You will see serval pre fifties for every over seventy.
I've seen a number of studies (can't recall where at the moment), but if you made it past childhood in th 18th or 19th century, the odds were very good that you would make it to 65+. The biggest impact to "average" lifespan happened in the first part of the 20th century - when the US, UK, and western European governments began a real effort to improve prenatal and childhood health. My wife's grandparents were an example of this - he survived the trenches of WW1 and they had 11 kids in a poor white ghetto in a major US city - but only 3 survived past the age of 10. My wife's mom was one of the lucky three to survive growing up in a ghetto with limited health care, and is now a fairly active 93. Point being, a child living in a poor health environment (either Colonial times or in the early 20th century can be deadly. Make it past 12 and you "should" live a relatively long life.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
Messages
22,571
Reaction score
20,171
Location
Republic mo
I've seen a number of studies (can't recall where at the moment), but if you made it past childhood in th 18th or 19th century, the odds were very good that you would make it to 65+. The biggest impact to "average" lifespan happened in the first part of the 20th century - when the US, UK, and western European governments began a real effort to improve prenatal and childhood health. My wife's grandparents were an example of this - he survived the trenches of WW1 and they had 11 kids in a poor white ghetto in a major US city - but only 3 survived past the age of 10. My wife's mom was one of the lucky three to survive growing up in a ghetto with limited health care, and is now a fairly active 93. Point being, a child living in a poor health environment (either Colonial times or in the early 20th century can be deadly. Make it past 12 and you "should" live a relatively long life.
There were plenty of elderly, including centurions, and yes childhood mortality kicked the crap out of averages.
But just check out in incidences of CHF, non insulin dependent diabetes, stroke, mi, ect. All those people that get those conditions today would be dead in the nineteenth century.
Just today my thirty year old nephew developed an infected wisdom tooth. He was taking antibiotics but not fast enough and developed pericarditis. He got probably out of the woods today, but would have been a dead body even fifty years ago
 

Latest posts

Top