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Martyn Sadler

What would our ancestors make of us?

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If we could put the clock back to 1917 and bring our ancestors to view us in the present day, what do we think they would be most surprised by?

Would it be developments in technology, social changes, or changes in such diverse fields as sport, culture and politics?

Would they look on us with approval or disdain?

I'd be interested to know what the members of the forum think.

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13 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

If we could put the clock back to 1917 and bring our ancestors to view us in the present day, what do we think they would be most surprised by?

Would it be developments in technology, social changes, or changes in such diverse fields as sport, culture and politics?

Would they look on us with approval or disdain?

I'd be interested to know what the members of the forum think.

Something that strikes me is how physically gentle we would be in comparison.

We would also be older, wihout looking it so much.

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1 minute ago, Bob8 said:

Something that strikes me is how physically gentle we would be in comparison.

We would also be older, wihout looking it so much.

A couple of really good points there.  We're outright pacifists as a nation compared to 1917.

Also, I remember my grandparents in their 60s in the 90s, they were OLD and you could tell it, retirement wasn't an option, it was a necessity.  My parents are well into their 60s now (66 and 64) and they're acting like the 40 year olds of a couple of only a few decades ago.  These days, 60-70 is a relative time of good health and that's only after 20-ish years.

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20 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

If we could put the clock back to 1917 and bring our ancestors to view us in the present day, what do we think they would be most surprised by?

Would it be developments in technology, social changes, or changes in such diverse fields as sport, culture and politics?

Would they look on us with approval or disdain?

I'd be interested to know what the members of the forum think.

I think they'd look at us as both weak for our modern tolerances and astonishment at the level of hygiene, health, information and education we take for granted.  A perfect example is the abuse of antibiotics, in 1917 antibiotics were only a few years from invention but they'd have saved so many lives in World War 1 it doesn't even bear thinking about; these days we're happy as a nation to overdose our foodstocks in the stuff despite there being clear and unequivocal evidence that it's going to end badly for us as a species.

The big thing would be that the glass ceiling of stepping outside your "station in life" has been heavily perforated, in 1917 someone from a mining village going to work at a major London City firm would have been unheard-of but these days it's not; that ceiling is still hanging on there but it really is non-existent compared to what it was in 1917.

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47 minutes ago, Martyn Sadler said:

If we could put the clock back to 1917 and bring our ancestors to view us in the present day, what do we think they would be most surprised by?

Would it be developments in technology, social changes, or changes in such diverse fields as sport, culture and politics?

Would they look on us with approval or disdain?

I'd be interested to know what the members of the forum think.

We would overpoweringly smell of perfume to them. They would stink to high heaven to us.

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They'd probably grumble interminably to us that the RL players and referees of 1917 were worse than they'd ever been and not a patch on the ones from the late 1890s.

Edited by Futtocks
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7 minutes ago, Futtocks said:

They'd probably grumble interminably to us that the RL players and referees of 1917 were worse than they'd ever been and not a patch on the ones from the late 1890s.

eeee.... back in our day we could just give 'em a proper shoeing if they didn't gerraway quickly enough AND they'd have taken it like a proper northern bloke.  That's what comes of letting those who don't speak English get a foot in't'game

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1 hour ago, Bob8 said:

Something that strikes me is how physically gentle we would be in comparison.

We would also be older, wihout looking it so much.

Someone recently asked a seemingly innocuous question about old photos.   Why were there hardly any with bald men. Answer, because most of them didn't live long enough to go bald.   My paternal granddad died when my dad was eight, my maternal grandma died when my mam was nine. They'd be amazed at how long we live.  Hopefully in 1917, they'd also be amazed that Europe had gone for 72 years without a major war.

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I think the things we take absolutely for granted would be a cause for wonder and amazement.
Easy access to medical care, hot running water in every house, fresh fruit all year round, women working at all levels of industry and business, clean buildings and not being cold all the time between October and April 

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1 minute ago, Shadow said:

I think the things we take absolutely for granted would be a cause for wonder and amazement.
Easy access to medical care, hot running water in every house, fresh fruit all year round, women working at all levels of industry and business, clean buildings and not being cold all the time between October and April 

But women would be working in munitions in 1917.  Certainly in Leeds they would have been

http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofBritain/Barnbow-Lasses/

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they would see james corden, piers morgan  Richard madeley and Philip schofield and think they had landed in an awful horror world where men had evolved in to complete and utter twa,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,ts

Edited by graveyard johnny
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My dad's parents were born in The Borough and Elephant & Castle in 1904. They grew up surrounded by real poverty and suffering. They'd be dumbfounded to see how much money people will now willingly pay for a flat in a part of London they were pretty desperate to leave. 

On mum's side,  the women in my gran's family went to work in service, while my granddad was sent to work at 13. He later put himself through night school - it was really important to him and became an obsession that lasted a lifetime. I guess he'd be astonished by our ease of access to information, the options we have to educate ourselves. He'd have loved it, I'm certain.

They'd all be astonished by the sheer number of 'foreigners' (aka brown people) in London now, although I know from experience that some of them would have taken to it more easily than others.

I dread to think what they'd make of me!

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I reckon the technology side would amaze them, take the internet for example, an almost limitless supply of information. The mobile phone, a device which acts as a music player, film studio, camera, as well as a device to contact anyone (almost) anywhere in the world. Inside loos, fridges, freezers in every home. 

I think they may look upon us with disdain for our views towards the Royal family and liberal views towards things like gay rights, it would be interesting to find out there views towards our multi-cultural society. In those days many people would not have seen many people from outside of there own town or village, never mind people from other countries. Would they fear them or welcome them?  

Although, 1917 was during WW1, so they may have been too pre-occupied worrying about there friends and family who were fighting, to care about anything else.

It would be really interesting to find out.

Edited by DOGFATHER

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1 hour ago, Shadow said:

I think the things we take absolutely for granted would be a cause for wonder and amazement.
Easy access to medical care, hot running water in every house, fresh fruit all year round, women working at all levels of industry and business, clean buildings and not being cold all the time between October and April 

Being able to travel, live and work all over Europe with minimal paperwork. A tunnel under the Channel. Ryanair flights. Erasmus schemes. Peace across the continent. 

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37 minutes ago, graveyard johnny said:

they would see james corden, piers morgan  Richard madeley and Philip schofield and think they had landed in an awful horror world where men had evolved in to complete and utter twa,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,ts

Or they might look at the people you have named and thought that at least they didn't mug and gurn for the cameras as much as the screen entertainers of their day.

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I think they'd be chuffed to see how relatively peaceful, educated, well-travelled, healthy and happy we've turned out to be. Must have looked pretty improbable back in 1917 (at least to MY ancestors).

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2 hours ago, DOGFATHER said:

I reckon the technology side would amaze them, take the internet for example, an almost limitless supply of information.

Not sure they'd be able to get there heads around people having all that power and knowledge in there palm of there hand, then ignoring it all to play something mindnumbing like candy crush!

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3 hours ago, Shadow said:

How many women would have been in management, or doctors, or engineers?

In management, not many I suppose.  I believe women doctors were becoming more common by then.

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The same food that people ate then would taste and look radically different to the equivalent today. 

The seasonings and flavorings that we use in cooking would have been a major culture shock.

The variety of food on offer would be alien.

 

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3 minutes ago, Tongs ya bas said:

How were they treated?

What happened to the women working in 'mens' jobs when the war was over?

They went back to being housewives, I suppose,  those that survived, but the question was asked about 1917.

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Just now, Trojan said:

They went back to being housewives, I suppose,  those that survived, but the question was asked about 1917.

In 1917 unions were very mindful of the issue of women workers doing so called male jobs. How were women workers treated in 1917, especially in relationship to the way their male counterparts were treated? There was a massive disparity in wages and working conditions at the barnbow factory between men and women.

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8 minutes ago, Tongs ya bas said:

The same food that people ate then would taste and look radically different to the equivalent today. 

The seasonings and flavorings that we use in cooking would have been a major culture shock.

The variety of food on offer would be alien.

Absolutely. Spaghetti bolognese, chicken tikka masala, burgers, macaroni cheese, even tinned baked beans or Spam - all incredibly everyday, almost boringly, familiar flavours to us, but thoroughly alien and exotic to someone from a century ago.

Edited by Futtocks

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