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Old 11-02-2019, 04:16 PM
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Has anyone seen the BBC mini-series titled "1900 House"? It was produced in 1999 and rebroadcast on PBS in 2001. The premise was to remodel a London row house as a lower-middle class Victorian house and place a modern family in the house for three months to see how they coped.

It's a real eye opener. Although the family had some natural gas lighting which was supposed to replicate coal gas, everything else was technology that was available in the late pre-electricity era, a situation many of us are prepping for.

I've read in some places that people will be bored out of their minds during a SHTF. BS, prepped people will be working 12 hour days six days a week. It took the lady of the house all day to do the laundry and each person only had three "outfits". There was a mistake in acquiring an adequate coal burning oven and the producers purchased a tiny Victorian oven in Scotland. It gave the family all kinds of trouble in that it didn't produce hot water nor did it do a very good job cooking. The house had running cold water and a functioning toilet connected to the sewer system, two things probably unavailable in a SHTF.

The husband was a Chief Warrant Officer in the Royal Marines who was stationed as a recruiter in London for the duration of the show. Other than wearing a 1900 uniform and growing a mustache, he didn't have to do much. He did try cooking on the crappy stove in one of the early episodes but the results weren't very good.

The younger children in the family seemed to enjoy the show but the teen-age girl hated it and was bored out of her mind. The mother had it worst as she did much of the work.

I recommend watching the videos on Youtube. The first show depicts the remodeling of the house and can be skipped. There are several versions on YT so I'm not going to post the link, just search on YT.

So what are the morals for preppers:
1) Living in a pre-electric world is tough. Things that take modern Americans an hour like washing clothes took all day.
2) You will be dirtier than in a pre-SHTF world with the ability to take a bath only a few times a week and you may have to wear clothing several days in a row between washes.
3) Practice cooking on whatever device you anticipate using post-SHTF or you may get bad results until you learn how to use it.
4) Expect boredom. There was nothing for the family to do at night other than play card games in dim light.
5) Watch your group's mental health. The teen-aged girl seemed genuinely depressed and the mother became extremely bitchy. The younger kids seemed to adapt to the situation.
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:38 PM
Florida Jean Florida Jean is offline
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I remember that show.

And there was a bit also about a 'maid' they hired. [A family of that 'status' would have had some sort of servant or two.] The maid, who did seem to grasp how much work she'd be doing, ending up quiting.

A ton of work for the womenfolk back then. Less for the fellow [since this was a middle class family].

Forget how old the girl was, but thought she didn't have access to the social sort of events girls of her class and age would have had back then [well chaporoned of course]. All the other girls she was exposed to were still living in the 'real world'. But back then, everyone would have been living the same as the teenaged girl, talking about the same things, knowing the same things, and doing the same things -- like today's kids. And thus essentially happy -- and boy crazy.

There were other 'eras' in the series. One for the poor. tenement house or something like that. Had a flop house where you had to pay more to sleep not sitting down and held up by a rope.
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:02 PM
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There are also programs like The Victorian Farm and the Edwardian Farm. I watch those whenever they are on, inspired me to have a small orchard rather than a couple of apple trees.

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Old 11-03-2019, 01:50 AM
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The BBC also did Colonial House, Frontier House, and Texas Ranch House, all of which detailed life in pre-industrial times, and the takeaway from all three was that in those eras everyone had to work extremely hard, and even then you could starve to death. The Tutor Farm and Victorian Farm shows are also set in pre-industrial times.
There is a 1940's House that is set in the same period as the WWII Farm series.
Most of the stuff can be either downloaded on YouTube or your local library if you have a good one.
When my library started throwing out all the old VHS tape documentaries, I captured about a hundred of them to disk so I'd have a reference if the world comes to an end, and also have something interesting to watch instead of the crap on the networks and cable.
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by williammandella View Post
The BBC also did Colonial House, Frontier House, and Texas Ranch House, all of which detailed life in pre-industrial times, and the takeaway from all three was that in those eras everyone had to work extremely hard, and even then you could starve to death.
I watched both Frontier House and Texas Ranch House years ago. Frontier House had a real-life Tech milt-millionaire family as one of the families and they didn't do so well. If I remember, the families were given logs (they didn't have to cut them down or haul them) and were expected to split enough wood for the winter. When the show ended and the assessment was made, the rich guy had only cut about 1/4 cord of wood cut for a Montana winter which is laughable.

The Texas House series was more about managing a frontier ranch than about survival with the wealthy ranch owner having problems with his hired hands and the Comanches. I also remember the lack of hygiene at the ranch house where the family just dumped their trash right outside the door. The place soon became infested with flies. The Assessors looked visibly ill when they visited the house because it was so gross.

Last edited by Prepper_Ed; 11-03-2019 at 06:22 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 11-03-2019, 10:33 AM
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I remember that show.
Forget how old the girl was, but thought she didn't have access to the social sort of events girls of her class and age would have had back then [well chaporoned of course]. All the other girls she was exposed to were still living in the 'real world'. But back then, everyone would have been living the same as the teenaged girl, talking about the same things, knowing the same things, and doing the same things -- like today's kids. And thus essentially happy -- and boy crazy.
Yes, you're right that an actual Victorian teen would have had the company of her friends. But in an SHTF situation where a family is either bugged out in the middle of nowhere or stuck in a bugged in house there may not be many opportunities for teens to socialize with people their own age. So I think mental health issues could pop up with teens. They aren't as naive as little kids who might view SHTF as an adventure but aren't as mature as adults who are better able to cope with adversity.
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:50 PM
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Agree -- that age group can be a handful under 'normal times'.

But in 1900 House, weren't all the kids still going to school? Which meant she was with peers who weren't dressed like her, [bathed and washed more], had their hair different, talked about what was going on -- music, tv, teen celebrities, did their nails, phones, and so on. And she was the odd girl out.

In an more isolation situation any teen wouldn't be hearing about all the fun everyone else was having. [even if the phones were working, she'd be hearing about how everyone has just one meal a day, or their dog got shot and eaten by the neighbors, or people being buried in their front yards, or 'no one's seen anyone at the Smith's house come out in a week. Dad says we're not to go over there.'].

Yes, a teen will be bored. They've been bored since the dawn of time. And there will be a lot of 'why did this have to happen to me!' and 'I want to be with my friends' and 'no one cares about what I think' and all the other stuff teens say even in good times. Only a lot more, which stressed adults will answer 'yeah, sure this SHTF was planned just for you', 'and what friends, the one's that will kill your cat and eat it?' and 'Just what do you think about being down to 1,500 cals. a day then?'

Younger children don't have the reference points that teens and adults have, and are much more 'go with the flow'. Teens want the flow to be about them and for them [in a good way]. And adults, depending upon who they are, flounder, struggle or fight the flow. And if you prep [and the right prep for whatever does SHTF] you try to place yourself outside of the flow.
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:01 PM
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In 1900 how many teens in London would be in school, especially female teens. There wasn't much class mixing back then, except for the upper classes, because the "wealth gap" was considered integral to a government and economy. Most teens would either be in service, working for a parent, or apprenticed out to someone. In rural communities, they worked from before sunup to sundown.
It's more likely that the family in "The 1900's House" would have been made up of a soldier who was probably posted in some part of the Empire, two daughters who would have been in service, and a son who either worked in a factory or helped the mother run a boarding house that employed a maid of all work. Life would have been difficult if neither the husband or wife bought money into the marriage.
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Old 11-03-2019, 11:10 PM
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Agreed, prior to WW I at least, I don't think anyone less than an upper-class teen would have time to be "bored".

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Old 11-05-2019, 01:16 PM
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Well, I watched Ep. 1 of Frontier house last night and it was an eye opener. Women and girls wore six layers of clothing even when just on their homestead during the summer. They had outhouses but didn't have anything close to resembling modern toiler paper. One of the professional horse handlers lost control of his team and nearly ran down one of the women. A boy was bitten by an Australian Shepherd mix who may have mistaken him for a barnyard animal.

Additionally, because of game/fishing limits and the cost of out of state licenses in Montana, the cast was not allowed to fish or hunt, something they could have done in the 1880s. The cast were allowed to have shotguns for protection against bears but no rifles.
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Old 11-05-2019, 04:03 PM
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As someone who has lived offgrid on a micro solar system for years let me take a wack at a few things:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Prepper_Ed View Post

So what are the morals for preppers:
1) Living in a pre-electric world is tough. Things that take modern Americans an hour like washing clothes took all day.

true, but <$5k in some and a few gal of gas make a a HUGE difference.
I have a very efficient stove and a well insulated small space to heat.
It takes me 2 gal of chainsaw has a year.



2) You will be dirtier than in a pre-SHTF world with the ability to take a bath only a few times a week and you may have to wear clothing several days in a row between washes.
I won't. And you don't have to.

Where you put your homestead matters also. I actually have some ideas about this when I pipe the spring down to the new pond. (Automatic gravity fed water powered washer.)

Currently I have a solar powered water system.
My next house will be gravity fed from the spring.



3) Practice cooking on whatever device you anticipate using post-SHTF or you may get bad results until you learn how to use it.

in winter I cook on my wood cook/heat stove almost exclusively now.

4) Expect boredom. There was nothing for the family to do at night other than play card games in dim light.

I have hundreds if not thousands of books.
Hundreds of DVD'S also (solar power)



5) Watch your group's mental health. The teen-aged girl seemed genuinely depressed and the mother became extremely bitchy. The younger kids seemed to adapt to the situation.
Always a concern.


Splitting the difference between 1800's and now is fairly easy and cost efficient.
I'm playing this while watching the YouTube video posted here with the wood stove heating my house, and I'm about to put a pot of beans on the wood stove.
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Old 11-05-2019, 05:20 PM
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Even before solar systems became affordable off-grid living was possible with many more comforts than in the 1900 House series.

One author I read simply ran a Lister-style diesel for around an hour/day, consuming about a quart of fuel...during that time their family pumped water from the well, used power tools, ran vacuums, etc.

He did mention the not-very-well-regulated-AC-output was hard on the compressor motors of the chest freezers the family used.

Today we'd use solar panels & batteries to run most of the above, adding LED lights, radio/TV...well pump might be an exception that would still require a generator.
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