Resistance to New Technology

(p. 59) . . . , not everyone was happy with the loss of open hearths. Many people missed the drifting smoke and were convinced they had been healthier when kept “well kippered in wood smoke,” as one observer put it. As late as 1577, a William Harrison insisted that in the days of open fires our heads did never ake.” Smoke in the roof space discouraged nesting birds and was believed to strengthen timbers. Above all, people complained that they weren’t nearly as warm as before, which was true. Because fireplaces were so inefficient, they were constantly enlarged. Some became so enormous that they were built with benches in them, letting people sit inside the fireplace, almost the only place in the house where they could be really warm.

Bryson, Bill. At Home: A Short History of Private Life. New York: Doubleday, 2010.
(Note: ellipsis added.)

4 thoughts on “Resistance to New Technology”

  1. I love our species
    (Oh carp, moi shouldn’t be so
    form-centric – just make that DNA)
    , secondhand ciggie smoke is deadly but secondhand car exhust is OH SO gooooood!
    Stay on groovin’ safari,

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