Friday, September 4, 2015


"I can't really explain it/I haven't got the words..."    ~Electricity, from Billy Elliot

Visited Big Frog's dad today.  Learned some interesting things from the surprisingly recent past.  For example, I knew my FIL was born into a farm family that eventually had 14 sibs, but I didn't know that they had a woodstove because they didn't have electricity.

In fact, of all those sibs, only the youngest had power all her life.  Literally they did not get electricity until T was born, in 1947.


My FIL was 16 years old before he could flick on a light switch at home.

Mind blowing.

So I asked what that changed for them because obviously they had heat and light before that.  The kerosene lamps they could get rid of, but why replace a woodstove?  No surprise, they didn't.

Turns out the first big purchase his parents made for their newly electrified domicile was a refrigerator. 


And what did it replace?  Not an icebox.  Why not?  Because they didn't have one of them. 

Prior to 1947 they ate fresh obviously, they canned a lot, and they sugar-cured or salt-cured their meats. 

Because they didn't have a refrigerator.

Because they didn't have electricity.

I'm starting to understand why Big Frog’s dad didn't allow a tv into the house. 

(When Big Frog's mom finally smuggled a tv into the house, Big Frog was 13.  The tv stayed packed up and tableclothed as an "end table" unless they were actively using it, and that was of course only when Big Frog’s dad wasn't at home.)

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