Who Invented Mother’s Day?...

The history of Mother’s Day in the US started on May 12th, 1908. That was when Anna Jarvis began campaigning for a day to honor mothers worldwide. After the United States adopted it in 1914, other countries followed suit. It is celebrated on the second Sunday of May in the US but other countries use different dates. Antecedents A look at historical records will show that ancient people also set aside days for mothers. The exact origin of this practice is unknown. However, some historians believe it arose from an early form of earth goddess worship. There is evidence the Romans had their own version of Mother’s Day called Matronalia. This was a day dedicated to the goddess Juno. Mothers were special to her. For this reason, the day was marked by gift giving to mothers. Several European countries have always put aside a Sunday just for mothers. This day is known as Laetare Sunday. The chosen Sunday would vary, but among Catholics it was the fourth Sunday at Lent. This date was actually intended for the Virgin Mary and the mother church. But the history of Mother’s Day shows it became an occasion to celebrate motherhood. Today many countries use the date on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Besides the United Kingdom, other European countries also celebrate Mother’s Day on this date. Mother’s Day in Africa and the Middle East The day is celebrated in many African countries. The modern concept of Mother’s Day was adopted from the British. The way it is celebrated varies per country. Usually it is a mixture of local customs with some European elements included. In many Arab countries the day is celebrated on March 12. Bangladesh and Bolivia The day is celebrated...
Who Invented Christmas?

Who Invented Christmas?

Christmas did not originate in the Christian religion. It came from the ancient Romans. Every year in December they held a festival called “Saturnalia” in honor of their god Saturn. The festival ran for a week starting in December 17 up to December 23. Saturnalia was a time of freedom and pleasure without consequence. People could do what they wanted and the law wouldn’t punish them. In fact, all courts of law were closed during the week-long festivities. The Romans would take this opportunity to play games, get drunk, run about naked and commit sexual acts that would be unacceptable at other times. Even the slaves got a break: for once the roles were reversed and they could insult their masters. A special banquet was prepared just for the slaves in each household. More disturbing, the Romans would choose an innocent person to be a type of scapegoat during the festival. This person would be considered the enemy of the community. He or she would be forced to self-indulge in many ways for a week, before being killed. The Christians used a clever tactic to get people to convert to their religion. They took the popular Roman festivals and changed them to fit into Christianity. While the names changed, the customs and practices stayed the same. It reassured people that they could convert to the new religion and still keep the old practices. Since Saturnalia was the major feast of the year, the Christians made it the birthday of their savior. However the actual Christmas Day itself, December 25, was not the last day of Saturnalia. It was the day of Sol Invictus, the “Invincible Sun.” Sol Invictus was part of a Roman warrior cult – in which the...
Who Invented Toilet Paper?

Who Invented Toilet Paper?...

Toilet paper is such a common thing that anyone can see every single day. It is so commonplace that people often take it for granted or even wonder who invented toilet paper. Toilet paper is actually different from facial competition when you compare their composition. It is actually designed to decompose once it reaches a septic tank. This might be its really distinct feature when compared to bathroom tissues and facial tissues. Among the many peoples of the world, the toilet paper takes on various names. Several common names for today’s toilet paper include toilet roll, loo roll, loo paper, dunny paper, dunny roll, toilet tissue, bathroom tissue, and TP. Early Origin Those who wonder who invented toilet paper will be astonished to find out that its origin really dates back to the second century BC. It was already around in China but was used as a padding material or used for wrapping. It is known that it was first used in world history in the 6th century AD. Early Chinese writers made mention of toilet paper in their works as early as 589 AD. Yan Zhitui wrote about it in 589 AD in his works. In 851 AD, it is known that a Muslim traveler traveling to China commented about the people’s cleanliness mentioning the use of paper instead of water. It is recorded that ten million packages of toilet paper was manufactured annually in the Yuan Dynasty. Each package had about a thousand to ten thousand sheets of toilet paper. Another mass production was recorded during the Ming Dynasty. It is found that there were more than 700,000 sheets were manufactured. It was intended for general use within the imperial court. With the said records it is...
Who Invented the American Flag?

Who Invented the American Flag?...

No one knows for certain where the stars and stripes design came from. Popular accounts of the history of the American flag state that Betsy Ross of Philadelphia designed it. In fact, Ross sewed one of the oldest versions of the flag. There’s no evidence she designed it. Early History The US flag has been altered 26 times since its inception. The first official flag recognized by historians is the Grand Union flag which came out on January 1, 1776. It consisted of 13 stripes (alternately white and red). The British Union Jack was situated on the upper left. It was in May of that year that Ross sewed the flag. A year later on June 14, 1777 the US Congress decreed that the flag have 13 stripes with 13 stars. Based on the history of the American flag, it was this design that Capt. Rob Gray used when he sailed in 1787. In 1795 two stars and stripes were added as Kentucky and Vermont became part of the Union. The 1800s In 1818, the number of stars increased to 20 as more territories became part of the US. However it was decided that the stripes would be kept at 13 for the 13 original states. A year later Illinois joined the US. The 1800s would see more and more territories join the country. By the time California joined, the number of stars had risen to 31. A study of the history of the American flag shows that when the Civil War broke out, the number of stars remained the same. Under orders from President Lincoln, the stars indicating all the states were still part of the flag. By 1890, the stars increased to 43 with Washington, North Dakota...
Who Invented the Paper Clip?

Who Invented the Paper Clip?...

Our modern day paper clip owes its beginnings to William D. Middlebrook. Its patent is dated on November 9, 1899. It is interesting that for over a hundred years, in spite of humble beginnings, no one has yet been able to create a more efficient way to hold loose sheets of paper. We’ll look into who invented the paper clip and its humble beginnings. Early Beginnings Some consider Samuel Fay as the either the forerunner or the man himself who invented the paper clip. However, if you look at the patent he obtained dated April 23, 1867 he called the device as a Ticket Fastener. The original idea that Fay had was to have the ticket fastener attach tickets to garments. In the description of the fastener you’ll find that as an additional use, it could be hold pieces of paper together. Samuel Fay was not the only one who submitted or invented the paper clip’s predecessors or devices like unto it. There were in fact some other 50 designs that were patented that would seem to be early precursors. The difference however is that the designs submitted prior to that of William Middlebrook’s don’t even come close to what the modern day paper clip would look like. Birth of the Paper Clip As mentioned earlier, William Middlebrook is credited as the one who invented the paper clip we know today. He in fact not only invented the paper clip but also the machine that would make paper clips. The drawings on the patent distinctly portray our modern day paper clip. The patent William Middlebrook obtained was for both the paper clip and its production machine. Coming of the GEM In the year 1899 the manufacturing company Cushman and...
Who Invented the Iron?

Who Invented the Iron?

If there was no one who invented the iron, you could probably imagine how everyone’s clothes would look like after being washed and hanged on the clothesline to dry before using. Most probably, it would look really horrid with all its wrinkles and creases. That is why much gratitude should be extended to the person who invented the iron even though you may probably think that it was designed more as a simpler model than the ones on the market today. To Answer the Needs of Many Housewives Before the emergence of the iron in stores everywhere, many housewives in the early years had a hard time making their clothes look presentable and wrinkle-free. The early procedures included hand pressing, using steam or heat, or rolling procedures just to get things right. Those were the normal situations of the past – that may have seem a bit chaotic in many households – before a New Yorker named Henry W. Seely invented and patented the electric pressing iron on the 6th of June in the year 1882. This invention was named as the “electric flatiron.” Learning More about the Inventor Born in Richville, Kentucky, in July 2, 1854, Henry W. Seely had really gone a long way. Aside from inventions such as creating the first iron device, this inventor also had witnessed a number of patents. If you would do a research, you would see Seely’s name in more than a hundred patents for certain inventions in history. This includes the invention of the light bulb by Thomas Edison. The Early Usage of the First Model Unlike most of the current models, the first few irons that were manufactured years ago were known to use carbon arc. This was used...
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