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Posts Tagged ‘goose down feathers.’

Don’t Let The Bedbugs Bite

Posted by Admin on March 15, 2010

Bedbugs were the bugs that came in with the straw.  Although some mattresses were stuffed with goose down feathers, other mattresses were stuffed with straw.  However, whether a mattress had goose down or straw in it, pioneers who came into contact with straw unwittingly carried bedbugs back into the house.

Bedbugs were dangerous in that they inflicted people and animals alike with irritating, and sometimes painful, bites.

It’s from this era that we have the children’s rhyme:  “Good night, sleep tight — don’t let the bedbugs bite.  If they do, grab a shoe and whack them ’til they’re black and blue.”

Posted in Idioms from the 17th Century | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Good Night, Sleep Tight

Posted by Admin on March 12, 2010

Back in colonial times, mattresses were made of goose down feathers. While this made for a very luxurious sort of mattress, it wasn’t as firm a mattress as some would have liked.

In an effort to create more firmness in such mattresses, ropes were tied around the mattress width-wise at the tope, middle and bottom and pulled tight in order to condense the goose down feathers. The tighter the ropes were pulled, the firmer the mattress. For those who preferred a firmer mattress, this provided a better night’s sleep than the unbound mattresses.

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