How did people pass the time in the olden days before the cell phone and electronics? These folks had many entertaining ways to have fun back in the day. Let’s look at some of the people’s favorite ways to pass the time a long time ago. Some of these ideas remain great ways to have fun today, too.
The 1700s: Fun during the Colonia Era
Folks in the US colonies needed ways to take their minds off the impending revolution that occurred in the 1700s. Many of these sturdy individuals used various methods to fill their free time with ways to socialize.
Men did most of the physical activities while women watched them. Many of the events occurred in bars. Women weren’t allowed in such places in the 1700s. But board games, tea parties, dances, and quilting bees became fun past times for ladies during this time.
The 1800s: Toys and Games
During the 1800s, children had lots of new and fun toys with which to entertain themselves. Some of the classic toys that came into use in the 1800s include:
• The rocking horse. Horses were widely used for transportation, so children had a rocking horse to help them imagine various adventures.
• Marbles. The huge variety of sizes and colors of marbles make them exciting and beautiful items to collect.
• Jacks. If you wanted to develop your hand-eye coordination skills, you could play a game of jacks with your friends. Jacks remain available yet today for children to play with and enjoy.
• Rolling hoops. These hoops were made of metal, and were the predecessor of the modern hula hoop.
People in the 1800s had parlors in their house. Parlors were rooms designed primarily to entertain friends and neighbors, or as a family gathering area. Parlor games, such as word games, charades, board games, and card games got played in the parlor.
Other pleasurable past times during the 1800s included zoos, dance halls, and theaters. Folks had a bit more spare time in the 1800s than they did in the 1700s, so they became adept at sewing, crochet, playing the piano and other musical instruments, and writing.
Fun in the 1900s
A plethora of entertainment developed during the 1900s. Brief silent films called “nickelodeons” only cost a nickel to view. Vaudeville acts produced many individual performers on a single stage, providing a wide selection of entertainment in one place. Each act only lasted a few minutes at a time.
Jazz music became popular in the 1920s, giving folks a bouncy form of music that could get loud and racy.
The Great Depression occurred after 1929. No one had much money, and jobs were scarce. Board games such as Monopoly got played, and people enjoyed radio shows with music, the current news, and stories. When World War II hit, resources and spare time became limited.
In the 1950s, television was developed. Stories in the 50s became based on family life. Popular toys during this era were Barbies, electric trains, and hula hoops.