Sunday, 21 June 2009

Some Bed Trivia

Here's some trivia about beds, which I researched for a project but didn't use.

The first beds were used around 3400BC after Egyptian pharaohs discovered the benefits of raising a pallet off the earth.

Tutankhamen has a bed of ebony and gold.

The Upper Class Romans owned beds decorated with gold, silver or bronze with mattresses stuffed with feathers, hay, reeds or wool. They also had waterbeds.

In the East in Bible times the bed was not a piece of furniture but a mat. Whole families slept on a single mat together. In the morning the mat was rolled up so that it did not take up so much space. People could, and did, quite easily take their "beds" around with them. Hence Jesus said to a man he had just healed: "Get up, take your mat and go home"

In 1495 The English Parliament passed a statute regulating the content of bed stuffing, requiring that it be good, clean feathers, not dirty old horse hair.

Britain’s largest bed, the Great Bed of Ware was built in 1596. It can accommodate 12people.

Mattresses in Shakespeare’s time were filled with straw and held up with a rope stretched across the bed frame. If the rope was tight, sleep was comfortable. Hence the phrase, "sleep tight."

William Shakespeare's will, still in existence, bequeathed most of his property to Susanna and her daughter. He left small mementoes to friends. He mentioned his wife only once, leaving her his "second best bed" with its furnishings.

King Louis XIV (1638-1715) of France’s rising in the morning and going to bed at night were attended by elaborate ceremonies called the "levee & couchee." Each noblemen had his own duty & part to play in these rituals. Louis collected beds, he owned 414 in total. All were elaborately carved, gilded and hung with costly embroideries. His great joy was the magnificent bed in the Palace of Versailles, on which were woven in gold the words "The Triumph of Venus". But when Louis married his religious second wife she had the pagan subject replaced by "The Sacrifice of Abraham."

Cast-iron beds and cotton mattresses were introduced in the middle of the 18th century.

Thomas Jefferson had 13 bedrooms at his Monticello home. All the beds were simply mattress supports hung on wall hooks.

In 1964 the first Habitat store opened in the UK. They were one of the first British stores to sell duvets and shoppers were so intrigued they would climb into the beds in the store to try them.

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