24 May 2012

1900 House

Some number of years ago, my mother brought home a movie from the library and we watched it together. It was a documentary called The 1900 House (I must really like movies with the word number 1900 in them...). When I say documentary, I mean it's a reality TV show/documentary. Basically Channel 4 created this four part documentary to see what would happen if you took a modern family (a 1999 family) and put them in a home styled from the year 1900. So they called in all kinds of social historians and developed this house. It is a house in Suburban London on what was a lower-middle class street in they 1900. And they removed all traces of modern life and outfitted it in period wallpapers and furniture and gas lighting--the works. And then they found a family that was willing to live in this home and abide by 1900 rules: wear the clothes, eat the food, and live the lives of a lower-middle class family in the year 1900 for 3 months. It's really a pretty fantastic experiment.

Every handful of years now I remember how much I enjoyed watching this the first time and check it out from the library again. So this week I've been watching it while I get ready in the morning. It's pretty fantastic.
Daru Rooke--Historian and Curator of living history museums

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