Old fashioned woman speaking into a megaphone

In this day and age, we have a lot of life luxuries at our fingertips. Want to talk to your family on the other side of the world? Pick up the phone and give them a call or send them a text message. It wasn’t too long ago that things like instant messaging or even the telephone even existed. We found a list of problems that most people don’t think twice about these days.

1. Food Preservation

Salted meats hanging from a rack
Image Credit: Ivan Smuk via Shutterstock.

One user said, “Food preservation was a necessary skill 200 years ago. Salted meats, knowing which vegetables would keep in a root cellar all winter, etc. Those skills are lost to the vast majority of people today.”

2. Seeing After Sundown

Lightbulb in the dark
Image Credit: Aijazdahri via Shutterstock.

“I remember hearing that out-of-house nighttime leisure activity wasn’t a thing until gas lamps came about around the 1800s. The nightlife that we enjoy wasn’t a thing until then,” one person said.

3. Land Borders

Tablet with a map laying on paper maps of land borders
Image Credit: Matchou via Shutterstock.

“During the Middle Ages, land borders changed constantly. Usually, only the elite would have some sense of this change, but peasants were kept in the dark. That means that they could be living in one county or even country one day and another the next day. They might also be forced to pay taxes for multiple places in a year,” someone stated.

4. Treated Water

Glass of treated water
Image Credit: Terelyuk via Shutterstock.

“Before modern water treatment methods were developed, access to clean and safe drinking water was a major challenge for many people. This led to a higher incidence of waterborne illnesses and diseases,” one user noted.

5. Alarm Clocks

Alarm clock sitting on a nightstand
Image Credit: Welcomia via Deposit Photos.

Someone shared, ”Well, before alarm clocks, there were people who were paid to wake people up at a certain time, usually by hitting the window of the person’s bedroom with a large stick. They wouldn’t stop until the person came to the window.”

6. Cavities

Woman getting work done at the dentist
Image Credit: Dean Drobot via Shutterstock.

Someone shared, “Cavities can and will kill you. We just get them taken care of today and have amazing dental hygiene. So it doesn’t happen unless someone truly just refuses to see a medical professional.”

7. Communication

Woman drinking coffee and talking on a cell phone
Image Credit: Dean Drobot via Shutterstock.

“Communication gets taken for granted. Almost every person you know has a cell phone and can be reached at any given moment. This can be used for emergencies and has saved a lot of lives,” a user said.

8. Drowning

Woman struggling to swim in ocean
Image Credit: Dudarev Mikhail via Shutterstock.

“Drowning. When people (usually women) had to fetch water on a regular, falling in could quickly be fatal. Clothing during medieval times often consisted of multiple layers of natural fabrics, which get incredibly heavy when wet. Even if one could swim, that kind of weight could drag a person down quickly,” a user shared.

9. Childbirth

Woman in childbirth with father holding her hand
Image Credit: Gorodenkoff via Shutterstock.

“Childbirth was rough and life-threatening a lot of the time for the woman and the baby. Hence the invention of the chainsaw,” someone stated.

10. Ventilation

Cozy fireplace with chimney and wood
Image Credit: Steve Heap via Shutterstock.

“Fire/campfires were invented/discovered a few thousand years before chimneys. Finding a way to vent smoke for daily use, or even just knowing how to, must’ve been a pain,” one user shared.

11. Infection

Someone wearing a glove and holding a petri dish
Image Credit: ngellodeco via Shutterstock.

A user said, “Before the invention of penicillin, a common infection of a wound or cut could and very often did kill you. On a related note, the invention of reliable anesthetics for surgeries and dental work is a fairly new thing.”

12. News

Someone looking at news on a smartphone
Image Credit: Tero Vesalainen via Shutterstock.

“Delivering letters, since we didn’t have instant message apps; getting to know what happened across the world, like disasters and things like this, only the newsletter maybe but how could people know what happened on the other side of the globe?” a user wrote.

13. Clothing

Woman sewing fabric together
Image Credit: Vladimir Kazakov via Shutterstock.

A person said, “Making clothes. From scratch. But you had to make the cloth and thread first. According to an economic historian I heard on a podcast, the majority of your household labor was spent just making your clothes.”

14. Washing Clothing

Woman hand washing clothing
Image Credit: mariakray via Shutterstock.

“Washing your clothes. It used it be so labor-intensive, in some times and places, “washer” was a whole profession. In addition to back-breaking, it was hazardous to your health — various caustic chemicals such as lye were used to whiten, release stains, and soften cloth, etc,” someone said.

15. Car Repairs

Man changing the oil in a car
Image Credit: Levent Konuk via Shutterstock.

“When the automobile was first invented, if you were wealthy enough to own one, if it broke down, the only way to have it repaired was to know how to do it yourself or have it delivered back to the factory,” a user stated.

16. Traveling

Woman looking out at a beautiful view with her arms up in the air
Image Credit: kitzcorner via Shutterstock.

“Travel. With enough money, you can travel to any part of the world in about 24 hours. Back in the day, traveling to another state could take weeks or months,” a person said.

17. Food Variety

Person holding a basket of fresh picked food
Image Credit: Tatevosian Yana via Shutterstock.

Someone said, “Certain foods only being available at certain times of the year. These days we can eat whatever, whenever we want. Back in the day, you could only eat things that were able to be harvested at that time of year. As blackberries get harvested in July, apples in October. If it wasn’t the right time of year, you couldn’t eat it.”

This article was inspired by this thread and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cents + Purpose – photos for illustrative purposes only.

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