Living in the Year 1500


What was it like to live 500 years ago? Last week, I found out some of the realities, when we lost all electric power for about 2 days.

A tropical tornado hit our area. The wind made blood curling noises, as it tore down trees and other objects in its path. The rain came in horizontally , driven by the winds gusting at fearful speed. Rivers were deluged and flooded, as were many houses leaving people homeless.

The electric power system fell under the weight of the power of nature. The lights went out and so did our privileged lifestyle. Within one second, we were in darkness, stumbling around looking for a candle or a torch. Within one hour, we realized we were going back to the year 1500. At that time, Leonardo and Michelangelo were alive and developing their greatest work.

But how did they live and succeed. After all, as I discovered there was no way to boil a kettle, no way to have a hot shower.

My daughter has four children and there was no way to wash their clothes for school. Of course, they complained that they could not see their favourite TV shows, or play games on their computers.

Work came to a halt, as there were no emails, no Google, and no online business or social networking. Our world was falling apart.

When we looked inside the refrigerator this was confirmed. Food wasted away, minute by minute.  What would we eat? There was no cooker or microwave oven.

We looked outside, but could not see the streets. Darkness had closed in. I wondered what it would have been like to be alone. Rather scary!! Only the wind and the rain and blackness for company!!

Then, I realized  it was like living in this world before modern technology. The world was defined by black and white, night and day, Indeed, in the year 1500, it would have been worse. Most people lived in the countryside. When night fell that was the end of the day.

How did people like Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelangelo produce so many master pieces? How did they live when there was no electric power?

Last week, I began to find out and I did not like it.



This article has 3 Comments

  1. A very interesting description of the whole experience. We just never realise how much we take electricity for granted and so disruptive to our lifestyle when it is not available. Back in 83′ we were on acreage at the back of Mudgeeraba and we had a week without electricty it was quite bazaar 2 days enough as we too experienced.

    We did make one mistake when the electricity came off not to turn off all major power points which I will remember next time as our freezer blew up as the electricity came on previously we have lost a microwave this way.

    Lets hope we don’t have to experience this for a while. However my heart goes out to those who are victims of floods and their homes destroyed in Rockhampton, Gladstone and North Bunderberg and other areas lets hope they receive all the help to get their homes, business and lifestyle back in order while financial support is so important so is the emotional support.

    Loosing a freezer and buying another one was a nuisance but hi nothing to those who are really suffering! Lets hope they receive all the help to get their lives back on track.

    Enjoy the day and take care

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. In comparison, we had few problems apart from the inconvenience and the psychological feeling of not having the skills as they had back in the old days when one learned early in life how to survive, as they did not know what electricity was.

  2. I really loved this article, makes you think. Not only can we question what on earth we would do without electricity and our modern gadgets, but more importantly, how did people in the past accommplish such amazing things without all of the tools which we take for granted today?
    These people didn’t know any better, so they compromised and used what they had, however, always striving to make improvements and improve the world. Their legacy lives on today, and we have become spoilt with their inventions that have made a major contribution to how we live. .