Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Blissful Beds

Shira Yehudit Djlilmand

Most of us don’t give much thought to our beds — it’s just the place where we get tucked in every night. But the Mishnah itself (Succah 1:3) spends time analyzing different kinds of beds —to determine whether it was problematic to have that kind of bed in a succah. The different kinds of beds that were found in every time and place are quite amazing: from nothing more than a deep pile of straw to beds that float off the ground. Read on ...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Short History of Beds

Who invented the first bed? No one really knows for sure, but the earliest “bed-like” object that historians have discovered is a wooden board raised off the ground, which the Ancient Egyptians used thousands of years ago. King Tutankhamen even had a bed made of ebony and gold, covered with linen sheets! But it was only rich and powerful Pharaohs who slept like that — in Europe, even the rich and powerful were still sleeping on piles of straw.

During the time of the Roman Empire too, many rich people had luxurious beds. By now, the beds were usually made of iron rather than wood, and they were often decorated with gold, silver, or bronze. Mattresses were used, stuffed with reeds, hay, or feathers. By the sixteenth century, mattresses were stuffed with feathers or straw, and then covered with heavy fabrics — expensive velvets if you were rich, plain sackcloth if not.

In the seventeenth century, beds were commonly made of an iron frame with a lattice of ropes. The tighter these ropes were, the firmer the mattress — and so, the better the sleep. In fact, some say that’s why we say “sleep tight!”

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Not a Newspaper
Shoshana Friedman A deeper difference between newspapers and magazines
Services in Shards
Rabbi Moshe Grylak “Such a painful, malicious lie!”
The Pittsburgh Protests: All Politics All the Time
Yonoson Rosenblum The old rule — “no enemies on the left” — still applies
Danger: School Crossing
Eytan Kobre The hypocrisy of YAFFED’s assertion is breathtaking
Real Laughter and Real Tears
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger The two sides of a life lived with emunah
Work/Life Solutions with Eli Langer
Moe Mernick I was proud to be “that guy with the yarmulke”
Is Ktchong! a Mitzvah? When Prayer and Charity Collide
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman These cannot both be done effectively at the same time
An Honest Shidduch
Jacob L. Freedman “Baruch Hashem I’m cured, and this will be my secret”
A Blessing in Disguise
Riki Goldstein “I never thought the song would catch on as it has”
Ishay and Motti Strike a Common Chord
Riki Goldstein Bringing together two worlds of Jewish music
What’s your favorite Motzaei Shabbos niggun?
Riki Goldstein From the holy and separate back to the mundane
Rightfully Mine
Faigy Peritzman Don’t regret the job you didn’t land; it was never yours
Growing Greener Grass
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Nurture your blessings and watch them blossom
My Way or the High Way
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt We know what we want — but do we know what He wants?