11 Completely Insane Ways People Used To Entertain Themselves Back In The Day

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With computers, smartphones, video games, and all of the other newfangled technology that we can interact withon a minute-to-minute basis, it can be hard to think about what people did before wifi.

Yet, for thousands upon thousands of years, peoplesomehowmanaged to get by without checking their social media feeds. Mainly because thedidn’t exist.

Folks had to find other ways to pass the time that wasn’t spent working or caring for a loved one, and they sure came up with quite a fewcreative ideas. Some of their methods may seem completely bizarreor even revolting to usright now. But I bet if wethought hard about the types of movies and TV shows that welike to watch today, wemightfind some shocking similarities.

These 11 totally out-thereforms of entertainment from different points in history are real eye-openers. Can you imagine spending a day doing any one of these things?

How did you entertain yourself before electronic devices became such a big part of life? Let us know in the comments.

1. Attending The Baby Incubator Fair


In 1896,Doctor Martin Couney opened up an incubated baby fair in Berlin after inventing the world’s’ first incubator for premature babies.

Hospitals didn’t want to invest in something when theyhad no idea if it would work or not, so Couneycame up with the somewhat creepy but highly successful idea to make a museum out of it.

Visitors paid 25 cents to come through the exhibit and watch the nurses and doctors take care of the premature babies. This went on for decades, and most of the babies that were part of his fairs survived.

2. Stuffing Into Phone Booths


In the 1950s, a strange fad emerged that pitted America and South Africa against each other. People all across both countries did their best to stuff the most people inside of a single phone booth.

It was appropriately called phone booth stuffing, and eventually South Africa came out on top with 25 people in one phone booth.

3. Pushing Beds


In the ’60s, teams would get together to push a bed as far as they could, sometimes covering 80 miles in one day. The record for a bed pushing marathon is 1,000 miles.

Sometimes the teams did it for charity, and sometimes they did it for fun.

4. Riding Escalators


In 1896, the first working escalatorwas installed at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, as a ride. People were so amazed at this invention that they lined up to sit on the slats and take the short ride up to the top of the conveyor belt.

5. Attending Public Dissections


From the 1300s to the 1800s, public dissections were all the rage. Anatomy theaters could sit up to 1,000 people to watch a corpse be dissected. At one point, the dissections became very fancy events to which the woman wore their best ball gowns.

I suppose you could say that we as humans still have the same morbid sensibilities with horror films and all of that, but the folks of the past took it to a whole different level.

6. Watching People Blow Up Balloons


Starting at the first unmanned ascent in 1783, people flocked to watch these enormous balloons lift up into the air. Sure, folks still watch this spectacle today, but not with the intensity that they did back then.

Even watching the first ever balloon inflate, which took days, drew crowds so large that the balloon had to be moved in secret before the big flight. Crowds bigger than anything Europe had ever seen then began to gather to watch these things float into the sky.

King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were present for the first manned ascent, along with upwards of 400,000 citizens of France, and some even spent a pretty penny for top-notch seats.

7. Spanking Friends


A game called hot chockles had young children laying their heads in someone’s lap while the rest of the group took turns spanking them on their behind. The one being spanked had to guess who was hitting them.Does this really sound like fun?

8. Betting Money On Pedestrianism


In the 18th and early 19th centuries, pedestrianism was much like horse racing is today. Competitive walkers, not runners, would race each other while crowds wagered on who would win the race.

It was a big deal back then, although most of us would now call it simply “walking.”

9. Getting Headless Portraits Taken


Oscar Gustave Rejlander was a Victorian pioneer of art photography, and in addition to working with Charles Darwin on The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals,he also started a fad of sorts with his headless photographs.

Many other photographers followed his lead, and folks all over had a ton of fun with his new method of altering the negatives before developing the photos to make it appear likethe head had been removed.

10. Visiting Insane Asylums


The most famous insane asylum wasSt. Mary of Bethlehem in London. Throughout the 1700s or so, the public wasadmitted to roam through the hospital to gawk at the patients there.

As if the patients weren’t alreadysubjected to harmful “treatments” such as starvation and beatings, the visitors were known to prod the patients with sticks if they weren’t behaving strangely enough.

11. Playing Knife Games


Before kids had video games, they would play outside a lot, sometimes with knives. A game called mumblety peghad kids making complicated knife throws from behind their backs and with their left hands into the ground. If your knife didn’t stick in the ground, you had to pull a wooden peg out of the ground with your mouth. If you stuck your foot with the knife, you automatically won.

Do any of these forms of entertainment sound like fun to you? Please SHARE with your family and friends to see what they think!

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