Strange home features from the past

There are many home features that existed years ago that helped families. These features can no longer be found in new construction, but their remnants can be seen in older homes and properties.

Older homes had windows above the doors that would tilt out. Transom windows brightened the entryway and provided ventilation that cooled the entire house. These windows were replaced by the invention of air conditioning.

In older homes, you might find a small door in the upstairs hallway that opens into a chute that allowed people to toss their clothes down to the laundry room. This interesting way of transporting clothes helped families get their wash done from the house’s upper floors.

Dumbwaiters were small hand-operated elevators that delivered food upstairs to make it easier for families. They originated in the 19th century and are still used in hospitals and retirement homes today.

‘Coffin Corners’ were cut-out openings in the walls of circular staircases. The urban legend suggests they were put in place in case people died upstairs. Their family could easily turn the coffin down the circular staircase. Whether true or not, now these openings are typically used for artwork or decorations.

Speaking tubes helped families communicate in different rooms of the house. They were found in upper and middle-class homes. Some remnants remain from homes in the 1800s. In the 1960s and 70s, homes had vacuum tubes in the walls that created a central vacuum system. Families didn’t have to lug a large vacuum from room to room.

Another feature of older homes was the door knocker and large fans to cool the home. Larger estates had outdoor barns with stone ovens known as summer kitchens that were used to keep the main house cool. Root cellars were another storage area used to keep vegetables, fruits, and nuts from spoiling. Additional home items were the ironing board with its own cabinet and the ‘Butler’s Pantry’ used for storing fine china and silverware.

If you liked this, share it with a friend.
Strange home features from the past