Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

You actually don't know the answer to this question.

What did the past smell like?

This morning I was looking at a photo from the Seattle Underground Tour (when the city built up, it REALLY built up) and saw a late-1800s vintage toilet and got thinking of different levels of hygiene in the past. We kept clean in different ways. Or didn't keep clean, depending. Also, our food was stored and prepared differently, we powered things somewhat differently... man, this becomes a huge question, and I've only barely considered it.

But it's said that smell is such a strong memory trigger: I can still get reminded of the smell in my Grandpa Irv and Grandma Jean's NE Portland basement, and I haven't been in that basement in nearly 25 years, and 25 years is just 25 years. What smells do older people remember? What smells would a 100-year-old person remember? What would someone born 150 or 200 years ago who got knocked into their future think of the smell of today's world?

Big questions. Too big for this early.

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