Pat Shingleton: "Bed Warmers..."
Homes built in the 1900s had limited insulation. Even though the coal furnace was stoked overnight, it didn't emit enough heat when the temperature slipped to -5 at daybreak. The remedy was bricks, heated near a fireplace and wrapped in a towel. Some resorted to the traditional "bed warmer." This device resembled a skillet with a a long handle and lid. Coals, placed in the container, warmed the bed by repeatedly sliding the pan between the sheets and the outer blankets. As an early morning paperboy, tossing the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, it wasn't unusual for me to "hit-the-sack," fully dressed, to avoid the morning chill at 6:00 A.M. In closing, our episodes of cold weather certainly can't compare to the folks in the Northeast that are anxious to get a thaw out and a meltdown. AA few years ago, Parade Magazine determined the best accessory for snow playing. Earmuffs, woolly socks or sunglasses? Sunglasses, worn on sunny, wintry days prevent photokeratitis or snow blindness. After taking your dog for a snowy, winter walk, what is the first thing to do when returning home? Wiping down its paws, a blanket rub-down or extra water? In snow episodes, or a cold rain, pets track through melting chemicals and rock salt that cause pad cuts. Paw wiping is always suggested. Finally, how thick should the ice be before you don your skates? Four to five inches of ice can hold 250 pounds of weight.