Skills Your Great Grandparents Had That You Don't

Great GrandparentsIt seems like every generation laments about how little the younger generations know. In general, this complaint is about the skills that the older generations learned and the younger generations don’t know how to do. There are several skills that your great grandparents had that you probably have no idea how to do.

Writing Letters

Today, people communicate a lot by email. We also talk to friends and family members through social media. Either we use the chat functions, or we comment on what others have posted. Many younger people use text messaging as the primary means of communication with others.

Your great grandparents corresponded by sitting down and writing a letter by hand. That letter would be sent through the post office to the recipient. It was a lot slower way to communicate than what we use today.

Using Fountain Pens

This skill goes right along with the skill of writing letters. Your great grandparents used fountain pens to write with. They had to become skilled in cursive writing, too. Your great grandparents had to use pens that would periodically have to be manually refilled with ink. In 1930, the ball point pen was invented. People who use pens today are probably using something very similar to that invention. There’s no need to refill a ball point pen!

Darning Socks

What do you do when your sock gets a big hole in it? Most people today throw it away. Your great grandparents would darn the sock. Darning is a sewing technique that can be used to “fill in” a hole in a piece of clothing. It was done by hand using a needle and thread.

Your great grandparents did not like to let anything go to waste. As such, they also took the time to mend torn clothing. Some people today do enjoy sewing and creating their own clothing. However, it is mostly done because of a personal interest and not out of necessity.


Your great grandparents were young during a time when dating (as we know it today) simply did not exist. It wasn’t until well into the 1920’s that dating became socially acceptable. Instead of dating, your great grandparents had courting.

Courting was a systemized set of events that was used to start a romance. It began when a young man asked a young lady’s parents for permission to call on the family. This “call” did not involve a phone. It was a formal visit to the young lady’s home, with at least one parent chaperone present.

The young man would leave a calling card – which was a card that had his name and address on it. If the young lady’s parents approved of the young man, he would be invited back. The young couple’s romance had now officially started!

Image by axinar on Flickr.

Related Articles:

* Your Great Grandparents Were People, Too

* Your Great Grandparents Did What?

* Recognition of Grandparent’s Day

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