Quality History Tea: Sidewalks


Now, I know what you're thinking, why exactly am I writing a crash course about sidewalks? Well, I was curious how we pedestrians went from fighting for space for ourselves where horses, carriages with horses, and cars were chilling to having our own lane right next to cars zooming past.

When did present day sidewalks become a thing?

Well, that wasn't until 1860's in France!

Who invented present day sidewalks?

The person we have to thank for giving us the room we needed to walk alongside traffic and take aesthetic photos next to said road is George-Eugene Haussmann.

Ok so how did this actually happen, did he just wake up one day and was like Y'KNOW WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS? A SIDEWALK THAT'S WHAT. TIME TO MAKE THIS MAGIC HAPPEN. DO I NEED A PATENT FOR THIS?!

uh nope that's not the quality history tea that happened. Napoleon III phoned him up [or were they still using birds for communication?] and gave him clear instructions: redesign the country of France. Before Haussmann took over designing the city, the streets were pretty tiny and just enough room for horses, carriages and the early version of cars. 

MINI SIDE BAR
So I'm talking about where the main inspiration for present day sidewalks came from however! In 1666, after the Great Fire of London, sidewalks began coming into the conversation of the architecture of the city. At that time sidewalks were still not something countries thought their cities needed. And WAY before then, there's evidence of Ancient Greek & Romans having a path for pedestrians to walk alongside the road.

END OF MINI SIDE BAR


On a scale of 1 - 10 how awkward is it to point at a bench when people are sitting on the other bench right across? I'd say a solid 12343.

Haussmann designed France to have similar apartment buildings repeated throughout the country, wide roads rather than tiny ones and you guessed it! Sidewalks to chill right next to those roads. But this wasn't a sidewalk where you could only squeeze in if you walked in a single file line, no, this was a sidewalk that had benches and trees decorated alongside.

Now this obviously meant France loved Haussmann for changing their city life to be safer for them to walk outside, right?


HAHA no. Napoleon III was not born-to-party with the cost of redesigning France, and fired him. Now, if you're sitting there like NAPOLEON YA BOY BLESSED FRANCE WITH SAFETY AND MADE CITY LIFE, CITY LIFE WHY DID YOU FIRE HIM? 

Well, you see, after Haussmann's redesign, the city's debt levels increased by 15-fold.*

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So, I'm assuming 15-fold means 15 times the original amount, if you notice that isn't correct, please correct me! That just seemed the most logical explanation as I was researching!
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this white pin I'm wearing REALLY wanted to shine so for most of these pictures I'm attempting to tuck the scarf over the pin

Even though Haussmann was fired, that doesn't mean his influence didn't spread to other countries. Vienna, Barcelona, Chicago, Washington D.C. followed in his footsteps and included sidewalks in their plans of the cities.

AND THERE YA HAVE IT - THE HISTORY OF SIDEWALKS EXPLAINED!

Did you think Haussmann was going to get fired? I for one was that white man blinking meme when I read he was fired.


I haven't done a crash course in so long and suddenly found myself staring at sidewalks and TADA CRASH COURSE IS BORN
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p.s. I've recently been filming on YouTube and would love to know what you guys think of my first video back, I'll be uploading on there every Saturday (that's the plan!). I would love for some feedback on it if you have a few minutes to watch it.

KK THAT IS ALL HAVE A GREAT DAY

14 comments:

  1. I love that you wrote a post on this! I always find myself curious about the most random things.

    xx,
    Meredith
    LATEST POST | INSTAGRAM

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    1. I always find myself wondering about the history behind some of the most random things & some of the most normal things we take for granted (I wrote a crash course on a paperclip and that was a wild ride of history haha)

      Thank you so much for reading!

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  2. Okay when I first saw the title for this post I wasn't 100% sure if this was actually going to be about sidewalks. Clearly, it was. Well done for coming up with something so original. You gave me a subject that I had never even considered before and kept me interested until the end. And 15 fold does indeed mean increased by 15 times the amount. More posts like this please!! x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. HAHA I'm glad I managed to take you by surprise! I've only written a few crash courses on my blog and I'm hoping to write more so I'm glad to hear you've enjoyed this post! They're really fun to write and I love narrating what happened- some sites can make history sound so boring when it's actually so much tea being spilled it's amazing.

      WHEW - thank you so much for confirming that 15 fold means increasing by 15 times the amount, I just wasn't sure but that's what it seemed like so that's why I put the disclaimer in just incase I misunderstood!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  3. I love this crash course thing that you done! I'd never have thought about looking up how sidewalks were started off my own back, but I was so interested reading your post and now I feel like I've learnt something new today, and that's so cool!

    Thanks for this post lovely, it was a great read!

    Beka | www.bekadaisies.com

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    1. Thank you!! I was just staring at sidewalks as I was walking one day and that's how I found myself wondering how/when sidewalks became a thing. I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed reading this and learned something new, I had a lot of fun researching it!

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

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  4. He he, I love this Sahara! I’ve definitely learned something new today, I never even thought about sidewalks or who invented them so thank for you educating me!

    Also, just watched your YouTube video! You are such a natural in front of the camera. It was so cool to hear a brand contacted you after reading the paper clip post. That’s awesome! Looking forward to watching more videos and interested to hear about your fitness journey too! All the best with it girlie <3 xx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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    1. YAY so happy to hear you enjoyed reading this post, Bexa! I'm so glad to hear you learned something new, I had a lot of fun researching who is credited with making present day sidewalks.

      Thank you so so much for taking the time to watch my YouTube video! I still have to get a bit more comfortable in front of the camera I think. I have to say being contacted by a brand purely because they stumbled on my crash course on the paper clip was one of the most amusing thing ever because I wrote that post not thinking anyone but myself was curious about the history of paperclips - definitely a surreal moment getting that email!

      Thank you so much for reading, commenting and watching my YouTube video Bexa, it really means a lot to me!! :)

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  5. This is something I've never ever thought about but I love that you've thought about it and I've definitely learnt my new thing for the day from this post!
    Sophie - https://sophiehearts.net x

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    1. YAY so happy to hear you've learned something new! It was really fun researching who's credited with inventing present day sidewalks - thank you so much for reading and commenting! :)

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  6. This was such a bizarre but interesting post, Sahara haha! I loved it and certainly not something I've ever thought about before. Your blog is quickly becoming one of my favourites! :)

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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    1. HAHA - I'm glad to hear you enjoyed reading this post! It was really fun to research, even a little tricky since there isn't so much written on sidewalk history!

      That's so sweet of you to say Jenny, thank you so so much for reading my blog!! :)

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  7. very original blog post I like it! I just watched your Youtube video too and loved it! Glad you're going to start making more. I can't believe you run every morning haha that's so good! I subscribed too hehe xx
    https://lifeofshar.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and watching my YouTube video, it means a lot to me! I love running so much it's the only thing I'd get up early for hahaha I just saw that you also have a YouTube channel, I'm heading over to subscribe now as well :)

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