Fleming

A life in context…inventions to change the world

My maternal Grandmother was born on 3rd February 1922. I knew my Grandmother very well, she passed away when I was in my late twenties so I shared a lot of happy times with her and have some great memories.  But I knew her as a ‘Grandma’. Not as a young girl, not as a young woman…she was my ‘Grandma’ who to me was never younger than 60, so it is hard for me to visualise what society and life was like for her whilst she was young.

My Grandma was born during King George V’s reign, in Yorkshire, at a time when the UK was returning to some level of normality following the first World War. I know that her Mother was around 20 when she married my Great Grandfather who was then in his late 30’s and she was one of five children – but how can I get a better understanding of what the world was like in the early 1920’s and what her childhood was like?

These are questions I wish I had asked when she was here.

By looking at my Grandma’s birth date on my Twile timeline, I can see a few things. Firstly I can see that she was born 9 days before my Grandmother in-law. Born in a different part of the UK, only days apart in age. Were they similar?

To add some context, I am able to switch on the World War One and Two streams.  I can see that my Grandmother’s parents were married shortly after the Treaty of Versailles was signed and the First World War officially ended. I am also able to see that in the summer before my Grandma’s birth, Adolf Hitler became the leader of the Nazi party in Germany.

Furthermore, by switching on the new Inventions stream, my Grandma was born shortly before the invention of the Television in 1924 and before the invention of Penicillin by Alexander Fleming (pictured above) in 1928.  As the mother of young children now, who have had more than a couple of doses of antibiotics in their lifetime, I can imagine that life before antibiotics was tough and reading articles around the subject confirms this.  My children of four and two have certainly got a lot to be thankful for.  I came across an interesting video referencing the death of a young girl from TB in the 1920’s and wonder how true a reflection this is of life in Yorkshire in the 1920’s?

Writer and commentator Harry Leslie Smith reflects on growing up in Yorkshire

When I was younger I played Dotty in the school play Bugsy Malone…I had two words…not a huge part, however I imagined the 1920’s to be glamorous – feather Boa’s and beautiful dresses – the ‘roaring 20’s’. I think it was for some (http://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties), however the influence of John Logie Baird’s creation and the invention of Sound Film in 1923 have perhaps skewed my vision.

One thing is clear though, looking at my Grandmother’s life on my Twile timeline, in context with things happening around the World has piqued my interest. How did events and advancements in technology, medicine and engineering affect my ancestors lives directly? I want to fill in the gaps and know more about her life and that of my other Grandparents. I want to know if and where they went to school, what they did for a living and why and how they moved to different areas of the country. The way to do this is by asking other members of my family questions whilst I can, to try and piece the jigsaw together…and in doing so, record it in one place so that my children when they are a little bit older can see it and appreciate it in a way that is interesting to them.

To switch on streams in Twile

  • Click on ‘In View’ at the top of your timeline
  • Move the slider on the right hand side to choose ‘Key’ or ‘All’ Inventions
  • Click ‘Done’

You will now see inventions appear on your timeline.

We are going to be adding more streams soon. If you have a suggestion, please contact us at help@twile.com

 

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