Earlier this week I was researching something for my day job that prompted me to look through an 1820 city directory for Philadelphia. Whilst looking for my information I came upon this graphic depicting how Ben Franklin advised people divide their time during the day.
Notably, this is all done in 1820, and so the typesetters used metal type, not graphics in our present-day sense, to create this. Although, that does leave room for a few issues of where these breaks actually occur. But overall this is remarkably similar to a day in the life in, well let’s just say January 2020 in the before times. An eight-hour work day with an hour’s break for lunch. And then four hours to yourself in the evening. Seven hours of sleep and then three hours to yourself in the morning.
Of course in the pre-electricity era, you can see how these times are focused around, you know, daylight. No lingering at the pub until well after midnight. It’s also notable how the emphasis on dining is at noon, not in the evening as we tend to do today.
Whilst this is billed as Franklin’s advice on how to structure your time, it should be pointed out that by 1820, Franklin had been dead just over 30 years. But that’s just one generation’s time removed.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone.
Credit for the piece goes to I’m guessing the book’s printers, McCarty and Davis.