Saturday, October 24, 2015

anachronism - - an object misplaced in time,

My favorite reading is science fiction and fiction set in the early 1800s. Reading a novel set just after Waterloo (1811), I found an anachronism. A character postulates wearing 'asbestos underwear', which led me on a hunt for the invention of asbestos.

Asbestos turned out to be a natural mineral which has been known for thousands of years for its fire-retardant qualities. But the wide-spread use of asbestos in clothing did not begin until about 1850, when it was spun with wool yarn in mills. A person would not have benn using the term for clothing in 1812, thus it was an anachronism.

2 comments:

Norm Lindquist said...

April. I would recommend the Ethan Gage novels by William Dietrich. They do fudge your time line starting in the last decade of the 18th century. Norm

Pandababy said...

Thanks for the tip Norm! I'm going to try his first Ethan Gage book....