THE WONDER OF CELLOPHANE. Lee Bryant sent me this article from the Smithsonian by Mike Dash about the discovery in 1978 of a family of five that had lived in Siberia out of contact with anybody else for forty years. The location was more than 150 miles from the nearest settlement. They were Old Believers (a fundamentalist Russian Orthodox sect) who had fled from Stalin in the late 1930′s.
The article casts light on how our ancestors must have lived. The youngest son, without weapons, sometimes hunted animals by pursuing them until the animal collapsed from exhaustion. “The family’s principal entertainment…was for everyone to recount their dreams.”
What wonder of modern technology amazed them the most? For the patriarch it was a cellophane package: “Lord, what have they thought up—it is glass, but it crumples!”