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A Brief History of the Napkin
"Yes, it's a quiz about the history of napkins and napkin folding. All information was taken from the books "Fancy Folds" by Linda Hetzer and "Beautiful Napkins" by Margaret Caselton."
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
Which society is most commonly believed to have invented the napkin?
In the Middle Ages, before the napkin became commonplace on tables, what did diners often use to clean their hands at meals?
The wall hangings
Another diner's clothes
In the 16th century, Flanders was a center of the linen business. They made napkins the size of an ell and a half. What is the length of ell? (And I've got to hand it to you, most napkins aren't this size anymore.)
Tip of the pinky to the tip of the thumb of the outstretched hand
Right hip to left shoulder
Elbow to the end of the middle finger
Top of the head to the nape of the neck
Napkins used to become quite dirty during meals from people wiping their hands. The invention of the ______ rendered the napkin almost obsolete.
(One Word, utensil)
Some French monarchs gave guests two napkins at meals. Why?
The monarchy wanted to flaunt its wealth by giving guests more napkins and utensils than they needed.
The napkins made at the time were of such poor quality that they tore easily, necessitating two or more.
The monarchs thought that their guests were so messy that one napkin wasn't enough to keep themselves clean.
One napkin was to use and the other was to be kept folded in its shape, as the shapes were so intricate.
What other use, which may have saved lives, did napkins have at the court of Versailles?
They were draped over the backs of hard chairs to provide comfortable padding for the diners
They covered food as it passed from the kitchen to the dining hall to thwart poisoning attempts
Diners wrote messages on them to pass to other diners down the table
Diners tied them around their heads to prevent their hair from getting in the food and choking them
Folding napkins into elaborate shapes, sometimes to resemble flowers and animals, took off in the 17th century. Which author of a famous diary wanted to pay someone forty shillings to teach his wife to fold napkins?
Before it became practical to wash napkins after every meal, family members reused napkins until they were dirty. However, who was always to have a clean napkin?
Many napkin folders, like 19th century's Isabella Mary Beeton, said and say that napkins need ironing in order to fold them into elaborate shapes. What else did they need?
A spritz with salt water
These days, the rules of napkin etiquette are much more relaxed than they used to be, and people can put any napkin fold on a dinner table. What was the most common shape of a folded dinner napkin of yore?
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Compiled Jun 28 12