It’s easy for us to take for granted just how technologically advanced our homes are today. From punching in a code to electronically secure your home, to simply flicking a switch to illuminate your house, our modern day residences are truly a technological marvel. But how did we get here? The evolution of homes throughout history may give you a greater appreciation of the place you call home sweet home.
3-4 Million Years Ago: Man’s earliest ancestors didn’t have the luxury of an electronic security system, so for protection they made their home in trees away from predators on the forest floor. If you don’t enjoy heights or prefer ranch style homes, be grateful that you don’t have to call one of Florida’s oak trees your home.
40,000 To 2 Million Years Ago: The appeal of a “man cave” became too much for our ancient ancestors, so we left the tree tops and moved indoors. Caves offered protection from the elements, but with no method for controlling the temperature, the dwellers were forced to go through periods of extreme heat and cold depending on location and time of year. (It cannot be like winter in Florida everywhere!) Can you imagine trying to make it through a summer day (or entire season) in the Sunshine State without A/C?
4,000 B.C.: Location, location, location! Ancient man also understood this home building principle. Lake-dwelling people learned to build homes on and near the water by placing heavy logs on the lake bottom near the shore. Whether or not these homes had homeowners insurance and flood insurance is history’s mystery.
1 A.D.: The Romans were the first to use slanted roofs, which allowed for the advent of front doors and glass windowpanes. While the Romans didn’t have solar panels to heat their pools (score one for modern humans!), they developed the concept of central heat by putting rows of earthenware pipes under the floor and running hot air or hot water through them to heat their homes.
1400s: Europeans began to build half-timber houses with brick or stone foundations. Large beams for structural support and walls made from a mixture of clay and straw made these homes durable. Although these were great advances in construction, would the improvements help their homes withstand a Florida hurricane? Straw walls hardly qualify as hurricane-resistant and would do very little to qualify for wind mitigation credits.
1500 to 1700: While European Americans were still building upon their improvements, Native Americans were living in structures we know as “tepees.” While tepees may seem to be fairly simple in nature, they were highly efficient homes for the Native American lifestyle. The portable structure made following animal herds easy, and the animal hide outer layer protected the inhabitants from dust storms of the Great Plains. The tepee was the forerunner of today’s RV!
1700 to Modern Day: Still a popular design today, New England and German Colonial houses have become an iconic symbol of early Americana. Timber frames, stone chimneys, and diamond pane windows are the trademarks of this popular home design. Americans have continued to improve upon this basic structure, adding technological and other advancements throughout the years. Finally in 1902 A/C was invented giving all Florida Homeowners a breath of fresh air.
Think about these evolutions and compare these early dwellings to your current abode. What single piece of technology do you value the most inside your home and what do you think you could live without?