douglasthompson on Family Tree Circles
Journals and Posts
Good links w/ great info.
Thompson is a Viking name , as well as Scottish , my DNA has took me back to 30,000 BC to the last Glacial Maximum (Ice age) .
Please read my other posts to learn more !
The Thompson Submachine Gun was developed by General John T. Thompson who originally envisioned an auto rifle (semi-automatic rifle) to replace the bolt action service rifles then in use. While searching for a way to allow such a weapon to operate safely without the complexity of a recoil or gas operated mechanism, Thompson came across a patent issued to John Bell Blish in 1915 based on adhesion of inclined metal surfaces under pressure. Thompson found a financial backer, Thomas F. Ryan, and started the Auto-Ordnance Corporation in 1916 for the purpose of developing his auto rifle.
The principal designers were Theodore H. Eickhoff, Oscar V. Payne, and George E. Goll. By late 1917, the limits of the Blish Principle were discovered: rather than working as a locked breech, it functioned as a friction-delayed blowback action. It was found that the only cartridge currently in U.S. service suitable for use with the lock was the .45 ACP round. Thompson then envisioned a "one-man, hand-held machine gun" in .45 ACP as a "trench broom" for use in the on-going trench warfare of World War I. Payne designed the gun itself and its stick and drum magazines. The project was then titled "Annihilator I", and by 1918, most of the design issues had been resolved. However, the war ended before prototypes could be shipped to Europe.
Vikings and Scandinavian History Though notorious for their fearsome Viking raids, Scandinavians were also farmers and craftsmen. Find out more about this complex society that began in Norway, Sweden and Denmark and spread to Iceland, Greenland, Russia, much of Europe and even the Americas. Vikings in America The latest evidence confirms that Scandinavians reached the North American continent almost 500 years before Columbus. Find out where they came from, how they traveled, what they did in America and how long they stayed.
Introduction to the Viking Age From the time of the first known raids in Lindisfarne in 793 until the Battle of Stanford Bridge in 1066 the Vikings were the most powerful and influencial people of northern Europe. With an extensive trade from western Europe to the Black Sea they had made themselves known. They settled in many places of Europe, and were the people who helped form what today is Russia. They have left marks in almast every country in Europe and if you travel the Great Britain you will encounter names of Villages and Streets that will sound Norse. The Vikings were a great influence from Asia to America for about 200 years. So who were these people of the North and why did they make such an impact on their surrounding? There are many theories on why so many people left Scandinavia during the Viking age to travel and settle in different parts of the continent. One theory is that there were a lot of people inhabiting the land and the Kings own most of it. That limited the freedom for the regular farmer to find his own piece of land were he could be his own master. The tension of being limited by rules and regulation as well as deficiencies from lack of food etc. was probably a major reason to the movements of people. Another theory is that the Vikings were just greedy and driven by oppertunism they took advantage of the instability of the rest of Europe to take over land and other properties. The Vikings The Vikings came from the Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway and Denmark). Later they settled on Island, Great Britain, Ireland, French and Russia. The Vikings that left Norway and Denmark moved to the south towards the British Isles and Ireland whereas the Swedish Vikings mainly traveled east into Russia and down Volga to the Black Sea and Constantinople. Vikings from Norway and Denmark colonized the Shetlands and Orkneys, the Isle of Man and conquered three of Englands four kingdoms. They made Ireland a trading base and controlled many ports along the cost. They didn't conquer the Celtic land but instead the Celts and the Vikings had a relationship that allowed the two cultures to mix and cooperate. The longer the Viking Age past the moe integrated these two cultures became. York is another city that has been under great Viking influence. As a matter of fact they made York, which they called Jorvik, a trade center. The city grew a lot under the Vikings influence. Today York has a center dedicated to Viking research as a result of all the Viking Age findings that have been excavated there. One of the most fascinating Viking Age findings are from York, the main finding is the village that was covered by mud. Visit their website.
Vikings loved to wear jewelry. Jewelry was worn mostly by the rich, but in the case of the Vikings, even the poor could seldom afford to have their own - more likely after a battle when it was taken from the defeated army.
Women used to wear head scarfs for the cold since the weather is terrible most of the year in Scandinavia. Men would very frequently wear a Fur Cloak on their back to give them additional protection against the cold.
Both men and women would use leather shoes which were both good against the cold and easy to produce. It was common for Vikings to wear animal skin without any preparation or washing due to the need of being warm. Gloves were used when possible since they were scarce and hard to produce. Subsequently, Vikings would sometimes fight each other for clothes as they were very expensive.
Leather belts were also very common mainly for warriors who would employ them both to prevent snow from contacting their body and as a place to hang their swords or whatever they pleased.
The Vikings were very similar to most of European people in terms of their life and the way they lived. When the Vikings were at its peak, men had to protect his king or local chieftain in order for him to 'deserve' his lands.
Fortunately for the Vikings, they very seldom had any attacks directly into their lands. Nevertheless, the strong weather made them very skeptic about their faith and thus; they sought to conquer new land.
Viking women had to work the land, milk the cows and prepare clothing for the rest of the family. Females could not take any roles in political affairs and were restricted to work at home and take care of the children.
The children, on the other hand, would not study and they would help their mothers with the house labors including farming. When they were very young, they would stay inside mostly because most parents prevented them from going outside because of the weather (unless it was warm, of course).
Children learnt History from stories and to become an adult, a child had to be over 16 years of age and sometimes when he reached the age, his family would take him for a ceremony and have a celebration while thanking the gods.
Like during the Viking times was very hard mainly because of the frozen weather which would sometimes render farming useless and subsequently kill many farm animals including cows.
The staple grain cultivated during the Viking Age and medieval period in Scandinavia was barley, and it may have been the only grain grown in Iceland up through the point at which the mini-Ice Age of the 14th century made it impossible to grow grain in Iceland at all. Most of the barley was used to brew ale, which was the staple beverage of all classes. Even children drank ale daily, especially in urban areas. (Skaarup, p. 134). The Old English didactic work Ælfric's Colloquy shows just how ale was regarded in early Northern Europe: when the novice is asked what he drinks, he replies, Ealu gif ic hæbbe, oþþe wæter gif ic næbbe ealu ("Ale if I have it, water if I have no ale").
Early Northern Europeans were quite familiar with alcoholic beverages made from the fermentation of grain. In 77 A.D., the Roman encyclopaedist Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder) recorded in his Historia Naturalis that beer was known to the various tribes of Northern Europe under many different names.
It should be noted that while the modern words "beer" and "ale" are today almost interchangeable, there is good evidence that shows that the two drinks were very different in early Northern Europe. It is clear from Old English and Old Norse sources that ale (Old English ealu, Old Norse öl) was produced from malted grain. However, literary analysis shows that Old English beor and Old Norse björr are terms used for sweet alcoholic beverages. Until the last ten years or so, philologists thought that beor and björr were derived from the word for barley, and it is only recently that it was realized that the term almost certainly referred to cider (whether from apples or pears) during the Viking Age (Hagen pp. 205-206; Roesdahl, p. 120). English translations of the sagas will translate both öl and björr interchangeably as beer or ale, and so are not a good guide to the actual terminology being used in the original Old Norse text. To sow further confusion, in the Eddaic poem Alvíssmál verses 34 and 35, a variety of Old Norse terms related to fermented beverages appear and are implied to be synonyms:
Archaeological sleuthing has also led to the discovery that wine was imported in barrels as well: silver fir does not grow in Denmark, yet well-linings of this wood have been found at Hedeby and Dorestad, the wood having originated as barrels filled with wines, then imported from the Rhine into Denmark (Hagen, p. 220; Roesdahl, p. 122). Accordingly, wine would have been reserved for the wealthy and powerful. This is illustrated in Ælfric's Colloquy, where after the novice has answered that he prefers to drink ale, the questioner asks him, "Does he not drink wine?" The novice answers, Ic ne eom swa spedig þæt ic mæge bicgean me win; ond win nys drenc cilda ne dysgra, ac ealdra ond wisra ("I am not so wealthy that I may buy myself wine; and wine is not the drink of children or fools, but of the old and wise").
The exact recipes and methods that Viking Age Scandinavians used to produce öl are unknown. However, some brewing experts think that certain surviving ale-brewing practices in rural western Norway may preserve Viking Age techniques:
In the remote rural region of Voss most of the farmers make their own beer. When a new brew is underway, the smoke and rich odours tell everyone in the neighborhood that beer is being made and the go to the farmhouse to help out and then sample the finished brew. Jackson went out with farmer Svein Rivenes to collect juniper branches. Rivenes sawed sufficient branches to fill the 700-litre [about 185 gallons] bath-shaped tank in his cabin that acts as both the hot liquor vessel and the brew kettle. He feels, just as the medieval monks recorded by Urion and Eyer felt about the hops in their bière, that the juniper branches, complete with berries, helped him achieve a better extract from his malt as well as warding off infections.
His water source - a stream tumbling down the hillside outside his cabin - has a double use. It is his brewing liquor and he also immerses sacks of barley in the stream where the grain starts to germinate. A neighbor has turned his garage into a kiln, powered by a domestic fan heater, and there barley is turned into malt. In the brewing process, when hot liquor has been added to the malt, the mash is filtered over more juniper branches to filter it. The berries give flavor to the wort - just as they do to gin and other distilled spirits - but Rivenes also adds hops when the wort is boiled. The yeast used in the Voss area has been handed down generation to generation and Rivenes thinks it may date back to Viking times. The farmer-brewers in Norseland start fermentation with a "totem stick" that carries yeast cells from one brew to the next.
The beer brewed by Svein Rivenes was, according to Michael Jackson, around nine or ten per cent alcohol and had a rich malt character, with a syrupy body, a pronounced juniper character and was clean and appetizing. Jackson brought a sample of the yeast back to Britain... The Viking yeast was classified as a traditional ale yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but was different in several ways to a modern ale yeast. It had different taste characteristics. It was multi-strain whereas most modern ale yeasts are single or two-strain. Modern yeasts have been carefully cultured to attack different types of sugar in the wort and, where a beer is cask conditioned, to encourage a powerful secondary fermentation...
It is unlikely that a genuine Viking ale was brewed from pale malt: until the industrial revolution and commercial coal mining, malt was kilned over wood fires and was brown and often scorched and smoky in character, though the habit in Scandinavia of drying malt in saunas may have made it paler. (Protz, p. 25-26)
As well as juniper, Germans and Scandinavians were known to add a variety of herbal agents or gruits to their ales to produce bitterness or add other flavors, to disinfect and thus extend the "shelf life" of the product, and to add medicinal qualities to the drink in some cases (Protz, p. 20, La Pensée, pp.128-144). Hops was one such additive, being used in Viking Age Denmark and in tenth century Jorvik (modern York, England) and probably elsewhere in Scandinavia during the Viking Age (Hagen, pp. 210, 211; Roesdahl, p. 119). Hops, when boiled with the wort in the process of making ale, releases bitter acids, which both bitter the brew and add antibiotic properties that allow for better preservation of ale. Other herbal additives included alecost (Chrysanthemum balsamita), alehoof (also known as ground ivy, Glechoma hederacea), bog myrtle (also known as sweet gale, Myrica gale, especially used in Denmark, northern Germany and in England), horehound (Marrubium vulgare, called Berghopfen or "mountain hops" in Germany, where it was used as a hops substitute), yarrow (Achilea millefolium) and others (La Pensée, pp.128-144, Hagen, p. 212).
The drinking of ale was particularly important to several seasonal religious festivals, of which the Viking Scandinavians celebrated three: the first occurring after harvest, the second near midwinter, and the last at midsummer. These festivals continued to be celebrated after the introduction of Christianity, although under new names. Historical records show that ale consumption at these festivals, even in Christian times, was quite important: the Gulaþing Law required farmers in groups of at least three to brew ale to be consumed at obligatory ale-feasts on All Saints (November 1 - Winternights), Christmas (December 25 - Yule), and upon the feast of St. John the Baptist (June 24 - Midsummer). More ordinary festivities, celebrated even today, are so closely associated with beer that they are known as öl ("ale") and include Gravöl (a wake, or "funeral ale"), Barnöl (a christening, or "child-ale") and taklagsöl (a barn-raising, or "roofing-ale") (Nylén, p. 57).
In Hákonar saga Góða (The Saga of King Hákon the Good) in Heimskringla, it is quite evident that Hákon, who practiced his own Christianity in secret, was beginning through legislation to move the traditional holiday ale-feast as part of a campaign to eventually convert the country:
Hann setti það í lögum að hefja jólahald þann tíma sem kristnir menn og skyldi þá hver maður eiga mælis öl en gjalda fé ella og halda heilagt meðan öl ynnist.
[He had it established in the laws that the Yule celebration was to take place at the same time as is the custom with the Christians. And at that time everyone was to have ale for the celebration from a measure (Old Norse mál) of grain, or else pay fines, and had to keep the holidays while the ale lasted. (Heimskringla, Chapter 13)
Brewing was usually the work of women in medieval Iceland, and probably in the Viking Age throughout Scandinavia as well:
Requiring fire and the warmth of the kitchen, brewing was allowed even during the Christmas holiday. Traditionally, women have been associated with this work and it remained a female task throughout the medieval period. In one of the heroic sagas a king resolved the jealousy between his two wives by deciding to keep the one who presented him with the better beer on his return from war. As late as the end of the fourteenth century a laysister was superintendent of brewing in Vadstena, a Swedish monastery that accommodated men and women. Describing a brewing in honor of Bishop Páll, a vignette states specifically that the housewife was in charge. On important farms the physical work needed for large quantities may have demanded male help, as suggested from a brief glimpse of the farm at Stafaholt where the female housekeeper (húsfreyja), assisted by the male manager (ræðismaðr), replenished the stores of beer depleted by the visit of fourteen unexpected guests. Consumed at the alþingi, beer was commonly brewed on the spot, but there the quantities demanded and the scarcity of women made it a male task. Mentioned rarely in the sagas, brewing was a difficult process and occasionally required divine assistance mediated through miracles credited to Icelandic bishops (Jochens, p. 127).
Perhaps the most expensive and least available fermented beverage of the Viking Age was wine. Almost no grape wines were produced in Scandinavia, and only a very small amount of fruit wines, which by the Middle Ages was exclusively reserved for sacramental use. Birch-sap might also have been used to make limited quantities of wine (Hagen, p. 229). Instead, grape wine was exported from the Rhineland, which may have used the market towns of Hedeby and Dorestad as the export outlets for wine (Hagen, p. 220; Roesdahl, p. 120). Remains of wine amphoræ have been found at Dorestad and at Jorvik: these amphoræ varied in size from 14-24" tall and 12.5-20" in diameter (Hagen, p. 220).