From generation to generation

I see that it’s been reported that the last person known to have been born in the 1800s has died.   Isn’t it interesting that someone born in the 21st century, who might well live into the 22nd century could, in theory, have spoken to this woman?

Looking back on history, we tend to think of centuries as being distinct, yet here we have a possibility of four centuries being spanned in two lifetimes.

Bernard Salt recently wrote about this, putting it into the context of a type of time travel:   “If a centenarian today had spoken at, say, the age of seven (in 1924) to their 100-year-old great-grandparent, who in turn had spoken about their childhood recollections, it is possible to connect with a second-hand account of life in 1831. Is this not time travel? Even a 100-year-old’s recollections of their parents provides a window into the mores of the late 19th century.”

Except for the fact that life expectancies in the past were less than they are today, on Bernard’s assumptions it’s possible that a person living in 1852 could have heard 2nd hand about the Great Fire of London in 1666!

UPDATE:   Here’s a report about the woman who might now be the oldest person living.


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