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In Shakespeare’s lifetime, the winter’s were harsh, heavy, and extremely cold. According to one writer, Hugh Plat, regular activities like writing became difficult because, apparently, the ink in the inkwells would freeze.

In his book, The Jewel House of Art and Nature Hugh outlines what he calls “Experiments” for how to navigate the mundane frustrations of daily life.

The book itself is not only revealing but but wild since several of the issues he brings up in the book it boggles the mind as to why someone would end up with the need his experiments are said to solve.

Nevertheless, it’s quite entertaining, and it comes straight from the life of William Shakespeare, having been published in 1594 when the bard was 30 years old and writing plays like Romeo and Juliet which is why I decided it would be great fun for our DIY History series to just see how many of these experiments we could try out ourselves.

You can follow along with us on this new adventure which will be the theme of our DIY History episodes for 2023, all on YouTube.

The experiments that end up working well (and we don’t cause explosions or break anything to severely), will be added to our member’s area with printable instructions and step by step guides (plus bonus history research information) so that you can complete the activities yourself at home or with your classroom. If you’re not already, you can become a member now to access all the activities we currently have available and you’ll be first in line as we add the new ones over this coming year.

For now, let’s get started with how to keep your ink from freezing:

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Where you can cook, play, and create your way through the life of William Shakespeare