It’s more than just snow that makes Swedish Lapland so magical in the wintertime.
In fact, all year long, they seem to boast one of the highest qualities of life in the world. And many natives will tell you that this boils down to a way of life that they’ve coined ‘fika’ – which sums up the act of bringing your focus back to an activity that helps you enjoy life, such as taking a break from work to walk, have a snack, light a lovely candle, or catch up with a friend.
In the winter, our bodies and minds require extra care to survive the harsh temperatures and indoor confinements, although the glistening views of a world in renewal make it worth it. And there’s no better place to get everything you need, and love every second of it, than the Swedish Lapland – where everyday life for the locals is like something out of a fairytale for the rest f us.
While you’re there, you can do any and all of these magically unforgettable and extraordinarily unique activities:
Go for a ride on a dog sled
In an Arctic-proof boilersuit, these majestic huskies will take you soaring through a winter wonderland to get an unbeatable tour of the Swedish Lapland landscape, and bring you back just in time for some hot coffee and cake before you head out.
The indigenous people of Swedish Lapland, called the Sami, have herded reindeer for centuries – maybe more. At their local cafes, you can relax by the fireside and feed the native plant lichens to the reindeer hanging about.
Learn about the Sami people and culture
It would be a shame to come to this area and not get to know the native Sami people, famous for their vibrant craftwork, cultural traditions, and integral role to the Swedish Lapland ecosystem. Many of them follow the migration route of the reindeers they heard throughout the year, heading into the remote forests to live when herding season begins at the start of winter. Their habitats are the best place to see and interact with reindeer, and many feature museums that teach about their culture.
See the Northern Lights
This is probably why you’re coming in the first place, so don’t worry – practically the whole region is full of tours designed to make sure you get a good glimpse.
Stay at an ICEHOTEL
This hotel has both warm and below-freezing cold rooms for you to choose from, but take note – the cold rooms are frequently renovated works of art that come equipped with materials for staying warm, so it’s definitely worth a try. During the cold and warmer months, the hotel offers snowmobile or boat tours to get a glimpse of the best sights along the Torne River.
Sleep in an Arctic treehouse
There is actually a treehouse hotel in the town of Harads, and you can actually stay in one. With many designs available, picking just one will be the only hard thing you’ll do here. High above the ground in the trees, the views of the landscape are incredible.
Take a hovercraft across the archipelago
Yep, these are real – and they take travelers across the Bothnian Bay. Though they require a certain temperature to operate, it’s really not to be missed if you’re there are the right time.
Get reheated and relaxed in a sauna
This experience doesn’t just end with a hot water dip. Saunas are a thoroughly therapeutic experience here, where the everyday Swedish Lapland routine involves homemade scrubs and oils that transform you into a brand new person. Some outdoor saunas even double as the perfect Northern Lights viewing spot.
35 Everyday Items From the Early 1900s vs How They Look Today
Technology has greatly improved over the last century, and the form of many products has changed massively from what they used to be. Check out 35 everyday items from the early 20th century and see just how different they look today!
Here we can see the difference between a playground in the 1900s and a modern playground. The toys at the old playground are made almost entirely of metal and are dangerously high. The modern ones are however safer, made with metal, plastic, and other materials that are relatively safer.
The old calculators greatly resembled typewriters as they were quite a handful and not so easy to carry around. These calculators were usually utilized for simple calculations as they could not carry out complex scientific tasks. Modern calculators, on the other hand, have much more advanced functions and are quite portable, while being able to complete equations almost instantaneously. They have simpler instructions and produce more complex results.
Showers are and have always been a big part of any bathroom. In these pictures, we can see an old yet luxurious shower, with a tub and a shower tap above. A bathroom curtain is also in place to serve as cover. This example of a modern shower, on the other hand, is covered entirely in a stylish glass box, with different showerheads at your disposal to take the kind of shower you desire.
Phones have seen one of the biggest changes of all the items on this list. Phones have moved from being a static object, limited solely to voice calls, to being one of the most important possessions of every person. The old phones of the 1900s were limited to one place in the house, dependent on cables for connectivity. Modern smartphones are portable enough to fit in your pocket. Their lengthy list of features would make even recent computers look obsolete, packing music, games, high-powered cameras, and a connection to the world via video or audio, all at the palm of your hand.
Radios were invented as a means of communication, used by sailors to stay in contact with the people on other ships as well as on land. The radios of the 1900s were quite big and required manual tuning to get to the correct wavelength. Today, radio players are more much portable, with some not even requiring antennas to function, rather accessing internet radio via wifi. Some radios also double as music boxes.
Flying by air is one of the fastest and easiest means of traveling, and airplanes stand out as one of the most used means of travel. For all the comfort and safety that airplanes bring nowadays, they weren’t always quite as safe and comfortable. In the early 20th century, airplanes took the form of the Wright Flyer, lacking cover and being very small in size. The modern airplane comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, wing configurations, and can carry hundreds of people at a time.
American football has been a popular sport for a long time, and as such football helmets have been around for a while. The helmets used in the 1900s are however very different from what we have available today. The old helmets were made of leather materials while the modern ones are made of a hard plastic shell with thick padding on the inside and a chinstrap. It is quite easy to determine which one is safer…
A regular fixture in all homes, fans have evolved and undergone a large number of changes since the early 1900s. Initially, desktop fans were created with two blades, and after a while, these blades were increased to three and more. Modern-day desktop fans have undergone further development and have totally done away with blades. These bladeless fans still manage to provide cool air with no problem at all and are much safer and economical than their predecessors.
One of the most important household items, the washing machine was not always so easy to use or fast functioning. The washing machines in the 1900s were manual spin-dryers that required a high level of physical input to function. Today, we have wifi-enabled machines that can wash up to 10kg of clothes clean in a short time, with just the click of a button. You don’t even have to stand next to it!
Speakers today are used to reproduce recorded songs, and the invention of this device took place in the 1900s. Known as the Edinson cylinder player reproducer, this speaker came with a horn, from which sound was produced. The modern-day speakers on the other hand, are quite portable with no need for massive horns. Known as a music box, most of these speakers have Bluetooth support, allowing you to play audio directly from your mobile device.
The Insulin Pen delivery system was invented by Novo Nordisk in 1985. The size and structure of these pens required that diabetic patients visit the hospital in order to get insulin. The modern-day insulin pens are however quite portable resembling a writing pen. This makes insulin delivery much more easier, as it can be administered to patients anywhere at the needed time.
Traffic lights were invented to control heavy traffic and to provide a better driving experience. However, traffic lights were not always so easy to manage, as the old traffic lights required a lot of human input. Semaphore hands were used to control it during the day, and at night, gas was used to increase visibility. Today, traffic lights are programmed to regulate traffic with ease, making it one of man’s most important inventions as the roads get ever more congested.
Also called shaving blades, these razors have been around for quite a while. Razors in the 1900s were quite different from what we have today. The old ones were bigger, had metal handles attached to a sharp head, and were not the disposable type as the modern ones. Modern razors are made with plastic handles and disposable blades. They are quite effective and much safer, as well as being much cheaper to own…
In the 20th century, the coffee business was quite profitable. The growth in the business necessitated the invention of steam-operated coffee makers to brew coffee much faster. This served its purpose at the time. However with the growth in technology and the harnessing of electricity, coffee makers are even faster. Electric coffee makers are in almost every home, and get the coffee ready in a matter of minutes.
In the 1900s, a lot of objects were made with brass, and a very good example were the cash registers at the time. Due to the material, these registers were quite heavy and quite expensive. In the modern time, we have computerized cash registers and Point of Sale systems (POS). This shows how much technology has digitalized our everyday lives.
It might interest you to know that vacuum cleaners were invented as devices for cleaning rugs. It has since been developed to become a cleaning device which can clean a number of surfaces in the house. A lot of great features have been added to this device, along with accessories for every cleaning every imaginable surface. There are even robot vacuum cleaners that do the work instead of you!
Table lamps were not always as eye-catching as they are these days. In the 1900s, table lamps were made simply with bulbs and metal frames. These lamps are not so attractive to say the least. Today, table lamps add a great deal to the beauty of a room and are so developed that we have smart lamps that can be turned on and off with a voice command.
It appears that the ancient baby carriers were not always so comfortable and nice to look at. In the first frame, the baby carrier has metal wheels, with the carriage itself not as convenient as the modern ones. Today we have three-wheelers with a backrest for babies, as well as a comfortable grip to move them around. The long list of safety features on a modern stroller make the old carriages look like a death trap in comparison!
Cars have evolved from being loud machines that require a good deal of muscle and risk, to sleek, almost fully-automated vehicles. In the pictures, we can see the difference between the dashboard of a car from the 1900s and a modern-day car. The modern car has a stereo, dashboard camera, as well as an air conditioning system to make your drives much more fun and relaxing.
The kind of books, particularly novels produced in the 1900s are quite different from what we have today. Back then, paperbacks came in different colors such as red and yellow with very thick back covers, and brown sheets. Today, most books are in different colors of back covers and white sheets. Modern books have much softer back covers and a more attractive look.
The camera is one of man’s best inventions as it has helped capture a lot of important moments over the years. However, cameras were not always as easy to handle as they are today. Cameras used to be quite bulky, requiring an accompanying light bulb in order to take nice shots. Today, we have made the transition from foldable cameras to mirror-less cameras.
The idea of a wedding is almost as old as mankind, but we have seen great changes in the style and form that weddings take. The dress code for weddings in the 1900s was strictly black and white as we can see in the picture, but modern-day weddings are so much different. This is because different attire colors are considered, venues have become much more flexible, and traditions that used to be taken very seriously have become more lighthearted.
Educating the youth is a concept that has endured throughout history. Classrooms that we have in this millennium are however very different from what we had in the past. Classrooms in the 1900s used blackboards and chalks as teaching aids. Today, we have whiteboards and even smartboards, which makes teaching easier and less stressful for teachers. Projectors are also used in higher institutions to display slides and video while teaching.
Men’s Bathing Suits
It might seem unbelievable but men’s bathing suits in the 1900s were full-sized one-pieces. This is quite contrary to the idea that this style of swimwear is strictly for women. Today, men wear anything from free-flowing beach shorts to tight speedos as swimming suits. This style of swimming shorts is heavily characterized by floral prints.
A bar has always been a place to unwind after a long day or week, a place to “catch up with the boys,” or even meet up with a pretty lady. Bars in the 1900s were not as sophisticated as what we have today. The old bars did not have the special lighting as well as intricate arrangement of liquor, which we see in bars today. Additionally, all modern bars have stools at the counter.
Grocery stores in the 1900s were quite different from what we have today. The modern-day grocery stores are much larger, with a wider variety of products on offer including food, toiletries, fruits as well as household devices. Another difference between the grocery stores in the 1900s and the modern ones is the cash register which is used. Modern grocery stores use computerized cash registers and Point of Sale systems (POS).
Spectacles in the 1900s were also very different from what we have today. The old glasses were usually made with metal frames having round lenses. Today, we have spectacles with frames having different shapes and designs. Plastic and rubber framed glasses, as well as wooden glasses (usually made with bamboo wood) are in style with the shape of the lens depending on the user’s preference.
Women’s Bathing Suits
Just like the men’s bathing suits, women’s bathing suits in the 1900s are very different from what we have today. Women’s bathing suits in the early 20th century were generally gowns which were usually free-flowing. Today, women swim in bikinis, as well as one-piece swimming suits. The modern bathing suits are much more comfortable and come in a wide variety of styles.
A busy road without a gas station is the nightmare of every driver. Old gas stations must not have been able to serve more than two customers at a time, as the fuel dispensers were often just two at a station. Modern gas stations, on the other hand, have up to eight fuel dispensers at some stations. Modern stations also make use of POS and computerized cash registers.
Motorcycles are among the most loved and desired vehicles around the world. This is because of the thrill and fun that comes with riding them. Motorcycles were however not always as sophisticated as we have them today. A look at a motorcycle that was all the rage in the 1900s will have one wondering if it is really a motorcycle or a bicycle. Motorcycles have been through several levels of development, and this picture says it all.
In the old days, ironing your newly washed laundry used to be quite a heavy task, literally. Irons in the 1900s were made of heavy materials, usually cast-iron, and had to be heated up on top of stoves after first being filled up with coal. Their form differed a lot from what we know today, as did their ease of use, obviously. Even so, they did a very good job for their time.
When they were first invented, motion pictures, movies, or films were a huge production. By necessity, film production required numerous participants including a director, a lighting artist, extras, editors, and more. Nowadays, advanced project management, computer graphics on the editing table and in the special effects room, and an army of helpers and mechatronic devices on the set make even the small budget productions an easy task.
Each of us knows how easy it is to plug your thumb-drive containing gigabytes of information into your laptop or tablet. We even select our computers by the capacity of their SSDs or hard-disks. The first storage device was not a semiconductor memory card nor a rotating disk. It was a paper card. Originally used for storing programs for mechanical looms, it evolved into the punched card, also called a unit record, by its creators at the IBM company.
The word “banana,” which is thought to be of West African origin, fires up a mouth-watering sensation and an immediate appetite. The original bananas are thought to have been cultivated for about 7,000 years, but few of us know that the fruit itself is no longer what it used to be. During its long history, it has been crossbred repeatedly in order to improve its flavor, its look, and its taste. Current varieties look, smell, and taste much better than their ancient relatives.
The idea of camouflage is apparently of a rather recent origin. Although Mother Nature showed us how to do it properly in the form of mimetics, it took warring homo sapiens quite some time to catch up. Its first use was in the 19th century, and its first successful employment was during the Great War. It was used by all sides to hide their troops and equipment. On the modern-day battleground, it is next to impossible to distinguish opposing forces if effective camouflage is used.
Our faithful friends have changed a lot, too. You only need to look at old photographs of the same species to see how much change has taken place. Through selective breeding initially, then through genetic modification, humans managed to alter their characteristics and create new species. Some of these modifications were good, but some turned out to be detrimental. Over the years, several species have been bred to change certain physical traits, which led to major changes in longevity, health, and quality of life.
Also known as shades, sunglasses were originally devised to protect their wearers from very strong light reflected by snow. With a marked change in appearance and usage, today’s sunglasses are a required item both on the beach and on the snowy mountain top. With polarized lenses, they can also function as a visual aid, especially in a high UV environment where they are compulsory. Decades of innovative design have transformed them into a popular fashion accessory.
For sanitary and hygienic purposes, the use of paper is very old. Its first recorded use was in China, around 589 A.D., and they started to mass-produce it in the 14th century. In Europe, toilet paper was mass-produced in 1857, and it looked quite different than what we have now. In those days, the paper was cut in square sheets and was sold in bundles that looked like booklets. An improved version of the rolls appeared in Britain in 1880. Nowadays, we all know what it looks like!
The history of socks is also ancient. They first appeared in ancient Egypt, and by modern standards, they resembled a pair of cooking gloves for feet. This unusual looking shape comes from the fact that they were worn with sandals. Today, socks are a required clothing item for everyone wearing shoes, boots, or sneakers, because they are excellent at absorbing perspiration. They come in a wide variety of colors and textures and are manufactured in vast quantities.
Drills in ancient Rome? No, this is not another Ancient Aliens episode. Manual drills were, in fact, used in ancient Rome, as archaeologists can attest. Their shape was very different from the drills of today, and their use, no doubt by slaves, involved a lot of physical effort. Modern-day drills are a huge work-saving tool and are being created by their manufacturers in ergonomic shapes and with many added functionalities – torches, percussion, etc.
Tampons are required hygiene items for modern women. They first appeared in ancient times and were made out of paper, papyrus, wool, and fern while being secured in place with bandages. Today, they are made of rayon or a blend of rayon and cotton, and they are available in several absorbency ratings. Their use became widespread after the Tampax company presented a number of clinical studies that proved their safety.
When not available in large enough numbers, the consequences can be dire. Life jackets, a required safety item on modern vessels and vehicles floating or flying over water, have a curious history. When first invented, they looked like barrels and actually hindered body movements. Today, they are slim, of orange color, made of very light and sturdy materials, and fit their users like a glove. Plus, they are mandatory safety devices per maritime law.
A common sight in parks, alleys, and asphalt strips by the beachside, teenagers with roller skates are a cultural staple. The rollerblades themselves are a recent invention, though. They were only created in the seventies as a refinement of earlier devices, and they were meant as a training aid for ice hockey players. Before that, the contraptions that claimed to be rollers were definitely cumbersome, and many were impracticable.
Industrial farming and agri-business have changed the look and size of broiler chickens. They are clearly bigger and look healthier, and this appears to be the result of the hormones and steroids that they are being fed in factory farms. Opponents of industrial farming of chickens argue that this method affects the environment, leads to problems for human health, and is unethical. Farmers themselves claim that this change is due to their efficient systems that are designed to increase productivity and that the animals are looked after in ultra-modern controlled facilities.
Baby monitors are must-have devices for parents who are out of immediate hearing distance of their babies. Many provide dual-radio links, parent talk-back, soothing music to be played to the infant, and a separate video channel. They faithfully capture sounds and video of the baby and allow a quick response from the parents or the nanny. The predecessor devices, used in a similar role, were entirely mechanical, as depicted in associated photographs of the day. They also looked rather scary.
The bristle toothbrush, as we know it today, has a long history. The toothbrush has been in existence since 3000BC but in a very rudimentary form. Early civilization utilized a “chew stick” which was a sizeable twig with a “chewed” end. However, it was not until 1498 when the first bristle toothbrush was invented in China. The toothbrush was made of coarse hair obtained from the back of a hog’s neck. The handle was made of bamboo or bone. The mass production of improved bristle-enabled brushes we see today was started by Willis Addis of Clerenald, England in 1780.
In the 1900s, not everyone owned a car, let alone a luxury one. Though Henry Ford introduced the Model T automobile in 1908, three years later, this car was owned by 1% of the society. But as far as owning a luxury car was concerned, who would risk it out on the roads when there was no one trained to drive it yet? Yikes. But things have changed tremendously since then as luxury cars have become ubiquitous. They are now more advanced in terms of everything from the body shape, horsepower, dashboards, and wheels, to name a few aspects.
In the early 1900s, refrigerators were big appliances that occupied a significant part of the kitchen. They had several different compartments. They appeared like a set of cabinets as compared to the present-day fridges we have in our homes. Today, more improvements have been made, and they look much more compact and sizeable. Some even have capabilities to let us know the contents inside without opening the door.
We’re sure you cannot imagine wearing these lace-up women’s boots, but then these were darling for women in the early 20th century. The tight laces and narrow heel with tiny toe remind us of the corset (which was prevalent in the early ‘90s). Would you match petticoat with that? Thankfully, nowadays you can rock your casual sneakers and walk around comfortably.
We know our kids today won’t believe it if you tell them in the 1900s, rolling a hoop down a hill using a stick was great fun! Well, a hundred years ago, a hoop and a stick were a common toy and kids really enjoyed riding it downhill. But what about today? Well, even though the first computer game didn’t exist until the 1960s, there were other types of toys such as plastic molded car toys. When computer games started, everything changed. Nowadays, we have video games and digital toys.
No one would have thought that after one hundred years, there would be a portable electric sewing machine. In the early 1900s, sewing machines were fixed to the table, and at the base, there were pedals that controlled the speed. Sewing machines were also quite baroque in style as compared to the compact and restructured versions of today. They are easier to operate and less noisy compared to the old version of the 1960s among others.
Nowadays when you need a hamburger, you go to the nearest grocery store and there you have it. But where did the hamburger lovers get it in the early 1900s? Well, back in those days, the most popular way to enjoy a hamburger was to grind meat at your home. The meat grinders were attached to wooden tables, and they were used to produce fresh bologna, beef and sausage. The meat was first chopped into small portions and then put in the hand-cranked gadget where it was minced.
From the Egyptian reed pen to the quill pen to the modern ballpoint pens, pens have a long history. The first ball pen was patented by American inventor John H. Loud. However, his pen didn’t work well during the winter. In the 1930s, Lazaro made new improvements to the ball pen and patented it. This time it worked better in all seasons due to the smooth flow of ink. Since then the ballpoint pens have undergone tremendous changes, and now they come in different sizes and colors. There are even pens that can write on a variety of surfaces.
Over the years, bicycles have not changed so much, but some aspects have changed, such as gears and styles. Due to their simplicity, manufacturers are even creating vintage styles! In the early 1900s, bicycles had thinner wheels, and the back wheels could be larger compared to the front wheel. These days, bikes are significantly smaller, and though most have wider wheels, there are those with considerably thinner wheels compared to those in the early 20th century.
Healthcare is very important to the survival of humans, this is why hospitals are one of the most common buildings around. A look at the picture of a ward of a hospital that existed in the 1900s tells one how much the healthcare sector has grown. The style of bedding, as well as the absence of meditech products, is in sharp contrast to the modern-day hospital ward.
Tractors are among the most important farm equipment for large scale farming. As expected, the tractors we have today are far more sophisticated from what was used in the 1900s. The wheels of the modern-day tractors are bigger, with the cab having glass covering, thereby making the operator much more comfortable and safe. Farming is much easier than it used to be in the past millennium.
In the 1900s, car keys were made of metals with the manufacturer’s inscription being the only thing added. Today, car keys are much more sophisticated than that, as keys are fancier and come with handles for easy grip. There are also smart keys as well as the switchblade keys. Different car manufacturers all have special features that they add to their keys to make them sophisticated nd enhance security.
Like other vehicles, beer trucks have also undergone a lot of development. The old beer trucks did not have enclosed cargo beds. In this picture, we can see that the cargo bed is left uncovered with the goods and people behind clearly exposed to possible harsh weather conditions. Modern beer trucks on the other hand have enclosed cargo beds, with the beer kept safe and secure at all times.
There is no doubt that a folding knife is a quintessential item for outdoor activities. What we know today as a pocket knife has a long history that can be traced back to 500 BC when it was called a jackknife. Since then, there have been various modifications on the jackknife. In 1920, there was mass-production of an improved knife popularly known as the Defender pocket knife. For the last hundred years, pocket knives have undergone various modifications, but the climax was the introduction of the tactical folder knife by Bob Terzuola. This has become quite popular among outdoorsmen and hunters.