JavaScript is disabled in your web browser or browser is too old to support JavaScript. Today almost all web pages contain JavaScript, a scripting programming language that runs on visitor's web browser. It makes web pages functional for specific purposes and if disabled for some reason, the content or the functionality of the web page can be limited or unavailable.
Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Let us save time

Vieraskieliset / In-english
22.11.2022 7.00

Juttua muokattu:

7.10. 10:49

Text: Jou­ni Le­so­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

Ef­forts to save time have a long his­to­ry. I per­so­nal­ly re­mem­ber some ways to save time in the 1960s.

When we were bin­ding she­a­ves at har­vest time in Au­gust, my pa­rents told us how time-con­su­ming har­ves­ting was in the old ti­mes when pe­op­le still used hand sick­les. "Now that we have scyt­hes, cut­ting the rye is so much quic­ker – we save time."

A coup­le of weeks la­ter the dry she­a­ves were pas­sed through a thres­her. The en­gi­ne made a nice how­ling noi­se, the dry grains smel­led good, and the sacks of grain tur­ned nice and plump. A few ye­ars la­ter the how­ling of thres­hers was no lon­ger he­ard. Har­ves­ting was done by me­ans of com­bi­ning. To a lit­t­le boy, the com­bi­ne har­ves­ters see­med mons­ters, but it was in­te­res­ting to watch them crawl along the field. They de­vou­red the grain-be­a­ring stalks quick­ly. Time was sa­ved again.

We had a small barn and a few cows that were mil­ked by hand eve­ry mor­ning and eve­ning. La­ter on barns be­ca­me big­ger and there were more cows. Mil­king mac­hi­nes ar­ri­ved first, mil­king ro­bots then. In the time that was nee­ded to milk a few cows by hand, tens of he­ads of cat­t­le can be mil­ked now. More time is sa­ved again.

We li­ved on a farm, but we he­ard that town ho­mes had elect­ri­ci­ty, run­ning wa­ter and even in­door toi­lets. That su­re­ly made us won­der. I al­so he­ard that some ho­mes had mac­hi­nes that was­hed dir­ty clot­hes all by them­sel­ves. When the pro­cess was done, the mac­hi­ne stop­ped and a light on it in­di­ca­ted that the clot­hes had been was­hed. I un­ders­tood right away that this was a lie – how could a mac­hi­ne know when the clot­hes were clean? We had it much bet­ter. Our mot­her boi­led wa­ter in a wood-bur­ning cauld­ron, rub­bed the clot­hes on a wash­bo­ard, and went down to the ri­ver to rin­se them. In the win­ter we had to make a hole in the ice to rin­se the laund­ry. Af­ter that, the clot­hes were cer­tain­ly clean.

The 1960s lum­ber­jack were not bot­he­red by noi­sy chain saws. They fell the trees with hand saws and used an axe to cut off the branc­hes. Many trees were fel­led, cut and de-branc­hed in a day. The tim­ber was hau­led off from the fo­rest on hor­se-drawn sleighs, each of which took a load of se­ve­ral big logs. The first chain saws ap­pe­a­red du­ring that same de­ca­de. The work could then be done more quick­ly. Again, time was sa­ved. No­wa­da­ys, one man in a mac­hi­ne does more in a day than se­ve­ral men did ear­lier. Many men have their time sa­ved for ot­her pur­po­ses.

We al­so had fes­ti­ve oc­ca­si­ons in the old ti­mes. Pre­pa­ra­ti­ons were hard work and took a lot of time. I re­mem­ber how my mot­her whis­ked cake bat­ter with a home-made woo­den whisk. The whisks were made in the spring, when it was ea­sy to de­bark wood. She so­me­ti­mes let me try whis­king the bat­ter. I got ti­red soon, and my wrist be­gan to ac­he. Mot­her did it so ea­si­ly. I won­der how she had le­arnt to do it? The bat­ter en­ded up soft and fluf­fy. The cake was ba­ked in a wood-bur­ning brick oven. It tas­ted good. How did mot­her know when the oven was sui­tab­ly hot for the cake and did not burn it? And what would have been the sui­tab­le ba­king time? Ye­ars la­ter we be­gan to use elect­ric mi­xers. I have used one of those. My wrist did not ac­he any more. And what is more: that de­vi­ce sa­ves time.

When I was a child, we al­wa­ys spring-cle­a­ned our home. We used hand­held root brus­hes to rub the floors clean. Af­ter the big cle­a­ning, the floors were of­ten pain­ted. There was no elect­ri­ci­ty and no va­cuum cle­a­ner. Eve­ryt­hing was done by hand. It was hard work that took a long time. When we la­ter mo­ved to town, we got a va­cuum cle­a­ner. Cle­a­ning was much ea­sier, and time was sa­ved.

Now that I drive along nice pa­ved ro­ads, I so­me­ti­mes re­mem­ber the old ti­mes. I have seen that not all pe­op­le have the same amount of time avai­lab­le. For some, even a mi­nu­te ma­kes a dif­fe­ren­ce. I do not have long to drive to town, but some dri­vers over­ta­ke me even on that short stretch of road. They drive so fast that I soon see their rear light far away ahe­ad. But when we ar­ri­ve in town, I of­ten find the fast dri­ver’s car stan­ding in front of me at traf­fic lights or wai­ting at the next traf­fic lights. So they re­al­ly sa­ved no time, or on­ly sa­ved a mi­nu­te or so.

Many pro­ducts are ad­ver­ti­sed for their ca­pa­ci­ty to save time. I have my­self bought many such pro­ducts. But I must ad­mit I am not good at sa­ving time. I seem to lose im­me­di­a­te­ly all the time that I thought I had sa­ved. I do not have a ”time bank” where I could de­po­sit the time that was sa­ved. Sa­ving time is pret­ty much the same as pas­sing bet­ween the shel­ves in a store: I walk past many things, fee­ling that I save mo­ney by not bu­ying them, but then I find so­met­hing that seems good and use­ful, give in to the temp­ta­ti­on, and put it in my cart. By the time I re­ach the chec­kout line, I have was­ted all the mo­ney that I thought I had sa­ved. The sa­ved time and the sa­ved mo­ney both went down the rat­ho­le.

But on the whole, I gu­ess we have sa­ved a huge amount of time, pro­bab­ly many ye­ars. And all those mag­ni­fi­cent in­ven­ti­ons have been use­ful. Even though we do not have any more time avai­lab­le now, mac­hi­nes have made all work cle­a­ner and ea­sier.

I star­ted by re­mi­nis­cing about time use in the 1960s. But pe­op­le have been awa­re of the pas­sa­ge of time for mil­len­nia. Time has al­wa­ys been great mys­te­ry: ”I have seen so­met­hing el­se un­der the sun: The race is not to the swift or the bat­t­le to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or we­alth to the bril­li­ant or fa­vor to the le­ar­ned; but time and chan­ce hap­pen to them all.” (Ec­cl. 9:11).


Herra on kuningas! Riemuitkoon maa, iloitkoot meren saaret ja rannat! Pilvi ja pimeys ympäröi häntä, hänen istuintaan kannattavat vanhurskaus ja oikeus. Ps. 97:1–2

Viikon kysymys