You may have read in historical novels or history books about some character or figure who slept on a pallet. What is a sleeping pallet? Today, the term refers to a platform, manufactured from wood, plastic, metal or paper, used to transport goods from one place to another with the use of a pallet jack or forklift. This device provides a stable flat surface for stacking any item that needs to be moved. The sleeping pallet refers to a thin mattress or bed of hay, grass or straw that was covered with a linen or cloth. The sleeping pallet was placed on the floor, not on a structure or frame. This uncomfortable sleeping arrangement was meant for servants or those of a lower economic station. The servant put their sleeping pallet to the side or foot of their master’s bed so they could attend to any needs during the night. The sleeping pallet was commonly used in Medieval Europe. During the Colonial Era up until the Civil War in America, slaves were often provided no more than a sleeping pallet in their quarters. Today, most of us sleep on mattresses, whether inner spring, foam or futon style. If you have ever visited a historical site such as Williamsburg in Virginia, try to imagine how life must have been if you were a slave or poor and only had a straw mattress and thin blanket to sleep on after a hard day of manual labor.
Be the first to start the conversation!