The Science Behind ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Drives Detectives Crazy

The Science Behind ‘Little House on the Prairie’ Drives Detectives Crazy

Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote and published eight books between 1932 and 1943, commonly known as The Little House Collection, and they have been a source of nostalgia and life-like descriptions of what life was like back in the 1860s through the 1880s.

She recounts settler life with her family, throwing in some obvious name changes, dates, and events, and describes everything in rich detail—a semi-autobiographical anthology that apparently predicted future events! Here are the details.

Is Everything Accurate?

Although Wilder describes events similar to what she has lived through and readers are taken through wild winters and blistering hot summers on the prairie—is everything so accurate?

Is Everything Accurate?

Scientists have taken on the role of detectives, using the strangest methods to figure out whether or not what Wilder is talking about is an actual account of the time back then.

Little House on the Prairie Experiments

Jim Hicks, a retired high school physics teacher, took to wild experiences to prove some of what Wilder describes in the book. He knew that her way to school was with a horse cart, and he wanted to measure the rate of travel.

Little House on the Prairie Experiments

Wilder recounted that the roundtrip was 12 miles, and Hicks figured with his calculation if it was seven or eight, a journey that would take about five hours. Hicks started this experiment by measuring the length of his wife’s horse’s legs and went from there!

Was the Weather a Reality?

Another investigator, Barb Boustead, who works in the Omaga office as a National Meteorologist, decided to do her own little experiment. She’d found herself wondering if Wilder’s recounts of back-to-back blizzards were actually true.

Was the Weather a Reality?

She used all the tools she could to find out how severe the winter was back then in the South Dakota region. As it turns out, the low temperatures and terrible snow storms described in Little House on the Prairie were actually true. Another win for Wilder!

Going Blind From Scarlet Fever?

Since Wilder describes her character Mary’s blindness in the books as a result of scarlet fever, Bath Tarini, a medical student turned assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan, also decided to do some research of her own.

She found some real newspaper articles about Mary’s blindness back then and with her resources and knowledge, was able to make a diagnosis. She explains that Wilder likely describes the cause in Little House on the Prairie as scarlet fever because it was well-known back then. Wilder really was spot on with a lot of her writings, making them a great (and accurate) read.

A Tweet Proves to Everyone That Anything Can Turn Into a Controversy

A woman by the name of Daisey Beaton proved that the old maxim, which states ‘never tweet,’ has never been more true. She tweeted on the platform that she and her loving husband share a cup of hot coffee out in their garden and how much she loves him. That became the center of terrible responses and ‘hateful’ comments judging their routine and the time they have for such a thing. How does a tweet about love and a beautiful morning routine turn into such controversy?

woman drinking coffee

Is Drinking Coffee a Controversy?

Would you be the type of person to consider a tweet about a woman drinking her morning coffee with her husband every morning as controversial? How could it be controversial – it sounds so lovely, peaceful, and beautiful! But people online found ways to turn the charming tweet into something worthy of a dispute as to the couple’s lifestyle. There was a response calling out the couple on the fact that they must not have jobs, so how can they afford this morning routine?

Too Much Free Time – Shame

Another rude response appeared on Daisey’s tweet, about them having too much free time to sit and talk and how nice that must be – but commented most sarcastically. People saw this couple’s ability to sit and drink a morning coffee as something disturbing; a controversy. As in – they must not have any chores or tasks to afford such a luxury – how sad!

They’re Too Rich – That’s Why

Another rude comment on the lovely tweeted post was scolding the couple for being filthy rich, and that’s how they have so much time to sit and talk over coffee. This response, like all the rest, came from people who had no idea about the lifestyle of the two people in love and were assuming – turning their devotion into controversy! They supposed that if they had so much time to talk, they must have a huge bank account and don’t need to do anything else.

This tweet was blatant proof that anything may be turned into a controversy if there were people to complain about it and respond horribly. Mrs. Beaton was trying to make a sweet point about her relationship with her husband and how much they love each other and could never get tired of discussing anything and everything in the morning. And somehow, her tweet turned into a horror story. People called them out about not working, being lazy, or simply being too rich and not having anything else to do. It’s sad how people can twist such a beautiful sentiment into something worthy of hate and jealousy.