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The most common artifact carried into -- and across -- America by 19th-century immigrants was feather bedding. As extravagant as this may seem, many of the cultures pouring into the nation at the time, including Jews, Italians, and Slavs, viewed the bed as a symbol of a family's future happiness. Across the Atlantic in England, as well as in the States, bed frames were increasingly being made of metal, brass, and iron, since these materials were easier to clean than wooden frames, and also less likely to serve as breeding grounds for disease-carrying insects.


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