In the Middle In the colder cli mate of northern Europe the development of the bed adapted itself also to the question of warmth as well as to comfort. Soft feather pillows came into use and the skins of ani mals gave place to heavy textile materials of wool, though to this day it is not uncommon to find the wealthier classes of northern Russia covering themselves with wolf and bear skins. In Germany large, broad pillows were also used for covering, and are so used to this day. But as modern hygiene has demonstrated that feathers are bad conductors of caloric and do not permit the free radiation of heat from the body, which is essential to health and comfort, feather beds are gradually giving way to mod ern hair mattresses.
Modern Modern mattresses are sometimes made of felt, of pure hair, or of alternate layers of hair and cotton, stuffed more or less tightly into a casing of strongly woven material, called ticking. Pillows are made of materials similar to those of the mattresses, and the bed coverings of almost any fabric suited to the taste and purse of the owner, from coarse cotton sheets or blankets to the finest wool or silk. The heavy canopies of the Middle Ages, probably an evolution of the mosquito-netting of the Orient, have also been abolished for hygienic reasons.
The folding bed is a recent development largely peculiar to America, where city apart ments have made space a question of special consideration. They are so arranged that the bottom of the bedstead can be swung upward against the tall headrest and the bed becomes either a dressing table or a bookcase. Truckle,
or trundle, beds were formerly used for similar economic reasons and consisted of a low plat form on wheels to admit of its being run under the larger bed by day and was occupied at night by children or servants. Cots are also widely used for the sake of saving space; they are generally very narrow, have very low head and foot-rests and during, the day may be cov ered over and used for sitting in the place of chairs. There are also folding cots and lounges, constructed over a box body, wherein the bed ding may be concealed during the day, some times in a drawer.
Special beds have also been contrived for the use of sick or wounded persons, notably mattresses of material impervious to air or water and filled with either the one or the other.
In French History (see BED OF JusricE), the bed ofjustice was the throne on which. before the Revolution of 1789, the king used to sit when he went to Parliament to look after the affairs of state, the officers of Parlia ment attending him in scarlet robes. As this interference of the king with Parliament was not compatible with free government, gsitting on the bed of justice'? came to signify the ex ertion of arbitrary power.
/n Law, a divorce from bed and board is the divorce of husband and wife to the extent of separating them for a time, the wife receiv ing support, under the name of alimony, chiring the severance.
/n Mechanics, a bed is the foundation piece of a portion of anything on which the body of it rests, as the bed-piece of a steam engine; the lower stone of a grinding-mill; or the box, body or receptacle of a vehicle.