Before the days of metal springs, beds resembled hammocks with their criss-cross grid of ropes. This supported the mattress and those sleeping upon it. These ropes could be tightened or loosened based on the number and size of individuals sleeping on the bed. The goal was that one would tighten or loosen it just right so that the stays (ropes) would be taunt throughout the nights sleep ... Aka so that one could 'sleep tight', which would be most supportive and most comfortable.
Good Night, sleep tight!
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Location:Stratford Upon Avon, England