Wood changes Moisture Content (MC) in relation to Relative Humidity. MC will equilibrate at about 1/5 of RH.
Until recently many houses had as much as three Air Changes (ACH) per Hour. The target now is 1 ACH. Any tighter than that and humidity builds up and disease pathogens can be a problem along with mold.
Way back, house were not nearly as warm an toasty as they are now. My grandfather had his house insulated in 1921. Thought it was a miracle because he did not have to break the ice out of the pitcher to wash his face in the morning. He had an indoor jacket and an outdoor coat.
So, the indoor humidity may have been higher. They cooked and bathed in doors, at least after they installed indoor plumbing. They had house plants. They kept a pot of water on the stove all the time to help with the humidity.
So, the MC inside the house may have been more even than now unless you have a Humidifier/mold factory.
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- Seasonal Movement, Then and Now