Monthly Archives: December 2017

Let them eat paint!

Around the end of the Napoleonic War, there was a rich gentleman on business in the West Country. As he was rich, he stayed in a nice hotel.  He liked a snack for his supper if he arrived back from … Continue reading

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“Man of God, there is death in the pot!”

Ever wondered how an old timey cup of coffee tasted? What was it really like to take that first sip, on a day some hundreds of years before intensive farming methods, fancy new coffee plant varieties, modern methods of drying, … Continue reading

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“Died from excessive tobacco smoking”

  Nearly 100 years before Sir Richard Doll’s proof that smoking and cancer were linked and way before the tobacco lobby cranked up its PR campaigns, a scientist in 1855 studying the adulterants and poisons that went into commonplace foods … Continue reading

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Brits have always hit the Yuletide bottle

The British malaise, getting publicly legless over the holidays, seemed like a recent phenomenon until I saw this from the New Year, 1865…

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Those weren’t the days my friend

For the last act in an operatic tragedy that was real life in the 19th century read this story from March 1888 of a husband, a wife and a business failure. The welfare state was brought into being by stories … Continue reading

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