Filed under health and safety

Newton’s Great Promoter

Newton’s Great Promoter

Most people have heard of Sir Isaac Newton, though most are vague on the details of his theories on gravity etc. But his work was written in Latin and they were incredibly complex and hard to comprehend, even by his fellow scientists. But they were understood by French born vicar John Theophilus Desaguliers who devised … Continue reading

In Praise of Dr Katterfelto

Dr Katterfelto is one of the most fascinating characters from late 18th/early 19th century England. He was called the King of Puff, and his claims to have cured Londoners of the flu epidemic helped sell his remedies. He demonstrated solar microscopes, and danced either side of the divide between science and magic with a big … Continue reading

Wavy Walls

Wavy Walls

Walls are generally straight, they follow boundaries, and are made with a minimum of materials to save money and time. But sometimes they are bendy. I recall a few in isolated places that had trees planted in the bends. The walls were in an area where fields had lots of stones, so were a nuisance … Continue reading

Death at the Works

Lady Bell, in her book Life at the Works claimed there were few accidents at the blast furnaces of Middlesborough, which seems surprising when you look at how little the men ate, and they did constantly changing shifts. But she does record one incident, in which some men were loading the raw materials into the … Continue reading

Birmingham Improvements

The Victorians often produced uncontrolled, unplanned towns in their rush towards industrialisation, which it took some time to remedy. In Georgian towns, they often just cleared a way through the slums and built fine new houses, or an indoor market. Where did the poor go? No idea, nor did they care. This is some more … Continue reading

Canal On Fire & Beautiful Smoke

The rapid and largely unregulated expansion of English towns in the 18th and 19th centuries led to some pretty horrific environmental conditions, most famously the ‘Great Stink’ of London’s Thames that led to the closure of parliament in  1858. But the great northern cities were pretty bad too. This is about the Bradford Canal, in … Continue reading

Science and Art

Science and Art

These two are generally seen as worlds apart, but here’s a picture of a foot and mouth virus. Beautiful, isn’t it?  

Not via Weevils

I saw this sign for sale, but I don’t understand what it says. Does it mean the weevils have been removed, so the flour may have weevil poo in it, or did they put something in the flour to keep the weevils away, in which case I wouldn’t want t it either. Hmmm

A Drunken Sailor

In 1735,John Brown was a mate of the Glasgow, found one at to be ‘very drunk…could give no account of the ship’s way from 12 noon till 8 at night, & told captain he could stick his log book up his a***.

Dangerous Show

For much of human history, wherever people gathered, there was always a chance of something dangerous happening, but this seems to have been particularly common for shows, as many people often crowded into a small space, often lit by open flames. One of Cambridgeshire’s greatest tragedies happened at a puppet show. This is from Honor … Continue reading