The Victorian Tea “Infomercial” | JSTOR Daily

Recently, far-right commentator Laura Towler claimed to be “chuffed” that Yorkshire Tea had not openly expressed support for Black Lives Matter. Yorkshire Tea and PG Tips (another tea giant) fired back on social media. The former told Towler, “Please don’t buy our tea again”; both companies stated that they “stand against racism.”

Ironically, even though…

Source: The Victorian Tea “Infomercial” | JSTOR Daily

Meet Hercules, One of America’s Early Celebrity Chefs – Gastro Obscura

Washington's Philadelphia residence, as depicted by William L. Breton.

Washington’s Philadelphia residence, as depicted by William L. Breton.

AFTER A LONG DAY IN president George Washington’s executive kitchen, chef Hercules hit the streets of Philadelphia with sartorial flair and a keen eye for late-18th century fashion. Atop his head, the enslaved cook wore a voguish tricorn hat. Bright metal buttons held together his blue velvet-collared coat, a pair of shiny buckles dominated his fastidiously polished shoes, and a long watch-chain dangled from the side of his black silken…

Source: Meet Hercules, One of America’s Early Celebrity Chefs – Gastro Obscura

Nazi concentration camp guard convicted over 5,232 murders | World news | The Guardian

A 93-year-old former SS guard has been found guilty of accessory to the murder of 5,232 people at a Nazi concentration camp in the final days of the second world war.

Bruno Dey, who was 17 when he joined Stutthof concentration camp as a guard, was handed a two-year suspended sentence by a youth court in Hamburg on Thursday morning…

Source: Nazi concentration camp guard convicted over 5,232 murders | World news | The Guardian

5 Objects That Illuminate the Medieval Exchange Between Africa and Europe – Atlas Obscura

DURING THE MEDIEVAL PERIOD, BETWEEN the 8th to 16th centuries, West Africa was flush with vast resources and gold. Its kingdoms were some of the most prosperous the world has ever known. When the king Mansa Musa of 14th-century Mali made a stop in Cairo, Egypt, it’s said that he handed out so much gold to the poor that he single-handedly caused…

Source: 5 Objects That Illuminate the Medieval Exchange Between Africa and Europe – Atlas Obscura

It Wasn’t Just Pompeii. Archaeologists Say the Roman Republic and Even an Ancient Egyptian Kingdom May Have Been Ended by Volcanoes

Okmok Caldera, Alaska. Photo by J. Reeder. Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.

Okmok Caldera, Alaska. Photo by J. Reeder. Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.

What led to the demise of the Roman Republic?

Experts now believe that the eruption of a remote Alaskan volcano may be partly to blame.

The Okmok volcano erupted early in the year 43 BC, spewing clouds of ash into the atmosphere and blocking the sun’s rays, causing two of the coldest years in the past two and a half millennia. The event triggered a famine that exacerbated existing political tensions in Rome and led to the rise of the Roman Empire, according to a new study published in the journal Proceedings…

Source: It Wasn’t Just Pompeii. Archaeologists Say the Roman Republic and Even an Ancient Egyptian Kingdom May Have Been Ended by Volcanoes

France Before the Revolution – For Bastille Day | toritto

The Queen’s Chamber at Versailles

The Queen’s Chamber at Versailles

…Versailles had all the pomp and pageantry of power.  The Court was composed of some 18,000 people, perhaps 16,000 of whom were attached to personal service of the King [Louis XVI] and his family with some 2,000 being courtiers, the favored guests – nobles engaged in a daily round of pleasures who were also feathering their nests seeking favors from …

Source: France Before the Revolution – For Bastille Day | toritto

Secret Spitfires – The Book – solentaviatrix

We’ve had the Secret Spitfires documentary and DVD, then the stage play (Shadow Factories). Now the book is published.

Secret Spitfires: Britain’s Hidden Civilian Army by Karl Howman, Etham Cetintas, Gavin Clarke.The History Press. Hardcover. ISBN: 9780750991995. Also available on kindle…

Source: Secret Spitfires – The Book – solentaviatrix

On Catherine the Great and Smallpox | toritto

‘… Let us speak of Catherine the Great, Autocrat and Empress of all Russia…

‘Catherine had seen first hand the ravages of smallpox.  Catherine herself was spared but she saw the horrors of smallpox and probably decided to make efforts to spare her people from the kind of suffering she saw when ascending the throne.  An “enlightened” monarch with a great interest in science and the enlightenment literature of the age, she would lead Russia into its golden age converting it from a backward nation into a …’

Source: On Catherine the Great and Smallpox | toritto

How a Long-Lost Perfume Got a Second Life After 150 Years Underwater – Atlas Obscura

A team of divers and archaeologists discovered the 19th-century fragrance in a shipwreck off the coast of Bermuda.

AFTER AN INTENSE STORM PUMMELED Bermuda in February 2011, the island’s custodian of historic wrecks  Philippe Max Rouja went to do a coastal survey and spotted a partially exposed bow of a boat. The bow belonged to the Civil War blockade runner Mary Celestia, which was en route to North Carolina’s Confederate forces when it sank in 1864.

Source: How a Long-Lost Perfume Got a Second Life After 150 Years Underwater – Atlas Obscura

Thousands of ancient artefacts from Roman treasure to shipwreck bounty to be revealed by X-rays

Thousands of artefacts encased in centuries of concrete-like deposits – ranging from Roman antiquities to the contents of a 280-year-old shipwreck – are to have their secrets revealed by a state-of-the-art X-ray system…

Source: Thousands of ancient artefacts from Roman treasure to shipwreck bounty to be revealed by X-rays

The Right to be Wrong | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

The “Torun portrait” of Nicolaus Copernicus (anonymous, c. 1580)

The “Torun portrait” of Nicolaus Copernicus (anonymous, c. 1580)

The headline annoyed me. I barely needed to read the story. In a few words, it not only managed to criticise, but to ridicule the speaker… who had voiced a personal opinion… thus passing judgement for the reader, without allowing them to think for themselves. I could not help wondering exactly how far this kind of covert manipulation and underground censorship of thought might…

Source: The Right to be Wrong | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Remembering When Women Ruled a Wild West Town – Atlas Obscura

Meet the Jackson Town Council of 1920-23, aka the "petticoat rulers": (from left) Mae Deloney, Rose Crabtree, Mayor Grace Miller, Faustina Haight, Genevieve Van Vleck. COLLECTION OF THE JACKSON HOLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND MUSEUM, 1958.0090.001P

Meet the Jackson Town Council of 1920-23, aka the “petticoat rulers”: (from left) Mae Deloney, Rose Crabtree, Mayor Grace Miller, Faustina Haight, Genevieve Van Vleck. COLLECTION OF THE JACKSON HOLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND MUSEUM, 1958.0090.001P

PICTURE, FOR A MOMENT, KAMALA Harris cleaning up a territory known for horse thieves and train bandits, Elizabeth Warren boosting the treasury tenfold, and Amy Klobuchar squaring off against her own husband in an election. Now imagine all these women running on a ticket together, throw in…

Source: Remembering When Women Ruled a Wild West Town – Atlas Obscura

Churchill statue ‘may have to be put in museum’, says granddaughter – BBC News

A statue of Winston Churchill may have to be put in a museum to protect it if demonstrations continue, his granddaughter has said.

Emma Soames told the BBC the war-time prime minister was a “complex man” but he was considered a hero by millions..

She said she was “shocked” to see the monument in London’s Parliament Square boarded up, although she said she understood why this…

Source: Churchill statue ‘may have to be put in museum’, says granddaughter – BBC News

Beaufighter Discovered by Couple Walking on the Beach

Graham Holden and his partner were walking their dog on a Cleethorpes beach when they discovered wreckage that left him “amazed.”

Experts believe that what they found is the remains of an RAF Bristol Beaufighter which crashed shortly after it took off from North Coates in Lincolnshire one day in April 1944. RAF North Coates was located six miles southeast of Cleethorpes when it operated from 1914 until its closure in 1990. The airfield is now operated privately…

Source: Beaufighter Discovered by Couple Walking on the Beach

How the 1896 Bombay Plague Changed Mumbai Forever – Atlas Obscura

Workers clean a house in a neighborhood affected by the 1896 bubonic plague. CAPT. C. MOSS / WELLCOME LIBRARY / PUBLIC DOMAIN

Workers clean a house in a neighborhood affected by the 1896 bubonic plague. CAPT. C. MOSS / WELLCOME LIBRARY / PUBLIC DOMAIN

ALONG THE WINDING LANES OF Bandra, a coastal suburb of Mumbai with a history of Catholicism, lime-washed crosses can be found near busy intersections. They are markers of a plague that ravaged the city more than a century ago when this metropolis was still known as Bombay. Mumbai was shaped by a catastrophe it has largely forgotten.

Source: How the 1896 Bombay Plague Changed Mumbai Forever – Atlas Obscura