A Complete Break

My recent experience in hospital and the prospect of further investigations into other health problems has made me realise I need to take a complete break from blogging and social media, which will include Rogues & Vagabonds and First Night Design. I hope that occasionally I will be able to create some art pieces but I will not be promoting them on First Night Design, simply adding them to my various galleries as below.

Zazzle Design UK

Zazzle Design US

Zazzle Vintage UK

Zazzle Vintage US

Fine Art America


Saatchi Art

Take care and keep laughing!



The ‘Radium Girls’ literally glowed from their work—and then it started killing them

Women painting alarm clock faces with radium in 1932, Ingersoll factory, January 1932. Workers would often lick the paintbrush to achieve a finer point — directly ingesting the radium. (Daily Herald Archive/SSPL/Getty Images)

At factories like the Radium Luminous Materials Corporation on Third Street in Newark, young women like 14-year-old Katherine Schaub passed their days with tiny paintbrushes in their mouths. Beside each girl sat a small dish of radium powder, which she mixed with a few drops of water and adhesive. The combination made a luminescent…

Source: The ‘Radium Girls’ literally glowed from their work—and then it started killing them

I Tried a Medieval Diet, And I Didn’t Even Get That Drunk | Atlas Obscura

A kingly feast, from the Bayeux Tapestry. (Image: Public domain)

It can seem sometimes like all diet advice boils down to the same basic ideas. Eat vegetables, healthy proteins, avoid processed snack food and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

This was not, however, the case in medieval times.

The Regimen Sanitatis Salernitanum was created, allegedly, by famous doctors for English royalty and disseminated in the form of a poem. It recommends, very specifically, red wine, fresh…

Source: I Tried a Medieval Diet, And I Didn’t Even Get That Drunk | Atlas Obscura

How Tuberculosis Shaped Victorian Fashion

The long, trailing skirts of the Victorian period eventually fell out of favor when they were thought to harbor tuberculosis microbes. (via Wikicommons)

The deadly disease—and later efforts to control it—influenced trends for decades…

Source: How Tuberculosis Shaped Victorian Fashion

Revisited Myth #51: Wearing tinted eyeglasses meant the wearer had syphilis. | History Myths Debunked

Come on, do you really think that if that nice young man in the portrait had syphilis, he would advertise the fact with tinted eyeglasses?

Tinted eyeglasses are not new. In the eighteenth century, some people wore blue, green, amber, and amethyst lenses to protect their eyes from the sun’s glare. They did not indicate a medical problem.

Medical books of the time make no mention of colored lenses in treating syphilis. In Treatise of the Venereal Disease (1789), the author notes correctly that syphilis could cause eye inflammation but offers no specific treatment. In his Observations Concerning the Prevention and Cure of the Venereal Disease (1796), William Buchan recommends blistering plasters applied to the…

Source: Revisited Myth #51: Wearing tinted eyeglasses meant the wearer had syphilis. | History Myths Debunked.

Deadly Toothpaste (Snippets 26)

Windows into History

vintagetoothpowder (source: gaiahealthblog.com)

Toothpaste dates back to Greek and Roman times, and for the first two thousand years of its history tended to be rather nasty, abrasive stuff.  It was not until late in the 19th Century that anything was formulated that could be said with any confidence not to do more harm than good.

Early toothpastes were powder that had to be mixed with water, until ready-mixed toothpaste finally surpassed powdered dentifrice in popularity early in the 20th Century.

In 1814, dentist Benjamin James wrote Treatise on the Management of the Teeth, with a chapter tackling dentifrice.  We have looked at some dubious medical advice from the past in previous snippets (11, 15 and 18) but here for once is a 19th Century book that gives sensible advice: James suggested brushing just with water, which was the best option available at the time.  However, the details of dentifrices available…

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