Shell Shock – Legacy of the Trenches #WW1 | Judith Barrow

The First World War ended with the deaths of a generation of young men. But the devastation of the conflict didn’t end with that last blast of a howitzer. Thousands of soldiers went home still re-living their horrific experiences of the battlefields for many years. Their lives were damaged by shell shock, a condition many had suffered from during their military service. And, throughout Britain, doctors were baffled by this …

Source: Shell Shock – Legacy of the Trenches #WW1 | Judith Barrow

Henry Mayhew, The London Vagabond | Spitalfields Life


When Henry Mayhew died in 1887, one newspaper noted ‘The chief impression created in the public mind was one of surprise that he should still be alive.’ Yet nearly forty years earlier, his London Labour & the London Poor had gripped the country, confronting it with the voices…

via Henry Mayhew, The London Vagabond | Spitalfields Life

W. B. O’Shaughnessy and the Introduction of Cannabis to Modern Western Medicine | The Public Domain Review

Photograph of “a hemp drug shop” in Khandesh, with “bhang, ganja, & majum” for sale, featured as part of the Report of the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission, 1893-1894 — Source.

Cataleptic trances, enormous appetites, and giggling fits aside, W. B. O’Shaughnessy’s investigations at a Calcutta hospital into the potential of medical marijuana — the first such trials in modern medicine — were largely positive. Sujaan Mukherjee explores the intricacies of this pioneering research and what it can tell us more generally about the production of knowledge in colonial science.

Source: W. B. O’Shaughnessy and the Introduction of Cannabis to Modern Western Medicine | The Public Domain Review

N.B. I’m not currently responding to comments or visiting blogs because of ill-health but I much appreciate your support.

8 Historic London Shopfronts | Heritage Calling

Raven Row, 56 Artillery Lane, London E1

Raven Row, 56 Artillery Lane, London E1

London streets are lined with colourful shops, clamouring for our attention. Many are of considerable age, and have survived for our enjoyment only through careful maintenance by generations of sho…

Source: 8 Historic London Shopfronts | Heritage Calling

Venetian Midwives–Who Knew? | seductivevenice

Anatomical theater at University of Padua

At the presentation I recently made about Sarra Copia Sulam at the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco, one audience member showed a remarkable knowledge of Venetian history. He approached me…

Source: Venetian Midwives–Who Knew? | seductivevenice

Ballooning in Bowler Hats: Early Images From Victorian Skies | Heritage Calling

We have recently acquired the earliest surviving aerial images of England, discovered last year at a car boot sale. They were taken between 1882 and 1892 from a balloon by photographer and ballooni…

Source: Ballooning in Bowler Hats: Early Images From Victorian Skies | Heritage Calling

7 Archaeological Discoveries that have Rewritten England’s Story

It’s 25 years since a watershed moment in England’s archaeology. Before 1990, precious archaeological remains found during building projects, such as the Roman temple of Mithras were being lost. Public outcry reached a peak with the high-profile protests to save the remains of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre.

The Government issued a new policy on archaeology and planning which allowed for archaeological surveys to be carried out before planning permission is granted. The finds from these digs across England have transformed our understanding of the past. Here are eight of the most unusual:

1. The remains of an extinct species of elephant

A Palaeoloxodon antiquus butchered with flint knives 420,000 years ago by pre-Neanderthals was a very rare find in…

Source: 7 Archaeological Discoveries that have Rewritten England’s Story

Picturing the Blitz: 9 Images of England at War

The Historic England Blog

The National Buildings Record was born in the Blitz; hurriedly created in early 1941 to photograph and document the historic fabric of England before it was lost forever.  The Record was a mixture of existing collections gathered together and photographs taken during the war by staff and volunteers. Together they captured both buildings at risk of destruction and the surviving architectural details of devastated buildings before they were demolished.  

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Spicy stories: the case of a clove boat model | British Museum blog

Originally posted on British Museum blog.

Since closure of the temporary exhibition Connecting continents: Indian Ocean trade and exchange, the exhibited objects, including a model boat made from hundreds of dried cloves, have been returned to storage. However, out of sight does not mean out of mind…

The world of clove models is a mysterious one: little is known about these exciting, unique and strongly scented objects. This leaves us with questions such as what are they, where did they come from, when and why? Very little was known about the British Museum’s clove boat model before it was displayed, including its origins. Research was thus carried out to start to piece together information, but many questions are still unanswered. Intrigued by these objects research continues and you are invited to be a part of it!

Through this blog I will highlight what we currently know about these models before moving on to explore what we are yet to…

via Spicy stories: the case of a clove boat model | British Museum blog.

The mystery of the Fetter Lane hoard

British Museum blog

Amelia Dowler, Curator of Greek and Roman Provincial Coins, British Museum

In 1908 workmen excavating foundations for a house in Fetter Lane (City of London) found 46 coins in a pot. The Rev’d FD Ringrose purchased the hoard and published an account in 1911 but focussed on describing the coins rather than the circumstances of the find. By the time the coins were bequeathed to the British Museum in 1914, there was no trace of the pot and no description of it either. There is no full account of exactly how the hoard was found and whilst Roman hoards are often uncovered in Britain (for example the Didcot, Hoxne and Beau Street hoards), the Fetter Lane hoard remains something of a mystery.

Map London 1900 Extract from Pocket Atlas and Guide to London 1900 showing the British Museum and Fetter Lane (bottom right)

The Fetter Lane coins were all minted in Alexandria…

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Halloween story: the stranger

The Library Time Machine

This week’s guest blogger is Marianne Collins, former Librarian at the J____ Street Library, now Head Archivist at the European Institute of Esoteric Studies, She presents an episode of library history with a few local connections.

The Victorian psycho-geographer Henrietta Cole-Elliott is best known for her two London tours “West London walks”(1895), and “Burial grounds of the secret city” (1900) but before she wrote either of those she published a study of folklore, “Follies and fancies of old London” (1885). There was a copy in the Reference store but I had never looked inside. The folklore collection wasn’t usually of much use to my customers. It was my assistant K who brought it up for a visitor. The next day she drew my attention to a page the customer had photocopied. This was the relevant paragraph:

“At the Lion Tavern, Old Brompton, in the days before May Day, a dress and bonnet…

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Amelia Earhart Plane Found? Fragment Recovered In Pacific Matches ‘Fingerprint’ Of Lost Aircraft

Amelia Earhart and her Lockheed Electra aircraft in 1937. The famed aviator and her navigator mysteriously disappeared in 1937 somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. Creative Commons

The hunt for Amelia Earhart’s long-lost plane took a new turn after searchers reportedly identified a piece of the missing aircraft near a toll in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. History buffs have long speculated that the tiny island, called Nikumaroro, was the final resting place of the famed aviator; however, this is the first time a piece of wreckage found there has been recognized as a fragment from Earhart’s plane, according to Discovery.

The aluminum piece measured just 19 inches by 23 inches and was actually recovered in 1991. It wasn’t until recently that researchers with the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, or TIGHAR, who have spent 25 years making sense of Earhart’s mysterious disappearance in 1937, linked the fragment with a patch of metal that was installed on Earhart’s twin-engine Lockheed Electra during an eight-day stay in Miami, Florida. Only one photograph of the patch exists, likely indicating that the repair was never recorded.

If the rivet pattern from the repair in the photograph could be matched to a rivet pattern on the piece of wreckage, it would provide, with a high degree of certainty, evidence…

via Amelia Earhart Plane Found? Fragment Recovered In Pacific Matches ‘Fingerprint’ Of Lost Aircraft.