Category 19th century

Tuesday 18th May 1830 – the birth of a mower

At some time before this day Edwin Budding, an engineer from Stroud, Gloucestershire, had watched a machine in a local cloth mill that used a cutting cylinder/bladed reel mounted on a bench to trim the irregular nap from the surface of woollen cloth and give a smooth finish. This gave him an idea – ‘could […]

Ragtime gets closer

Last week we started our story with a broad overview of ‘Ragtime’ from both sides of the Atlantic.  This week we’ll have a look at early British popular music. This music can be seen as originating in the 16th and 17th centuries and from this we can trace the arrival of printed musical copies which […]

A story From Ragtime to Rock ‘n’ Roll

I first started pulling the pieces of this story together some 15 or so years ago.  At that time I was a tutor/speaker for the Workers Educational Association (WEA) and, among many other courses I presented, I offered ‘From Ragtime to Rock ‘n’ Roll’.   In due time I moved on, my activities changed and ‘FRT […]

Springtime in England – in 1900

One of my favorite books on my shelves is ‘The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady’ – written by Edith Holden.  My copy by Michael Joseph / Webb & Bower is a facsimile reproduction of a naturalist’s diary from the year 1900.  Edith Holden recorded in words and painting the flora and fauna of the […]

Robert James [Bob] Fitzsimmons – the fighting Englishman

It was on Wednesday 17th March 1897 that Englishman Robert James [Bob] Fitzsimmons became heavyweight champion of the world when he defeated ‘Gentleman’ Jim Corbett at Carson City in Nevada, U.S.A.  This venue was at the first open-air arena built especially for boxing and Bob won by knockout in the 14th round.  A reporter at […]

Two Kings and a Queen

It was on Wednesday, 19th January 1831 that Charles Greville, considered by many to be the greatest English diarist after Pepys, began musing about the health of England’s King who was also the King of Handover. King William IV had become England’s King on 26th June 1830 following the death of his elder brother King […]

A Straw Bear with History

Back in 1882 a local newspaper in the Peterborough area reported that, in the nearby Cambridgeshire community of Whittlesey, a bear .. “was taken around the town to entertain by his frantic and clumsy gestures the good folk who had on the previous day subscribed to the rustics, a spread of beer, tobacco and beef”. […]