Mary Had a Little Lamb music sheet

OTD in 1830 a poem was published, supposedly the first words ever recorded (1878)

On this day in 1830, a poem (later a nursery rhyme) Mary Had a Little Lamb, by Sarah Hale was published. Later in the decade Lowell Mason set the poem to a melody adding repetition in the verses. The poem was the first thing recorded by Thomas Edison on his newly invented phonograph in 1878 and is often said to be the first words ever … Continue reading OTD in 1830 a poem was published, supposedly the first words ever recorded (1878)

Proof we all have Victorian doppelgangers – spooky!

This is supposed to be a fun post, not serious research. However it is based on something that I’m interested in, the idea of the doppelganger (a ghostly double). See my previous post, ‘Rossetti and the doppelgängers’. Every now and then, when looking at Long Victorian photographs and paintings, I see a face that immediately makes me think of another person known to me today. … Continue reading Proof we all have Victorian doppelgangers – spooky!

Rossetti and the doppelgangers

A topic that I have been interested in for some time is the idea of the doppelgänger. And I’m not the only person to be intrigued by the notion of a mysterious double and what it might mean. Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) was fascinated by the possibility of the doppelgänger, the seeing of which is supposedly a presentiment of death. This inspired some of his … Continue reading Rossetti and the doppelgangers

10 patents for mad Victorian inventions

Yes – these are real Victorian design patents. We might laugh at some of them now, but they represent the hopes and dreams of a previous age. A design patent is a form of legal protection granted to the ornamental design of a functional item. But enough of that, here are ten of my favourites: (i)  A ‘Flying Machine’! Never mind if it works, you’ll … Continue reading 10 patents for mad Victorian inventions

Marie Curie’s notebooks are still radioactive

I recently learned that some of Marie Curie’s notebooks are still radioactive. Researchers wishing to view them must sign a disclaimer. Many people know that Marie Curie won a Nobel prize for her pioneering research on radioactivity. But perhaps it’s not so widely known that she won that illustrious prize twice and, altogether, Marie Curie’s family won 5 Nobel prizes. Not bad going! High achievers, … Continue reading Marie Curie’s notebooks are still radioactive