Author Archives: dgm

About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...

The Ocean Telegraph to India

I’ve been rereading Peter Hopkirk’s book on the Great Game in parallel with my rereading of Fred Burnaby’s A ride to Khiva (Google Books have a good copy of the latter – Peter Hopkirk’s book only appears to be available … Continue reading

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Nineteenth century pharmaceutical packaging and letterlocking

A few months ago letter locking was very much in the news with the digital unlocking of Mary Queen of Scots last letter. Yesterday, when I was down at Chiltern, I came across an interesting application of a quasi letterlocking … Continue reading

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Fred Burnaby and Cockle’s Pills

Captain Fred Burnaby was a Victorian adventurer and balloonist, chiefly remembered today for his epic horse rides across Anatolia and Central Asia. I’ve never quite made up my mind whether he undertook these rides with tacit approval as part of … Continue reading

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The diary of William Holland

I’ve just finished reading Paupers and Pig Killers, Jack Ayres’ edition of William Holland’s diary. William Holland was a parson in Somerset around the turn of the nineteenth century and kept a diary for the first few years of the … Continue reading

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St Kilda Cemetery

In Melbourne, at the corner of Dandenong Road and Hotham Street, lies St Kilda Cemetery. I’ve driven past it hundreds of times, and never stopped to look, but today I did. J was doing something else, so I hopped on … Continue reading

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Did the Victorians have pubic hair?

The short answer is, of course they did, but if you were to go on the evidence of paintings alone you might be forgiven for thinking that Victorian women did not have pubic hair. This clearly was not the case. … Continue reading

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Sort of an Indiana Jones moment

I was on a beach a few days ago, birdwatching, when I noticed a small corroded metal disk stuck in a crack. “Wow, a coin!” I thought, and did what anyone else would and picked it up. Well the face … Continue reading

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Why Victorian cemeteries all look the same (almost)

First snow: Camp Hill pic.twitter.com/89UxYb3KfC — Dead In Halifax (@deadinHalifax) November 24, 2021 I was idly surfing twitter this morning and almost proved that I was as much of a gonk as J says that I am. I’d seen the … Continue reading

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The shillings of 1814 …

A few days ago I posted the following to twitter: There was a major post Napoleonic wars re coinage in 1816 making the idea of 1814 coins being found interesting:Coin stash discovered at Port Arthur archaeology dig gives rare insight … Continue reading

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Steam bakeries

A long time ago, nearly forty years ago now, I lived for a time in a village called Newbridge on Wye almost slap bang in the centre of Wales. At the time, further up the hill from where I lived, … Continue reading

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