Category Archives: Historical

Henry Spencer Palmer

An interesting cove, Henry Spencer Palmer. I first encountered him earlier today when flicking through a reprint of Murray’s nineteenth century travel guide to Egypt. Murrays were basically the Lonely Planet guidebooks of their day, and like Bradshaw’s railway guides, … Continue reading

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Family History part iii – conclusions and reflections

I think I’ve come to the end of the road as regards the Mathieson side of my family. Annie, I presume, lived on, but I’ve been unable to find her death record, or a record of a marriage. The most … Continue reading

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Family History part ii

Following from my success of tracking down my great grandfather and great grandmother, I thought I’d do a little more digging to round out my findings. This involved finding my grandfather’s birth record, and also the birth record for Miss … Continue reading

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Pot lids

In the latter half of the nineteenth century items like toothpaste and cosmetics started to be packaged in small ceramic pots. These pots are sought after by collectors of nineteenth century ephemera and good examples go for a couple of … Continue reading

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Chloroform

One aspect of the Catherine Morton case that puzzled me was just how common was chloroform in colonial Australia. So I did some digging. The key date in the story of chloroform is 1847, the year when Simpson first started using … Continue reading

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Magic Lanterns on easy terms

I recently came across a study carried out by a researcher at the University of Exeter in the UK where, by searching old newspaper adverts, they found evidence that people in Victorian times could hire magic lanterns and slides for … Continue reading

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Paperclips

It was only a throwaway comment, but one thing that tickled my fancy about the presentation on the MAMA archaeological dig was the comment that paperclips were not used before the 1890’s. Actually they were. While the machinery was for … Continue reading

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