Walking in an Iron Age Swedish Hillfort

Ever wondered what Uppsala looked like back in the Iron Age? Now you can see for yourself -- a game designer and artist has re-created what the hillfort looked like, based on current archaeological research. Even the plants are based on species native to the area!

Where Did Numbers Come From?

Our earliest numbers were actually...letters. Confusing, right? Thank goodness for the Indians and their common-sense answer of creating a whole separate set of symbols for numbers.

"The Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots" was released in 1895 and was the first of its kind. Not for showing a real death, but for using special effects! After the executioner raises his ax, the actress is replaced with a mannequin.

Early Modern Spies Relied On -- Artichokes?

In 1656, a female spy in England wrote a letter to her brother, living in exile in Antwerp, asking him to communicate with her via artichoke. She feared their letters were being intercepted, broken into and sealed up again with counterfeit seals before being sent on their way. She urged caution: only ‘let mee know your minde – By the olde way [,] the hartichockes [,] as soone as you cane’. A researcher, Dr. Nadine Akkerman of Leiden University,  happened across this letter when researching 17th-century female spies in western Europe. Dr. Akkerman decided to do a test. Her team figured out that globe artichoke juice, if prepared right, could be used as invisible ink! All our would-be spies needed were artichokes, a quill, and a candle.

The first movie to include a swear word was a silent movie! "The Big Parade," which came out in 1925, had "damn" appear on a dialogue card.

The first feature-length film ever made was called "The Story of the Kelly Gang." It was made in 1906, in Australia, and told the story of the local folkhero Ned Kelly, an outlaw who was captured and hanged in 1880. Originally about 70 minutes long, just 17 or so minutes remain today.

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    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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