Street Traffic in London in the 1860s

This photograph is notable for showing a "live action" view of London streets during this period. It was taken at the clock tower at London Bridge.

The first minimum wage law in the United States was passed under Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938, setting the wage at 25 cents per hour. That's about $4.45 in 2019 money.

This made me smile, but I could not find much about the photograph. If anyone has information about the date, or these ladies, please get in touch!

The smallest known whale to have ever lived, the Dwarf Sperm Whale, is not much larger than a person and is considered a little-understood species. This is despite having a range that includes all of the earth's oceans.

Three String Vase, or, "The Peach Bloom Vase"

Underneath this vase's glassy surface, you can detect subtle modulations in color from dull pink to red to grayish green. Although seemingly just one color, the vase really suggests an infinite variety of color variations. In Chinese, the color is sometimes called kidney-bean red. The vase's shape is that of a "three-string vase" (after the rings on the neck). This particular example was part of a set of eight vessels intended to adorn a scholar's home. A standard set included flower vases of different shapes, together with vessels used for washing brushes and holding red seal-paste. It is an adaptation and refinement on Song Dynasty ware, probably dating to the early Qing Dynasty (1710 - 1722).

Has Your Country Been Led By A Woman?

Has Your Country Been Led By A Woman? The map is for each country’s most modern incarnation, e.g. it does not count the USSR for Russia. ​

An Elegant Solution To A Pesky Plague

In 1771, Moscow experienced a Bubonic Plague outbreak under the rule of Catherine the Great. It took a long time for doctors to recognize that a plague was occurring, but people knew something was happening because those they knew kept dying. The result? Without governmental guidance, people began self-isolating at home, and avoiding hospitals where they might catch the disease. There was also a riot after the governor of the city fled to his coutnry estate, and the police chief did the same.

Something had to be done, so Catherine the Great appointed her sometimes-lover Grigory Orlov to handle the plague and resulting unrest. He arrived at a city where doctors were not trusted, and no one wanted to go to hospitals, but the plague was still spreading. He needed a way to check the entire population, to separate the sick and the healthy, and do so without causing riots.

Orlov's solution was elegant in its simplicity. He announced that when people left hospitals and quarantine homes, verified by doctors to be cured, they would receive a set of new clothes and a cash benefit (married people would get 10 rubles, single people 5 rubles). People suddenly flooded hospitals, wanting to be checked by doctors so they could get the benefits. It is estimated that Orlov spent 30,000 rubles of his own money on the benefits, and there was no unrest or force needed.

Particularly helpfully, people kept going back to doctors to get re-evaluated. This helped determine the incubation period of the plague by calculating when individuals first were evaluated to when they started showing symptoms.

The Curse of Tecumseh

Since 1840, every American president who was elected in a year ending in zero has died in office. The first president taken down by this bizarre pattern was William Henry Harrison, elected in 1840, who died of pneumonia a month after taking office. In 1860, Abraham Lincoln  was elected. Enough said on that. In 1880, James Garfield was elected president,  and he was killed, by the disgruntled job-seeker Charles Guiteau. In 1900, William McKinley was elected for his second term, and was also assassinated by an anarchist. In 1920, Warren Harding was elected, and he suffered a stroke after three years in office and died. In 1940, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was re-elected for a third term, and died in office in 1945 (just after being re-elected for a fourth term). In 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected, then assassinated.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected, and though he was shot at in office, he survived two terms and died of Alzheimer's decades later. The Teflon Man apparently ended the curse of Tecumseh which had killed seven presidents before him.

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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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