A Close Shave

A Close Shave

The advertisement to the right appeared in the General Advertiser in May 1752. Daniel Cudworth was one of the many London business owners to take advantage of increased advertising opportunities to push his ‘flat razor strap,’ or ‘strop.’ On the surface, there seems little unusual here; a product, some notes about its quality and durability… Continue Reading

History of the Barber’s Pole

History of the Barber’s Pole

Barber-surgeons were medical practitioners who provided a wide-range of services during the medieval and early modern periods of history. Traditionally, they were trained through apprenticeships, which could last as long as 7 years. Many had no formal education, and some were even illiterate. Barber-surgeons provided a variety of medical services for their communities. Moreover, because of… Continue Reading

Beware the Draisine!

Beware the Draisine!

Essentially the forerunner of a modern bicycle, the draisine rapidly became all the rage in Regency England. The earliest usable and much copied vehicle was created by the German Karl Drais. He called it a Laufmaschine (German for “running machine”), which he first rode on June 12, 1817. He obtained a patent in January 1818. Drais’ purpose… Continue Reading

Vocabulary Rocks! B is for…

Vocabulary Rocks! B is for…

Barbecue This American contribution to international cuisine actually originated in the Caribbean, and the word comes to us via Spanish from its Indian roots. The original sense of barbecue is that of a raised, wooden (later metal) framework used for either sleeping upon or curing meats. The Indians of Guiana called it a babracot and the… Continue Reading

100 Romantic Movies

100 Romantic Movies

In January Time Out London, an online magazine, listed the 100 Best Romantic Movies. I’m not sure what their deciding factors were, and of course such lists are common especially as Valentine’s Day approaches. They seemed to cover to wide gamut of release years, several foreign films, some movies I’ve never heard of, and a… Continue Reading