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The Joys of Edwardian Newspapers


I love the smell of old books and newspapers, and love being able to read news and gossip directly from the source as opposed to modern-day interpretations, so I was excited when Thomas Walker of Historic Newspapers contacted me asking if I’d like a few newspapers from their impressive archive. I said yes, of course, and received a copy of the Daily Mirror from 1917 and a copy of the Daily Mail from 1912. I’ve scanned a few pages for my no doubt curious readers! Click on the images to see them in full!

The Daily Mirror

The Daily Mirror

The Daily Mail

I highly recommend this company if you’d like copies of old newspapers ranging as far back as two hundred years. Now that I have my copies in my hands, I am definitely going back to order more from different dates!

Photographs of India under the Raj


King George V and the Queen arrive in Delhi in 1911

According to the Daily Mail, 178 plate-glass negatives were found inside a size-nine Peter Lord shoebox by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) in Edinburgh.

They are said to have been taken in the country at the time of the British Raj and it is thought the negatives were untouched for almost 100 years.

Archivists at RCAHMS have already confirmed that some of the images were definitely taken in 1912, when King George V and Queen Mary visited Calcutta. It was the only visit by a British monarch to India as Emperor of the subcontinent.

A crowded riverside with bathers at Chandpal Ghat in Calcutta

A Jain temple complex in Calcutta

Lal Dighi, Calcutta

See more photographs of Calcutta/Kolkata circa 1911-12 here. All 178 negatives have been digitized and can be found on the RCAHMS website!

Raj in a Shoe Box – The Indian Express
Stunning cache of British-era Calcutta scenes found – The Hindu

Halloween Paradoxes from 1912


Halloween chaosHalloween Paradoxes. – THE EVENING before All Saints’ Day, formerly called All Hallows Eve, was originally given to religious observance. Modern usage now spells it Halloween, and it is now devoted mainly to mischief.

In the larger cities that enjoy adequate police protection the impulses of male youth on Halloween are held in check, although mischievous purpose is not wholly defeated.
In smaller towns the evening brings terror to staid citizens. If they are not routed out of doors by fires in their domiciles or by other fearsome haps, they awake in the morning of All Saints’ Day to wonder why the saints had not during the night prevailed over deviltry.

Boys and young men who see fun in such things tip over small barns, dress up cows in unseemly costumes, put barrels over the heads of mild-mannered horses and turn them loose, remove buildings from foundations to unlikely spots of the landscape, change “signs” on buildings so that the public is confused, scare hens and other fowl from their roosts and make them wanderers, release pigs from cozy quarters, remove fences and obliterate property lines, and sometimes even decorate small village churches with articles that bear no relation to religion or even to common sense.

These are but a few of the pranks played on this evening. In fact, the worst has not been told of boys’ “goings on.” It sometimes happens that youth in this employment is punished by outraged owners of property carelessly handled, or apprehended by constables who on this one night are not permitted to rest. But precedent and the effervescent spirit of boyhood cannot be wholly overcome, and Halloween will continue to be a period of chaos in places where local self-government does not include the young in its beneficent scheme.

While Halloween affords boys an opportunity for fun that fits their inspiration to turn things topsy-turvy, it is an occasion to which girls look forward with superstitious awe and hope.
Love and matrimony are never absent, it would seem, from the minds of maids of a certain age, and this night affords them opportunity to test the various sorts of wizardry related to sentiment and Halloween.

Thus, if a girl peels an apple without breaking the peeling, throws it over her shoulder, and it takes as it falls the initial of some young man, she is reasonably assured by this means that he will marry her. Or if she holds a lighted candle while standing before a mirror in an otherwise dark room, and looking over her shoulder sees the image of the youth of her choice, she is made happy in expectation. Or if she and her girl companions place a thimble and a ring in a wad of dough, bake a cake of it, and cut it carefully when done, it is to them as true as gospel that the maiden who gets the ring will be married shortly, while she who gets the thimble will die an old maid. Or if one writes the names of her young men acquaintances on slips of paper, puts them under her pillow, and dreams of one of them, that one she is fated to wed. These are but a few of the love tests of Halloween. What a happy period is youth, after all!

The Judge, October 26, 1912