18th Century Convicts Marched from Newgate to the Port

Convicts made up one of the significant immigrant populations to the American colonies in the eighteenth century. But try locating an image that says “convict” if you are preparing a presentation. This image from The Newgate Calendar, a tabloid-like publication … Continue reading

George Frideric Handel and The London Foundling Hospital

The Messiah, written by George Frideric Handel in 1741 and first performed in Dublin before its launch in London, was originally meant for Easter. Many of us have attended the oratorio’s performance at Yuletide, a practice that gained popularity in … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: Transit Chic

Public transportation in the early 20th century captured our imagination. It was modern, new, a technological advance not just for those with money, but for the people. The most iconic and compelling images place us against our machinery. The dress … Continue reading

Settling the Affairs of the Nation

Happy Friday. There are a lot of fun things to explore in this print sold by Bowles & Carver in London. I’m enjoying the tavern maid’s cap, the spitjack (which rotated roating meats over the fire, the standing man’s pack … Continue reading

Oyster Shuckers

I used to hate oysters. Typically, tidewater Marylanders pat oysters in cracker meal, fry them, and if you need a condiment, slather on some tomato ketchup. Churches in the area used to have fried oyster and ham suppers, though the … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday – Take the Underground to a Costume Exhibition, 1922

This 1922 exhibition at the London Museum combines some favs for me: dress and transit. During a transformative era of rapidly shifting hemlines, silhouettes, and haircuts, a look back to 1850s fashion – worn by an era of women known … Continue reading

18th Century Stewed Cheese Recipe? Why, Yes! Cookbook Blog from the Westminster City Archives

Does the title sound too Anthony Bourdain? The Westminster City Archives has established a blog for a cookbook in its collection of compiled recipes. The handwritten volume compiles recipes with roots in the late 17th century up until the first … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday: Cries of London Meets London Transport

I saw this “London Characters” series of Underground Electric Railway posters at the London Transport Museum webpage recently. My 18th century mind loved the connection between the long tradition of illustrating the hawkers of various wares in the markets, with … Continue reading

Happy 150th Belated Birthday London Tube!

I never was any good at remembering birthdays. Yesterday was the London Underground’s 150th birthday. That’s right – the Tube began services on January 9, 1863 with a 3.5 mile steam-powered journey between Paddington and Farringdon. Read more about the … Continue reading

Java Up: The Coffee House: A Cultural History

Grab your mug, get some joe, and crack open The Coffee House: A Cultural History by Markman Ellis (Wenfield and Nicolson, 2004). I was aware of the role the coffee house played in discourse and the exchange of news. In … Continue reading