Saint Cyril was the 9th century evangelist of the slavs and invented this form of writing.
More people were killed in the Tai Ping rebellion than WW1. Exploding shells were not common and many were killed by the sword, so arguably, this was the bloodiest war of all. Eventually the rebellion was crushed by the brilliant English mercenary general ‘Chinese Gordon’, better known now as Gordon of Khartoum.
Diptheria was diagnosed in the Canadian frontier town of Nome in 1925 and many children sickened. The nearest rail head was 1,000 miles away. Hard bitten trappers and prospectors relayed anti-serum on dog sleds across the wilderness. Many were frozen to their sleds and their hands and feet had to be chipped away, but they got the drug through in 6 days and saved an entire generation. (Average speed 14mph, day).
He also wrote ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Through The Looking Glass and what Alice Found There’; the titles of the latter two works are rarely given correctly.
Hero’s steam engine was a fully functioning reaction engine. However, it was never recognised as anything other than a toy. Thomas Slavery’s original invention was improved by Newcomen and his engine, in turn, was improved by James Watt. There are several Watt engines still running, and a Newcomen engine was still in use at Barnsley in 1934. How many Mercedes engines will still be running in 300 years?
Witchcraft was a civil, not a religious crime in England and the punishment was hanging. As a civil crime torture could not be used to extract confessions although ‘swimming’ was allowed. If the accused sank he or she was determined to be innocent, if they floated it was deemed that ‘the devil was looking after his own’ and they were adjudged guilty. Despite assertions to the contrary, the accused were pulled up before drowning and many (particularly females) asked to be ‘swum’ in the full knowledge that the heavy clothes of the time would be likely to drag them down, especially if they were quietly informed before the ‘trial’ that they should exhale prior to immersion.
Like ‘Lead on Macduff’, yet another common example of misquotation. The proper quotation is ‘Alas poor Yorick, I knew him, Horatio.
Semaphore towers were set up between Portsmouth and London and were manned by sailors. These could carry messages remarkably rapidly. It is said that news of the Spithead mutiny was carried to the Admiralty in a few minutes.
An enterprising press photographer managed to get film of the execution of Eugene Weidmann at Versailles in 1939. When it reached the newspapers the following morning, the populace was so enthusiastic for a repeat performance that the French authorities were shamed into banning public executions.
John Harrington, Queen Elizabeth 1st’s godson invented the device. The Queen tried it out and was so delighted that she put in an order for several. Alexander Cummings patented the system but Thomas Crapper achieved immortality for the quality of his goods.
A medieval drummer or nackerer carried two small drums at groin level for beating out the marching pace in front of an army.
Vol 67 No 6