Dr Wansbrough`s celebrated nipple shields…..

More wonderful Victorian health advice…. Nipple shields were made from a variety of materials in the 18th and 19th centuries, wood, ivory and lead(!) the most common. They were intended to protect the mothers sore nipples. They were often perforated allowing the baby to feed through them (probably with considerable difficulty).  These unperforated …

The Quare Fellow…..

The greatest Irish writer of his generation who wrote the critically acclaimed Borstal Boy and The Quare Fellow described himself as “a drinker with a writing problem”. Raised on whiskey by his maternal grandmother because “it was good for the worms”, Behan achieved national notoriety with a series of drunken …

Public Impotency Trials

Apart from death, one of the few ways one could dissolve a Catholic marriage was proof of impotence. But how on earth could you prove it? .The only valid way at the time was to participate in a “public impotency trial” As bizarre as it may sound, church officials aided …

The peculiar Dorothy Paget……

The Honourable Dorothy Paget (1906-1960) was one of the most successful owners of her era. In all, her horses were to win a total of 1,532 races on the flat and over the jumps, including winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup an incredible seven times, plus owning the winners of the …

Hair……

I came across this strange photograph of a man and his rather odd haircut which made me think about hair and hair styles. It is probably fair to say that hair styles are a mirror that reflects individual, collective and stylistic histories. It is one of the only parts of …