A very short history of glasses……

  Ancient peoples must have needed glasses to aid their vision at some point in life, but the invention did not appear until the close of the thirteenth century. Until that time, those unfortunate people born with defective eyesight, and the aged, had no hope of being able to read …

A very, very short history of the protractor……

The birth of geometry (literally “land measurement”) can be traced to ancient Babylon and Egypt around 3000 B.C., as well as other cultures around the globe. But what we think of as geometry today, Euclidian geometry, began around 300 B.C. when Greek mathematician Euclid began accumulating theorems and formulating his …

A very short history of the Easter Egg……

Only within the last century were chocolate  eggs exchanged as Easter gifts. But the springtime exchanging of real eggs—white, coloured, and gold-leafed—is an ancient custom, predating Easter by many centuries. From earliest times, and in most cultures, the egg signified birth and resurrection. The Egyptians buried eggs in their tombs. …

A very short history of the scissors…..

Leonardo da Vinci is often credited—for once, incorrectly—with inventing scissors. The real inventors were the ancient Egyptians, sometime around 1500 B.C. The earliest known scissors were bronze spring cutting devices—a C-shaped handle with two blades on either end. When the ends were squeezed together, the blades cut whatever was placed …

A short history of the Codpiece…..

The codpiece (from the Middle English cod, meaning scrotum) was an important article of men`s clothing for about two hundred years from 1400 to 1600 and were still worn in Shakespeare’s time (1564-1616) The codpiece did not just appear overnight, it evolved. In the late Middle Ages, when the rising …

Thomas Edison the Elephant killer………..

  Did you know that Coney Island, in New York, once featured a hotel in the shape of an elephant? The Elephant Hotel stood 122 feet [37 metres] high and it had circular stairs within hind legs , glittering glass eyes four feet wide, and rooms scattered throughout its body, …

Dirt eating…..

In 1984, the New York Times published an article on the declining trend of geophagy. If you think people would turn to eating a handful of soil in only the most dire circumstances, then you haven’t met Mrs. Glass. “It just always tasted so good to me,” said Mrs. Glass, …

The curious case of the Brooklyn Enigma…….

  Mollie Fancher, aka “the Brooklyn Enigma,” was diagnosed with dyspepsia in 1864 when she was sixteen years old and just a few months shy of graduation from the Brooklyn Heights Seminary. Fancher’s dyspepsia symptoms, in addition to frequent fainting spells and a weakness of the chest, forced her to …

William the Conqueror and his exploding corpse

  William the Conqueror (1028–1087) wasn’t really feeling the “conqueror” part of his name as he advanced in years and his weight caught up with him. When William had grown so fat that he was having difficulty riding, he decided it was time to conquer his own body…. with a …

Why do we write XXXX……?

Lovers who affectionally sign “XXX”s to valentine cards and letters are usually unaware that the custom goes back to the early Christian era, when a cross mark, or “X,” conveyed the force of a sworn oath. The cross was, of course, a religious symbol. Not only did it refer to …