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 …

A short history of the glove……

  Gloves evolved from the desire to protect the hands from cold and from heavy manual labour. Among the numerous examples discovered in parts of Northern Europe are “bag gloves,” sheaths of animal skin that reach to the elbow. These mittens are at least ten thousand years old. The earliest …

A very short history of the Top Hat…..

John Etherington, a London haberdasher with a fashionable shop on the Strand, emerged from his store in the twilight hours of January 15, 1797, wearing a new hat of his own design. The Times newspaper reported that Etherington’s tall black hat drew a crowd so large that a shoving match …

The real story of Sleeping Beauty….

  Originally titled “The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood”, it first appeared in Italy in 1636 by Giambattista Basile in his collection Pentamerone. In this Neapolitan “Sleeping Beauty,” a great king is forewarned by wise men that his newborn daughter, Talia, is in peril from a poison splinter in flax. …