"Why is it, said a friend to me one day, that the factory girls write so much about the beauties of nature?"

(From an early-1840s essay by a New England weaver.)


In 1894, The American Bee Journal covered Wisconsin's bee-keeper exhibit at the 1893 World's Fair. In 2021, I covered it too (why not?).


On the Eve of the fall of Constantinople, congregants gathered in the Hagia Sophia for what would be the last vespers in the great cathedral.


Among them was the Eastern Roman Emperor, Constantine XI:

"As a Christian emperor, and as a Christian soldier, he was solemnly, and in the sight of his people, preparing to appear before his God."
-Cedomilj Mijatovic

President Calvin Coolidge was known for having unusual White House pets. His best-known pet in this category was Rebecca the Raccoon. Rebecca was sent to a zoo before Coolidge left office, but Coolidge's successor, Herbert Hoover, did not leave the cage unfilled for long. Enter Billy Possum.


Otho, the second of Rome's four Emperors in 69 AD, took his own life on April 16, 69, rather than continue in a civil war to retain the throne. The extant ancient historian accounts grappled with the contrast Otho's seemingly noble end (under Roman standards) and their low opinions of him in life. I had a bit to say about the histories last year (a bit over 18k words).


100 years to the day, the Great Chelsea Fire (MA) of 1908 burned down about half of a city. A book on Project Gutenberg from two months after the fire contained 34 images of Chelsea before and after the blaze - which I discussed in brief in an article.


Last summer - I came across an 1895 article about a miniature railway system in a backyard in Windsor. Its creator, Reverend H.L. Warneford, showed loving attention to detail. One of the best parts of the original article was that it came with numerous photographs of the model trains and bridges - all of which are included in my article.


A March 1896 issue of McClure's Magazine included an in-depth account of an 1860 Abraham Lincoln ambrotype and a miniature painting completed shortly before he won the November presidential election. Last April, I discussed the accoun in detail with additional sources.


I often find content by perusing the archives of Project Gutenberg. Last May, I came across breaking news of an interesting invention in an 1897 children's magazine: The newspaper rack for paperboys.


I have used Elephind, a powerful newspaper search engine, to publish articles referencing original newspaper content from the last century. Elephind has a large library of nineteenth and early twentieth century newspapers - mostly from the US and Australia - along with advanced search tools to sift through them. I published a small review with examples last summer.


Last year, I reviewed an 1897 article on the arrival of sparrows in the United States - New York City in particular. Sparrows were brought to the US somewhere between 1850 and 1860 for the purpose of controlling measuring worms. The plan ultimately worked - albeit not without some hiccups.



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