Victorian – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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Historic #gymspiration from the newspaper archive!

So you’re all set for your morning jog when suddenly you realise that it’s raining. It’s getting cold. You can’t find your trainers and you forgot to charge your iPod. Thinking of giving up and crawling back under the sheets for a few extra minutes in dreamland? Well stop right there! We’ve had a look in the newspapers for our favourite pictures of gymnasiums through the ages, guaranteed to get you back up and running!     But, as always, someone

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Meet the Content Lead of The British Newspaper Archive

Find out what goes on behind the scenes at The British Newspaper Archive in our series of Q&As with the team who work here. We sat down with Content Lead Amy Sell to find out who she is and what she does.   What does your job involve? I help people discover The British Newspaper Archive and understand how amazing the collection is by writing emails and blog posts, managing our Facebook page and Twitter feed and producing handy video

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19th-century medical fraudsters who got caught out

Caroline Rance, author of The Quack Doctor and What the Apothecary Ordered, got in touch to show us some of the shocking medical tales she’s unearthed. We’d love to hear about your own discoveries – email press@britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk to tell us about them.   ************** Whatever you search for in The British Newspaper Archive, chances are the articles you find will be close to adverts promoting cures for every kind of disease. Some brands were sold in good faith and became

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6 terrible love tips from history’s lonely hearts

Lonely hearts columns aren’t a modern phenomenon. Search our historical newspapers and you’ll find numerous examples of ‘matrimonial advertisements’ from the 1800s and 1900s. The notices can often make for amusing reading. We’ve collected together a few of our favourites to provide you with some tips for finding love. You may or may not want to take the advice…   1) Be overly specific and insulting An American woman advertised for a husband in 1920, advising that he ‘can have

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11 unusual tales of terror from historical newspapers

The British Newspaper Archive is full of grisly stories about the unusual and the unexplained. We’ve selected some of the oddest tales, including a description of a monster with the head of a sea lion and a rumour that Germany was turning dead soldiers into explosives during WW1. Let us know if you’ve found a story to rival these. You can comment below or post on our Facebook page. 1) 1877: A bizarre 70-foot beast A very strange creature was sighted

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‘Dear Boss’ letter: how Jack the Ripper got his name

On 27 September 1888, in the midst of a series of horrific murders in Whitechapel, the Central News Office in London received a letter, signed by ‘Jack the Ripper’. Known as the ‘Dear Boss’ letter because of the way it was addressed, the letter changed the way British newspapers reported the Ripper murders.   Read newspapers from 1888   Facsimiles of the ‘Dear Boss’ letter in the newspapers The name ‘Jack the Ripper’ reached the British press and general public

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London cabbie George Smith arrested for drunk driving in 1897

The first person to be arrested and charged for driving under the influence of alcohol was George Smith, a London cabdriver. Charged with drunk driving on 10 September 1897 This article from the Morning Post reported that at about 00:45 on Friday 10 September 1897, Smith’s vehicle ‘swerved from one side of the road to the other, and ran across the footway into 165 New Bond Street’. George Smith admitted that he’d had ‘two or three glasses of beer’ and

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Lady Harberton, cycling and the ‘Rationals’ scandal

Michelle Higgs, author of A Visitor’s Guide to Victorian England, has uncovered lots of fascinating stories by searching our historical newspapers. She got in touch to tell us about Lady Florence Harberton and her fight for Victorian women’s freedom to wear practical clothing.   **************   It might surprise you to know that until the 1870s, it was rare to see unaccompanied middle or upper-class women walking in the streets. This was because they ran the risk of being mistaken

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Is this the Illustrated Police News’ best illustration?

If you’ve ever explored the Illustrated Police News at The British Newspaper Archive, you’ll know it’s full of fantastically melodramatic images and stories. We think we may have come across our favourite illustration so far. Victorian ladies attacked by an octopus This image graced the front page of the Illustrated Police News on Saturday 17 October 1896. It depicts four Victorian ladies attempting to flee from the sweetest-looking octopus we’ve ever seen. Illustrated Police News – Saturday 17 October 1896

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Meet the Product Director of The British Newspaper Archive

Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at The British Newspaper Archive? We sat down with Product Director Ian Tester to find out who he is and what he does.   What does your job involve? I’m responsible for growing the business in all its myriad forms. My role covers marketing, building a better product, tweaking the pricing, choosing newspapers that we think will be of most interest and generally keeping everything running smoothly. Less excitingly, it also involves balancing

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