This week we have added 108,044 new pages to The Archive. We are delighted to welcome three brand new publications to our collection. For those with an interest in economic history we have added the Course of the Exchange, which is a record of various financial data such as stocks, shares and bonds across the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For this specialist journal we have published the years 1825 to 1908, with 8,455 issues now available to search.
Also joining us this week are two further regional publications, Herefordshire title the Kington Times, and Somerset title the Bridgewater Journal. We have also updated three of our London titles, including the Tottenham and Edmonton Weekly Herald, as well as adding further issues of the Irish Independent and the Crawley News.
One hundred years ago the world was still in the grip of the influenza pandemic that had started in 1918. Colloquially known as the Spanish flu, this disease particularly affected the young and it is estimated that it killed 50-100 million people worldwide. Using newly added pages from the Kington Times, it is possible to gain insight into this global tragedy on a local scale.
Poignantly, the Kington Times details individual deaths in the local area. It reports on 22 February 1919 of the ‘heavy death toll in local villages.’ Particularly impacted were the family of Mr George Taylor of Bockleton, who sadly lost five children aged between 8 and 24.
Kington Times | 22 February 1919
Another young victim of the pandemic was William Cartwright, of Logaston, who died from pneumonia following an attack of influenza. The Kington Times is at pains to point out his young age – 21 – and his service record. Cartwright had been invalided home from France after having been gassed, and was working in the woods at Snaresfield when he was taken ill.
However, in January 1919 the newspaper reports that the influenza is ‘vanishing:’ In London last week there were only 322 influenza deaths, compared with 660 during the previous week. In 96 great towns the total of deaths was 1,885, this being much fewer than before, and the epidemic is believed to be over.
Alongside the reports of local tragedies and national mortality rates are advertisements for apparent influenza cures. The Kington Times carries an advertisement for Ellwood & Son Chemists in Leominster, who are selling various medicines, including their own Cold & Influenza Mixture.
A search for influenza in our other newspapers reveals a plethora of other such advertisements. In the Diss Express an ‘Oilsock’ is pedaled as a method for avoiding influenza, with its ‘specially prepared inner sock, damp-proof, water-proof and chill proof, made from antiseptic wool felt with a weather proof under sole.’ Meanwhile the Northampton Chronicle and Echo contains an advertisement for Lifebuoy Soap – the ‘Influenza Scourge’ – ‘disease germs find no lurking place where Lifebuoy Soap has been used.’
Finally, the Illustrated London News OXO presents the following ‘communication’ from a doctor: A cupful of OXO two or three times a day will prove an immense service as a protective measure. Its invigorating and nourishing properties are most rapidly absorbed into the blood, and thus the system is reinforced the resist the attacks of the malady.
|Course of the Exchange||1825-1894, 1896-1908|
|Bridgwater Journal||1986-1988, 1991|
This week we have updated five of our existing titles.
You can learn more about each of the titles we add to every week by clicking on their names. On each paper’s title page, you can read a FREE sample issue, learn more about our current holdings, and our plans for digitisation.
|Tottenham and Edmonton Weekly Herald||1874, 1879, 1889, 1891, 1899, 1904|
|Pinner Observer||1991, 1996-1997|
|Harefield Gazette||1991-1992, 1995-1997|