Dundee Courier – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

Blog

Occupations: 19th century coal miners

Derbyshire Miners Coal-getting at the Bolsover Face. Drawn by D Macpherson

    In the month of August, we have looked at occupations and employment through the newspapers.  To finish our theme this month, we are taking a closer look at coal miners, specifically in the 19th century.  An initial search for miners reveals explosions, accidents, and strikes in the vast amount of mines operating across Great Britain.  We will look at these topics in closer detail. The first coal mine was sunk in Scotland, under the Firth of Forth in

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Defying Superstitions – London’s Thirteen Club

We have all fallen victim to superstitions.  I avoid walking under ladders, never open an umbrella indoors, and dread spilling salt at the table.  Even Napoleon was influenced by superstitions.  Once when he was separated from his beloved Josephine, a picture of her fell over, and with haste, Napoleon sent a message to Josephine to make sure she was well.  A look through The British Newspaper Archive proves that people of all walks of life have been touched by fear

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , ,

Apprentice saves drowning man: A curious trend in the newspaper archive

Sometimes a search through the archive turns up some  baffling search results. In this case, it was the incredible regularity of instances where apprentices have been heralded for their bravery in rescuing drowning people. Search the newspapers This frequency begs the question: what makes an apprentice such a good person to have around treacherous waters? Let us know your theory in the comments below…

Tags

, , , , ,

“Lonely Hearts” killer unearthed in the newspaper archive

In case you’re tempted to take out a “Lonely Hearts” ad this Valentine’s Day, be warned: according to the newspaper archive you’d be wise to stay vigilant. Search the newspapers In fact, as the Aberdeen Journal suggested in 1949:  Aberdeen Journal – Monday 07 March 1949© THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.   Unfortunately, the famous Lonely Hearts murders in New York were not an isolated incident. William Sanchez d’Epina Hepper was born in Gibraltar in 1891. He spent

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , ,

Why British Empire was a good thing… according to contemporary newspapers

A recent study showed that 44% of people in Britain people think that “we should be proud of British colonialism”. Considering the Empire’s sketchy past of violence and massacres, this was a shock result. Subscribe for just £12.95 –> At the time, as today, people were mainly supportive of British rule overseas, though it would be fair to assume they didn’t know the full extent of the chaos it wrought. For some, the empire’s steady decline after World War 2 would have been

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

The cure to “Zeppelinitis”: German airships attack Britain for the first time on this day in 1915

On the night of the 19th January 1915, two German Zeppelins appeared out of the dark on the Norfolk coast and conducted the first airship attack on British soil. They had set out for Humberside, but strong winds had seen them divert to the areas around Great Yarmouth, Sheringham and King’s Lynn. It would be the first of over 50 Zeppelin attacks on the UK. Strategically, they proved largely ineffective, with night raids and bad weather conditions making it difficult

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

How to live to 100 : History’s centenarians reveal their secrets

And so, as with every New Year, we welcome the quinoa-packed saucepans, virtuous jars of coconut oil and the herbal remedies which, we hope, will push out the carbs and caffeine binges of last year. The supermarket queue displays a thousand promises of health, wealth and well-being from slim, smiling models. But in a world where a simple glass of red wine can have a thousand conflicting effects from self-declared health experts, what’s the real secret to longevity? Well, why not take a look

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Using newspapers to research WW1 shell shock

Suzie Grogan used The British Newspaper Archive extensively while researching her book, Shell Shocked Britain: The First World War’s legacy for Britain’s mental health. She got in touch to show us the heart-breaking story she found about her own ancestors and some of the terrible accounts about life during World War One.   **************   My book is the product of two years of intensive research into the trauma of the Great War and its aftermath. But it was a chance

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

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

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

1914’s must-have Christmas gift: the ‘British-made’ toy soldier

Today’s most-popular Christmas toys include Frozen dolls and tech gadgets, but it was a very different story 100 years ago. Newspapers from the time reveal there was a clear trend for ‘British-made’ military toys in the year that Britain joined World War One.   Daily Mirror – Friday 04 December 1914 Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. View the whole newspaper page The ‘Great Miniature Battle’ of 1914, with trenches and barbed wire An

Continue Reading

Tags

, , , ,