Tuesday, 1 April 2014

April Fool 1957

There was a mixed response to the BBC's April Fool joke on Panorama in 1957. Some people were fooled, some found it funny, but some were angry that a serious programme would air something so frivolous.
The hoax documentary showed a family from Ticino in Switzerland carrying out their annual spaghetti harvest, with
women carefully plucking strands of spaghetti from a tree and laying them in the sun to dry. 
It may seem odd that anyone could be fooled by this, but spaghetti was comparatively rare in 1950s Britain, with food rationing only ending in 1954. Also, it is thought to have been the first televised April Fool prank, so it was unexpected.

Original B&W photo.

 The Panorama segment.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Kate O'Mara

Kate O'Mara, who died today (30th March 2014) aged 74, pictured here in a publicity photo in 1971, at which time she was playing the villain in the ill-fated stage version of the British television show, "The Avengers".

Original B&W photo.

John Sherman

Senator John Sherman, pictured between 1861 and 1865. Sherman mainly concerned himself with financial matters throughout his political career, but two finance Acts were particularly significant in the Civil War. The Confiscation Act of 1861 allowed the government to confiscate any property, including slaves, that were being used to support the Confederate war effort. The Second Confiscation Act of 1862 clarified that slaves "confiscated" under the 1861 Act were freed.
He also supported the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery, in 1864.

Original daguerreotype from the Brady studio.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Joe Mercer

Footballer, and later manager, Joe Mercer, while playing for Arsenal, sometime between 1946 and 1955.
He first played for Ellesmere Port Town, in his birthplace, until he was 18, when he joined Everton, where he stayed until the second world war interrupted play, (though he played in 26 wartime international games), joining Arsenal after the war

Original B&W photo..

Robert G. Ingersoll - "The Great Agnostic"

Robert Green Ingersoll, pictured here sometime between 1865 and 1880.
His father, John Ingersoll, was a Congregationalist minister who was often at odds with his congregation, who would make trivial complaints against him. A church trial which took place while the elder Ingersoll was pastor of the Congregational Church at Madison, Ohio, when Robert was 9, resulted in him being forbidden to preach, though this was later reversed. The unjust treatment of his father is thought to have soured Robert's opinion of Christianity.

Original daguerreotype from the Brady studio.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Birth of the Selfies

"Selfies" are a very common phenomenon these days, but the first one was taken in December 1920. Self portraits were nothing new of course, but this kind of pose was.
The photographers holding the camera were Joseph Byron, on the left of this picture, and Ben Falk. Between them, from left to right, were Pirie MacDonald, Colonel Marceau and Pop Core.The photo was taken on the roof of Marceau's studio.


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Winston At The Beach

Winston Churchill relaxing at the beach in 1922. Presumably this was taken in the summer, and he may have been taking a break from campaigning for the General Election in October, in which he lost his seat. This was while he was a member of the Liberal Party. He returned to Parliament in 1924, then formally rejoined the Conservatives the following year, having left that party in 1904.

Original B&W photo.