United Kingdom

Thomas Neill Cream: Lambeth Poisoner and Serial Killer

Thomas Neill Cream, also known as the Lambeth Poisoner, was a Scottish-Canadian serial killer of the late 1800s. His first known victims lived in the United States and the rest were residents of Great Britain. However, there is also the possibility some of his victims lived in Canada.

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Mary Ann Cotton: Female Serial Killer of the 1800s

Mary Ann Cotton was an English serial killer convicted of poisoning her stepson Charles Edward Cotton. She supposedly did it with arsenic, a terrible poison that causes intense gastric pain and a rapid decline of health. He was also not her only victim as it is likely she also murdered a total of twenty one…

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Wyld’s Great Globe: A 1850s and 1860s London Attraction

Wyld’s Great Globe, also known as Wyld’s Globe or Wyld’s Monster Globe, was a world globe that served as an attraction in London’s Leicester Square between 1851 and 1862. It was constructed based on the ideas of James Wyld, a British geographer and map-seller, who was the oldest son of James Wyld the elder and…

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Pug Collectibles and Trinkets in the 1700 and 1800s

Pug collectibles and trinkets were plentiful in the 1700 and 1800s because at the time pugs were a popular dog breed having been introduced beginning in the seventeenth century into Europe from China. “Pugs at this time looked somewhat different than today. They had fewer facial wrinkles, longer legs, and clipped ears, a practice that…

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Elisha Perkins: Eighteenth-century Metallic Tractor Inventor

Elisha Perkins was a United States physician and inventor who created a fraudulent medical device to cure inflammation, rheumatism, and pain. His story begins when he was born on 16 January 1741 in Norwich, Connecticut to and Mary Bushnell II and Joseph Perkins, who had graduated from Yale College in 1727 and practiced medicine in…

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Emperor Norton: Colorful Self-proclaimed Emperor

Emperor Norton was Joshua Abraham Norton, a citizen of San Francisco, California, who declared himself “Norton I, Emperor of the United States” in 1859. He was the son of farmer John Norton and Sarah Norden, both English Jews. The exact date of his birth is unclear and records conflict although it seems he was born…

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Fonthill Castle: Edwin Forrest’s Country Estate

Fonthill Castle was built in 1852 in The Bronx borough of New York City by prominent American Shakespearean actor Edwin Forrest and his wife Catherine Norton Sinclair. According to American actor Lawrence Barrett, the architectural designs used to build Fonthill Castle came from the ideas generated by Sinclair and were then approved by Forrest. However,…

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Wigs: Their Wearers and Eighteenth-Century Anecdotes

In the eighteenth century, those who wore wigs almost always powdered them. By the 1780s, young men were moving away from wigs and were powdering their own natural hair and by the 1790s both wigs and hair powder were used primarily by older, more conservative men, such as Voltaire, whom Madame Tussaud made sure had…

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Ann Moore: The Impostor and Fasting-Woman of Tutbury

Ann Moore became famous as the “fasting-woman of Tutbury.” That was because she claimed that from 1807 to 1813, she ate nothing at all. Of course, such a claim was ludicrous and eventually her claims were proven to be a hoax and she was declared an impostor, just like the Kewsick impostor John Hatfield.

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Eye Miniatures: For Lovers of the 18th and 19th centuries

Eye miniatures became a popular item to exchange among lovers and although the fashion began in the late 1700s it reached its zenith around 1803 or 1804. Among some of the earliest pieces produced was one given by the Prince Regent (the future George IV) to his lover and mistress Mrs. Maria Fitzherbert. The gift…

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