United Kingdom

Dr James Graham: Sexologist and His Temple of Health

Dr James Graham trained in medicine and although he never graduated, he became a self-styled doctor who promoted unusual cures, pioneered sex therapy, and opened a Temple of Health. He began his medical career by setting up an apothecary in Doncaster, Yorkshire. Then in 1770, he left for America where he traveled around the middle…

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Eighteenth and Nineteenth-century Bonesetters’ Tales

Eighteenth and nineteenth-century bonesetters were like today’s chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical therapists rolled into one. They practiced joint manipulation and fixed musculoskeletal injuries using manual force. Because eighteenth and nineteenth-century bonesetters were cheaper than regular physicians and because they could be easily found within local communities there are a lot of stories, both good and…

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Harriet Howard: Mistress to Louis Napoleon (Napoleon III)

Harriet Howard was born in 1823 as Elizabeth Ann Haryett. She was the daughter of a boot maker who made fashionable footwear for the British aristocracy and in addition her grandfather owned the Castle Hotel in Brighton. It was a coastal resort situated on the southern coast of England where people like Jane Austen and…

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Decorative Hair Combs of the 19th Century

Decorative hair combs date to the earliest of times and were created from all sorts of materials. For instance, ancient combs were made from wood, bones, ivory, feathers, and other natural type materials. Sometimes they were “studded” with gems or painted with designs. These early decorative hair combs were also often flat in construction but…

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Mark Twain: Interesting Facts About Samuel Clemens

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name of Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was called “the father of American literature,”[1] by William Faulkner and noted to “unhesitatingly be called ‘all-American’”[2] partly because of his famous novels that include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its sequel,…

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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 in 1872. She supposedly did it using arsenic, a terrible poison that causes intense gastric pain and results in a rapid decline of health. He was not her only victim as it is likely she also murdered a total…

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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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