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Sunday, 22 September 2013

Viking Women

In Norse (Viking) society women had a good deal of freedom. It was considered very shameful for a man to hurt a woman. www.localhistories.org/vikinglife 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Who Invented the Ironing Board?

In 1875 a portable ironing board was invented by John B. Porter. Sarah Boone patented an modified device in 1892. Meanwhile Henry Seeley invented the electric iron in 1882. www.localhistories.org/housework 

Friday, 13 September 2013

Who Invented Alphabet Blocks?

In 1693 the English philosopher John Locke said that 'dice and playthings' with letters on them would help children to learn the alphabet. In 1882 Adeline Whitney patented alphabet blocks. www.localhistories.org/toys 

Friday, 2 August 2013

Who Invented the Bra?

I wrote a brief history of bras. In Ancient Greece and Rome women wore a band of cloth over their breasts but in the Middle Ages and Renaissance women did not usually wear anything. The modern bra was invented in 1913 by Mary Phelps Jacob. www.localhistories.org/womenund 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Inca Food

The Incas lived in the highlands and lowlands of what is now Peru. In the lowlands the staple food was maize. In the highlands the main food was potatoes. Incas also ate peppers, tomatoes and avocadoes. They also ate peanuts and a grain called quinoa.

Llamas and alpacas were kept for wool and for carrying loads but they sometimes provided meat. Incas also ate guinea pigs. They also fished and ate birds. However for most Incas meat was a luxury.

Incas drank a fermented drink called chicha. Ordinary Incas drank from bowls carved from gourds. Rich Incas drank from pottery vessels or even ones made from gold or silver.

Poor people ate food off dishes placed on the ground. Inca nobles ate off a cloth on the ground. There were no tables. www.localhistories.org/food 

Friday, 28 June 2013

Ethiopia

I wrote a history of Ethiopia. Its a very old culture. Ethiopians suffered greatly in the late 20th century due to a Communist government but its recovering now. www.localhistories.org/ethiopia 

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Mussolini is shot

The Italian dictator Benito Mussolini was shot on 28 April 1945. His mistress Claretta Petacci was also shot.  www.localhistories.org/fascist 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Uranus

On 13 March 1781 the astronomer William Herschel announced the discovery of a new planet. Since ancient times only 5 other planets were known, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Herschel wanted to name the new planet Georgium Sidus after the British king George III. Not surprisingly his proposal did not get much support in other countries! The new planet was named Uranus after an ancient Greek god of the sky. www.localhistories.org/herschel