history archive

What they got up to in Haringey in 1949

17 April 2014
Alas, quite why the hippo was in Haringey is not explained.
Are Hong Kong & Macau Countries? thumbnail

Are Hong Kong and Macau countries?

12 April 2014
A great little exploration into a couple of geographical and political curiosities.
Roy Wise election leaflet side 1

How leaflets used to look – or how lazy previous MPs look to modern eyes

It’s the norm in politics, as in many other walks of life, to eulogise figures from the past and lament the supposed end of the truly great individuals. This Conservative leaflet from the 1964 general election, for Roy Wise (Rugby), does show how in one respect past MPs certainly were different: the amount of casework […]
Leonid Brezhnev on the phone in his underwear

Leonid Brezhnev on the phone, in his underwear

4 April 2014 ,
Courtesy of Retronaut comes this photo from the peak of Communism...
Dominion by CJ Sansom

Dominion by CJ Sansom: lugubriously enjoyable

26 March 2014 , ,
CJ Sansom's novel ponders what if Winston Churchill had not become British Prime Minister in 1940? His appointment turned on a small number of face to face conversations involving a handful of people, which makes for a great jumping off point for an alternative history.

How borders in Europe have changed in the last 1,000 years

18 March 2014
Watch how the borders within Europe have changed over the last thousand years.
Did Spitting Image damage David Steel? thumbnail

Did Spitting Image damage David Steel?

The question of what political impact Spitting Image really had has been in the news again recently. It’s always been a particularly interesting for former members of the Liberal Party, with many believing that the portrayal of David Steel as being in David Owen’s pocket seriously damaged the party. Not all who believe that think […]
New York Daily fails to predict the stock market crash of 1929

The difficulties of financial regulation, illustrated in two photographs

26 February 2014
Predictions for what is about to happen to the economic system, or even more narrowly the financial system, are notoriously unreliable, as shown by this newspaper front page from just before the US stock market plunged again in 1929: I took that photo at the Museum of American Finance, which also has a hard copy […]
Should Steel go - Liberator magazine

Leadership runners and riders, 1984 version

24 February 2014 , ,
Probably the most famous, even infamous, version of Liberator magazine came out during 1984. With Liberal Party leader David Steel coming to the end of a year long sabbatical as party leader, Liberator speculated that it was time for him to go and produced this pointed round-up of the strengths and weaknesses of possible successors.
Writings on the wall - Social media - the first 2000 years by Tom Standage

Writing on the wall: Social media – the first 2,000 years by Tom Standage

21 February 2014 , , ,
Tom Standage’s book, Writing on the wall: Social media – the first 2,000 years, has at its heart one good magazine-length article about how many of the concepts we associate with social networks run over the internet have in fact been around in all sorts of forms for thousands of years. Concepts such as commenting, […]