" But reason has no power against feeling, and feeling older than history is no light matter. "
Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Back in the day


Isaac Singer Granted Patent for Sewing Machine

Before the advent of the sewing machine, sewing was a laborious task. Singer's 1851 sewing machine patent made him a very rich man. Several other people laid claim to having invented the sewing machine, notably Elias Howe, who won a lawsuit against Singer for infringement. Nevertheless, Singer's company was already well established and was able to pool its patents with other claimants to avoid litigation. At times, Singer used alternate names to accomplish what scandalous feat?



Samuel Morland

For about a decade following the 1649 execution of King Charles I, England had no monarch. Morland became disillusioned with the government of the Commonwealth, which ruled for part of that period, and became a double agent working to restore the crown. His espionage work allowed him to enter the service of the king after the Restoration. He was also an avid inventor who created one of the earliest internal combustion engines. It was not for use in transportation, but was used to move what?

Born on a day like today


Ross and Norris McWhirter

In 1954, a few years after identical twins Norris and Ross McWhirter founded a London fact-finding agency, they met a director of the Guinness brewing company, Sir Hugh Beaver, who commissioned a compilation of world records that was intended to settle bar-room disputes. The first edition of the McWhirters' Guinness Book of Records was given to bars for free as a marketing gimmick, but the book quickly became a phenomenal success. In 1975, Ross was assassinated. Why?

Last updated on Sunday, 12th August 2012

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