Category Archives: History

February 07

MONOPOLY: Board Games and Ideology

On the 7th of February 1935, one of the world’s most popular board games, MONOPOLY, was patented by Parker Brothers. Commonly thought to be a creation of one man, Charles Darrow, the game had actually undergone a lengthy process of transformation from an educational, anti-capitalist board game to Mr Darrow’s final and most successful version […]

February 04

Franz Reichelt: The Parachuting Pioneer and His Infamous Stunt

On the 4th of February 1912, Austrian-born inventor and tailor Franz Reichelt, also known as the Flying Tailor, died tragically by jumping from the Eiffel Tower, whilst trying out his own creation, a coat parachute. Even though, having worked on the prototype for two years, and having had it rejected numerous times by aeronautic organisations and competitions, Reichelt had […]

February 03

Tulip Mania: Madness in the 17th Century Netherlands

On the 3rd of February 1637, the tulip mania collapsed in the United Provinces (now the Netherlands) as sellers could no longer find buyers for their bulb contracts. Tulip mania refers to a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for tulip bulbs reached astronomical levels. This phenomenon resulted in all kinds […]

February 02

Migration and State Interest: the Chinese in Gold Rush California

On the 2nd of February 1848, less than two weeks after the discovery of gold in California, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, which secured peace at the end of the two-year American-Mexican War. This was important for the United States, which obtained several bordering states and, essentially, the ownership of California. The latter was […]

January 24

Secrets of the Castrati: Carlo Farinelli

On the 24th of January 1705, legendary 18th century castrato opera singer Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi, known by the stage name Farinelli was born in Andria (Apulia) into a family of musicians. In his career, he used the surname of his benefactors, the brothers Farina. Considered one of the greatest performers in the history […]

January 21

How ‘Three Songs about Lenin’ Finished Dziga Vertov

Today we celebrate the 90th anniversary of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s death. The famous communist leader, politician and political theorist died on the 21st of January 1924, aged 53, at his estate at the Gorki settlement (later renamed Gorki Leninskiye). He was one of the leading political figures and revolutionary thinkers of the 20th century. His […]

January 16

Motherly Love in the Holocaust: Edith Frank

On the 16th of January 1900, Edith Frank (née Holländer; d. 6 January 1945) was born into a German Jewish family in Aachen. She is known as the mother of honoured Holocaust child diarist Anne Frank. When her survivor husband Otto Frank decided to edit his daughter’s diary for publication at the end of the […]