Thursday, 10 March 2011

Times Past

The Times has been published since 1785 (with a break of nearly a year in 1978-79 due to industrial action). It was originally called The Daily Universal Register; the name was changed in 1788.

The Times was the place to announce births, marriages and deaths, to publish legal notices, and to advertise all manner of things. Most newspapers carried advertisements on their front pages in the nineteenth century. The Times famously continued to do so until 1966.

A hundred years ago The Times cost 3d - three old, predecimalisation, pennies.

On 10 March 1911 the front page carried a notice from Messrs Blaymire and Shepherd, solicitors of Penrith, seeking the heir of Anne James, spinster of Carlisle, who had died in 1877. If he contacted them, the heir might ‘hear something to his advantage.’

The National Anti-Gambling League offered packets of its new free leaflet, Save the Young.

The Port of London Authority  published proposed bye-laws for the purpose of preventing an outbreak of plague amongst rats at the docks.

Wm. Pierrepoint, enquiry agent to the Nobility and Gentry, advertised that he was ‘entrusted with confidential enquiries and delicate negotiations in all parts of the world.’ He could be contacted at 27 Chancery Lane, London W.C.

University College Hospital sought donations, subscriptions and endowments for the maintenance of its 305 beds, only 33 of which were currently endowed.

Dancing lessons, elocution lessons, sales, exhibitions, concerts, variety shows and other entertainments were advertised.

Sahary Djeli, ’la danseuse mysterieuse,’ was the headline act at the Hippodrome in London, performing her sensational ‘arm dance’. The Morning Advertiser’s review was quoted:

'All that is wonderful and beautiful is embodied in her matchless act, and never once … does her abbreviated costume shock the susceptibilities of the most particular person…. The astonishing flexibility of the undulating, writhing, snakelike arms, no less than the world of meaning conveyed by each turn of the delicate wrist and the rounded elbow, formed a fitting accompaniment to the pretty fluttering of her twinkling henna heeled little bare feet.’

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