Gleanings From The Past #22


Weather Forecast

A Massachusetts paper says that Isaiah Thomas, the almanac-maker, when preparing the ‘annual’ of 1780, being asked by one of his boys what he should put in opposite July 13th, for weather predictions (a date overlooked), he replied ‘anything, anything.’ The boy returned to the office and set up ‘Rain, hail, and snow.’ The country was all amazed when the day came, for it actually rained, hailed, and snowed violently.

— Bizarre Notes & Queries, March 1887

The Pre-eminence of Ale

Other curious details with respect to the use of ale in the Middle Ages and in modern times will be found in their appropriate places, and having established clearly enough the highly respectable antiquity of the Prince of liquors, old or new, it is time, in the elegant language of the Water Poet, to “shut up ” this portion of the subject; and so we pass on, concluding here with an extract from the Philosopher’s Banquet, on the pre-eminence of ale: —

Ale for antiquity may plead and stand
Before the conquest, conquering in this land;
Beere, that is younger brother of her age,
Was not then borne, nor right to bee her page;
In every pedling village, borough, town,
Ale plaid at football, and tript all lads down;
And tho’ shee’s rivall’d now by beere, her mate.
Most doctors wait on her — this shewes her state.

— John Bickerdyke, The Curiosities of Ale and Beer: An Entertaining History, 1889

Useful ‘Til The End.

An advertisement in an Irish paper setting forth the many conveniences and advantages to be derived from metal window-sashes, among other things observed that “these sashes would last for ever; and afterwards, if the owner had no use for them, they might be sold for old iron.”

— The Tickler, Vol. 1, October 1, 1819

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is

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