Gleanings From The Past #44



A young gentleman on the point of being married, is desirous of meeting a man of experience who will dissuade him from such a step.

— Advertisement publised in the London Times, 1890, cited in The Golden Book Magazine, Vol. 21, 1935

Fly Repellant 

It is said that the butchers of Geneva have for a long time used the oil of laurel as a substance which prevents the flies from approaching their meat. The odour of this oil, though strong, is not very disagreeable, and the flies will not approach the walls or parts which have been rubbed with it. The person who describes these effects says, that he has, in this way, guarded the gilt frames of mirrors and pictures most perfectly from flies.

The Repertory of Patent Inventions, 1831


More than eleven thousand pounds sterling worth of silver is wasted every year in the course of the circulation of crowns, half-crowns, florins, shillings, and sixpences. One hundred sovereigns of the date of 1820, which were weighed in 1859 by Mr. Miller, showed a loss in weight through the wear of circulation which was estimated at £1 6s. 7d. There is, therefore, more waste produced in the circulation of gold and silver coins than is generally thought of. […]

Mr. Miller some years ago made a number of precise experiments, from which it was ascertained that £100 worth of sovereigns lost £3 9s. 8.4d. of their value in a hundred years; similarly £100 worth of half-crowns lost £13 11s. 8.8d.; £100 worth of shillings, £36 14s. 3.1d.; and £100 worth of sixpences lost £50 18s. 9.8d. in value, or more than one-half in the hundred years.

Bruce Herald, Vol. 17, November 21, 1884

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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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