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Archive for July, 2010

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Ferdinand Magellan’s fleet sets sail

Posted in Adventure, Anniversary, Exploration on Saturday, 31 July 2010

picture Ferdinand Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan. Illustration by Severino Baraldi

10 August marks the anniversary of Ferdinand Magellan’s epic voyage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Setting sail in 1519, five ships began the voyage from Seville, Spain, crossed the Atlantic via Cape Verde and reached Cape Virgines at the tip of South America in October 1520. Using a course now known as the Strait of Magellan, he entered the Pacific in November and continued their voyage.

Magellan did not complete the voyage as he was killed in 1521 in the Philippines. With only two ships remaining, the crews sailed via the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) back to Spain, arriving on 6 September 1522. Only 18 of the original crew survived the whole trip.

picture, Ferdinando Magellan's fleet

Ferdinando Magellan’s fleet. Illustration by Severino Baraldi

More pictures relating to Ferdinand Magellan can be found here. Many more pictures relating to the history of sailing can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Birth of Charles Darrow

Posted in Anniversary, History on Saturday, 31 July 2010

picture, Playing board games in Ancient Crete

Playing board games in Ancient Crete. Illustration by Peter Jackson

10 August marks the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darrow in 1889. Darrow was a domestic heater salesman from Germanstown, a neighbourhood of Philadelphia. He lost hisjob during the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and, noticing his neighbours playing home-made board games in which the object was to buy and sell property, created his own. He marketed it as Monopoly and began selling copies locally. In 1935 he patented the game and sold the rights to Parker Brothers who marketed it widely, within a year the game selling 20,000 sets a week.

Many more pictures relating to board games and their history can be found at the Look and Learn picture library. A wide variety of historical illustrations by artist Peter Jackson can be found here.

Construction begins on the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Posted in Anniversary, Architecture on Friday, 30 July 2010

picture, Gallileo, gravity, leaning tower of pisa

Gallileo tests his theory of gravity from the Leaning Tower of Pisa

9 August marks the anniversary of the laying of the foundations of the tower known to all as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Construction of the first floor began in 1173 and had progressed to the third floor in 1178 when the tower began sinking.

Building began again in 1272, by which time the tower had settled firmly, but the new floors were tilted to take into account the lean of the lower floors, which caused the tower to begin leaning the other way.

Construction stopped again in 1284, was resumed in 1319 and the bell tower at the top finally completed in 1372. Efforts to preserve the tower have involved removing soil from under the ‘high’ end to reduce the tilt, which is now around 4 degrees.

picture, The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

More pictures relating to the tower can be found here. Many more images relating to architecture around the world and throughout history can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The Elementary Education Act

Posted in Anniversary, History, Law on Friday, 30 July 2010

picture, school, schooling, Middle Ages

Schooling in the Middle Ages. Illustration by Peter Jackson

9 August marks the anniversary of the enactment of the Elementary Education Act in 1870. The Act, sometimes known as Forster’s Education Act after William Forster, the Liberal MP who introduced it to Parliament, guaranteed elementary education for all children aged 5 to 12.

The Act did not immediately take effect as factory owner’s did not want to lose a source of cheap labour. Delays and problems implementing the Act caused by arguments between board schools, church schools and the National Education League led to the 1902 Education Act being introduced which set up 300 Local Education Authorities.

Many more pictures relating to schools and education can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The Battle of Britain

Posted in Anniversary, Famous battles, World War 2 on Thursday, 29 July 2010

picture, Supermarine Spitfire, Battle of Britain

A squadron of Supermarine Spitfires, one of the fighters used in the Battle of Britain. Illustration by Wilf Hardy

8 August marks the anniversary of the Luftwaffe’s shift of emphasis from attacking convoys and ports such as Portsmouth to targeting the RAF and their airfields and infrastructure. The Luftwaffe believed that a sustained attack between 8 August and 15 September would establish air superiority over Britain.

The Battle of Britain, described by Winston Churchill as “their finest hour”, led to huge losses of aircraft on both sides, 1,652 for Germany and 1,611 for Britain between July and October 1940.

More pictures relating to the Battle of Britain can be found here. Many more images relating to World War II can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Britain’s first mail coach

Posted in Anniversary, History, Travel on Thursday, 29 July 2010

picture, Dick Turpin holds up a mail coach in Epping Forest

Dick Turpin holds up a mail coach in Epping Forest. Illustration by Peter Jackson

8 August marks the anniversary of the first journey of Britain’s first mail coach, which travelled between London and Bristol in 1784. The mail coach (or post coach) was usually drawn by four horses and had seating for passengers, although they travelled at speed (compared to the regular stage coach) and a passenger’s comfort was not of primary importance.

The mail coach was phased out in the mid-19th century due to the expansion of the rail network.

More pictures relating to mail coaches can be found here. Many more illustrations by artist Peter Jackson can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Britain’s first Grand Prix

Posted in Anniversary, Sport on Wednesday, 28 July 2010

picture, Sir Henry Birkin at Brooklands

Sir Henry Birkin at Brooklands. Illustration by Graham Coton

7 August marks the anniversary of the first ever Grand Prix to be held in Britain. The race was held at Brooklands, near Weymouth, Surrey, in 1926, although the circuit had been opened in 1907, the brainchild of Hugh Locke-King. It was the first purpose-built banked motor race circuit in the world.

The site ceased to be used for motor racing at the outbreak of World War II.

picture, Brooklands' founder Hugh Locke-King

Brooklands’ founder Hugh Locke-King. Illustrated by Graham Coton

More pictures relating to Brooklands can be found here. A wider selection of images relating to motor racing can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Child chimney sweeps outlawed

Posted in Anniversary, History, Law on Wednesday, 28 July 2010

picture, chimney sweep and child apprentice

A chimney sweep and child apprentice. Illustration by Alberto Salinas

7 August marks the anniversary of the passing of an Act of Parliament in 1840 that outlawed child chimney sweeps. The job of cleaning out sooty chimneys grew alongside the growth of houses with fires and chimneys large enough hold a person. In many cases it would be a small child.

Legislation came into effect in 1788 to limit the number of apprentices and set a minimum age (8-years-old) for child chimney sweeps, but further legislation was required in 1840. This banned outright using anyone under the age of 21.

Chimney sweeps have occasionally featured in literature, most famously Tom in The Water Babies and Gamfield in Oliver Twist.

More pictures relating to chimney sweeps can be found here. Many more illustrations by artist Alberto Salinas can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Landing at Suvla Bay

Posted in Anniversary, Famous battles, World War 1 on Tuesday, 27 July 2010

picture, the Gallipoli campaign

British troops landing during the Gallipoli campaign. Illustration by Andrew Howat

6 August marks the anniversary of the British forces landing at Suvla Bay, on the Aegean coast of the Gallipoli peninsula, in 1915. Gallipoli was a vital target for the Allies as its capture would open up access to the Dardanelles Straits to British warships in order to bombard Constantinople. The Allies were beaten back by Turkish troops and were forced to retreat.

More pictures relating to the Gallipoli campaign can be found here. A wider selection of illustrations relating to the Great War (World War I) can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The bombing of Hiroshima

Posted in Anniversary, Famous battles, World War 2 on Tuesday, 27 July 2010

picture, atomic bomb, Hiroshima

The atomic bomb was first used at Hiroshima

6 August marks the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. Developed in the United States during World War II, the atomic bomb, known as “Little Boy” was dropped from the Enola Gay at around 8.15 am local time, killing an estimated 70-80,000 people immediately. About as many again died over the following months from injuries and radiation sickness.

More pictures relating to the dropping of the atomic bomb can be found here. Many more pictures relating to World War II can also be found at the Look and Learn picture library.