On this day: Finland’s first daguerreotype image

The first daguerreotype photograph taken in Finland was a daguerreotype taken by Henrik Cajander on 3rd November 1842 of Nobel House at Uudenmaankatu 8. The house, with Turku Cathedral i


The first daguerreotype photograph in Finland was taken in Turku on the 3rd of November, 1842. Photographer Henrik Cajander created this image of Nobel House. Turku Cathedral stands in the background.

The house was demolished in the 1960s.

On this day: the founding of Nelson’s Column

1844williamhenryfoxtalbotOn the 30th of September, 1840, the first stone of Nelson_s Column, the 52-metre structure in the centre of London_s Trafalgar Square was laid.

Photograph taken by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1843.

On the 30th of September, 1840, the first stone of Nelson’s Column, the 52-metre structure in the centre of London’s Trafalgar Square, was laid.

The column was commissioned to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

The first stone was laid by Charles Davison Scott, and the completed structure was opened three years later, in 1843.


100 Objects – Victorian Tea Set

The British Museum’s A History of the World in 100 Objects has been on loan to the National Museum here in Canberra for a while, and we finally got to it on the weekend.

I was pretty unimpressed with the idea “the world” apparently doesn’t include huge sections of it (they couldn’t manage anything from the huge Slavic societies of the east of Europe, nor huge sections of other continents, but a handful of countries are seriously overrepresented?).

However, being as crazy about the Victorian era as I am, here is a stoneware and silver English tea set from the early 1840s that is part of the exhibition. Oddly – and for the BRITISH Museum – it is about the only thing representing the British Empire, and the only thing from 19th century Britain.

However – look at it! I love it.



On this day: Queen Victoria’s Wedding

Queen Victoria, already queen at the time and yet still only twenty, married her first cousin (also twenty) on the tenth of February, 1840.

Victoria had her wedding portrait painted years after her marriage. After her obsessive relationship with her husband, he died about four decades before she did. She insisted on being buried in her wedding veil when she died at eighty-one.

Queen_Victoria,_1847 Wedding Dress Portrait After Her Wedding.

On this day: the sinking of the Lexington

The Lexington was a paddlewheel steamboat operated aNortheastern United States between 1835 to 1840 before sinking in January 1840 due to an onboard fire.-Awful_conflagration_of_the_steam_boat_Lexington

The Lexington, a steamboat in the northeast of the United States, caught fire and sank on the night of the 13th of January, 1840.

139 of the 143 people on board died, many from hypothermia after having to jump into the freezing water, and then having nothing to hold onto.

The fire occurred when the casing of the smokestack caught fire halfway through the journey. 150 bales of cotton were nearby, and they also caught on fire, making the disaster much worse.

Charles Follen (September 6, 1796 – January 13, 1840) was a German poet and patriot, who later moved to the United States and became a radical abolitionist.

Charles Follen

Radical abolitionist, German-born Charles Follen was one of the victims.

You can read about the four survivors (all men, and one of whom was in the water for 43 hours) HERE.

On this day: the publication of A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London Chapman & Hall, 1843. First edition. Title page. 1843.

The original 1843 title page.

Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, was first published on the 19th of December, 1843.

Dickens began the book in September, and it was completed by early December. It took him six weeks to write.

The original copies were sold for five shillings, which would make their value about £22 today. The first run of six-thousand copies was sold out by Christmas Eve.

You can download A Christmas Carol to read for free (Australia, USA, CanadaBritain).