Duelling as an Olympic sport


Duelling at the 1908 Games

The 1908 Olympic Games were held in London, beginning on the 27th of April. While medals were awarded for many sports, some were labelled “associate sports” and were for display only.

Duelling was one of these. Historically, duels were fought between two people (usually men) to defend their honour, and frequently resulted in grave injury or death.

At the Olympics the bullets were made of wax, and the contestants wore protective outfits.

The Games were supposed to have been held in Rome, but were moved after a devastating Mount Vesuvius eruption.

Unlike today, the event ran for months, from April to their conclusion on the 31st of October.

Victorian Hot Cross Buns

This image and the recipes for hot cross buns for Easter are from a book published in 1900, at the end of the Victorian era.

The_pride_of_the_household;_the_bakers'_complete_management_(1900)_(14793494933) Hot Cross Bun Recipe 1900

Text Appearing Before Image:

Copyright, 1900, by M. A. & K. M. Heinzer. TEA RUSK. 178 Tea Rusk. I pint of milk (lukewarm). 1 teaspoonful of salt. 2 tablespoonfiils of butter.2 table spoonfuls of lard. 4 tablespoonfuls of sugar.^ teaspoonful of cinnamon,^ ounce of compressed yeast.2 eggs.7 cups of flour. HOW TO MIX. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk and pour it into a wooden bowl, then add in the salt, lard, butter, eggs, sugar and cinnamon and mix lightly, then add in the flour and mix thoroughly. This dough will rise in 3 hours. When done, lap the dough over and let it stand one-half hourlonger, then place the dough on a table and break off small pieces the size of a walnut and roll them round and place them close together in a high bread pan, then let them rise45 minutes, and bake them in a moderate oven. Whenbaked, wash them over the top with molasses. These will bake in one-half hour. This will make 18 or 24 rusk. Copyright, 1900, by M. A. & K. M. Heinzer. i 1/9

Text Appearing After Image:

Copyright, 1900, by M. A. & K. M. Heinzer. HOT CROSS BUNS. 180 ^ teaspoonful of lemon extract. Hot Cross Buns. I quart of milk (lukewarm). I- ounce of compressed yeast. I teaspoonful of salt. I teaspoonful of cinnamon. •J teaspoonful of mace. i ■J pound of currants^ cup of butter.•J cup of lard.i6 cups of flour,f cup of sugar.6 eggs. HOW TO MIX. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk and pour it into a wooden bowl, then add in the salt, butter, eggs, sugar, lard, spices and extract and mix lightly, then add in the flour and mix thoroughly, add in the currants and mix i minute. This will rise in 4 hours. When done, lap the dough over and let it stand 45 minutes longer, then place it on a table and break off pieces the size of a small Qgg, then roll them round and place them on a greased pan and let them stand20 minutes, then cut them with a hot cross bun cutter, or a pair of scissors, and let them stand 10 or 15 minutes longer. Bake in the same heat as for baking bread.

On this day: American political satire

American Puck magazine’s edition for the 6th of April 1901. It shows a woman – Columbia, the female personification of the United States – wearing an Easter hat called “World Power”.

This edition was published the day before Easter.


Puck_cover2Cover of Puck magazine, 6 April 1901. Columbia's Easter bonnet - Ehrhart after sketch by Dalrymple.

On this day: the birth of a British Olympian


Walter Tysall X

British Olympic gymnast Walter Tysall was born in Birmingham on the 3rd of April, 1880.

At the age of twenty-eight Tysall competed in the individual all around competition at the 1908 London Olympic Games. He won the silver medal, with Italian Alberto Braglia winning gold and French gymnast Louis Ségura taking bronze.


Italian gold medallist Alberto Braglia

Though the British women’s gymnasts would go on to reach the Olympic podium a few years later, Tysall’s silver was the only medal won by a British male gymnast until 2008.

Tysall died in Ashton-on-Ribble in 1955.

On this day: a funeral procession for an English entrepreneur

William Whiteley, Yorkshire-born entrepreneur and founder of Whiteleys department store in London, was murdered on the 24th of January, 1907.

His killer was a young man who claimed to be his illegitimate son. The man shot Whiteley dead in his shop.

Whiteley’s will left £1 000 000, which is the equivalent of about £90 000 000 today.

The funeral procession is seen here on the 30th of January, making its way through Ladbroke Grove.