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.

Washday in London

Poverty was rife in some areas of the east of London at the end of the Victorian and through the Edwardian eras.

In this photograph, two children heat water to scrub clothes with. Note that their boots are all but destroyed, and their toes are poking through.


Washday. Two children, their toes poking out of their boots, tend a fire in a battered tin brazier to heat buckets and bowls of water in which to scrub clothes. The clean garments would be hung on lines strung across the street.