marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

tidbits cross time

John Wilkinson's work in steam engines began because James Watt could use his new boring technique, invented for cannons, on pistons, but it continued with Wilkinson finding many uses for steam engine in ironworking, instead of merely using them to pump water out of coal engines as they had in the past.

During the Napoleonic Wars, the Portuguese court simply packed up and moved to Brazil. Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the Portuguese Empire until 1820. Around 15,000 people moved there as part of the court and government.

Shirtwaists (now known as blouses) were popular among office workers because you could wash one and hang it out to dry and wear it the next day. Not so easy with dresses.

When Marius reformed the legions, the legionnaires became known as "Marius's Mules" because of the amounts of gear and supplies they had to carry, despite there still being an actual mule for about every eight legionnaires.

One of the Nuremberg laws against Jews prohibited cat ownership.

Sir Frederick Hopkins postulated that some foods contained "accessory factors" necessary to life, besides the already known proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and salt. He got the Nobel Prize for it, along with Eijkman who discovered that chickens fed unpolished rice were less likely to develop beriberi than those who got polished -- later to be known as thiamine deficiency.

Mining began on Masua in 1600, but up to the 20th century, all the ore was still being carried to ships by baskets on the shoulders of men, until Porto Flavia was designed by Cesare Vecelli, using trains, gravity, and conveyor belts to move it much faster.

Churchill disapproved of the number of trunks and jeeps the Americans sent over. Soldiers could march. Even after the speed of the Allied advance, he did not change his mind.

During the American Civil War, General Nathaniel Banks twice surrendered to Confederate forces without destroying his supplies. They dubbed him the "Commissary."

During World War I, initial attacks across no man's land were generally successful at reaching enemy lines. Consequently both sides went in for defense in depth and counter-attacks, which is where the impossibility of gaining advances was wrought.  A useful, if slow, tactic, was to take the first trench and hold it while the enemy redid a new front trench, and then take that one.

The first spectacles were very popular in Spain. They thought they made you look dignified.

When Garibaldi's forces reached Sicily, the peasants there assumed, from the shouts of "Viva Garibaldi! Viva l'Italia!" that Garibaldi's wife was named Talia.

In the Zone Rouge in France, there are still places where the concentration of arsenic caused by World War I will kill up to 99% of the plants.
Tags: historical tidbits

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