Author Archives: allennz

Cartoon of the Week: Skype in 1879

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Trumpery and Fake News

The surname Trump is a burden that the US President must carry with him, and he must be used to hearing about ‘trumpery’. He will probably discard it as ‘fake news’. Given his track record on understanding history, he will … Continue reading

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“Mr Wilde’s Thrilling Legs”

Oscar Wilde’s lecture tour around the US in 1882 is well known and oft-mentioned and hardly a footnote. It was a considerable commercial success and the stories of him endearing himself to a wide range of audiences including Colorado miners … Continue reading

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The Opening Ceremony

The Auckland University of Technology celebrated its tenth year as a University in 2010, but is always keen to remind everyone that it has a history stretching back to the late nineteenth century when it was set up as Auckland … Continue reading

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Tom and Jerry

To the late 20th century, the term ‘Tom and Jerry’ means two famous cartoon characters (or, for a more select group, the early name for Simon and Garfunkel). The term, however, goes back much further into the regency era. In … Continue reading

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On this day…December 29th 1871

The recently launched British Newspaper Archive ( makes it very easy to coast through the past, and particularly the nineteenth century, in search of the odd and the unexpected. Much easier to use than its predecessor, more accurate, and – … Continue reading

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The Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club

One of the best places to find footnotes are the pages of 19th century newspapers. They were the principal way in which people found out about the world they lived in, and they are very often highly detailed. They tell … Continue reading

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Hatch, Victorian Villain or Forgotten Hero

Just after the first posting on this blog, I received an invitation to attend a play at our local Victoria Picture Palace Theatre in Devonport, Auckland. This is itself a footnote, being the earliest custom-built cinema in the Southern hemisphere … Continue reading

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Foundation Footnote: John De Morgan

John De Morgan   UPDATE: Since originally posting this six years ago, I have continued to discover much more about De Morgan, most notably through the continuing digitization of sources, particularly newspapers; the discovery in California of an extensive collection … Continue reading

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