The Trickster Prince

Matt Houlbrook: mobile historian; beard growing, head shaving; occasional cycling.

Smart styles in millinery, and tea, daintily served (1927)

Many delights are on offer at the Isaac Benzie department store in Aberdeen, in this advert: the latest smart styles in millinery, first-class work in the hairdressing salons, and “tea … Continue reading

January 30, 2014 · Leave a comment

Tattoos and the texture of the past

Some Friday afternoon thoughts prompted by the tweet above and the photograph of Villiers Street I posted on the blog earlier in the week. I have two tattoos. I have … Continue reading

January 24, 2014 · 6 Comments

Radiotherapy is restorative (1923)

Another fantastic image from the Wellcome Photo Library: a patient’s cartoon illustrates the restorative potential of the radiotherapy treatment he received from Dr Gilbert-Scott at the London Hospital in 1923.

January 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

The worst street in 1920s London?

This photograph of the Griffin, on Villiers Street in London, is probably taken in the 1930s, but it shows a neighborhood that was often thought of as the worst street … Continue reading

January 22, 2014 · 1 Comment

Beef and wheat in perfect solution (1928-9)

A calendar for Panopepton — a “nourishing restorative” and “stimulant” that combined “beef and wheat in perfect solution.” It sounds like just what I could have done with to cure … Continue reading

January 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

Target fixation and academic writing

Three weeks into 2014 and I still haven’t worked out what my targets are for the year ahead. It’s not that I don’t know what I need to do: by … Continue reading

January 20, 2014 · 5 Comments

Struggling with brain fag? I have just the tonic for you (1920)

If, like me, the start of a new week is bringing you nothing but low spirits, brain fag and debility, you might want to try a dose of Hale’s Life … Continue reading

January 20, 2014 · Leave a comment