D is for the Deane Brothers

Deane Diving Helmet

Many inventions come about by accident rather than design and so it was for the diving helmet devised by the Deane brothers.

Charles Anthony Deane was born in 1796 in Deptford, London, and home to the Royal Naval Dockyard. His brother John was born four years later and both attended the Royal Hospital School in Greenwich. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Kamala action figure

A quiet week
I don’t know if it is the crises occurring in various parts of the world but there hasn’t been much to raise an eyebrow this week, so a shorter than usual Sunday Round-up.

Following on from the Robert Mueller action figure as reported last week, a Senator Kamala Harris figure has been launched as she enters the 2020 presidential race. Read more ›››

C is for Josephine Cochrane

Josephene Cochrane

Most modern kitchens boast a dishwasher to make our lives easier but how many of us realise that the first commercially successful automatic dishwasher was invented in 1886 by Josephine Cochrane?

Cochrane was born Josephine Garis in Ohio in 1839, the daughter of civil engineer John Garis and granddaughter of John Fitch, the inventor of the first steamboat service in the US. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up


Brexit means.. er.. whatever you want it to
There hasn’t been much to smile about as we watched the slow-motion car crash that is Brexit so even more politically cynical Sunday Round-up than usual.

But I did spot this Brexit UncertainTEA cup and saucer which you can use to predict how things might eventually shake out by reading the tea leaves. Read more ›››

B is for Edwin “Teddy” Boston

The English clergy has had its fair share of eccentrics and one such is Edwin “Teddy” Boston who combined his clerical duties with a life-long passion for steam engines and who inspired a much-loved children’s character.

Boston was born in Solihull in the West Midlands in 1924 and studied at Jesus College, Cambridge before training for the ministry. Read more ›››

Sunday Round-up

Music Charts
A UK-based design shop has made it easier to visualise the development of different genres of popular music by creating ‘blueprints’ of acid house, alternative, hip-hop and electronic music.

Tasty Trees
The holiday has fizzled out and we are faced with that familiar problem – how to dispose of the Christmas tree? One option is to eat it. Read more ›››

A is for Alan Abel

Of the many people I write about, the ones who brighten up a dull world are the pranksters and there is probably none greater than serial hoaxer Alan Abel.

Abel was born in 1924 in Zanesville, Ohio, but grew up in nearby Coshocton where his father kept the local general store, teaching his son the value of hucksterism at an early age. Read more ›››