In the early 1850s, "Punch" journalist Henry Mayhew began visiting London's poverty-stricken East End and documenting the lives and careers of folks eking out their livings on starvation's edge.
These in-their-own-words descriptions of daily toil are all the more fascinating for the ingenius services provided. Want an exotic bird? A clever con-artist will hand paint a drab domestic peeper, which will sing in your window until overwhelmed by its toxic coat. Or perhaps you require chemicals with which to tan leather? Just hire an old lady to come by every few hours with a can full of dog crap, the #1 substance for the job. (This was one of the better paying occupations of the lower classes.)
The University of Virginia has digitized Mayhew's rare and fascinating work, illuminating the secret histories and practices of costermongers, ginger beer men, love song sellers, lucifer match dealers and all their colorful, forgotten peers.
Update: Phil sez, "Further to your post about the University of Virginia digitising Henry Mayhew's excellent 1850s accounts of London's poor... They only appear to have the first volume. Tufts have had the full four volumes available online for at least a couple of years. They also include scans of images from the books -- example.
"In case the full volumes are a bit daunting, I blogged a couple of my favourite extracts a while back, one about a man fighting rats for money (with his mouth!) and one about the hilarious tricks early photographic shops used to get up to with customers who weren't accustomed to seeing photos."
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]
This week’s top deals from the Boing Boing Store range from lobster to wine to desk organization. 1. Get Maine Lobster (50% Off)With these discounted packages from Get Maine Lobster, you can experience the sweet, fresh flavor of world-renowned Maine lobster right at your own dinner table. There are four options to choose from, each at […]
Nothing is more frustrating than needing to edit or sign a PDF and not having access to the original document. That’s why PDFpenPRO is a must-have app in our books.With this extremely useful app, you can merge, markup, and create PDF documents without ever having to convert your PDFs into word processor file formats. Type directly onto […]