Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Guillotine

If you were born today you share your birthday with Joseph Guillotin. (Its a myth that he invented the guillotine. Beheading devices were used in Europe as early as the 14th century). When I was a boy my dad told me Dr Guillotin was the first person to be executed by guillotine. He was put to death for inventing such a cruel machine! Poetic justice indeed! In fact Dr Guillotine survived the French Revolution and died of natural causes. You also share your birthday with Ian Fleming and Kylie Minogue.  

Monday, 16 May 2011


Many new kinds of sweets were introduced in the 20th century. Dairy Milk was introduced in 1905. Toblerone followed it in 1908. Later came Flake (1920), Fruit and Nut (1921), Milky Way (1923 in the USA 1935 in Britain), Crunchie (1929), Snickers and Freddo (1930), Mars Bar (1932), Whole Nut (1933), Aero and Kit Kat (1935), Maltesers and Blue Riband (1936) and Smarties, Rolo and Milky Bar (1937). Later came Polo mints (1948), Bounty (1951), Munchies (1957), Picnic and Galaxy (1958), Caramac (1959), Topic (1962) Toffee Crisp (1963), Twix (1967), Curly wurly (1971), Yorkie, Double Decker and Lion Bar (1976) and Wispa (1983). Amazin Raisin bars went on sale in 1971 but they stopped making them in 1978.  

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Modern Cosmetics

a man named Maurice Levy invented lipstick  in push up sticks in tubes in 1915.  Mascara was invented in 1913 by  a man named T L Williams. The film director D.W. Griffith invented false eyelashes in 1916. Women have dyed their nails for centuries but modern nail varnish was invented in 1917.  Meanwhile modern lip gloss was invented in 1930 and went on sale in 1932. For centuries it was fashionable for women to have pale skin (tanned skin meant you worked outside so you must be poor, pale skin was a status symbol) but from the 1920s tans became popular.