Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Penny Magazine And A Town Built On Shalloon


I was in an Antique Shop the other day and I found a bound volume of the Penny Magazine dating back to 1834 on sale for the ridiculous price of £6 (about $8 to those on the other side). It was even more of a bargain as this particular volume contained a short description of my home town of Halifax. The Penny Magazine was a nineteenth century precursor of Wikipedia; an attempt to tell everyone everything about anything. Most of the articles are illustrated by engravings and the subjects cover all aspects of science, the arts, industry and exploration in the 1830s and early 1840s. The full set of editions covering the period 1832 - 1845 has already been digitised, but there is something rather grand in thumbing through those age-caked pages and picking out delights to share via this Blog. I will start with the article on Halifax which caused me to snap up the bargain. Unless you have an unhealthy interest in the West Riding of Yorkshire, don't feel that you have to read it, but you might like to look at the rather fine illustration.


NOTE : A "shalloon" is a lightweight wool or worsted twill fabric, used chiefly for coat linings.

3 comments:

  1. Back when all we had to work with, for the most part, in printing was black and white.
    Artists were artists then.

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  2. I also find it interesting to comb through old publications. In this area about thirty years ago the communities got together and published local histories, I find them fascinating just as you found yours valuable.

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  3. That's the best £6 you'll spend for a while, Alan.

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