Bloomers and Bicycles

Bloomers and Bicycles

What do bloomers and bicycles have in common? While today’s models parade the catwalk in panties and other underwear, this would have been unthinkable in the 1800s. So too would the wearing of panties themselves. Today’s panties originated from the various “bifurcated” undergarments known popularly in the 19th century as bloomers, knickers, drawers, pantaloons and…

Edward Smith Hall

Edward Smith Hall

Edward Smith Hall was of those early pioneers whose great work in winning for us the freedom of the Australian Press has been obscured by the more widely known achievements of Wentworth. Bom in London in 1786, Hall came to Australia in 1812 armed with letters of introduction to Governor Macquarie. Failing to gain Macquarie’s favour, he joined Simeon Lord in forming…

Thomas Walker & Edward Smith-Hall

Thomas Walker & Edward Smith-Hall

I resume my friend’s chronology:- “Died September 18 Mr. Edward Smith-Hall in the 75th year of his age. This gentleman I think was the first secretary of the Bank of New South Wales when that institution opened for business in Macquarie Place in 1817; he was also, I think, connected with the “Monitor” newspaper and had a ‘row’ over his pew…

Professor Anderson’s Conundrum

Professor Anderson’s Conundrum

Professor Anderson, the Wizard of the North, was a well-known magician who travelled the world putting on performances. When he was in Sydney in 1859, performing at the Prince of Wales Theatre, he offered two prizes for the best conundrums from a lady and gentleman, to be determined on a fixed night. The Professor, of course, made it a condition that the winner…

Nichols and the bare knuckle fighter

Nichols and the bare knuckle fighter

A gentleman supplies me with some very interesting particulars as to Mr. Charles Hamilton Nichols, one of the proprietors of “Bell’s Life” at the time of Professor Anderson’s conundrum prize-drawing. Mr. Nichols was one of the sons of Isaac Nichols, first Postmaster of New South Wales, and another of whose sons was George Robert Nichols, solicitor and barrister. At least he had the privilege of…