Agriculture, Education, Lecturing, Cultural Geography, Politics
Notes that the 'philanthropic attempt to enlighten the Irish on agriculture' will be carried out with more success if the lecturers wear a suit of armour. Describes how the 'well-meaning communicants of agricultural information' have to sustain ridicule and cabbage-leaves being thrown at them. The illustration shows a figure lecturing to a audience of farmers in a suit of armour.
Opens with John Bull proclaiming that 'steam has made England no longer an Island'. Punch tells Mrs Gerkins how, as a child, James WattWatt, James
DSB CloseView the register entry >> would be transfixed by the tunes and shapes caused by the steam emerging from his aunt's kettle. Believes Watt heard in 'the singing kettle the songs of the English CYCLOPS', who was making railways, carriages, saw-mills, and steam-engines, but then concealed the fact that he then saw in the steam the French invasion of Britain.
Reports on the 'gratifying proposition' to impose a tax upon the sun's 'old rival', gaslight. Notes that taxing the rays of the sun 'may be objected to as taxes on industry', given the sun's early appearance for most of the year. Glad that 'young Gas' is indignant at the news because 'he never flares up without enlightening the public'.
Responds to an extract from an article in the Gardener's ChronicleGardener's Chronicle
Directory CloseView the register entry >> in which the author explains how he stopped tomtits from attacking his pears by hanging a looking glass from the tree. Warns Mr Punch not to believe this on the grounds that while looking glasses will deter tomtits from trees, they will attract many more vanity-seeking hen-birds.
Reports on the Admiralty'sAdmiralty
CloseView the register entry >> patenting of a device for obliterating from memory all the facts that have been stored up over the past three years, and, consequently, absorbing 'facts of a contrary tendency, to be used against the forgotten memoranda'. Believes the success of the invention will be demonstrated in the trial of 'BURON v. DENMAN'.
Suggests establishing a hothouse at the Royal Botanical Gardens, KewRoyal Botanical Gardens, Kew CloseView the register entry >>, to enable 'some curious plants of British growth' to survive in cold weather. Believes the 'agricultural labourer' is one of many 'productions of an English soil' which need to be preserved—in this case by a 'nice warm bed'. The illustration shows a farmer in a large pail of water.
Time, Instruments, Measurement, Metrology, Nationalism
Discusses attempts being made to correct the serious disagreements between the 'Clocks of England'. Notes the difficulty of making all clocks correct to the GreenwichRoyal Observatory, Greenwich CloseView the register entry >> clock and believes 'refractory Clocks' will be sent to the 'House of Correction'. The illustration shows 'Greenwich Clock' as a policeman asking clocks dressed as a Scotsman and an Irishman to 'move on'.
Discusses the 'extraordinary virtues of the Gutta Percha Tree'. Invites the 'country press' to insert a paragraph which describes how a 'gentleman who is strongly imbued with the spirit of experiments', planted a 'double sole' in the ground and succeeded in growing a 'Boot-Tree'. Describes the tree as having almost 'every specimen of boot'. The illustration shows a tree with boots hanging from its branches.
Responds to Thomas WakleyWakley, Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> who, according to an article in The TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >>, reflected on the destitute individuals responsible for the 'displays of ingenuity' on show in Regent Street shops. Does not think Wakley's remarks are strong enough to remind consumers of the origins of fine goods. Thinks that it is better if the 'higher classes [...] ameliorate the physical condition of the poor, than continue to carry the consequences of it on their own backs'.
Suggests that the 'Weathercock' can be made more comprehensible to 'the ordinary observer' by attaching coats and umbrellas to the vanes. These additions will enable better judgement of wind speed and rainfall respectively. The illustration depicts this suggestion.
Speculates on what the imminent comet has been doing since its last appearance in 1556. Suggestions include 'enjoying himself at every astrological house where there was a drop or a cloud to be had'. Doubts whether 'this great Comet [is] to be the avant-courier to announce the arrival of some tremendous person', following the failure of the supposed 'Coming Man' to appear. Hopes the comet chooses to live in Trafalgar Square, where it can drink water from the 'two little basins' and exercise itself 'by running up and down Nelson's Column'. Thinks the comet may prove the greatest London architect since the 'Great Fire of London'. The first illustration shows a smartly dressed comet walking in Trafalgar Square with Mr Punch holding its tail. The second illustration shows the face of Francis Egerton (1st Earl of Ellesmere)Egerton, Francis, 1st Earl of Ellesmere
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> in its head, dragging King Louis-PhillipeLouis-Phillipe, King of the French
CBD CloseView the register entry >> of France with its tail.
Invention, Human Development, Politics, Steamships, Travel
Believes the 'Infant Baby Jumper', an apparatus for suspending babies from ceilings, should be used by 'the chairman at a public meeting' enabling him to preside over or advance into an assembly, and help passengers embark and disembark from steamboats. The illustrations depicts figures suspended from this invention.
Mathematics, Politics, Sanitation, Government, Public Health
Various arithmetical questions concerning topical political and social questions. For example, 'Given, the Bill for Sanitary Reform. Required, to find the clause that related to the City of London', or 'Which is the greater, the distance between Bath and Jericho, or Lord BroughamBrougham, Henry Peter, 1st Baron Brougham and
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and the Whigs'.
Depicts a young doctor standing at the end of a table, around which sit several gentlemen discussing his application to become a parish doctor. The chairman announces that his salary will be £20 and that he will have to find his own 'tea and sugar—medicine I mean'. Punch thinks the applicant will lose his position to a 'humbug, who will fill it for less money'.
Responding to the news that five thousand Londoners were killed by the recent influenza epidemic, urges that 'our common shores' as well as our coasts should be fortified (a reference to the recent fortification of the coasts).
Noting the imminent arrival of the comet, points out that 'England has already been visited by its share of misfortunes', including the recent Government budget. Reports that Professor Donneranblitz has calculated that the figures seen in the comet's tail add up to five, the new percentage of income tax announced in the budget.
Education, Amusement, Invention, Palaeontology, Steam-power, Gas Chemistry, Aeronautics, Electricity, Instruments, Human Development
Argues that children's toys should be replaced by more scientific ones in order to reflect children's more sophisticated knowledge. Suggested toys include a megatherium rocking-horse, a 'monster steam-engine' (replacing the conventional rocking-horse), a gasometer (replacing the art of blowing soap bubbles), Nassau balloons, and electrical machines. Envisions that 'nurseries will be turned into miniature laboratories'. The illustrations depict the changes from the old to the suggested new toys.
Reports that parliamentary candidates in a Yarmouth election were unconscious of acts of bribery during the voting procedure, and attributes this to the fact that candidates must have been 'under the influence of chloroform'.
Discusses Mr Cantelo'sCantelo, Mr
PU1/14/1/2 CloseView the register entry >> proposal to greatly increase the rate of production of poultry by hatching eggs in a steam oven. Concerned that chicks born by this process will be unable to develop 'filial affections' for their 'steam-mother', and observes Cantelo's 'Spartan notions touching deformed chickens'. Believes that the process will produce chickens that will be deformed and resemble a steam engine. Noting how some species of animal have adapted themselves to man-made inventions, the writer fears 'for the future figures of our poultry' and expects those hatched by steam to appear in the shape of tea kettles. Concludes by claiming that Cantelo's scheme is 'well worthy of consideration'. The illustration shows kettle-shaped chickens, exhaling steam, surrounded by chicks.
Mapping, Sanitation, Instruments, Military Technology
Discusses the 'alarm' caused amongst Londoners by the 'appearance of soldiers' undertaking surveying work in preparing to level the metropolis 'at the request of the Sanitary Commissioners'. The illustration shows an elderly lady being shocked by the sight of a Royal Engineer using a theodolite. The engineer explains that it is only a 'dumpy leveller', and although the woman is relieved to learn that the instrument is not a 'blunderbust', she asks the soldier not to fire it.
Punch, 14 (1848), 84.
Fine Arts. George Hudson, Esq.: Madame Tussaud Fecit.
Regarding George HudsonHudson, George
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> as 'more dangerous in railway travelling than either a long-bodied engine, a leaky boiler, a broken rail, or a drunken engineer', this article warns of the dangers of the railway 'King', especially the accidents that passengers suffer owing to his 'absurdity'.
Discusses the fashion for 'chemical evening parties' where chloroform is administered. Believes corresponding changes in party etiquette will include asking a 'young lady' if she would like, not ice, but 'a glass of chloroform'. Calculating that chloroform would be cheaper than food for a hundred people, doubts 'if FARADAYFaraday, Michael
DSB CloseView the register entry >> would charge for a supper as much as GUNTERGunter, Mr
PU1/14/10/5 CloseView the register entry >>'.
Notes that this invention has recently been exhibited at the Royal InstitutionRoyal Institution of Great Britain
CloseView the register entry >>. Thinks there is nothing new in the fact that the machine works by 'turning a screw', since 'English shirtmakers' have 'been made to work for farthings' by 'turning a screw'.
Breeding, Invention, Technology, Animal Husbandry, Steam-power, Animal Development
Begins with an illustration showing a procession of hens, ducks, and their young, all carrying placards protesting against the threat to their livelihood posed by Mr Cantelo'sCantelo, Mr
PU1/14/1/2 CloseView the register entry >> steam-powered egg incubator. The text explains that birds consider that Cantelo is threatening 'the nests and other cherished institutions of the feathered tribe' and, accordingly, several birds held a meeting at which they protested against the 'new hatching systems' and the production of birds by such 'wishy-washy means'.
Medical Practitioners, Education, Gender, Cultural Geography, Domestic Economy
Reports on Elizabeth Blackwell'sBlackwell, Elizabeth
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> attendance at medical lectures in Boston. Admires Blackwell and applauds her for 'qualifying herself for that very important duty of a good wife—tending a husband in sickness', learning to distinguish between 'real and fanciful ailments', and finding out the 'consequences of want of exercise, damp feet, and tight lacing'. Observes that 'America is certainly ahead of us in respect of the medical profession'.
Reports that 'long-sighted Republicans' claimed to see the colours of the tricolour on the clouds that concealed the moon during the recent eclipse. Thinks that the moon would sympathise with France because it too is 'subject to so many changes and revolutions'.
Applauds a decision to erect a monument to William HarveyHarvey, William
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, since there are many statues of men 'whose celebrity rests on blood' but not one whose fame rests on the 'circulation of the fluid'.
Zoology, Animal Behaviour, Politics, Cultural Geography
Annouces that the government is sending to Ireland the proprietor of the 'Happy Family—a zoological republic, in which the wildest animals elbow one another in the same cage—to see whether Irishmen cannot be induced, or made, to live peaceably together'. Adds that the proprietor is to 'be empowered with authority for making experiments' and has started his work on 'a Young Irelander, an Old Irelander, and an Orangeman'.
Reports on John C Adams'sAdams, John Couch
DSB CloseView the register entry >> 'canvas solar system', 'spermaceti stars', 'oil moon', 'gas sun', and 'rushlight satellites'. Points out his latest discovery of 'FIVE NEW PLANETS'. Advises Adams to 'stick on a dozen new planets at once, in anticipation of what may be brought to light during the ensuing lustrum' because 'his planet manufacturer will charge no more for making a dozen or so while his hand is in, than he would for producing a solitary star if ordered separate'. The illustration depicts a sun-faced, bespectacled man (possibly Adams) playing globes of the earth with drum sticks—an attempt to 'illustrate the music of the spheres'.
Describes the characteristics of Jenny LindLind-Goldschmidt (née Lind),
Johanna Maria ('Jenny')
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> as if she were literally a 'Swedish Nightingale'. Description includes remarks on the distinctiveness and 'wonderful' range of the nightingale's voice, her 'succinct' shape, and the fact that her 'nest' is 'feathered with the finest bank-paper'. Speculates on the diet of this 'Queen of Song'.
Suggests the possible contents of a new American newspaper, the Sidereal MessengerSidereal Messenger
Astronomy and Astrophysics
BUCOP CloseView the register entry >>. Suggestions include a column 'inviting some missing star to return to his circle of disconsolate satellites', and announcements that Saturn 'will go through his celebrated scenes in the circle [ring system]', and that new milk can be bought from the Milky Way. Doubts whether the paper will be able to fill its pages or appeal to anybody but those 'thoroughly wrapped up in a comet's tail'. The illustrations depict the likely 'observatory' offices of the newspaper, perched on a church steeple.
Zoology, Menageries, Nutrition, Animal Behaviour, Animal Development
Reports on a bear garden at Shoreditch where bears are nourished and 'unadulterated grease' is supplied direct from the bear. Discusses the effect of free-trade on home-grown bear-grease, and notes the zoological uniqueness of the Shoreditch bears.
Reports on the invention by Messrs Dodge, of an 'Anti-Solar Hat', a parasol mounted on top of a gossamer hat, and an omnibus 'containing a refrigerator' for improving the 'broiling journey'. The illustrations depict these inventions.