Punch,  5 (1843), 220–22.

Father Mathew's Polly—Put—The—Kettle—On—Icon



Illustration, Satire; Essay, Satire

Relevant illustrations:

wdct. [2]

[1] The Water Drop


Microscopy, Public Health, Pollution, Temperance

    The essay notes the recent revelation by the 'Solar Microscope' of the gruesome creatures inhabiting a single drop of London's water. Seeks to show how Theobald Mathew, the prominent temperance campaigner, would show in his 'drop of water'. Believes the scene would contain 'bags of money [...] swimming about with fins', and a happy family at tea 'and all the volumes of Punch on the bookshelf'.

[2] The Gin Drop


Microscopy, Public Health, Temperance, Pollution

    Depicts the infernal scene in a 'drop of gin' when magnified '3,000,000,000 times' by the 'Solar Microscope'. The scene includes such terrible images as the devil, monsters, a hanging, and a suicide. The 'abominations abounding' in the drop tell Punch how 'weak and poverty-striken' was the journal's imagination.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

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