Today’s episode includes the story of a confusing cruse, Penny Black, and finally Monkey Closets.
Today I bring to you the events of yesterday of this day i.e 1st Of May as we celebrate May Day/Labor Day. But before that let me share some news that I read yesterday. Well fashion has no limitations, and it is quite often that we have seen women adopting conventional male attire and making it their own. But it was just the reverse yesterday. when two men donning skirts were seen traveling in Delhi metro. Sameer Khan and his friend were dressed in T-shirts, denim skirts, and a pair of sneakers casually walking inside the Delhi metro. Why don’t you see the video …
That must have confused you a bit, now let me narrate another event of confusion- The confusing cruse..
On May 1st, 1489, Christopher Columbus went to Queen Isabella of Spain and said, “Your Majesty, I have a fantastic idea! I want to go on a cruise and discover India on a different route!” To which Queen Isabella replied, “Hmm, sounds expensive vacation. Are you sure you can find it?” Columbus, eager to convince her, said, “Don’t worry, Your Majesty. I have it all planned.”
And thus began one of the most infamous expeditions in history. Columbus set sail with his trusty crew, and after 35 days at sea, they finally reached land. “We made it!” Columbus exclaimed, “We must have reached India!” But the locals, who were probably scratching their heads wondering who these strange visitors were, had to break the news to Columbus that he had landed in the Bahamas.
Despite the confusion, Columbus’s discovery opened up a whole new world. And as they say, the rest is history… well, except for the parts that are still being debated today about Columbus Day.
On May 1st, 1840, Great Britain issued the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, known as the “Penny Black.” The stamp was designed by Rowland Hill, a schoolteacher, and postal reformer, who had proposed a uniform postage rate based on weight rather than distance.
The Penny Black featured a profile of Queen Victoria in black ink on a white background and was printed on a small piece of paper with perforated edges to make it easy to tear off. The stamp was sold for one penny and was used to prepay the postage on letters weighing up to half an ounce.
The introduction of the Penny Black revolutionized the postal system, making it more efficient and affordable for the general public. Before the Penny Black, the cost of sending a letter was based on distance and the number of sheets of paper used, which made it expensive and complicated. The Penny Black simplified the process, and its success led to the adoption of similar systems in other countries.
Despite its historical significance, the Penny Black was only in use for a year before it was replaced by the Penny Red stamp in 1841, which featured a profile of Queen Victoria in red ink. Nonetheless, the Penny Black remains a symbol of innovation and progress in the history of postal systems and is highly valued by stamp collectors and historians alike.
On May 1st, 1851, George Jennings, a plumber extraordinaire, introduced to the world the “Monkey Closets,” also known as the first-ever public flushing toilets. Finally, people had an alternative to using the chamber pot or the woods!
The unveiling took place at The Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, London, and attracted crowds of people, including Queen Victoria herself! I bet she was delighted to see that finally, she could do her business without having to worry about any unwanted surprises.
Jennings’ Monkey Closets was a game-changer in public sanitation, and people could use them for the low, low price of one penny. Talk about affordable luxury!
The Monkey Closets were porcelain, had a wooden seat, and featured a high-tech flushing system that used water to wash away the mess. It was like magic! Who knew that a little water could do so much? The toilets were so clean that people started to worry they were too fancy to use.
But, despite their initial hesitations, people quickly realized the convenience of the Monkey Closets. They no longer had to wander the streets, looking for a suitable spot to do their business. Instead, they could strut their stuff to the nearest Monkey Closet with their heads held high, knowing that they were the epitome of class and style.
Thanks to Jennings’ Monkey Closets, we no longer have to endure the horrors of the chamber pot or the woods. We can enjoy the convenience of flushing toilets wherever we go, from restaurants to museums to even the smallest of gas stations. So, thank you, George Jennings, for giving us the gift of modern plumbing!
That’s all readers. See you again tomorrow.
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A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.