Today, I'm afraid, looks like work. Perhaps it is.

This magazine debuted in 1820. It ran until 1962.

That's not a bad run. The earlier years:

The original John Bull was a Sunday newspaper established in the City, London EC4, by Theodore Hook in 1820. Under Hook, John Bull was a champion of high Toryism and the virulent detractor of Queen Caroline.


Caroline of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (Caroline Amelia Elizabeth; 17 May 1768 – 7 August 1821) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Queen of Hanover from 29 January 1820 until her death in 1821 as the estranged wife of King George IV.

This was news to me, but I'm a Yank and not a Royal enthusiast. Back to Hook's version:

Witty criticism and pitiless invective secured it a large circulation, and Hook derived, for the first year at least, an income of £2,000. Hook was arrested, however, on account of his debt to the state, and was confined to a sponging-house from 1823 to 1825.

The Sponging-house?

This was not a debtors' prison as such, but a private house, often the bailiff's own home. Debtors would be held there temporarily in the hope that they could make some arrangement with creditors.

Yeah, I'm sure that always worked out well for everyone. Anyway, after Hook:

Horatio Bottomley, an MP for the Liberal Party, relaunched the magazine on 12 May 1906. From its first issue John Bull adopted a tabloid style that, despite occasional lapses in taste, proved immensely popular. Among its regular features, Bottomley revived his "The World, the Flesh and the Devil" column from The Sun, and also adapted that paper's slogan: "If you read it in John Bull, it is so."

I've eliminated the dingy yellow film to make it look as if it had just come off the presses.

The front page.

About those biscuits: it means a brickbat, a raspberry, a mocking award. I think. Also, biscuit is cookie? Now, but then?

L. G. Chiozza Money is a fantastic name.

Sir Leo George Chiozza Money 13 June 1870 – 25 September 1944), was an Italian-born economic theorist who moved to Britain in the 1890s, where he made his name as a politician, journalist and author.

In the early years of the 20th century his views attracted the interest of two future Prime Ministers, David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. After a spell as Lloyd George's parliamentary private secretary, he was a Government minister in the latter stages of the First World War.

Obligatory sex scandal:

On the evening of St. George's Day, 23 April 1928, Money was in Hyde Park with Irene Savidge, a radio valve-tester from New Southgate in North London. Savidge was engaged to be married. A police constable spotted the exchange of what a later social historian described as "a rather chaste kiss”. The police maintained that mutual masturbation was taking place although Money claimed that he had been offering Savidge advice on her career. They were both arrested and charged with indecent behaviour, but the case was dismissed by the Marlborough Street magistrate, who awarded costs of £10 against the police.

It would lead to a government committee to reevaluate the use of police as moral censors.

"There are doots." Damned Scots, colonizing England with their numbers and virtues:


If you had questions about a company or an investment, just ask John Bull!

There were two huge pages of this. Either they actually did some research or just wrote what suited them.

You can just imagine Sherlock poring over these entries and committing each to memory.

An open letter to one of the greatest painters of the age:

The New Vauxhall Bridge, which I have crossed, was a controverial matter among the aesthetes of the day. Of course Turner would have been involved.

One illustration in the whole big mag. Larger version here.

Lot of work for a minor point.

The Soldier Speaks:

This page has a good history of Doc Tibbles - who was not, of course, a doctor at all.

Wouldn't be surprise if the pick-me-up dust wasn't also in . . .

I bet they'd be popular today. Or maybe not. People would just pound a Red Bull.

Why I do believe there's some horse-race betting going on here:

Here's what their offices looked like.

Those are the highlights. It came out weekly, and it looks like an enormous job to put together.

And there were dozens more such journals, crowding each other out for your attention at the train station. What an age.




April 2, 1944. I think "Irate Vivien" would be a good name for a novel character.

She was a real piece of work. The story:

(AP)—Vivien Kellems, Westport, Conn., war contractor, today challenged Representative John M. Coffee (D-Wash.) to make outside Congress his charges that she is the sweetheart of a Nazi agent in Argentine and is a "menace to the American war effort.”

In a 500-word statement replying to charges Coffee made on the House floor yesterday in Washington, Miss Kellems dared him "to make those same statements outside where I can haul you into court, force you to prove them, or put you in prison. where you belong.”

Miss Kellems, in Toronto to discuss engineering details with her Canadian agents, told Coffee in her statement that “before the New Deal destroyed the last vestige of decency and ethics in our country any man who would do what you have done would be publicly horse-whipped."

I don’t know what his beef was exactly, but she was famed - or notorious, depending on your politics - for giving the Federal Government the middle-finger when it came to taxes. Rather Randian lady.

Vivien Kellems (June 7, 1896 – January 25, 1975) was an American industrialist, inventor, public speaker, and political candidate who became known for her battle with the Federal government of the United States over withholding under 26 U.S.C. §3402 and other aspects of income tax in the United States. She was also a fervent supporter of voting reform and the Equal Rights Amendment.

She didn’t want to withhold taxes for her company, and that led to suits.

She surrendered her case when her continued pursuit of it threatened to bankrupt her company. She continued to challenge that and other aspects of the income tax for the rest of her life, saying in a 1975 Los Angeles Times interview, "Our tax law is a 1,598-page hydra-headed monster and I'm going to attack and attack and attack until I have ironed out every fault in it." From 1965 until her death, Kellems reportedly sent only blank returns to the Internal Revenue Service.

Her heirs had to cut the gummint a quarter-million dollar check.

In unrelated news:

  Oh, Charlie.

"The comedian presumably is playing tennis." Shade, thrown. Chaplin would beat the Mann Act rap, but he'd pay Barry's child $ monthly until she turned 21.

Barry ended up in an asylum.


From a radio magazine in 1934, some gen-u-wine stumpers!

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