The world as seen through the clarifying lens of the 9th Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1875-1889).

Monday, 15 September 2008

29. The Royal Mint and Mr Darlington's rock drill

Today I find myself wondering : Did the proximity of the articles MINING and MINT, in the 16th volume of the ninth edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica, ever inspire in some hubristic, would-be Moriarty, dreams of what would surely be remembered as the most audacious criminal enterprise in history?


Anonymous said...

'The Audacious Mr Darlington' - coming to theatres this autumn. The story of the cad who could - and did.

One also wonders whether Jacob Epstein ever saw the second illustration. His skinny horse-faced robot and Darlington's sharp suited inventor seem equally unlikely candidates to be manning such a heavy piece of machinery

John Barleycorn said...

I find myself wondering whether the Britannica illustration is not, in fact, evidence that the whole business of mining in the 19th century was far more gentlemanly and elegant than historians have previously supposed. After a few leisurely hours at the rock face, I picture our dapper labouring gent making his way, with a jaunty spring in his step, and a tip of his hat to his colleagues, to a Morris-papered subterranean tea house, where he sips Oolong from bone china and reads a glowing review of Mr Henry Irving's Hamlet in The Times.

Adam James Nall said...

What a marvellous blog. I do hope the entry did inspire the occasional victorian digging party!