All in History

A fart in a jar goes far


Before the germ theory of disease, humans had interesting ways to 'prevent' illness. For example, during the Great Plague of London (1665-1666), 'doctors' advised people to keep foul-smelling remedies to breathe in when exposed to infection - diluting the 'bad air' with something as potent. And the quickest way to keep something smelly on hand? Store your farts in a jar.

Hat trick

In 1858, while playing for the All-England 11, English cricketer HH Stephenson took three consecutive wickets in a match against Hallam in Sheffield. As was customary at the time, fans had a collection for Stephenson and then bought him a hat to honour his unique feat. The 'hat-trick' as it became known, was soon adopted by many other sports.

The oldest trick in the book

It might seem like just a saying, but if you count papyrus, there's an actual 'oldest trick in the book'. The 18th-16th century BCE Westcar Papyrus tells the story of King Cheops (of Great Pyramid fame) calling for the magician Dedi. Dedi 'pulls the heads off' a goose, a duck, and an ox and restores them to life - a magic trick that is still performed today.