Slice of Life

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 August, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 August, 2009, 12:00am

'The periodical clearance sale of flotsam and jetsam and confiscated articles took place at the Central Police Station [on August 22] forenoon,' said a report on August 23. 'Among the articles was a quantity of opium dross, pipes, lamps and other paraphernalia, but the opium was withdrawn. The police have no right to sell the drug. A quantity of wine seized at the Grand Carlton fetched fairly good prices.'

The Science Sparklets column on August 23 listed a number of interesting one-sentence 'facts'. 'Every rat steals at least 60 cents worth of food every year; for every birth at sea there are about 100 deaths; it takes 100 livers to yield one gallon of cod liver oil; during the year ending March 31, 1909, 84,825,000 telegrams were sent in the United Kingdom.'

An advertisement in the Post's August 25 edition said: 'Insure your life against all diseases by drinking Bear Brand Milk. Absolutely pure and free from all germs. It can be taken just as it comes from the can.'

Here are some hot weather hints in an article on August 23: 'Avoid noticing the heat as far as possible. You will find it helpful to have the maid pour a cup of ice water over the thermometer every 10 to 15 minutes,' it said. 'Keep your temper. The man who loses it gets hot under the collar and is in danger of having all the starch taken out of him.'

Under the local news pages on August 23, the Great Western Railway Company ad introduced an innovation at Paddington station, the provision of bathrooms for travellers. 'Bathing being the popular amusement just now, it may be as well to warn swimmers and others who delight in disporting themselves in the water that sharks have been seen in the neighbourhood - good-sized healthy looking specimens which, in the words of one who has seen them, could 'nip a bit quite easily',' a report on August 25 said.

The manager of the Deep Water Bay Tile Works said he had seen two large, flat-nosed sharks close to the wharf at the works and they were eight feet long.

A notice from Buchanan's Black and White whisky on August 26 said: 'It has come to our notice that certain unprincipled people are in the habit of filling up our bottles with other whisky of inferior quality, which is then offered for sale as our brand... We beg to inform the public it is our intention to take such steps as necessary for the protection of our interests.'

Under the heading 'China's Awakening', a report on August 26 said China had decided to take part in the Hygienic Exposition in Dresden next year. The Shanghai Mercury commented on the vast progress made on hygiene in China. 'As far as personal hygiene is concerned, the Chinese have very little to learn from her Western friends, or rather they have no more to learn in this respect than some of the European peoples.' Municipal hygiene was considered a markedly different matter, however. 'In Europe, big cities are almost without exception perfectly clean, whereas a walk through a Chinese city gives the Westerner the impression that a pestilence may be caused at any time... It is almost literally true to say that China does not know the meaning of municipal and national hygiene. She has everything to learn and in this ... she can, if she is wise, avoid all the expensive experimental work which has cost Europe so much.'

A Burton-on-Trent clockmaker was exhibiting a remarkable clock, a report from London said on August 27. 'The timepiece is his own invention and he claims that it will go without stopping or rewinding for a hundred years,' it said.

In the Police Court, a Chinese man was charged with being in possession of prepared opium and opium dross. He had just arrived from Sydney and had been absent from Hongkong for 25 years and did not know the restrictions. The drug was confiscated and the defendant discharged. In another police court brief, a small boy was sentenced to 10 strokes of the birch for stealing a shop lamp.