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Gang Roundup – August 2021

I have two new kittens, Reinenoire and Gino, and I’m catsitting my brother’s kitten, Eddie. And I’m exhausted!

The main problem is Eddie doesn’t seem to get along very well with my cats, though I think he just misses my brother. I was hoping that all three kittens could go along nicely enogh. No such thing. So this has ended up trying to juggle between my cats and Eddie. And it’s stressful. For me and for them.
Clearly, my brother and I need to work on this. We’ll talk about it when he’s back from holiday.
In the meantime, I need to survive a few more days…

Anyway!
We’re here for some news, aren’t we?


A Brief History of Children Sent Through the Mail

Mailman posing with a baby in his bag (US, 1910s)

Well, let’s say that the newspapers played a bit with it.
But it is true that when the Post Office’s Parcel Post officially began on January 1, 1913, sending big parcels via the postal service opened up new opportunities, especially for people who lived in rural America. Suddenly, they were able to receive and send a wide range of different goods. And some people thought to send their children!
Well, the truth is that the postage for sending a child was a lot lower than buying a train ticket. But the post still travelled via train, so in some cases, people were able to entrust their children to postal workers they knew and trusted and send their children with them, paying the postage rather than the train ticket.
Don’t believe the staged photos. They are staged – but it’s still a good story.

The curious cases of mailing children in 1913-1914

A more colloquial look at the same events, with tid-bit of oral history.


Olympic games

I’m generally a great fan of the Olympic Games. If you go back to 2016, you can read my posts for that year’s Olympic Games.
But this year, I don’t know why I can’t be bothered. I am following the news from the game – Italy is doing very well, by the way – but I’m not following the actual Games as I usually do.
This is really a strange year.
Anyway, here is some interesting info about the cancelled Games of 1916.


I learned about this film from my readers’ group because one of the members read the book on which this film is based. I was fascinated with the subject, so I went looking for the trailer.
Isn’t it charming?


The Missing Professor: Fräulein Schumacher Investigates – The First Case By Andrea Instone

THE MISSING ROFESSOR (Andrea Instone) In 1926, young Emma receives a letter that makes her think her father, a professor of Egyptology at the University of Bonn, is in danger.

In 1926, young Emma finds herself leading a sheltered life with her grandmother in England, where her aunt’s dramatic squabbling is the greatest excitement in her daily routine. But then one day, Emma receives a letter that makes her think her father, a professor of Egyptology at the University of Bonn, is in danger. She decides to return to Bonn to figure out firsthand what might have happened to him. Her search eventually takes her to various museums around the region in an effort to track down her elusive, missing father. A mysterious ancient cat figurine, strange letters, rival suitors, and a new self-confidence result in Emma becoming more comfortable with herself and more secure in her ability to untangle puzzles that others find unsolvable. A charming mystery about the 1920s Egyptomania craze and the brave new world facing young women in the Roaring Twenties!

This book has caught my attention for two reasons. First, Egyptology in the 1920s… you know… And second, it is actually a translation from a German book. While the 1920s are well-loved in all English-speaking countries, this is not the case in many other nations, so it’s always interesting to find a book that not only is set but it’s also written by a non-native English speaker.

A Baffling Murder at the Midsummer Ball by T E Kinsey

A BAFFLING MURDER AT MIDSUMMER BALL (T.E. Kinsay) A locked room. A mysterious death. Just another gig for the Dizzy Heights, London's finest jazz musicians.

A locked room. A mysterious death. Just another gig for the Dizzy Heights. When London’s finest jazz musicians, the Dizzy Heights, are booked to play the glitzy Midsummer Ball at a country house in Oxfordshire, they expect a weekend filled with flappers and toffs having a roaring good time. But the festivities at Bilverton House take a turn for the worse when the group are stranded by a summer storm. And when a member of the Bilverton family turns up dead in a locked room in an apparent suicide, Skins, Dunn and Ellie realise this is going to be a much tougher gig than they thought. But here’s the lick. What if it was in fact cold-blooded murder? And what if the killer is still at large? It’s up to the Dizzy Heights to once again put down their instruments and get improvising if they want to solve this confounding mystery.


Gang RoundUp - 2021 August - USPS Children mailed through the post (1910s)

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