1900: Rudolf Diesel demonstrated an engine at the Exposition Universelle Internationale in Paris that ran on peanut oil. (An earlier engine had been designed to burn coal dust.)
Tag archive: 1900
1900: “Old Warren is a duffer,” was General Redvers Buller’s verdict on his second-in-command after the carnage at Spion Kop. Buller’s assessment wasn’t altered at Hussar Hill, a few weeks later, when he found General Charles Warren splashing about in a bathtub on the battlefield instead of fighting the Boers.
Source: Thomas Pakenham, The Boer War (1979), pp. 322, 365–6
1907: Between 1900 and 1907, typhoid broke out in seven wealthy New York households where Mary Mallon was employed as a cook. Mallon appeared healthy enough, but she was a carrier of the disease. When she used the toilet, typhoid bacilli got on her hands and then contaminated the food she prepared. She infected an estimated 22 people; one died. As soon as her role in the outbreaks had been established, the authorities decided that she was a threat to public health, and detained her at an isolation hospital.
1900: Newspaper correspondent Winston Churchill began the year in high spirits, having escaped from Boer captivity only days before. A wanted poster issued on 18 December 1899 had offered a reward of £25 for his recapture, dead or alive. The poster had described him as about 5 feet 8 inches tall, of medium build, and had noted that he walked with a stooping gait, spoke through his nose and couldn’t properly pronounce the letter “s”.
Source: Celia Sandys, Churchill Wanted Dead or Alive (1999), p. 103
1900: “To yield to the parent state the rightly expected profits” from its colonies, wrote Henry Morris, the native population “should be amenable to discipline, to regular forms of government, to reformed methods of life”. And if not? “The natives must then be exterminated or reduced to such numbers as to be readily controlled.”
Source: Henry C. Morris, The History of Colonization from the Earliest Times to the Present Day (1900), vol. I, pp. 20–1
“Amenable to discipline”: in the Congo Free State in 1904 a father contemplates his 5-year-old daughter’s hand and foot, severed by soldiers as a punishment
1900: Can worms strut? Apparently so. At his brother’s funeral, the author Jules Renard observed a fat worm at the graveside (“un gros ver au bord”) strutting about, looking very pleased with things (“on dirait qu’il se réjouit, qu’il se pavane”).
Source: Jules Renard, Journal 1887–1910 (1990), p. 447
Illustration by Benjamin Rabier in Jules Renard’s Histoires Naturelles