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366 Days of Architecture

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Saturday 31st December 2016

It’s Hogmanay!

It’s the last day of 2016 and the last day of our year of 366 Days of Architecture, Design and Innovation, so here we are with the bell ringers of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh ringing out the old year and ringing in the new. It’s good to see that Health and Safety rules applied even in 1890 and the little man on the left is securely strapped to a box by his toes. As Burns wrote symbolising friendship, farewells and new beginnings, ‘and there's a hand, my trusty fiere! and gie's a hand o' thine! And we'll tak' a right gude-willie waught, for auld lang syne’. We at HES wish you all a Happy New Year and watch this space for 2017 and the year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Now where’s that whisky?

Friday 30th December 2016

A jungle VIP?

Our last birthday of the year is that of author Rudyard Kipling, born in Bombay in 1865. He is an author now thought of by many of as a man of his time and an author of imperialism, particularly his writings from before the First World War, but his books and writing are still widely read, from his school reminiscences in ‘Stalky and Co’, his famous poem, ‘If’, the ‘Just-so Stories’ and those connected to his Indian memories including ‘The Jungle Book’. The library here at Duntreath House, Stirlingshire, remodelled by Sydney Mitchell in the 1890s and seen here in 1898, is one way to connect the jungle and literature as the room is both full of books and plants, the potted palm being a sure sign of a real ‘des’ res’ of the 1890’s.

Thursday 29th December 2016

The original Mac’.

Happy Birthday Charles Macintosh, inventor of waterproof clothing, born today in Glasgow, 1766. In working at his self taught chemical experiments, he realised that natural (India) rubber could be made soluble using naptha and so he was able to bond two layers of fabric together in the first waterproof fabric and the Macintosh or more common Mackintosh coat was born. Macintosh was also a successful investor in the development of the blast furnace in partnership with its inventor James Beaumont Neilson (see 366 Days 22 June). Our lady on an advertisement for the North British Rubber Company looks as if she should possibly be given her own Mackintosh for both warmth and protection from the inclement Scottish weather.