5th December 1952
i
Illustration by Igor Kubik
Science

5th December 1952

Anniversary of the Month
Adam Węgłowski
Reading
time 5 minutes

Thousands of Londoners died because of smog. But at first the authorities tried to pin the blame on viruses!

On 5th December 1952, the average resident of London had to rub their eyes in disbelief. Yes, they were used to the proverbial London fog. And they knew what smog was; as early as the 19th century dirty clouds of it had been described, so thick and yellow that Londoners compared it to pea soup. It stank of gas from pipes, odours from docks and shipyards, smoke from factories, fumes from paint factories, breweries, laundries and bakeries. But even knowing all of this, they could still be shocked. What was happening exceeded human comprehension. In the nasty yellowish

Information

You’ve reached your free article’s limit this month. You can get unlimited access to all our articles and audio content with our digital subscription. If you have an active subscription, please log in.

Subscribe

Also read:

2nd November 1848
i
Illustration by Igor Kubik
Experiences

2nd November 1848

Anniversary of the Month
Adam Węgłowski

The almost 40-year-old Edgar Allan Poe is depressed. He cries for nights at a time. Drinks without stopping. Takes opium. On 2nd November 1848, he stuffs himself with laudanum and boards a train from Providence to Boston. But for him this journey is to end somewhere else entirely. At least that’s his plan.

Why was Poe in such a gloomy mood? Was he so affected by what he wrote? Was the darkness of the American’s own art coming out of him? After all, he was the author of the gloomy poem “The Raven”, the shocking crime story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and the tale of horror “The Masque of the Red Death”. But he also wrote things with a wink and a nod, funny and grotesque. And even educational. It was in 1848 that he published “Eureka”, an essay “on the material and spiritual universe”. He saw it as his opus magnum, but it didn’t win the recognition he expected. It bored or appalled even Poe’s friends. But this was just one of the many blows that fell on the writer during that period. Another brick in the wall.

Continue reading