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History ASM
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History and the Sock Merchant is a modern history blog which empowers history enthusiasts and academics alike by making history more accessible and interesting, bridging the gap between knowledge and public engagement for anyone, at whatever level, with an interest in History in the Modern period.
History and the Sock Merchant is a modern history blog which empowers history enthusiasts and academics alike by making history more accessible and interesting, bridging the gap between knowledge and public engagement for anyone, at whatever level, with an interest in History in the Modern period.

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THE CURIOUS HISTORY OF THE SWASTIKA LAUNDRY COMPANY
Though it may look like something from a Monty Python sketch, amazingly The Swastika Laundry was a real laundry service that operated in Dublin for almost 75 years. The company  adopted the now seldom used branding of a black swastika accompanied by a rathe...
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ART DECO STREAMLINING: FAD OR FUNCTION?
The huge piece of industrial art pictured above is an amazing machine named after a Duck, Mallard. Mallard is a steam locomotive built in the UK in 1938 and today, even after almost 90 years, Mallard still holds the world record as the fastest steam locomot...
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HISTORIES BIGGEST EXPLOSIONS
10: Texas City Disaster A fire onboard the cargo ship SS Grandcamp docked at Texas City in 1947 detonated 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate, a compound used in fertilizers and high explosives. The explosion blew two planes out of the sky and triggered a chain ...
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HOW SEXUAL WAS WEIMAR GERMANY?
Cabaret dancers in Berlin, 1928. The answer to the question that forms the title of this post for anyone considering not reading on is... pretty damn sexual - if you knew where to go. Especially if you like an iconic use of shadows, lust-murders and a sexua...
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THE OLDEST POLICE FORCE IN THE WORLD?
York City Police Officers.  George Morley, of the York Minster Police - front row second from the right © YORK MINSTER ARCHIVES York's beautiful Minster, is one of the largest Gothic buildings in northern Europe and is one of seven cathedrals in the world, ...
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WHY IS THE FLYING SCOTSMAN SO FAMOUS
Flying Scotsman is arguably the most famous steam locomotive in the world, most people have heard of the name but do they actually know why it is so famous? With the locomotive about to start running in the UK again, after almost 10 years undergoing restora...
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Review: Mrs Guinness: The Rise and Fall of Diana Mitford
By Lyndsy Spence The Mitfords are quite a household name (if your household is interested in history, at least) and with each sister a separate study of unique character traits and life choices, it is not surprising to find that individual biographies and s...
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Book Review: My Adventures with Your Money
When we consider the Wall Street Crash of 1929, we know that behind it was wild speculation on the stock market by a large number of American citizens, who made and lost a fortune. How many of others were there, however, who thought they were trading stocks...
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THE TORRID HISTORY OF ABSINTHE
Absinthe is an anise-flavored liquor or spirit that is made by steeping wormwood ('quinine of the poor') and other aromatic herbs (hyssop, lemon balm, and angelica) in alcohol. The drink was invented by one Pierre Ordinaire, a French doctor, as a remedy for...
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THE IDEOLOGY OF HITLER'S SUPERCAPITOL
This giant map shows plans for a magnificent boulevard, 7 kilometres long and 120 metres wide, which was to be flanked on all sides by gigantic buildings. A 320 metre-tall "Hall of the People" standing at the end of the avenue, dwarfing all structures aroun...
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