Saturday, 15 September 2012

1933 - Letter B

BFTF has been fascinated by the contents of a multi-volume 1933 Odhams Press publication entitled "The British Encyclopedia". The volumes provide a glimpse into the the way the world looked at that time and BFTF thought you, gentle reader, might be interested to read a few extracts from some of the somtimes surprising, sometimes shocking, sometimes sad entries. See here for extracts from other sections of the encyclopaedia

Please note that these are only tiny extracts and are not meant to be a summary of the entire encyclopedia entry.

Babism
… The doctrines of a Mohammedan sect whose headquarters are in Persia, founded by Seyd Ali Mohammed in 1844...

...the morality of the sect is pure and cheerful, and it shows great advancement in the treatmetn of women...

...A schism divided the followers of Babism inot tow sects, Bahais and Ezelis. The former have carried on an active propaganda in America.

Baghdad Railway
A railway starting at Konia in Asia Minor...and intended to run to Baghdad and Koweit on the Persian Gulf... German capital was used throughout, and the line was part of the Berlin-Balkan-Baghdad scheme which was to provide Germany with a safe means of transport to India.

Baku
A Russian port on the western shore of the Caspian...the naptha of petroleum springs of Baku have long been known; and the field of fire, so called from emitting inflammable gases, has long been a place of pilgrimage with the Guebres or Fire-Worshippers.

Balkan War
The First Balkan War (Oct.1912 - May 1913) was the effort of thge Balkan League to dismember Turkey in Europe. Each member of the League [Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece[ was alloted a definite strategic objective, and each gained a considerable measure of success.

Barrow-in-Furness
...Its prosperity is due to the mines of red hematite iron-ore which abound in the district...It has numerous blast-furnesses and one of the largest Bessemer steel works in the world.

Bedouins
A Mohammedan people of Arab race inhabiting chiefly the deserts of Arabia, Syrai, Egypt and North Africa...

...They lead a nomadic existence...varying the monotomy of pastoral life by rading each other and plundering unprotected travellers...

...they are lax in morals and unreliable even in respect of the code of honour attributed to them...

Beige
A light woollen fabric made of wool of the natural colour.

Belper
A town...with large cotton mills, foundries etc, and in the neighbourhood numerous collieries.

Bethlehem
The birthplace of Christ; a small place in Palestine, 5 miles south from Jerusalem..

Birmingham
A great manufacturing city of England, situated on the small river Rhea…It is the principal seat of the hardware manufacture of Britain, producing metal articles of all kinds from pins to steam engines. It manufactures fire-arms in great quantites, swords, jewellery, buttons, tools ,stee-pens, locks, lamps, bedsteads, gas-fittings, sewing-machines, articles of papier-mache, railway carriages etc. The quantity of solid gold and silver plate manufactured is large and the consumption of these metals in electro-plating is very great. Japanning, glass manufacturing and glass-staining or painting form important branches of industry as also does the manufacture of chemicals. At Soho and Smethwick in the vicinity of the town were the famous works founded by Boulton and Watt, who there manufactured the very first steam-engines, where gas was first used, plating perfected and numerous novel applications tried and experiments made…

Birmingham
A town of the United States, near the centre of Alabama, a great seat of the iron trade, having iron-ore, coal and limestone in abundance at hand, so that its blast furnaces, foundries and other works are readily supplied. It has grown up since 1880. Pop. 259,678

Birth Control
…In recent years, the ideal of quality of population rather than quantity has become general; and birth control has been a keenly discussed subject…Dr Marie Stopes is its chief exponent. A medical committee has recommended that no married person should be hindered from obtaining knowledge of contraceptive methods ; while, on the other hand, the Roman Catholic Church denounced all such practices as definitely sinful.

Blasphemy
…although the English Law still embodies the tradition which treats blasphemy as a sin, in practice it treats it as an offence against the peace and good order of society. ..

Blast Furnace
[mentions the following improvements : use of hot gas (James B Nielson, 1828, Glasgow); drying of the air (Gayley, 1905, Pittsburg, output inc by 25%, fuel consumption reduced by 20%)

Bombardment
An attack on a locality by explosive missiles from land sea or air. A bombardment is one of the recognised and legitimate methods of making war but, by the Laws and Customs of War as laid down by the Hauge Convention of 1907, its use is confined to the case of defended localities. Fortifications are not necessary to constitute a defended locality, the mere presence of troops is sufficient . A bombardment of an undefended town or locality by any means whatsoever is forbidden. The only apparent exception to this is the case of a naval bombardment, which may be resorted to to coerce an undefended town if such town refuses to comply with requisitions for supplies legitimately made under the Laws and Customs of War...

Britain
[Manufactures section] …Takin these in order of importance, we begin with cotton. In this branch of industry Great Britain still remains a long way ahead of other countries… The total value of the cotton goods (including yarn) exported in 1932 was £62, 845,000.

[Wool] is next in importance to that of cotton and draws large for its supplies on other countries, particularly the Australian colonies. The total value of the woollen goods (including yarn) exported in 1932 was £24.004,000.

[Linen and artificial silk also mentioned as being important] …Amongst the most important [of other industries] are the trades connected with iron and steel and other metals, and the manufacture of all kinds of machinery (giving in 1934 a total export of £33,636,000)

[Paper manufacturer and Ship-building also mentioned as being important]

[Commerce section]..It has been generally recognised that the Empire can be self-supporting and for this reason such organisations as the Empire Marketing Board have spared no efforts to foster Imperial trade.

Buddha
…In his mildness, his readiness to overlook insults, his zeal, chastity and simplicity of life, he was not unlike St Francis of Assisi…

Buddhism
…Although now long banished from Hindustan by the persecutions of the Brahmin, Budddhism prevails in Ceylon, Burmah, Siam, Annam, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Java and Japan…

Butter
A fatty substance produced from milk, especially cow’s milk. When the milk is first drawn, this fatty matter is disseminated through it in minute clear globules enclosed in membranous sacs or bags which in a short time rise to the surface and form cream. The cream is then skimmed off to undergo the operation of churning, which by rupturing the sacs effects a separation of the cream into a solid called butter and a liquid called butter-milk, the latter consisting of whey and other caseous matter…the butter, being formed into lumps, is washed till all the butter-milk has been expelled.

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