The first escalator on the London Underground was installed at Earls Court station in 1911.
Initially, several members of the public were afraid of the new moving staircases, so the authorities employed a one-legged man known as 'Bumper' Harris to ride up and down all day to show how easy they were to use.
This was not a total success because some people became concerned that the escalator had been the cause of his losing his leg in the first place.
Harris subsequently retired to Gloucester to make cider and violins.
On 8 December 1660, Margaret Hedges appeared as Desdemona in Shakespeare's Othello at the Vere... MORE
In 1463, Paris became the first city to adopt house numbers. London followed suit exactly... MORE
The concept of the Ashes cricket trophy dates back to 1882, when England's first home... MORE
Two thousand ballet-goers were evacuated from London's Royal Opera House one evening in 2001 when... MORE
Philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham kept a cat, which he named the Reverend Sir... MORE
When David Davis of Clapham, London, died in 1778 he left five shillings to Mary... MORE
The word 'biscuit' comes from the French for 'twice cooked'.
In September 2001, a biscuit taken... MORE
The first dinosaur fossils in Britain were found in 1819 by William Buckland, Canon of... MORE
Reputedly London's most expensive dentist, Martin van Butchell was a man of curious habits, including... MORE
Around 1500, there were eight crimes for which a person could be hanged in Britain:... MORE
Bill Clinton's daughter Chelsea is believed to have been named after the Joni Mitchell song... MORE
On 28 November 1996, the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet gave three pieces of advice... MORE
Montezuma started the myth about chocolate being an aphrodisiac. His cup of cocoa at bedtime... MORE
Darwin was the grandson of the great potter Josiah Wedgwood.
He married his first cousin, Emma... MORE
The rector of the Norfolk village of Stiffkey, Harold Francis Davidson was convicted by the... MORE
The first mammal to orbit the earth was the Russian dog Laika, sent into space... MORE
The manner of copulation in elephants was a matter for speculation in the Dark Ages.... MORE
A word that derived from a person's name. For example: leotard: Jules L éotard... MORE
'Fashion' originally meant shape or appearance. Shakespeare may have been the first to use it... MORE
Research has shown that top sprinters have long ring fingers. Specifically, it is the ratio... MORE
On 15 June 1928, the train The Flying Scotsman beat an aeroplane in a race... MORE
The Romans called it 'pila pedalis', which the English translated as 'foot-ball' and promptly banned.
A car fuelled only by used coffee grounds made the 250-mile trip from London to... MORE
William Gladstone is one of only two people to have had his coffin transported on... MORE
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Hairiness, said Aristotle, is a sign of 'abundance of residual matter', which, he went on... MORE
At a dinner served in honour of the King of France, Henry VIII once served... MORE
Britain's first hippopotamus arrived at London Zoo in Regents Park on 25 May 1850. Named... MORE
In 1875, road accidents, mostly involving horses, led to the death of 1,589 people in... MORE
Also known by the name Lord Minimus, Jeffrey Hudson quite literally sprang to fame at... MORE
IN FLIGHT CATERING
In-flight meals are almost as old as flying itself. The first regular air services began... MORE
After Saddam Hussein occupied Kuwait in 1990 and declared it to be the '19th Province... MORE
'Toilet' is currently the most popular word for the little boys' (or girls') room, being... MORE
To prepare and build the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London for the 2012 Games:
On 11 September 1905, scientists blamed a rise in lunacy in Britain on the tedium... MORE
The only station on the London Underground system whose name has no letters in common... MORE
The area of London known as Mayfair is named after the May Fair that took... MORE
The Locomotive Act of 1865 specified that a person carrying a red flag must walk... MORE
The world's longest-running theatre show, The Mousetrap, opened at the New Ambassadors Theatre in London's... MORE
Nobody knows when the first Olympic Games took place.
There was certainly such a festival at... MORE
The ostrich is the largest living bird. In the UK, ostriches are zero-rated for VAT... MORE
The British royal family has kept racing pigeons since 1886 when King Leopold of Belgium... MORE
Polar Bears can run at 25 miles an hour and jump over 6 feet in... MORE
Only one quagga was ever photographed alive.
Five pictures exist of a London Zoo quagga taken... MORE
Duck droppings are a reindeer's favourite food. In 2001, Harrods department store in... MORE
Botanically, rhubarb is a vegetable, but in 1947 the US Customs Court ruled it to... MORE
The first elastic bands were patented by Stephen Perry & Co. of London on 17... MORE
A fragrance called 'Madeleine' was introduced in a trial at three London tube stations on... MORE
The first recorded appearance of roller skates was not a success.
They were worn by a... MORE
The word 'taxi' was originally an abbreviation of 'taxameter' or 'taximeter', a device to measure... MORE
The Debris Clearance Operation of the Port of London Authority removes around a thousand tonnes... MORE
The word 'theatre' comes from the Greek 'theatron' meaning 'something to behold'. Actors are known... MORE
Tourism began on 5 July 1841, when Thomas Cook organised his first trip for fellow... MORE
Tower Bridge, across the River Thames in London, was completed in 1894 at a cost... MORE
The world's first traffic lights were a gas-powered contraption erected just off Parliament Square in... MORE
TUG OF WAR
According to international rules, the rope in a tug-of-war contest must be between 100mm and... MORE
The original ancient Chinese and Egyptian umbrellas protected against the sun, not the rain, while... MORE
Forty-two per cent of the London Underground is under ground. The entire system serves 275... MORE
Arthur Wellesley, later the first Duke of Wellington, signed his name as Arthur Wesley until... MORE
H.G. Wells, author of such science fiction novels as The Invisible Man, War of the... MORE
When the Tower of London appointed its first female beefeater in 2007, the official announcement... MORE
2013 is the first year since 1987 consisting of four different digits.
It is also the... MORE
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Food company 'unearthed' in 2013 set a world record for the longest tasting menu -... MORE
The word 'picnic' came from the French pique-nique, which is thought to have been formed... MORE
The Battle of Waterloo, which saw the defeat of Napoleon by the Duke of Wellington,... MORE