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All About HistoryAll About History

All About History No. 68

All About History is the stunningly realised new magazine from the makers of How It Works and All About Space. Featuring beautiful illustrations, photos and graphics depicting everything from ancient civilisations to the Cold War, All About History is accessible and entertaining to all and makes history fun for the whole family.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
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“I don’t believe a word of the whole thing,” declared Werner Heisenberg, the scientific head of Nazi Germany’s nuclear program, after hearing the news that the United States had dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in August 1945. Germany had a significant lead over the Manhattan Project, beginning its research in April 1939, with some of the best scientists, a strong industrial base, and sufficient materials. The Allies were concerned enough about the Nazi nuclear threat that Churchill and Roosevelt agreed that it had to be stopped at any cost. Codenamed Operation Peppermint, scores of British lives were lost as undercover agents led daring raids on the heavy water plant at Vemork, in German-occupied Norway. However, as Heisenberg’s disbelief shows, the Nazis were actually far from developing the bomb. From nukes to…

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defining moments

NAZI TREASURE TROVE A soldier in the US Third Army surveys plunder Nazi forces had hidden inside a church at Ellingen, Germany. The Third Reich’s Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, or ERR, systemically looted paintings, sculptures, books and other national treasures from occupied countries, stealing an estimiated one-fifth of all the artworks in Europe. While the Allies returned around five million items between 1945-51, the mammoth task is ongoing. 1945 VICTORIAN TRAFFIC JAM While modern-day London commuters will no doubt sympathise with this scene at Westminster Bridge, gridlock was a growing problem for the capital in the 19th century. As the population grew from one million in 1800 to 6.5 million by 1900, horse-drawn omnibuses began to fill London’s narrow streets from 1828, railways crisscrossed the city after Euston station was built in 1837, then…

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centuries of style

400 STICK A BROOCH ON IT In the early Medieval era, layering and tunics were in. Richly embroidered garments were often fastened with an ornate brooch, examples of which have been found in early Medieval graves. 1150 THE TUNIC EVOLVES In the later Medieval period, tunics evolved into simple kirtles, fastened with a decorative belt. Married women veiled their hair and towards the end of the century, wimples made their first appearance. 1250 ALL ABOUT THE HEADGEAR Fashionable women embroidered their modest dresses and really went to town on their headgear. Barbettes onto which decorative headpieces could be attached allowed women to model ornate hats and veils. 1350 THE FIRST FASHIONS With the emergence of tailoring, fitted kirtles were accessorised with bejewelled belts and furs. Headdresses grew higher and more elaborate, as wealthy women tried to outdo one another. 1430 ITALIAN LAW HITS…

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spinning jenny

Guiding the cotton In order to guide the threads in to the right place on the spindle, it was necessary to have a pressing faller wire. This was released with a hand lever once the spinning was complete, bringing the faller down on to the threads. A counter balance tightened the cords. Lengthening threads With the thread extended and stationary, spinning the wheel ensured a twisting motion which would rotate the spindles and spin the thread into yarn. This would continue until the desired fineness was attained. If they were producing yarn that was intended to go across the length of a fabric (a warp), then it needed to be stronger than that going across the width (a weft). Large machines Initially the machines were small enough to be used within people’s homes but as…

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savile row tailor

SHARP PIVOTED SCISSORS Pivoted scissors were produced en masse from 1761 and they proved perfect for accurately cutting delicate cloths. Those used by 19th century Savile Row tailors were heavy and long, weighing about five pounds and being roughly the length of a forearm. They’d work the scissors very intricately to the sixteenth of an inch. PAPER PATTERN Paper patterns had become widespread by the 19th century and while some would be produced from scratch to a customer’s specification, they were also made available for tailors to buy. They would be laid on to the cloth and chalked around. Manuals also existed including Tailor’s Guide, written in 1855 by Charles Compaing and Louis Devere. HIGH-CLASS CLIENTELE Still known as the most eminent tailors in the world today, these suit makers first appeared on Savile Row,…

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how to sew an elizabethan ruff

While some bishops still wear them on occasion and Vivienne Westwood has dallied with them on the catwalk, the ruff is most famously associated with Elizabeth I. Emerging in the early 16th century, the ruff began life as a simple collar on the edge of a shift but over the decade became ever more elaborate as multiple layers, blackwork embroidery, decorative edging and lace became the fashion. Because of its natural springiness linen was the fabric of choice, much finer than the linens we can find today, and by the end of the decade elaborate pleating, starching and even waxing and wire under-structures had been utilised to create these fripperies of fashion. Inspiration to make your ruff can be found in portraits of high society of the age, and you can…