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All About HistoryAll About History

All About History No. 69

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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When news of the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin’s forces in 1187 reached the Vatican, Pope Urban III is said to have been so overwhelmed he had a heart attack and died. While Richard the Lionheart led thousands of men to reclaim it, the capture of the city also fired the imagination of Medieval bards in a way no other event had. In an era that combined rising literacy with the early flowering of chivalry, an unprecedented burst of historical writing exploded in the Christian West. Numerous histories and epic poems glorified the knights of previous crusades. In his own lifetime, Richard I’s rivalry with Saladin was also mythologised. These stories have echoed down the ages and have continued to grip the Western imagination, from Sir Walter Scott’s romantic reimaginings in the…

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defining moments

BUILDING BOMBS Workers at a top secret munitions factory in Chilwell, Nottinghamshire, inspect artillery shells, ready to be sent to the front. In total, the plant filled 19 million shells with TNT during the First World War. However, a substantial part of the factory was also destroyed on 1 July 1918. An explosion killed 134 people and a further 250 were injured. Though the blast could reportedly be heard up to 30 miles away, the tragedy was hushed up. 1917 THE QUEEN OF SOUL The music legend Aretha Franklin, best known for the anthem Respect, earned nothing but in a career that spanned nearly 60 years. Famed for her powerful voice, Franklin became a breakout star in 1966 after signing with Atlantic Records. Within two years, she was renowned throughout America and Europe…

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up, up and away

C. 400 BCE ANCIENT AVIATION Invented in China during the Warring States period, kites were mainly used for military purposes, such as communication, measuring distances and calculating wind readings. They eventually spread throughout Asia and remain popular to this day. 50 CE FULL STEAM AHEAD While the inventor Daedalus and his high-flying son Icarus were mythical, the real-life Ancient Greek engineer Hero of Alexandria developed the aeolipile, a primitive steam turbine that used similar principles to today’s jet propulsion. 1485 FLIGHT OF FANCY Leonardo Da Vinci was fascinated with aviation. He sketched designs for an ornithopter, a flying machine where the pilot would lie in the prone position and used a crank to control a rod and pulley system to move the wings. Da Vinci produced a sketch for an aerial screw, the predecessor to the helicopter 1783 UP IN THE…

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Passenger cabins With journeys often taking several days, passengers needed somewhere to rest their heads. Comparable to a sleeper compartment on a train there were 25 double-berthed cabins on A-Deck accommodating 50 passengers. After its inaugural 1936 season, nine more cabins were added on the below deck, accommodating an additional 20 passengers. While furniture was made from aluminium each cabin also came with plastic washbasins, a shallow closet and a fold-out desk. Lounge area The starboard side of the airship was dominated by a 10 metre (34 feet) long lounge area where passengers could enjoy a pianist playing a baby grand piano made from the same alloy as the ship’s struts, but covered in a decorative yellow pigskin. The lounge also boasted an observation window, while a cornered off area acted as ‘quiet…

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spitfire pilot

OXYGEN MASK The Type B flying helmet allowed a Type D oxygen mask to fit between two pairs of metal fasteners. Light, comfortable and made of green melton wool with a chamois lining, they were vital when Spitfires flew at high altitudes. But while Type 19 microphones would be attached to them, they’d cover many a pilot’s bushy moustache – sported, it’s thought, to make young men look older. LAYERED GLOVES There was a high risk of fire on a Spitfire because the fuel tank was over the pilot’s knee so it was important to protect against potential flames. Multi-layered gloves were used, with soft cape leather touching the skin, silk inners on top and a leather elbow-length gauntlet. They offered restricted movement so many pilots simply wore the thin inners despite the…

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how to fly a wright flyer

NORTH CAROLINA, USA 1903 The Wright Flyer did not just usher in a new age of air travel just because brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright could get the contraption off the ground. What made the world’s first airplane revolutionary was that the pilot could control it. The Flyer was the result of four years of careful study, with the Wright brothers pioneering many of the building blocks of modern aeronautic engineering, such as analysing wind tunnel data. The brothers also had to invent a whole new way of steering this flying machine, but over time they managed to get a grip of these controls, extending the flight time from 12 seconds on its premiere flight, to 59 seconds by their fourth attempt. Flying with wings The Wright brothers had spent three years testing kites…