On 15 January 1880 the first telephone directory was published, its three exchanges had 248 subscribers to The Telephone Company, but remarkably no numbers only addresses. If you wanted to be connected you had to ring the operator and ask for the person by name. No AAAAAAA Hansom Cabs here. The first person listed was John Adam & Co., 11 Pudding Lane. Naturally Alexander Bell was there he had, after all, invented the contraption, and Keith Prowse selling tickets.
On 15 January 1797 John Hetherington charged with breach of the peace and inciting a riot after he was the first to wear a top hat in public
The last person to stand and be humiliated in a pillory in London was Peter Bossy in 1830. It sometimes was dangerous and many lost an eye
Putney Bridge is unique in that it is the only one in Britain with a church at either end St Mary’s Putney north and All Saints Fulham south
Tobacco was used to revive those drowned in the Thames its vapours were thought to restore the body’s balance inserted into the rectum
On 15 January 1559 the Coronation of Elizabeth I took place at Westminster Abbey, it the last occasion on which the Latin service was used
Billy Ocean, born Leslie Charles, took his name from the Ocean Estate, Stepney where he lived. He also worked for a tailor in Brick Lane
In 1868 Edward, The Prince of Wales, regularly visited the (legal) opium den of Chi Ki in Limehouse frequented by sailors
The 1908 Russian Olympic team arrived 12 days late to London because they hadn’t yet started using the Gregorian calendar
Every week the Underground escalators travel the equivalent distance of going twice around the world but very, very slowly
In October 1986 a trio of Daily Telegraph journalists set up The Independent newspaper from 40 City Road, last year the paper stopped printing and was only published online
London only reached its pre-World War II population of just over 8.615 million in January, 2015 after the war it dipped to 6.6 million
Trivial Matter: London in 140 characters is taken from the daily Twitter feed @cabbieblog. A guide to the symbols used here and source material can be found on the Trivial Matter page.
Kensington & Chelsea is London's smallest borough by area, at 4.7 square miles (12.2 sq km) #LDNTrivia
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London A-Z Street Atlas - Historical Edition by Phyllis Pearsall When the Geographers' A-Z Map Company realised that the first edition of their iconic A-Z was passing hands for thousands of pounds they decided to reproduce it for those with less deep pockets. This is a fascinating exploration of pre-war London. Essential reading for any aspiring cabbie.