Category Archives: Meta

Meta post #2: the most popular pages on this site

Via the magic of Google Analytics, I bring you the top ten pages on Obviously bear in mind this ranking will by its very nature favour posts that have been on the site for the longest length of time.

  1. Smith’s crisps, also with reference to Walkers and Golden Wonder.
  2. Callard & Bowser was a victim of the success of its own Altoids mints
  3. Goodall, Backhouse & Co, the Yorkshire Relish producers.
  4. Keiller marmalade. People are often most curious about brands that have disappeared in the recent past.
  5. It’s a question often asked, which came first, Lifesavers or the Polo mint?
  6. Sharp’s toffee, a brand I’d never heard of before I began researching confectionery history
  7. Brand & Co, developers of A1 sauce
  8. The popularity of my post on the Fatty Arbuckle’s restaurant chain really took me by surprise
  9. Cantrell & Cochrane never really disappeared, but it did reinvent itself
  10. The Saxone shoe company rounds off the list

Support this site!

Hi all,

I have producing this website since 2013. Now, on this, my 220th(!) post, I have decided to give viewers a way of supporting me.

A lot of research and copy-editing goes into this blog. I don’t mind that, I’ll do it for free as I love doing it. However there are numerous overheads which I have been covering. Domain hosting costs around £100 a year, and subscriptions to various newspaper archives costs me about £200 a year.

If you are able to support me at all, it can even be as little as a dollar, I would be highly appreciative. I don’t want to have to host advertisements.

You can find the link at the bottom of the page.

Many thanks!


Meta post #1: The influences of this blog

What inspired me to create

I was originally inspired to create this blog by a number of creative and intelligent individuals such as Malcolm Gladwell (born 1963) , Adam Curtis (born 1955), Niall Ferguson (born 1964) and Christopher Hitchens (1949 – 2011). These figures regularly challenged the established consensus, and this encouraged me to examine the historical data for myself. Whist not always agreeing with their conclusions, they demonstrated that the historical narrative was open to challenge and question, and that such examination could be written in a lively and engaging way.

I was greatly inspired by the brewing historians Martyn Cornell and Ron Pattinson. Through their excellent blogs they have highlighted how much of history, even published academic history, is demonstrably wrong or incorrect. Often sloppy half truths are repeated confidently as fact.

Websites such as Wikipedia and Grace’s Guides were also influential as they demonstrated just how useful this kind of website can be, but also highlighted how there was a large gap of high quality research coverage of all sorts of areas.

In terms of business historians, there are lots of good ones, but I particularly admire Geoffrey Jones.