1,036 episodes

Ten minute daily episodes bringing you curious moments from this day in history, with Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina and Arion McNicoll: The Retrospectors. It's history, but not as you know it! New eps Mon-Wed; reruns Thurs/Fri; Sunday exclusives at Patreon.com/Retrospectors

Today In History with The Retrospectors The Retrospectors

    • History
    • 4.6 • 149 Ratings

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Ten minute daily episodes bringing you curious moments from this day in history, with Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina and Arion McNicoll: The Retrospectors. It's history, but not as you know it! New eps Mon-Wed; reruns Thurs/Fri; Sunday exclusives at Patreon.com/Retrospectors

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Let's Triangulate Britain

    Let's Triangulate Britain

    Rerun: The Ordnance Survey - a government-funded agency created to aid the military in the event of invasion from France - took receipt of a theodolite on 21st June 1791, and so began the epic task of accurately mapping Britain. 
    It took them twenty years to do the county of Kent. And another twenty years to do the South Coast. If you wanted a fragment of one of their hand-drawn maps on your wall, it would set you back two weeks’ wages.
    In this episode, Olly, Arion and Rebecca pore through their OS Map collection to discover which county has the most commercial greenhouses, the exact location of ‘Britain’s highest pub’, and reveal the OFFICIAL answer to the much-pondered question, ‘Where is the centre of Britain?’... 
    Further Reading:
    • ‘The Quirky History of Ordnance Survey And The UK’S Maps’, from Much Better Adventures magazine (2020): 
    https://www.muchbetteradventures.com/magazine/ordnance-survey/
    • ‘A Short History of the Ordnance Survey’ from The Charles Close Society: https://www.charlesclosesociety.org/files/HistoryOSGB.pdf
    • ‘Attacking Scotland: Five centuries of maps by our enemies’ A lecture by Chris Fleet, Maps Curator of the the National Library of Scotland (2021): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGLxGLaJG_s&t=5s

    ‘Why am I hearing a rerun?’
    Each Thursday and Friday we repeat stories from our archive of 800+ episodes, so we can maintain the quality of our independent podcast and bring you fresh, free content every Monday-Wednesday… 

    … But 🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS🌴members get an additional full-length episode each Sunday! Join now with a free trial on Apple Podcasts or Patreon and support our show ❤️

    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.
    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Emma Corsham.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2024.



    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 10 min
    The Famous Painting Ape

    The Famous Painting Ape

    Rerun: Congo, pet chimp of science writer and TV personality Desmond Morris, was considered a novelty in the art world when his paintings were displayed in the 1950’s. But, on 20th June, 2005, three of his works went under the hammer at prestigious London auction house Bonham’s - and sold for £12,000.
    Morris - zoologist, surrealist and author of the bestselling science book The Naked Ape - had the perfect experience to support the monkey in his artistic career, and was rewarded when his chimp’s paintings were displayed at the ICA, lauded by Dali, and purchased by Prince Philip. 
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how Congo’s approach to art differentiated him from other primates; question whether Morris really was truly able to determine, as he claimed, that financial reward ruins artistic impulses; and reveal how Congo’s status as the world’s most advanced painting ape might soon be under threat… 
    Further Reading:
    • ‘Bidders go ape for chimpanzee art’ (BBC News, 2005): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4109664.stm
    • ‘Congo and the ‘Biology of Art’’ (Zoological Society of London, 2021): https://www.zsl.org/blogs/artefact-of-the-month/congo-and-the-biology-of-art
    • ‘Meridian Tonight: Desmond Morris and surrealist art ‘ (ITV, 2012)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvzGV3LnWIE

    ‘Why am I hearing a rerun?’
    Each Thursday and Friday we repeat stories from our archive of 800+ episodes, so we can maintain the quality of our independent podcast and bring you fresh, free content every Monday-Wednesday… 

    … But 🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS🌴members get an additional full-length episode each Sunday! Join now with a free trial on Apple Podcasts or Patreon and support our show ❤️

    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.
    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Emma Corsham.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2024.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 11 min
    Making The Metropolitan Police

    Making The Metropolitan Police

    Sir Robert Peel received royal assent for the Metropolis Police Improvement Bill on 19th June, 1829 - leading to the creation of London's first professional police force, who were soon nicknamed ‘Bobbies’ in tribute.
    The Met’s first constables hit the streets that Autumn, dressed in tailcoats (to signify their role as servants of the people), and top hats (strengthened with an iron ring for protection), and all in blue to distinguish them from the red colouring used by the Army.
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly unpick ‘Policing By Consent’; reveal the recruitment criteria for new members of the force; and explain why officers became known as ‘PC Plod’...
    Further Reading:
    • ‘The Metropolitan Police: an introduction to records of service 1829-1958’ (The National Archives): https://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/the-metropolitan-police-an-introduction-to-records-of-service-1829-1958-2/
    • ‘The establishment of the Metropolitan Police - Enforcing law and order’ (BBC Bitesize): https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zy9sn9q/revision/4
    • ‘The founding of the police force | History - The Strange Case of the Law’ (BBC Teach, 2017): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KA2dbDtFnA

    Love the show? Support us! 
    Join  🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS🌴to DITCH THE ADS and get an additional full-length episode each SUNDAY… 

    … Plus, get weekly bonus bits, and unlock over 100 bits of extra content. 
    Join now with a free trial on Apple Podcasts or Patreon and support our show ❤️

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 11 min
    The Famous Painting Ape

    The Famous Painting Ape

    Rerun: Congo, pet chimp of science writer and TV personality Desmond Morris, was considered a novelty in the art world when his paintings were displayed in the 1950’s. But, on 20th June, 2005, three of his works went under the hammer at prestigious London auction house Bonham’s - and sold for £12,000.
    Morris - zoologist, surrealist and author of the bestselling science book The Naked Ape - had the perfect experience to support the monkey in his artistic career, and was rewarded when his chimp’s paintings were displayed at the ICA, lauded by Dali, and purchased by Prince Philip. 
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how Congo’s approach to art differentiated him from other primates; question whether Morris really was truly able to determine, as he claimed, that financial reward ruins artistic impulses; and reveal how Congo’s status as the world’s most advanced painting ape might soon be under threat… 
    Further Reading:
    • ‘Bidders go ape for chimpanzee art’ (BBC News, 2005): http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4109664.stm
    • ‘Congo and the ‘Biology of Art’’ (Zoological Society of London, 2021): https://www.zsl.org/blogs/artefact-of-the-month/congo-and-the-biology-of-art
    • ‘Meridian Tonight: Desmond Morris and surrealist art ‘ (ITV, 2012)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvzGV3LnWIE

    Thanks so much for supporting the show! We massively appreciate it.
    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill. Edit producer:
    Ollie Peart
    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2024.

    Making The Metropolitan Police

    Making The Metropolitan Police

    Sir Robert Peel received royal assent for the Metropolis Police Improvement Bill on 19th June, 1829 - leading to the creation of London's first professional police force, who were soon nicknamed ‘Bobbies’ in tribute.
    The Met’s first constables hit the streets that Autumn, dressed in tailcoats (to signify their role as servants of the people), and top hats (strengthened with an iron ring for protection), and all in blue to distinguish them from the red colouring used by the Army.
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly unpick ‘Policing By Consent’; reveal the recruitment criteria for new members of the force; and explain why officers became known as ‘PC Plod’...
    Further Reading:
    • ‘The Metropolitan Police: an introduction to records of service 1829-1958’ (The National Archives): https://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/the-metropolitan-police-an-introduction-to-records-of-service-1829-1958-2/
    • ‘The establishment of the Metropolitan Police - Enforcing law and order’ (BBC Bitesize): https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zy9sn9q/revision/4
    • ‘The founding of the police force | History - The Strange Case of the Law’ (BBC Teach, 2017): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KA2dbDtFnA

    Thanks so much for supporting the show! We massively appreciate it.
    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill. Edit producer:
    Ollie Peart
    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2024.

    Insuring Your Life

    Insuring Your Life

    The world’s first life insurance policy was signed on June 18th, 1583.

    The person insured was one William Gybbons, who worked as a meat and fish salter, and the beneficiary of the policy was a man named Richard Martin. Curiously, the relationship between the two men has been lost in the mists of time.

    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly do the maths and work out exactly how much a human life is worth; discuss how, like all good insurers, the underwriters tried to weasel out of having to pay the policy after Gybbons died; and reveal why Ancient Romans used to have clowns at their funerals…

    Further Reading:
    • ‘Betting on Lives: The Culture of Life Insurance in England, 1695-1775’ (Manchester University Press, 1999): https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Betting_on_Lives/3wq8AAAAIAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0 
    • ‘The greatest surety: a brief history of life insurance’ (InsurTech, 2023): https://insurtechdigital.com/articles/the-greatest-surety-a-brief-history-of-life-insurance 
    • ‘Life Insurance Day: The History’ (Beagle Street, 2017): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO-auTZ6fcI 

    This episode first premiered in 2023, for members of 🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS🌴 - where you can also DITCH THE ADS and get weekly bonus bits, unlock over 100 bits of extra content and support our independent podcast. Join now via Apple Podcasts or Patreon. Thanks!
     
    We'll be back tomorrow! Follow us wherever you get your podcasts: podfollow.com/retrospectors
     
    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.
    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Ollie Peart.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2024.


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
149 Ratings

149 Ratings

natapee4844 ,

One of my regular listens

Great show, only problem is the theme music is a bit of a nightmare with headphones.
Dunno why it’s so loud & so sudden, it’s like it pounces on you as soon as the last word of the podcast is exhaled

Pmayze ,

Finally joined the Club

Have listened to this every weekday morning for the last year, and it’s been a brilliant start to every day. It’s fun and consistently fascinating, with excellent rapport between the presenters… so joining Club Retrospectors was long overdue!

DJKeltech ,

A great listen

Love the show , keep it up

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