This Week in 1935: 6-12 October

6-12 October:

ROYAL BABY: On the 9th of October 1935, at five past two in the morning, the Duchess of Kent gave birth to Prince Edward. The event was made known to members of the public by firing the Park and Tower guns – a slightly more direct approach than the hours those poor journalists had to wait standing outside a hospital not so long ago.

NEW INVENTIONS: This week in 1935 two major inventions were announced in The Times. The first was an electric letter sorter. The Post Office branch of Brighton and Hove tested the new letter-sorting machine in the hope of avoiding letter manipulation or ‘double-handing’. Until then letters had been sorted by hand and placed in pigeon-holed boxes; service was slow and letters could get damaged. The machine meant that over 24,000 letters could be sorted in an hour.

The second invention was a new model of a three-wheeled car – something we now associate with generations past. The Times’ official motoring correspondent wrote this week in 1935 that a coach-built three-wheeled car was available to buy for under £100.

HOWARD LEAGUE REFORM: this week in 1935 the Howard League for Penal Reform advocated the value of books in prisons. Mr. John A. F. Watson remarked that, ‘a prison sentence offers a great opportunity for reading, and frequently men whose literary tastes had previously been confined to “blood and thunder” might be introduced to the work of authors which give them lasting pleasure.’

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