How to drink like an 18th-century European war god

Tim and I recently acquired a bottle of Admiral Horatio Nelson's blood, and I am happy to report that it's delicious.

Perhaps some explanation is in order. "Nelson's Blood" is the nickname for Pusser's Rum, the official former tipple of the Royal Navy. After he was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar:

Nelson's body was placed in a large cask of Pusser's Rum to preserve it for the long voyage back to England. Upon arrival, the cask was opened and Nelson's preserved body removed. But the rum was almost gone. The jack tars (sailors) had drilled a small hole at the base of the cask through which they drained most of the rum, thereby drinking of Nelson's Blood. 

The British Navy continued to ration out Pusser's to its men until 1970, which is truly unbelievable once you've tasted it. It bears no resemblance to the sickly-sweet stuff in sorority rum-and-Cokes; it's as rarefied as single malt and as strong as antifreeze. If you're going to Boat Under the Influence, this is the way to go.

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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