Is This the Way it Was Really Done?  My Policies on Historical Accuracy.

Okay, we are not LARPing.  I know there are some out there who are gung-ho for the fantasy or mythical reality of the American Revolution but we are trying to teach history so historical accuracy is a must.  At my events, I strive to be as accurate as possible with the following caveats: When being …

Historical Tidbits

When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few. September 21, 1776 — Great Fire of New York erupted destroying 10 to 25 percent of buildings in the city.  The British Army accused revolutionaries of deliberately setting the …

Historical Tidbits

When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few. Medical Ketchup During the 1800’s ketchup was used for medicinal purposes. Want to Buy Beer from the Colonial Brewmeister? Help us build a Tavern and Brewery. Visit our GoFundMe …

Historical Tidbits

When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few. September 20, 1777        Massacre at Paoli On the evening of September 20, 1777, near Paoli, Pennsylvania, General Charles Grey and nearly 5,000 British soldiers launch a surprise attack …

Early Meteorology — Predicting the Weather 18th Century Style: scientific beginnings in England

The shift from superstition to scientific study of meteorology began when proper measuring instruments became available in the mid-17th century. By the early 18th century, Daniel Fahrenheit produced accurate mercury thermometers calibrated to a standard scale that ranged from 32 to 96 degrees (i.e., from the melting point of ice to body temperature).  Early work …

Making Whiskey

Whiskey’s origin lies somewhere between 1,000 and 1,200 AD when traveling monks migrating across Europe, introduced the distillation practice into Scotland and Ireland.  Because of the lack of vineyards in these countries, the monasteries turned to fermenting grain mashes and then distilling them into whiskey.  For the next 400 years, whiskey spread throughout the Celtic countries.  …

Colonial Spymaster (#2) — Caesar Cypher

The Caesar cypher is one of the earliest known and simplest cyphers. It is a type of substitution cipher in which each letter in the plaintext is ‘shifted’ a certain number of places down the alphabet. For example, with a shift of 1, A would be replaced by B, B would become C, and so …

Basic Colonial Brewing #18 — Proof your Whiskey, Sir

When it comes to arcane historical terms for spirits and other alcohol, proof is one of the frustrating ones.  In our modern vernacular, with the blessing of modern analytical chemistry as support, we simply think of “proof” as two times the alcohol by volume (ABV).  But why is this measure even a thing?  After all, …

Colonial Spymaster (#1) — Codes and Cyphers in the Continental Army

Going into the Revolution, Americans were at a huge disadvantage to the European powers when it came to cryptography, many of which had been using secret offices where sensitive letters were opened and deciphered by public officials for centuries. It was not uncommon for the messages of Revolutionary leaders and American diplomats to be intercepted …