Badges and emblems of the Royal Air Force

A 10 H.P. Motor Car


"Within an extremely limited space, modern engineers can fit an astonishing amount of complicated mechanism that will drive a carriage large enough to hold four adults in comfort at speeds up to 70 m.p.h. Properly used, the car gives long trouble-free service"

Source: "How It Works and How Its Done" (Ellison Hawks, Pub. Odhams) (c. 1935)


Making the modern motor car


"The set of pictures shown here was made by our special artist during a visit to Morris Motors, Ltd., Cowley, Oxford."

Source: "Modern Wonder" Vol. 1 #12  (1937)

Artist: Roland Davies


'Bluebird' - Sir Malcolm Campbell's New Hydroplane

How science comes into all our lives

The cost of the world war


"It may help us to understand what the World War really cost in lives and property if we think of it in terms of things we know.

If some great catastrophe had wiped out the total revenue of the United Kingdom for, say, the year 1909, the money loss would have been 300 times less than the direct cost of the war, that is, the expenditure for carrying on military operations. If we add the indirect costs - the economic loss from death and injury, loss of production, and property loss - the cost of the war is nearly doubled, reaching the staggering total of £67,000,000,000.

"If the entire population of England and Wales in 1831 - 13,000,000 - had been destroyed, the loss of life would have been no greater than that among the soldiers and sailors who fought in the World War.

"If the army of men who were wounded one or more times or taken prisoner had been drawn from England and Wales alone in 1914, it would have taken more than half the entire population. It is only by such comparisons that we can realise what the war really cost"

Source: "The Children's Encyclopaedia" (1920)


The daily army of workers all over our land


"Every day, if some fairy's wand could give us power to see our country at a glance, we should see these workers setting out from their homes"

Source: "The Children's Encyclopaedia" (1910)


A birds-eye view of our land


"Here we see what the mountains of England and Scotland would look like if they could all be brought together. Visitors to London are always impressed by St. Paul's Cathedral, with its beautiful dome; but it would take eleven St. Paul's Cathedrals, one above the other, to reach the top of Ben Nevis, the highest point on which we can stand in Britain. At the bottom of the picture are Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, Eddystone Lighthouse, the Houses of Parliament, and the Monument, showing how they compare with the hills and mountains"

Source: "The Children's Treasure House" (1911)


The Metropolitan Police Force


"We show on these pages the interesting details of the organisation of this very complicated machine - the Metropolitan Police Force"

Source: "Modern Wonder" Vol. 4 #99 (1939)

Artist: L. Ashwell Wood


An Impression of the Lost Titanic

Provisioning a warship


"This drawing gives a splendid idea of the hugeness of the task of keeping a warship fighting trim. It represents the food for the officers and the men only. The food for the guns is, of course, another very big item"

Source: "The Great War" Ed. Wilson/Hammerton (Amalgamated Press, 1918)


The London Fire-Brigade


"The London Fire Brigade is the most efficient and up-to-date in the world - the equipment is second to none and great keenness exists among the personnel. We endeavour to show pictorially on these pages as many interesting facts of this wonderful organisation as space permits."

Source: "Modern Wonder", Vol 4 #95, 1939

Artist: L. Ashwell-Wood


The Real Yellow Peril

Croydon: Britain's Premier Airport


"The Control Tower at Croydon handles daily over sixty air liners. All are given frequent weather reports and the position of other aircraft on their route. In bad visibility, pilots are given their position by wireless.  Inside the Control Room, Air Ministry officials plot the position of each aircraft and flag them on the chart.  The risk of collision is thus eliminated.

"Companies operating from Croydon include Air Despatch, Wrightways, Olley Air Services and Air Taxis Ltd"

Source: "Modern Wonder", 1938

More Forgotten Infographics:

The sun and his family: the great worlds that travel through space forever

"The great worlds that spin round the sun in space travel faster than anything we can conceive, a thousand times fast than an express train. We cannot show them moving, but our artist has represented them as motor-cars to help us imagine them on their ceaseless flight around the sun"

Source: "The Children's Treasure House" (1908)

Artist: G.F. Morrell


A large passenger aeroplane

"If you could be a bird, looking downwards from the skies, and a portion of the covering of an enormous passenger-carrying aeroplane were removed, this is what you would see. Note the three powerful engines, under the dual control of the pilot and navigator, and observe also that this great air express is fully equipped with wireless. Moreover, a steward is carried who serves refreshments during the journey much as would happen on a long-distance railway train"

Source: "Newnes Pictorial Knowledge" (1932)


The most famous buildings of the world