[Daily article] February 9: Cragside

Cragside is a Victorian country house near Rothbury in Northumberland,
England. It was the home of William Armstrong, 1st Baron Armstrong,
founder of the Armstrong Whitworth armaments firm and inventor of the
hydraulic crane and the Armstrong gun. Cragside was the first house in
the world to be lit using hydroelectric power. The entire estate,
designed by Richard Norman Shaw, was technologically advanced, with a
hydraulic lift, a hydroelectric rotisserie, and early versions of a
dishwasher and dumb waiter. Armstrong was raised to the peerage in 1887,
taking the title Baron Armstrong of Cragside. He was the first engineer
ever to join the House of Lords. He filled Cragside with a significant
art collection, and it became an integral part of his commercial
operations, entertaining guests including the Shah of Persia and the
King of Siam. Following Armstrong’s death in 1900, his heirs struggled
to maintain the house and estate. The National Trust acquired the estate
in 1977 and opened it to the public in 1979.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Quasi-War: The USS Constellation captured the French
L’Insurgente in a single-ship action in the Caribbean Sea.


American Civil War: Jefferson Davis was named as the
provisional president of the Confederate States of America.


The Svalbard Treaty was signed, recognising Norwegian
sovereignty over the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, but all signatories
were also given equal rights to engage in commercial activities on the


The Australian Defence Force was formed by the unification of
the Australian Army, the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Australian
Air Force.


Two Meridian commuter trains were involved in a head-on
collision at Bad Aibling in southeastern Germany that left 12 dead and
85 others injured.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

live paycheck to paycheck:
(US, idiomatic) To spend all that one earns without saving anything.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  My time coming, any day, don’t worry about me, no Been so long I
felt this way, I’m in no hurry, no. Rainbows end down that highway where
ocean breezes blow My time coming, voices saying, they tell me where to
go. Don’t worry ’bout me, no no, don’t worry ’bout me, no And I’m in no
hurry, no no no, I know where to go. California, preaching on the
burning shore California, I’ll be knocking on the golden door Like an
angel, standing in a shaft of light Rising up to paradise, I know I’m
going to shine.  
–John Perry Barlow

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