This was the week that was

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The Independent Culture
Today On this day in 1936, The Billboard of New York published the first chart based on record sales. Charts, to be precise: the top 10 of three companies were listed separately, giving three different Number Ones.

Tomorrow Alexander Dumas fought his first duel in 1925, which was rather different from fights in his Three Musketeer novels and the films: his trousers fell down.

Wednesday The Sex Pistols were sacked by EMI in 1977 after their "foul- mouthed" TV interview. In fairness, the punks didn't swear all the time: only when they opened their mouths.

Thursday In 1894 Fred Ott's Sneeze became the first film to be copyrighted; it included the earliest close-up of, naturally, Fred Ott sneezing. Charles Addams was born in 1912 and rapidly gravitated towards graveyards, via The Addams Family cartoon, TV series and films.

Friday England's earliest known cartoon appeared in Bell's New Weekly Messenger in 1832. In it, the Duke of Wellington moans "O fie fie" at the idea of creating new peers to push the Reform Bill through a House of Lords which was digging its heels in (no change there, then).

Saturday Czech playwright Karel Capek was born in 1890; the word "robot" derives from his play R.U.R., which stands for "Rossum's Universal Robots".

Sunday This is the 50th anniversary of the 45rpm extended-play record, launched by RCA in 1949. In 1888 a patent was granted for the first single- lens movie camera. It, with inventor Louis le Prince, later disappeared mysteriously from the Dijon-Paris train. In a further Hitchcock-style twist of the plot, his son, who tried to have Louis credited as the true originator of motion pictures, was found dead in a Long Island wood. (Cue sinister music.)

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