this is the week that was

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11 December:

1769: Edward Beran of London patents Venetian blinds.

1956: The Government approves TV broadcasts between 6pm and 7pm.

1987: Charlie Chaplin's bowler and cane fetch pounds 82,500 at auction. His boots go for pounds 38,500.

12 December:

1915: The first all-metal plane, made by Junkers, takes off.

1955: Christopher Cockerell patents the hovercraft.

13 December:

1884: The coin-operated weighing machine is patented by Percy Everitt.

1903: Ice cream cones are patented by Italo Marcione of New York.

14 December:

1954: Divorce becomes legal in Argentina.

1973: Idi Amin starts a "Save Britain" fund to help us out of our economic crisis.

1951: Two journalists are fined for letting a seal swim in the Trevi fountain in Rome.

15 December:

1654: The Meteorological Office in Tuscany is the first to record daily temperatures.

1964: Canada adopts the maple leaf as its official symbol.

1979: Chris Haney and Scott Abbott invent Trivial Pursuit.

16 December:

1809: The 13-year marriage between Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine is dissolved.

1951: Freddie Steele moves from Mansfield to Port Vale in the first football transfer deal.

17 December:

1849: William Coke buys the first bowler hat (made by Thomas Bowler) for 12 shillings.

1885: Jem Smith beats Jack Davies in the last official bare- knuckle fight for the British heavyweight championship.

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