this is the week that was

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The Independent Online
19 February:

1878: Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.

1906: William S Kellogg forms the "Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company" to market the cereal invented by his brother. It was first intended as therapy for mental patients and was also claimed to curb the sex drive.

20 February:

1811: Austria goes bankrupt.

1939: Nylon stockings go on sale for the first time in New York.

21 February:

1858: The first electric burglar alarm is installed by Edwin Holmes of Boston, Mass.

1952: The United Kingdom abolishes identity cards.

22 February:

1989: The Health Ministry in Finland recommends erotically indulgent "sex holidays" as a cure for stress. On the same day, the bath-maker Aldo Jacuzzi dies.

23 February:

1874: Major Walter Wingfield invents "Sphairistike", later to become popular as Lawn Tennis.

1956: The West German army bans the goose-step.

24 February:

1994: British Coal retire their last four pit ponies.

25 February:

1570: Queen Elizabeth is excommunicated by Pope Pius V.

1946: The first post-war bananas arrive in Britain.

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