Timeline

Readers Letters:
Common Travels Made Impossible

 
 

by Seth Hetharde

It's the end of the week, and I have yet to travel back to my fragile mother's house. My father and I remain patient while waiting for this fog to reduce in viscosity and thickness. However, he has grown tired and is anxious to learn of my mother's condition.

He has been experimenting with certain mechanical filters, in the hopes that mundane lungs are given a chance to breathe through the thick air. His experiments have yet to reach a breakthrough, but he remains utterly adamant. For the best hope I have, I wish this accursed fog does not take my mother's life nor my father's sanity from me.

 

His schematic and diagrams are based on a type of miniature hydraulic within a mask, that pumps the thick air through a filter and, hypothetically, cleanses the fog.

I have little understanding of the physics behind such an object, but my father claims it will work.

For my mother's sake and his mental well-being, I hope so.

 

Country Awakens From From Dark Winter

Date Stamp 1909
 
 

Letter from the Editor:

It has been years since the onset of the Dark Winter, and Victorian society is finally getting to grips with living in smoke.

A lifetime of burning fuels to power the big mechanical machines, coupled with diverse weather conditions created a deadly pea-souper that plunged the world into darkness.

The British resolve has crumbled, ironically not through invasion, war or starvation, but by the yellow sickly smelling fog that has choked life out of 250,000 people, and closed down industry.

Once again people look to Science for a solution, and are dutifully reminded of what happened the last time they turned to Queen Victoria's The Department for the Advancement of Sciences for a miracle.

Some claim it is far from a miracle, and call the arrival of Clockwork Servants a nightmare.

As the human race comes to terms with the fact that we are no longer alone, there are rumours that these Clockwork automatons are about to be introduced into homes.

 

Letter From A Londoner
There's No Way Out!

 
 

Dearest Sasha,

So I find myself confined to the house. This wretched fog has grounded all airships and there is no way for me to get out of London.

Not that it is advisable to go outside at the moment. The atmosphere outside is more like a soup than breathable air.

I am incredibly grateful that neither myself nor Papa suffer from any sort of respiratory distress. For the moment all we can do is wait and hope it clears soon. The majority of shops are closed and all manner of recreational events have had to be cancelled. I fear I shall go quite mad from boredom and isolation.

I was supposed to be meeting a contact in Belgium next week but I can't imagine I shall make it now. I hear that the Belgians have a special touch when it comes to the

 

production of eating chocolate and thought I might be able to secure a shipment in time for Christmas if I could bring it in by airship. So much for that plan.

Still we have managed to get hold of many of our usual luxuries, tea from Russia, silk from China, spices from India, Coffee and Turkish delight from Turkey, Oranges from Spain. I just hope that there are people still left in London to buy our goods.

I hope this letter finds you in good health. I'll be up to see you as soon as I have time, possibly sooner, if the fog persists we may all have to leave the city.

All my love

Elizabeth Harcourt

 

Fog Shuts Britain Down

 
 

A nationwide shutdown was declared last night as the government tried to stem the number of deaths and rise in the people contracting respiratory conditions brought on by the 'pea-souper' fog covering the country.

More than 3000 people are reported to have died from lung failure, hospitals are turning new patients away, and the accident and emergency services are grounded by the fog. In some places visibility is down to a few metres.

Doctors claim that most of the deaths were caused by respiratory tract infections from hypoxia and as a result of mechanical obstruction of the air passages by pus arising from lung infections caused by the smog.

The government plans to introduce emergency legislation to restrict the use of dirty fuels in industry and banning black smoke. 

Shops across the country are closed, roads are deserted and local councils have been instructed to keep the street lights on during the day time, until the fog clears.

Theatrical performances, concerts and live events have been cancelled. In some cinemas, the thick fog seeped under doors resulting in the cancellation or abandonment of films as visibility decreased in large enclosed spaces. Almost all outdoor sports events have been affected.

The public are advised to stay at home, and to only use smokeless fuel for heating. The National Metrological Office believes the fog is a result of burning peat, coal and wood for home heating and industrial manufacturing processes in British factories. 

 

New By-Law Makes Fog Signals Compulsory in London

 
 

Under London's new Conservancy By-laws relating to every steam vessel, when the steam is up, and vessel is under way, shall in all cases of fog use as a signal a steam whistle, which shall be sounded at least every three minutes.

(a) Airships when under way shall in like manner use a fog horn. (b) When at anchor all vessels shall in like manner use a bell.

The penalty for breach of these by-laws is a sum not exceeding £5.