Did You Know?

Who was the local author in our Christmas Challenge?

Samuel Smiles

He was prolific Haddington author who advised his readers that they could save 45/- (shillings) a year by foregoing a daily pint of beer.  This could insure a man’s life for £130, payable at death; or invested in a savings bank and gain £100 in 20 years for his old age. 

This is a quote from his book entitled Thrift, published in 1875. Samuel Smiles is best-known for his Self-Help book published in 1859 that sold more than a quarter of a million copies in his lifetime.  It had a considerable influence on Victorian thinking and was translated into Arabic, amongst other languages.  In addition to books on self-improvement he was interested in engineering, particularly railways, and published a five volume set on Lives of the Engineers.  A plaque on Haddington High Street marks his birthplace in 1812.  You can read more about him in ‘Articles of Interest’ on this website.  

For extra points we asked you to practise your arithmetic and calculate the price of a pint of beer in 1875? A pint of beer cost a penny ha’penny.