17 Numbered Lists from History


“17 numbered lists that will restore your faith in humanity, specifically in its ability to make numbered lists.”

1. 7 types of drunkard

From pages 52 to 60 of The Anatomy of Drunkenness (1834) by Robert Macnish


2. 33 instances of premature interment

From pages 19 to 82 of The Danger of Premature Internment (1816) by Joseph Taylor


3. A total of 79 imagined artefacts (split up into three lists of 20, 34, and 25)

From Museum Clausum (1652) by Thomas Browne


4. 25 stages from courtship to marriage

From a set of stereographs held by the Harper Stereograph Collection of the Boston Public Library

5. 197 exhibits at a turn-of-the-century Madam Tussaud’s

From Catalogue of Napoleon Relics, Pictures and Other Works of Art and Curiosities (1901) compiled by W.Wheeler


6. 18 accounts of taking Laughing Gas in 1799

From pages 497 to 532 of Researches, chemical and philosophical chiefly concerning nitrous oxide, or diphlogisticated nitrous air, and its respiration (1800) by Humphry Davy


7. The 47 sins of Isaac Newton

From a transcription of Newton’s notebook from 1662, known as the Fitzwilliam Manuscript

V0004273 Sir Isaac Newton. Mezzotint by J. MacArdell after E. Se

8. 114 proved plans to save a busy man time

From 114 proved plans to save a busy man time; tested plans for making every minute count–ways to keep work free from interruption–how to put your office and desk in effective time-saving trim–methods that help to speed up routine (1918) by A.W. Shaw Company


9. 12 ways of committing suicide (of lighter tone than it may sound).

From pages 21 to 23 of Our Home Counselor: A Practical Cyclopedia for Daily Use (1873) by L.W. Yaggy


10. 68 designs for a tower in London

From Descriptive illustrated catalogue of the sixty-eight competitive designs for the great tower for London (1890) compiled and edited by Fred. C. Lynde for the Tower Company


11. 5 classes of dreams according to Macrobius

From page 5 of Lord Byron’s Dreambook (1886) by the Serial Leaflet Publishing Company


12. 100 types of marriage

From pages 221 to 226 of The Sexual Life of our Time in its Relations to Modern Civilization (1909), by Iwan Bloch, translated by M. Eden Paul


13. 9 types of newspaper adverts with a sexual purpose

From pages 722 to 728 of The Sexual Life of our Time in its Relations to Modern Civilization (1909), by Iwan Bloch, translated by M. Eden Paul


14. 29 letters regarding the education of the “learned pig”

From The expositor or, Many mysteries unravelled (1805) by William Frederic Pinchbeck


15. 13 features of spontaneous human combustion

From pages 188 and 189 of The Anatomy of Drunkenness (1834) by Robert Macnish


16. 28 sundry little accomplishments as regards to politeness

From pages 57 to 71 of Principles of Politeness, and of Knowing the World (1786) by Lord Chesterfield


17. 162 recorded sightings of sea serpents from 1522 – 1890

From pages 102 to 379 of The Great Sea-serpent: An historical and critical treatise (1892) by A. C. Oudemans (or condensed on pages 485 to 494)


A numbered list of the sources for the images featured above in the numbered list of historical numbered lists

1. Merry Making on the Regent’s Birthday (1812) by George Cruikshank / 2. The Premature Burial (1854) by Antoine Joseph Wiertz. / 3. Engraving Dell’Historia Naturale (1599) by Ferrante Imperato / 4. See source above / 5. See source above / 6. Detail from a satirical print from 1830 / 7. Detail from Sir Isaac Newton (1726), mezzotint by J. MacArdell after E. Seeman / 8. See source above / 9. Painting by Christian Gross, c.1752 / 10. See source above / 11. The Orangerie;—or—the Dutch Cupid reposing after the fatigues of Planting (1726) by James Gilray / 12. Illustration from The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (1882) / 13. The Poem by Federico Andreotti / 14. The Wonderful Pig (1785) by Thomas Rowlandson / 15. Detail from Fire (1566) by
Giuseppe Arcimboldo
/ 16. Detail from A Club of Gentlemen (ca.1730) by Joseph Highmore / 17. See source above