A 1960s UK stamp featuring Florence Nightingale from my childhood album (in old L-S-D pennies) with a youthful Queen Elizabeth head, much like the Young Victoria!
This Friday 13th sees the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s death on 13 August 1910. Commemorated in many ways through a Royal Mint £2 coin, a church service on Radio 4 Sunday morning 8th August 2010 (available on I-player) and much press coverage about anniversary events
along with her refurbished museum
Visitors to the Greenbank Hotel in Falmouth, where part of Wind in The Willows was written by Kenneth Grahame, can see Florence Nightingale’s signature in the visitor’s book of what was a very popular Victorian hotel for travellers overseas via the busy Falmouth harbour.
Readers of our Darwin 200 stamp blog will note that much of our Darwin celebrations locally in Cornwall in 2009 focussed on Falmouth, where Darwin made landfall on Oct 2 1836 at the end of the Beagle voyage. A plaque, rather then register entry, marks the spot as he rapidly left for home by mail coach after five homesick and seasick adventurous years. Darwin and Nightingale in their dogged pursuit of evidence or statistics to support their arguments would have had no doubt a very interesting discussion, had they ever met!
Her obituary can be found at
and an interesting research blog at
Previous Entry May 2010:
Every 12 May around the world is International Nursing Day, baacuse it is also Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Happy 190th birthday Florence.
This year has extra significance, amazingly it is only 100 years since Florence Nightingale died on 13 August 2010.
Florence was one of that generation of long-lived famous Victorians who lived well into the Twentieth Century including Alfred Russel Wallace the explorer and evolutionary theorist who died in 1913. Wallace has been mentioned on this blog site with news that you may soon see him on a UK stamp.
One of our recent commenters on the blog asked why we didn’t mention Rosalind Franklin ‘the dark lady of DNA’ when we introduced DNA, Crick and Watson. A trawl through internet stamp sites and Stanley Gibbons catalogues will produce some images of women scientists and engineers who aren’t Marie Curie. (Personally I look forward to a portrait stamp of Hedy Lamarr, featuring a background print of her World War Two patent for torpedo switching gear).
Not surprisingly the Royal Mail, mints and postage stamp designers ariound the world have often honoured nurses, Florence Nightingale and occasionally her contemporary Mary Seacole often over the last 100 years.
2009/10 also marks the 150th anniversary of her important book Notes on Nursing, based on her experiences in The Crimean War. www.royalmint.com/store/BritishBase/UKFNBU.aspx. Just as revolutionary in its time and field as Darwin’s Origin of Species, the International College of Nursing ICN modern edition of Notes on Nursing is still available 150 years later!
As a scientist, Florence is also famous for using Pie charts to present information in persuasive ways, useful for introducing maths to the history curriculum and the ever present role model search for women scientists.
Some primary teachers I know do groan at the name Florence Nightingale as this is currently the examplar famous Victorian person in the current National Curriculum (England and Wales) and some hope the new one due in 2011 is Florence free.
Talking to collegues and stall holders at a history teaching conference including the TTS people who have a Florence section
, some teachers after many years of teaching Florence were showing signs of ‘Florence Fatigue’. This will hopefully never become a recognisable medical condition.
Examples of creating famous person / Florence Nightingale displays (timelines!) using postage stamps can be seen at:
, showing pictures of the story of Florence Nightingale as an exhibition of stamps at the ICN Congress in Durban by Marilyn Gendek, an Australian nurse and philatelist.
Country Joe’s site covers statues and other memorails, good for looking at evidence of Victorians in our towns and local areas such as suggested on our Victorian Time safari blog entries last year:
is a comprehensive six page long pdf article on Florence Nightingale in stamps.
The Crimean War was marked 150 years on by a recent Royal Mail issue four or five years ago – see the Royal Mail website. Local regimental museums and the National Army Museum at Chelsea are also good sources for information on this conflict.
There is lots of biographical information on Florence ranging from the BBC, Victorian Web and Wikipedia to the Florence Nightingale Museum
her collected works and writings