July 16th, 1890

A Wednesday, and a hot day for sport: the National Rifle Association meeting at Bisley “sweltered in burning haze” which made accurate shooting on the ranges difficult. Elsewhere, Carthusian won the Newmarket July Handicap by four lengths.

At Old Trafford, Lancashire beat Middlesex by seven wickets, courtesy of a winning stand of 136 from Paul and Yates. One year previously, the laws concerning the number of balls bowled per over had been changed: the four ball over, of time immemorial and Grace’s Gloucestershire childhood, had been changed to one of five. It was a time of change. 1890 is seen by some commentators as the first year in cricket’s “golden age”: it was certainly the first season of the formally-constituted County Cricket Championship.

There was something else that happened on that baking July day that didn’t make the newspapers, let alone the sports pages, but is in its way more interesting. Mr. Graham Hope and Miss Ferguson recorded the chimes of Big Ben on an Edison brown wax cylinder. Here’s what it sounded like.