George Custer and the banana phone.  copyright John Cormican

The whole of 1876 in one book

In 1876 the first telephone call was made, but the old world was fighting back.  The noble savage Sioux and Cheyenne Indians defeated the 7th Cavalry and massacred General Custer and his men.  Now in 2014, phones are everywhere and Indians are mostly only found on their reservations.  But where do bananas fit in?  Find out in the eBook "in 1876: Bananas and Custer".

Battle of the Greasy Grass

The Battle of Little Bighorn - or the Battle of the Greasy Grass as it is known to the Sioux - took place over two days.  On the first day Custer and the 210 men with him were killed, and on the next day, Monday 26 June, 1876, the remainder of the Cavalry and Infantry fought a pitched battle against the overwhelming numbers of Indians.   

On the same day, at the same time, another group of Indians was attacking in front of Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle. Well, almost.  A lacrosse team of Iroquois Indians was playing an exhibition match there; they more than likely had tea with the queen.  She would have been amused at the two types of Indian attack, just 4,000 miles apart.

There are at least 366 stories in 1876 - after all, it was a leap year.  

"in 1876: Bananas and Custer" tells some of those stories.  Somewhere between Radio 4's "In Our Time", an episode of "QI" and "The Straight Dope" from the Chicago Reader.

A brief time of history: a look at one year around the world.  What happened in 1876?    

"In 1876: Bananas & Custer"  

Reduced to less than £1 or $1 on iBooks

Click on the Apple Logo on the right to go to the iTunes iBooks Store and buy the book.

A multi-touch book designed EXCLUSIVELY for the iPad.

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This book has over 1,000 images and is a 1Gb download.  Best to have 5-10 minutes access to good broadband connection when you start downloading.

 All About History Magazine, Issue 21 - out January 2015

In 1876: Bananas & Custer is a detailed and innovative record of the events occurring over one year in history, and yes, both General Custer and bananas feature here.

True to the title the book features a mixture of earth-shattering events alongside curious and bizarre goings-on, which all took place during 1876.  Diaries of years or even centuries in history have been published before but what is unique about this offering is the form it takes.  Published exclusively for the iPad, this entire interactive book has been created with the medium firmly in mind.  You are perfectly free to read it as you would an ordinary book , but that would deprive you of some of the most innovative and engaging aspects of the publication.  You can choose whether you'd like to explore the year in order from the first day to the last, jump to the date of your choice or even choose to navigate by varied and entertaining selection of themes, ranging from 'Animal Kingdom' to 'Predictions' to 'Spot the Difference'.

Among the informative and often amusing retelling of the days' events there are little goodies littered about, such as the occasional pop quiz, maps, images and even handy links to other related articles in the book, so you can easily follow one single story through the year.  Almost every entry is backed up with extracts from newspapers and books from the period, adding a factual basis to the entertaining prose.

Because of the staggering size and depth of this book, it's unlikely to be something you read from metaphorical cover to back in one sitting, but what it does provide is an engaging way to fully immerse yourself in the events that defined 1876.  The best thing about this book is that there is no 'proper' way to read it; instead it puts the knowledge and the information in the hands of the reader to do with as we see fit.

 History of War Magazine, Issue 10 -  out December 2014

Brimming with trivia, maps, newspaper clippings and images, innovative iBook "Bananas & Custer" peels apart one of the pivotal years in history to reveal the juicy fruit within.  


In 1876, a pivotal year

The United States celebrated being 100 years old.   Alec Bell (now often called Alexander Graham Bell) made the first telephone call with the sound waves of his voice causing vibrations that were transmitted to his equally interesting assistant, Thomas Watson, down a wire; it was almost called a vibraphone.  


There were atrocities in war (Bulgaria and the Balkans); there was devastation in the aftermath of a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, and the world population hit one and a third billion.  We have added another six billion since then.  100,000 years to get your first billion; our next billion from now might take 12 years.


Books called by the name of the hero were popular: "Daniel Deronda"; "Michael Strogoff"; "Hand of Ethelberta"; "Harold"; "Anna Karenina"; " The Adventures of Tom Sawyer".   Classical composers were booming: Brahms, Liszt and Tchaikovsky; and Richard Wagner premiered his four-day long Ring Cycle.  This was the year that the Impressionists held their 2nd exhibition though then they were better known as "Intransigents" than "Impressionists".


The book

Rich with images from newspapers and paintings from 1876, the iBooks format includes moving maps and galleries of pictures.

"My dad has written a great book.  It's got history in it but I have read some of the words.  I liked it a lot.  Especially the pictures.  He did not pay me to say this." -- An Anonymous Reader, London

"I even found the boring stories were interesting.  If you know what I mean."  --  Joan Cormican, Leeds

"Found this way of presenting history really interesting and fun to read.  I love the way it uses iBooks for picture galleries, moving maps, music and stuff that turn the book into something more than just a straight 'read'.  A day by day look at a year when so much was going on, it tells stories that are funny, sad, chilling, heartwarming and heartbreaking, as well as being full of I-never-knew-that moments.  I found it very easy to rad and not at all 'dry history'."  --  Mary in UK review at iBookstore

"I expected a book all about General Custer; however it is so much more than that: informative, witty, interesting, well written and superbly researched.  The artwork and illustrations are excellent.  This is my first iBook and even my Mum was impressed when I showed it to her.   Great book."   --   Chinarockman review at iBookstore


Companion books also available exclusively for the iPad in the iBookstore:

"In 1876: Second Impressions"  - 133 of the paintings from the Second Impressionist Exhibition of 1876.  Usual Price  =  £0.99  Currently FREE

"In 1876: The Diary of Molly Maguire"  -  the true story of a secret society of Irish coal miners in 1876 Pennsylvania.  Price = Free 

#OnThisDay  in 1876 

 © copyright Robert Cormican 2013.  Most images from 1876 are in the public domain.  Custer on the banana phone is © copyright John Cormican 2013.