Austin Watts & Kyle Mabe
On the 2nd July 1890, the United Kingdom, France, the German Empire, the Kingdom of Portugal, the Congo Free State, the Kingdom of Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Russian Empire, Austria-Hungary, Sweden-Norway, Denmark, the United States, the Ottoman Empire, Zanzibar, and Persia all signed the Brussels Conference Act. This act ended the legality of slavery, it "put an end to Negro Slave Trade by land as well as by sea, and to improve the moral and material conditions of existence of the native races". Ottoman authorities, the Shah of Persia, and the Sultan of Zanzibar were asked to survey their borders and prevent the trade of slaves and firearms to and from the African continent.
Keeping it short
One of the more curious plot devices to modern readers of Bram Stoker's Dracula is the repeated use of shorthand by characters, Particularly Johnathan Harker. In the days of voice-recognition software and recording the art of short hand has all but died off, but for many years it was a staple skill for both journalists and secretaries. Shorthand uses a series of symbols, that are designed to be easy to write quickly, to represent common words or phrases. To the untrained eye can easily appear as nothing more than scribbles; convenient when writing to your fiance about the vampire you're staying with.
Putting it a Hole in it.
In the Novel Dracula By Bram Stoker Doctor John Seward and Van Helsing perform an invasive surgery to save the life of a patient at Dr. Seward's insane asylum. The man, Renfield brought his fists to a vampire fight and suffered many injuries including a fractured skull. To relieve pressure caused by intracranial bleeding they perform a procedure called Trepanning. At the time that entailed taking a hand drill and carefully making a hole in the skull and suture the skin up. At the time this procedure was risky and not recommended due to the risk of infection since effective antiseptics hadn't been developed. It has found a resurgence in recent years due to improved methods and new antiseptics. The procedure has been found to have positive effects on those who have suffered damage from intracranial bleeding compared to other methods.
A Hole In The Head DVD: African Trepanation video clip
The Truth About Gypsies
Throughout history the Roma people, often known as Gypsies, have often gotten a bad wrap. Bram Stoker's Dracula is no exception to his trend. He uses the gypsy stereotype to create Dracula's connection to the outside world from his Castle. They were seen as a mysterious people at the time and people often accused the Romas of practicing dark magic and all sorts of other wild accusations. Sadly even today Roma are still prosecuted because of how their culture differs from the world around them despite efforts by some governments to better protect them.