Mary Poppins Returns” transports audiences back to 1930s London.

The beloved nanny at the center of the original 1964 hit film will return, this time played by Emily Blunt.

But Mary’s original companion, Bert, a chimney sweep played by Dick Van Dyke, has been replaced by Jack, a lamplighter played by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Some fans of the original might be disappointed to see Bert cede screen time to Jack. But as a historian of Victorian science, I was delighted to see a bygone industrial technology – the gas lamp – take center stage.

Read more in The Conversation.

This article was republished by the Associated Press, Business Insider, U.S. News and World Report, and Salon.


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Jennifer Tucker is a historian who studies the interrelations of art and science, photography, and mass visual culture, with a specialization in 19th to mid-20th century British, U.S., and trans-Pacific history. The common threads in her diverse research fields are the dynamics of visual media in modern history, the nature of evidence, public perceptions and practices of history, and the interrelationships of science, technology, and the law.

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