What It Cost to Shop at the Grocery Store in 1836, and What Goods You Could Buy

≡ Category: Books, Business, Economics, History |2 Comments

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Like many children in possession of a toy cash register, I was a big fan of playing store.
A short stint working retail in a 90’s era Chicago hippie clothing emporium cured me of that for the most part.
But looking over the above page from Roswell C.


200-Year-Old Robots That Play Music, Shoot Arrows & Even Write Poems: Watch Automatons in Action

≡ Category: History, Technology |1 Comment


The robots, as we all know, are coming for our jobs. We might regard that particular anxiety as distinctive of the digital age, but the idea of machines that perform what we’ve long considered specifically human tasks has a long history — as does the reality of those machines.


A Short Video Introduction to Alice Guy-Blaché (1873–1968), the First Female Film Director & Studio Mogul

≡ Category: Film, History |Leave a Comment

This year’s Women’s History Month theme is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.


Carl Sagan Explains How the Ancient Greeks, Using Reason and Math, Figured Out the Earth Isn’t Flat, Over 2,000 Years Ago

≡ Category: History, Science |10 Comments

The denial of science has entered the highest levels of government, and no matter what the data says, the U.S. promises to cease all efforts to curtail, or even study, climate change.


Nick Cave Narrates an Animated Film about the Cat Piano, the Twisted 18th Century Musical Instrument Designed to Treat Mental Illness

≡ Category: History, Psychology, Random |2 Comments

What do you imagine when you hear the phrase “cat piano”? Some kind of whimsical furry beast with black and white keys for teeth, maybe? A relative of My Neighbor Totoro’s cat bus? Or maybe you picture a piano that contains several caged cats who shriek along an entire scale when keys are pressed that slam sharpened nails into the


Hitler Was ‘Blitzed’ On Cocaine & Opiates During World War II: Hear a Wide-Ranging Interview with Best-Selling Author Norman Ohler

≡ Category: History |2 Comments

Historians have written an extraordinary amount about Hitler, the Third Reich, and World War II–so much, that it’s hard to imagine anyone could find something novel to say about this dark period of history. But German journalist Norman Ohler has done just that.


An Animated Introduction to McCarthyism: What Is It? And How Did It Happen?

≡ Category: History |1 Comment

During the 1970s, a young Donald Trump was mentored by Roy Cohn, a brash, take-no-prisoners lawyer, who first came to prominence during the 1950s, when he served as the consigliere to Joseph McCarthy and his campaign to expose suspected communists in the United States.


Every Front Page of The New York Times in Under a Minute: Watch the Evolution of “The Gray Lady” from 1852 to Present

≡ Category: History, Media, Technology |Leave a Comment


Buckling under information overload?
The long view can be soothing, as filmmaker Josh Begley proves in just under a minute, above. The data artist reduced 165 years worth of chronologically ordered New York Times front pages—every single one since 1852—to a grid of inky rectangles flashing past at lightning speed.


New Interactive Map Visualizes the Chilling History of Lynching in the U.S. (1835-1964)

≡ Category: History, Maps |8 Comments

Whether we like to admit it or not, the history of the U.S. is in great degree a history of genocide and racist terror.


What Did the Voice of Neanderthals, Our Distant Cousins, Sound Like?: Scientists Demonstrate Their “High Pitch” Theory

≡ Category: History |Leave a Comment

Scholars have made informed, educated guesses at what Shakespeare sounded like in the original pronunciation. The same applies to what Old Norse sounded like from the 9th through the 13th centuries.


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