Ectoplasm Helen Duncan

Ectoplasm and the Last British Woman Tried for Witchcraft

Spiritualist medium Helen Duncan was photographed emitting ectoplasm, supposedly proof of her ability to contact the dead.
Geranium

Why Victorian Gardeners Loathed Magenta

For decades, British and American gardeners avoided magenta flowers. The color had associations with the unnatural and the poisonous.
arsenic book

Some Books Can Kill

Poisonous green pigments laced with arsenic were once a common ingredient in book bindings, paints, wallpapers, and fabrics. Yikes.
nazi german radio

An Affordable Radio Brought Nazi Propaganda Home

In the 1930s, Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels led the charge to create a radio cheap enough that even workers could own one.
African American graveyard

Grave Robbing, Black Cemeteries, and the American Medical School

In the 19th century, students at American medical schools stole the corpses of recently-buried African Americans to be used for dissection.
Elizabeth Jennings Graham

The Woman Who Refused to Leave a Whites-Only Streetcar

In 1854, Elizabeth Jennings rode the streetcar of her choice, in an early civil rights protest that led to desegregating public transportation in NYC.
Nelson, New Zealand - March 05, 2012. Close-Up of Iconic Papa & Rangi Sculpture at Arts Unique, next to the enterance to the Abel Tasman National Park, Marahau, Tasman Region, New Zealand.

Reversing the Trade of Māori Tattooed Heads

Preserved heads decorated with tā moko, or facial tattoos, were sacred objects to New Zealand's Māori. Then Europeans started collecting them.
Horse skull

The Horse Skulls Hidden in the Dance Floors of Ireland

Old houses in Ireland often have horse skulls buried beneath the floors, but folklorists and archaeologists disagree on exactly why.
Susan La Flesche Picotte

The First Native American to Receive a Medical Degree

Susan LaFlesche Picotte was first Native American to be licensed to practice medicine in the U.S. She opened her own hospital, but didn't live to run it.

The Camouflage That Dazzled

During WWI, artist and British naval officer Norman Wilkinson came up with an idea so crazy it just may have worked: Dazzle Camouflage.