A map of lines and metallic circuit connections by the American Telephone and Telegraph Co., 1891

When the Weather Service Spied on Americans

The United States National Weather Service began as part of the military, with a mandate to serve the interests of federal officials and business owners.
Billy Sunday

Pop-Culture Preaching in the 1910s

Billy Sunday was a charismatic preacher who brought in thousands to his vaudeville-inspired church services.
Volunteer nurses tending to the sick and wounded.

When Death Was Women’s Business

In the 19th century, women called "watchers" tended to the dying and the dead.
A dog wearing sunglasses.

Animal Actors, Kids’ Jokes, and Pickup Artists

Well-researched stories from Vox, NPR, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.
Alan Watts

When Buddhism Came to America

Buddhism was embraced by the Beats of 1950s America. But some Buddhists felt these converts were engaging with the practice in a shallow way.
A classroom of white students in the 19th century

White Women’s Role in School Segregation

White American women have long played significant roles in maintaining racist practices. One sociologist calls the phenomenon "social mothering."
A tree with branches blown sideways by wind

When Europeans Feared the Wind

In early modern Europe, various sorts of winds were associated with illness and even death.
Greta Garbo

Makeup in the Technicolor Age

When Technicolor changed the face of the film industry, it also altered the cosmetics industry, sparking the great Hollywood Powder Puff War of the 1930s.
A woman dropping her tea-cup in horror upon discovering the monstrous contents of a magnified drop of Thames water

What Does History Smell Like?

Scholars don't typically pay that much attention to smells, but odors have historically been quite significant.
A pile of pink and blue sponges

Finding the Value of Housework

Can housework be anything other than drudgery? Maybe part of the problem is that we consistently devalue unpaid work.