Alphonse Bertillon, first head of the Forensic Identification Service of the Prefecture de Police in Paris (1893).

The Origins of the Mug Shot

US police departments began taking photographs of people they arrested in the 1850s.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:American_Progress_(John_Gast_painting).jpg

The Myth of Manifest Destiny

Not everyone in the nineteenth century was on board with expanding the territory of the US from coast to coast.
Figures merge female to male

Policing Intersex Americans’ Sex and Gender 

Assigning one sex to people with ambiguous genitalia has a long history in medicine and law.
A glass of Japanese coffee jelly

Free Will, Birth Control, and Coffee Jelly

Well-researched stories from The Guardian, Nursing Clio, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.
Hare Indian Dog

The Dogs of North America

Dogs were prolific hunters and warm companions for northeastern Native peoples like the Mi'kmaq.
17th century British newsletters

The Newsletter Boom, 300 Years before Substack

Some journalists are turning to newsletters to get their work out. But they're not hand-copying them onto folded paper, like people did in the 1600s.
: A woman adjusting her dress, London, c. 1865

How to Dress for Dystopia

Some nineteenth-century novelists predicted horrible futures, with perfectly horrible clothing to match.
Illustration of a brain

Brain Implants, Pirates, and Pretty Birds

Well-researched stories from The New Yorker, Psyche, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.
Boy and girl standing in front of camera with car.

Fun with Naming Decades in History

Whether the 2020s will roar remains to be seen, but people have been coming up with nicknames for decades since the Elegant (18)80s.
Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Van Gogh, Breathing Plastic, and the Music of Struggle

Well-researched stories from The New York Times, Black Perspectives, and other great publications that bridge the gap between news and scholarship.