Map of Warren County, KY

Maps Showed People Their Worlds

In the 19th century, most Americans weren't used to seeing maps of their communities. New forms of color lithography changed all that.
A variety of vintage orange plastic items

The Revolutionary Past of Plastics

When plastics were first invented, they seemed to promise a utopian future.
A woman resting her head on her work desk

Is Burnout Really a Disease?

Perhaps, instead of thinking of burnout as a disease to be dealt with at the individual level, we might collectively address it as a social problem.
Interior of a drug store in the 1950s

Cold Warriors Tanked Big Pharma Regulation

Worried about the high price of prescription drugs, a senator proposed a bill that would have regulated Big Pharma -- back in the 1950s.
Shipping Boat at Sea

What Is a Tariff? An Economist Explains

A global trade war seems well underway as China and the U.S. exchange targeted tariff attacks. An economist explains what they are.
A group of business people chasing a dollar on a string

When Big Rewards Don’t Pay Off

One would think that offering potentially big rewards would inspire workers to create better work. A study found a more complicated picture.
A woman at a table being interviewed for a job

The Only Fair Job Interview

Could taking some of the human element out of interviewing actually make the process more just?
this photograph likely depicts one of the classrooms where migratory workers passing through Chicago obtained practical and academic educational experience.

The Hobo College of Hobohemia

Vagrancy laws targeted hobos at a time when there were few jobs for them. They responded by forming a union and helping to create Chicago’s Hobo College.
A social security card on a plain surface.

When Big Business Backed Social Security

Contemporary conservatives call for the U.S. government to ditch Social Security in favor of private savings. But it wasn't always this way.
A black and white image of a person trapped behind glass

How YouTube Is Shaping the Future of Work

Americans expect our jobs to provide us with not just money but fulfillment. For many, YouTube represents exactly that promise.