70s Little League Player

How Little League Prepares Kids for Work

Little League baseball as we know it is result of child development theory and practices in America's heartland in the years directly after World War II.
Mansion of Happiness board game

Gamification, Then and Now

Nineteenth-century board games help to map public morality, from religious virtue to upward mobility.
taco truck

The Rise of the Taco Truck

It's difficult to pinpoint exactly when the taco was invented, but the taco truck has grown from humble origins to inspire an entire mobile food revolution.
1940s ghost stories

Why Were Americans Obsessed With Ghosts in the 1940s?

In 1940s America, two folklorists undertook the task of collecting and studying the "modern" ghost stories of their time.
Katz's Deli

The Genealogy of the Jewish Deli

The Jewish deli is a New York City tradition that has spread far beyond the city's limits. It's a tradition worthy of its own history.
Santa at chimney

What Santa Claus Looks Like

Where does the figure of Santa Claus come from? Turns out the answer is not "the North Pole." And he's not just about Christianity, either.
Hasty Pudding

Hasty Pudding: The Original American Comfort Food

Puddings can be surprisingly nationalistic.
Still Life

Thanksgiving Is a Feast of Things Forgotten

Thanksgiving is a feast so complex and semiotically dense that things are very often forgotten and rarely go according to plan.
Bayeux Feast

Bringing Ancient Meals to Life

Recreating ancient meals--complete with 2500-year-old booze--is no easy feat.
Tang ad

There’s Class Inside That Glass of Tang

A scholar examines kitschy American foods as an entree into a conversation about class in the United States.