Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: A History in Pictures

In 1927, the parade replaced live animals with helium balloons designed by puppeteer Tony Sarg.
Illustration: Reconstruction drawing of public Latrine at Forum Hadriani, Germania Inferior, Netherlands

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/carolemage/9548853868

The Early History of Human Excreta

When humans stopped being nomadic, we could no longer walk away from our waste. We’ve been battling it ever since.
A male janitor stands and bends over a urinal in a bathroom, scrubbing the porcelain with a detergent.

A Short History of the Public Restroom

How come it's so hard to go in sweet privacy when you're out and about?

The Evolution of the Mad Scientist

The crazed caricature of genius was largely inspired by now-debunked late-Victorian ideas about how species change.
Poster promoting a circa-1960s theatrical reissue of the 1931 film Dracula.

Do Vampires Really Exist?

And how would we know? Let's ask the Enlightenment.
A view of the outlet of the Cloaca Maxima by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, ca. 1776

Venus of the Sewers

The Roman sewer, the Cloaca Maxima, was presided over by a goddess whose shrine stood near the Forum.
William Dampier

William Dampier, Pirate Scientist

An oft-overlooked explorer who traversed the globe, driven by his thirst for scientific discovery—and a love of piracy.
Ground mustard

The Mystery of the Mustard Family

An archaeological dig turned up eight bottles of mustard powder in one eighteenth-century homestead. Why the condiment love?
Shucking Oysters, Biloxi, Miss.

How Oysters Became a Food Fad Way out West

Oysters in Wyoming and Arizona? In the nineteenth century? Yes, and mighty tasty too!
Signal corps, pigeon section, 1919

How Pigeons Helped Fight World War I

At ten weeks old, many of the birds headed to the trenches, carrying back messages over distances of about ten miles.