Sex-Cult Rocket Man
Jack Parsons, one of the “suicide squad” trio of young rocket-boy founders of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, had an improbable extracurricular life.
In Search of Einstein’s Brain
After Albert Einstein’s death in 1955, a pathologist—searching for the secret of genius—removed, dissected, and ultimately stole the mathematician’s brain.
Early Doctors Diagnosed Disease by Looking at Urine
When uroscopy became trendy, it caused a minor scandal within the early medical profession.
Building a Fairy Kingdom in Britain
Around the fourteenth century, folk and literary traditions concerning elves, demons, and other creatures coalesced into a unified fairy kingdom.
Railroad Chapel Cars Brought God to the People
Between 1890 and 1946, thirteen railroad chapel cars made their way across America, spreading a Christian message in rural communities.
How Stovemakers Helped Invent Modern Marketing
Most people in the United States have a stove in their kitchen. But how did this “must-have” come to be?
The Legend of the Leatherman
From 1857 to 1889, he could be found walking a 365-mile loop in western Connecticut and eastern New York. Everybody recognized him, but no one knew his name.
The Adventurous Life and Mysterious Death of Frank Lenz
In 1892, the master cyclist set out to tour the world on wheels. A few months later, he disappeared, never to be heard from again. What happened to Frank Lenz?
The Fakelore of Food Origins
Where did potato chips come from? How about clams casino? Are the origin stories for these foods true, or do they fall into the category of “fakelore”?
The Swedish-American Coffee Tradition
For many Swedish immigrants to the United States, coffee was a key to hospitality and a way to signal prosperity.