Lightning rod hats fashion of circa 1778

Electrical Fashions

From the light-bulb dress to galvanic belts, electrified clothing offered a way to experience and conquer a mysterious and vigorous force.
Print shows men and women riding bicycles and tricycles to a fair, 1819

Celebrating the Bicycle

JSTOR Daily editors pick their favorite stories for National Bike Month.
Newcomb featured in Spalding's Red Cover series of athletic handbooks in 1914

Clara Gregory Baer and the “Lost” Sport of Newcomb Ball

The sport of Newcomb ball was created by Clara Gregory Baer two years before volleyball. Now forgotten, it's a good bet it lives on in the gyms and beach courts of today.
A duel between Charles de Lameth and the Marquis de Castries,November 12, 1790

A Slap, Followed by a Duel

Dueling was a dangerous, ritualized response to a real (or perceived) slight. It may also have been a means of proving one's social and economic capital.
Marie Antoinette by Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Le Brun

The Drama of Point d’Alençon Needle Lace

In its heyday, lace was beautiful, expensive, and handmade. Naturally, lace smuggling became the stuff of legend.
The Nimatron

The Nimatron

The world’s first video game made its debut at the Westinghouse pavilion at the New York World's Fair in 1939. Read all about it!

Hot Air Balloon Launch Riot!

In the early days of ballooning, launches were prone to failure. When failure looked imminent, the crowd’s mood would begin to turn.
An advertisement for Burdock Blood Bitters

Our Writers’ Favorite Stories of 2021

Without our writers (and editors and fact checkers and producers) and you, we're nothing.

Message in a Button

A dive into the the University of Connecticut Pins and Button Collection gives a wearable history of progressive causes.
Façade of the cabarets Le Ciel and L'Enfer, 1909

The Cabarets of Heaven and Hell

In 1890s Paris, cabarets in bohemian Montmartre gave visitors a chance to tour the afterlife.