A bowl of mashed sweet potatoes.

Considering the Sweet Potato

The sweet potato is a New World food that spread around the world, including across the Pacific before the Europeans got there.
Black and white photo of a Model-T

Electric Cars… of The 1890s

Electric cars were first introduced in the late 1890s, but they didn't catch on.
A letter puzzle

Tales from the History of Cryptography

The history of cryptography.
Fire

The Importance of Fire to Human Life

The cultural importance of fire.
An Election Entertainment by William Hogarth, 1754-1755

Never Mind That Extra Second, What Happened to Those 11 Days?

The 1752 British transition from Julian to Gregorian calendar added 11 days to people's lives.
Pen on a white background

Ballpoint Pen CSI

A short history of the ballpoint pen and early debates about its impact on handwriting.
A swimming beaver

Beavers, Hats, and the Fur Trade

Origins of the North American fur trade.
Backgammon game in progress

The Erotics of Backgammon

James E. Doan reveals the sexual innuendoes and double-entendres based on Backgammon.
Construction paper, scissors, a pen, and cut out hearts; everything necessary for homemade Valentine's day cards

The Origins of St. Valentine’s Day

The complicated origins of St. Valentine's Day.
Let's Talk Turkey

Let’s Talk Turkey

First of all, why the name "turkey?"