Image of ice in sparkling water

The Irish Were Way Ahead of the Soda Water Trend

Soda water is a popular beverage now, but it was once considered a cure, among other things.
Egg Cream

The Egg Cream Mob

What's in an egg cream? No eggs. No cream. And a dose of mafia history.
Marshall "Major" Taylor

The Moral Threat of Bicycles in the 1890s

The bicycle craze of the 19th century, in which both men and women participated, was seen as a moral affront by church leaders. 

The Love Birds of Valentine’s Day

A little history behind the love birds that inspired Chaucer to invent Valentine's Day, the well-known celebration of love. 
Charles Hatfield, the rainmaker, checking some equipment. (Copyright Bettmann/Corbis / AP Images)

When San Diego Hired a Rainmaker a Century Ago, It Poured

After Charles Hatfield began his work to wring water from the skies, San Diego experienced its wettest period in recorded history.
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.

Electric Cars… of The 1890s

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

Tales from the History of Cryptography

The history of cryptography.

The Importance of Fire to Human Life

The cultural importance of fire.

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.