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.
Natural Lace from the Lace Bark Tree

Lacebark as a Symbol of Resilience

For the enslaved people of Jamaica, the lacebark tree was a valuable natural resource and a means of asserting one's dignity.
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.

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.
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.
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.
Etching: A wet nurse breast feeding the Duke of Burgundy, grandson of Louis XIV

Source: https://www.jstor.org/stable/community.24839779

How Wet-Nursing Stoked Class Tensions

“[N]o man can justly doubt, that a childs mind is answerable to his nurses milk and manners.”
Peter the Great cutting a Boyar's beard

Peter the Great’s Beard Tax

Why did the Russian tsar seek to ban beards?
An anatomical machine of Prince Raimondo di Sangro

The Anatomical Machines of Naples’ Alchemist Prince

Rumor had it that these machines were once the Prince’s servants, whom he murdered and transformed into anatomical displays. Scholars showed otherwise.
Intricate Paper cutting of a hunting scene by Dutch artist Joanna Koerten

Joanna Koerten’s Scissor-Cut Works Were Compared to Michelangelo

And then, snip by snip, she was cut out of the frame of Renaissance art history.