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April White

April White is the author of “The Divorce Colony: The Strange Tale of the Socialites who Shaped Modern Marriage on the American Frontier” for The Atavist Magazine and an experienced historical researcher who has collaborated with nonfiction writers on more than a dozen books, including New York Times bestseller Close to Shore. See more of her work at aprwhite.com.

antique cans

Frontier America in a Collection of Tin Cans

For Jim Rock, tin cans were as important as shards of ancient pottery. Each can told a story of nineteenth and twentieth century life in America.
Banana coffee

When Coffee Went Bananas

Abel French Spawn was not alone in marketing caffeine-free coffee substitutes like banana coffee to Mormons.
Moonshine still

The Caves in Which Moonshine Was Made

White County, TN, averaged more than a million and a half gallons of moonshine a year at late as the 1950s.
Duncan Hines cake

Duncan Hines, Cake Mix Maker Extraordinaire

Duncan Hines was not created by a marketing department. Born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 1880, he became an amateur restaurant critic.
Piper Cub plane farmers

An Airplane in Every Barn?

Why airborne farming hasn’t been cleared for take-off.
Natchitoches meat pies

How Delicious Meat Pies Put Natchitoches on the Map

The Natchitoches meat pie, a crimped half moon hiding a pocket of spiced meat, exemplifies “culinary place making."
Margarine ad

When Margarine Was Contraband

Protectionist laws favoring producers of butter meant that getting margarine in Wisconsin was no easy feat.
Alemany farmer's market, San Francisco, CA (2012)

The Wartime Origins of Farmers Markets

In 1943, the idea of a farmers market at which produce was sold directly to the customer was nearly unheard of, a relic of the distant past.
Pisco punch

The Lost (and Found) Classic Cocktail of San Francisco

The legend of Pisco punch did not die with its creator, Duncan Nicol.
Thompson's Temperance Spa

When the Temperance Movement Opened Saloons

Charles Sumner Eaton's “Temperance Spa” served alternative adult beverages like coffee, egg phosphates, and "Moxie Nerve Food," all in the name of health.
Betty Crocker cupcakes

In Search of the Real Betty Crocker

Betty Crocker, the woman who would become America’s most beloved baker, sprang to life in 1921 in an all-male advertising department.
Los Angeles taco truck

When Tacos Become a Political Flashpoint

In 2008, the “Taco Truck War” broke out in Los Angeles. Taco trucks again became a hot-button issue in the 2016 presidential race. Why?
NYC food riot

“Give Us Bread!”

In 1917, a food riot erupted in Brooklyn over the prices of staples. These forms of protest, sadly, are not quite yet ready for the dustbin of history.
Source: https://flic.kr/p/5krZLr

The Decadent Art of Butter Sculpture

Butter sculpture is a fixture of American state fairs. The practice of using food as a medium for art dates back centuries.
potato chips

The Story of the Invention of the Potato Chip Is a Myth

Everyone knows the potato chip was invented in Saratoga Springs, NY in 1853. Except it wasn’t.
Keeley Cure ad

Inside a Nineteenth-Century Quest to End Addiction

In 1880, Dr. Leslie E. Keeley promised a cure for the disease of drunkenness. The community he developed influenced our understanding of treating addiction.