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katrina gulliver

Katrina Gulliver

Katrina Gulliver is a historian and freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and TIME.

Sheep are seen while being transported in Fremantle Harbour on June 16, 2020 in Fremantle, Australia.

The Long History of Live Animal Export

The practice of live animal export from Australia is controversial and complex, and it has a longer history than you might realize.
Postcard photo of the lunchroom of the Santa Fe Hotel at Canadian, Texas, 1913

Harvey Houses: Serving the West

In 1875, Fred Harvey had an idea for improving dining on passenger rail lines. He changed the face of food service in the West forever.
An illustration depicting how to write certain characters in cursive from Art of Writing by John Jenkins, 1818

Before Palmer Penmanship

The creation and propagation of standard penmanship in the American education system is almost as old as the United States itself.
The Westinghouse Time Capsule at the 1939 New York World's Fair

Time in a Box

Humans like to seal collections of ephemera in containers that they then hide in soon-to-be-forgotten places. Whither the time capsule?
Ostrich farm in the desert

Ostrich Bubbles

The birds aren’t the only ones with their heads in the sand.
Three female animals posing for photograph on an alpaca farm in Central Oregon

The Alpaca Racket

Why are alpacas everywhere, and why are they so expensive?
Continental Currency $20 banknote with marbled edge (May 10, 1775)

Marbled Money

Marbled paper was a way to make banknotes and checks unique—a critical characteristic for a nascent American Republic.
An advertisement for Gale Borden Eagle brand condensed milk, 1887

The Sweet Story of Condensed Milk

This nineteenth-century industrial product became a military staple and a critical part of local food culture around the world.
Picture of Kerria lacca from the book, Indian Insect Life: a Manual of the Insects of the Plains by Harold Maxwell-Lefroy

As You Lakh It

How did an oleoresin produced by insects in Asia become a standard part of European furniture manufacture and conservation?
American Mink in Surrey, England.

Take Back Your Mink

Could lab-grown fur be an ethical alternative to fur farming?
A woman kneels at the headstone in the Detroit Canine Cemetery in Michigan

An Epitaph for Fido

Pet cemeteries document how humans’ relationships with their pets—and their deaths—have evolved since the Victorian era.
The interior view of the North Pneumatic Tube Station of the Merchandise Building of the Sears Roebuck and Company Mail Order Plant, Chicago, IL

Something Old, Something Pneu

Pneumatic tubes offered a leap forward in business and communications, in the office and across the city.
Kudzu taking over forest

Coming Up Kudzu

Employed as a symbol of the American South or used as shorthand for unchecked growth, kudzu has demonstrated a tenacity beyond all imagination.
Woman pushing shopping trolley on red background, smiling, portrait

Free Wheeling: Shopping Carts and Culture

The invention of the shopping cart changed our purchasing patterns, but the way we use it also reflects how we live life on the streets.
Fruitlands in 1915

The Alcott Anarchist Experiment

The failures at Fruitlands showed that anarchist and vegetarian ideals weren’t enough to sustain a community—spiritually or nutritionally.
Many hands make light work of the washing up at Grasmere Youth Hostel in the Lake District, 1941

Yay for the Youth Hostel!

In the early twentieth century, hostel organizations helped young people to get out into the country and travel independently—with a bit of overnight supervision.
Child's shoe discovered in a wall, probably put there to protect a child from evil spirits, Lancashire, 1704

Hidden Charms

Why is there a shoe in your wall?
A row of British women sitting under hairdryers in a Paris salon

A Short History of Hairdryers

The beauty parlor became a place of sociability for women in the twentieth century, partly aided by modern technology of hair drying.
Two women throwing hoops circa 1960

Reaching New Spiritual Heights Through Hula Hooping

The post-World War II hula hooping craze is back...and this time it's got religion.
A pedestrian uses the press-button system in order to cross the road in Croydon, London, 1932

Look Both Ways

With the arrival of the automobile, governments had to scramble to find ways to protect and control pedestrian use of the road.
Velcro tape on black background

Versatile Velcro™

Velcro is used in many spaces, from spacecraft to shoes. A relatively recent invention, it was inspired by the close observation of nature.
League of Women Voters representatives gather around a table on a sidewalk while writing and mimeographing news releases to hand out at train stops en route to the Democratic Convention.

The League of Women Voters Takes On the Environment

Having won the right to vote, some suffragists moved on to fight water pollution and protect the environment.
A nurse bottle-feeding a baby at St Vincent's Hospital, Montclair, Mexico, 1955

The Milk Banks of New York

Milk banks, a successor concept to wet nursing, are a little discussed part of the contemporary landscape of infant care.
Woman with a home pregnancy test

Home Pregnancy Tests

Before the arrival of home pregnancy tests, women had to seek answers at the doctor’s office, which was costly, inconvenient, and potentially embarrassing.
Mod dancers

Owner of a Lonely Heart

Personal ads changed dating, but they also provided source material for sociologists and psychologists to understand how people choose mates.