From a 1935 ad for Cutex nail polish and lipstick

Cutex Hooked Americans on Manicures

How a company that started off selling cuticle remover convinced American woman to paint their nails.
Plaster face casts by Anna Coleman Ladd

How Masks of Mutilated WWI Soldiers Haunted Postwar Culture

In the age before plastic surgery, masks were the best option for veterans with faces scarred by war. The end results, however, were somewhat uncanny.
Victorian gloves

What Gloves Meant to the Victorians

According to one historian, the year 1900 was “the zenith of glove-wearing,” when any self-respecting Victorian (British or American) wouldn’t be caught dead without covered hands.
Seaweed William Kilburn

Are You Wearing Seaweed?

Are you wearing seaweed? People have been for hundreds of years, in sizing, patterns and fibers, although they might not have known it.
Punch bowl

Punch vs. Tea in the 18th Century

In the 18th century, whether a person drank punch or tea revealed a lot about gender, stereotypes, sociability, and domesticity.
uncomfortable chairs

Character-Building With Uncomfortable Chairs

Chairs were a subject of much debate as far back as the nineteenth century, pitting health and technology against propriety and aesthetics.
New Designs in Menswear

This Short-Lived Political Party Embraced Socks With Sandals

The Men’s Dress Reform Party (MDRP) called for liberation from dark, tightly-knit textiles...and had some ties to the eugenics movement.
mens magazine

How Magazines Created a New Culture of Manhood

Middle-class American manhood changed in the mid-twentieth century. And the new ideal of masculine consumption was captured by men’s magazines.
Roller coaster in Atlantic City

What Makes Your Roller Coaster Go? Physics!

The physics behind the fun: roller coasters provide so many examples of basic principles that they are a staple of physics lessons. 
Central medallion of a Qashqai rug, 19th century, with fragmented Herati pattern.

An Object History of the Persian Carpet

The famous Persian carpet, woven by female artisans in southwestern Iran, may be going extinct. Its story can be told in spindles and whorls.