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.
Wedding bands

Selling the Men’s Wedding Ring

How changing mores, cultural pressures, and, yes, the jewelry industry made two-ring wedding ceremonies the norm in America.

How America Tried (and Failed) to Solve Its “Servant Problem”

In the early part of the twentieth century, most middle-class American homes had at least one servant. Then the "servant problem" arose.
Letter on Corpulence William Banting

When Dieting Was Only For Men

Today, we tend to assume dieting is for women, but in the 1860s, it was a masculine pursuit.
Sheet music from Barnum's Baby Shows

Babies on Display

In the mid- to late nineteenth century, people showed off their infants at baby shows.
Mahjong players

Making Sense of Social Gaming

What do social gaming habits reveal about the lives of those playing?
Strikers fight police in Minneapolis, c. 1934

The Checkered History of Colleges, Unions, and Scabs

In the early twentieth-century, some aristocratic college men were eager to prove their masculinity by working as strikebreakers.
A map of Mexican territories in 1835

When Mexico Was Flooded By Immigrants

In the early nineteenth-century, Mexico had a problem with American immigrants.

The Invention of Retirement

Retirement as a mass phenomenon didn’t start as a way for older people to enjoy themselves.
A happy newly wed couple in the 1950's.

When Marriage Was Part of The College Curriculum

Marriage education, seeking to teach dating and marriage on campus, was a reaction to urbanization, industrialization, and the new autonomy of the young.