A graffitied maid cleaning up the sidewalk by Banksy

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.
An older female worker uses a machine to make a product

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.
One of the Proximity Cotton Mill sewing classes. Greensboro, N. C.

How 19th Century Cotton Mills Influenced Workplace Gender Roles

The spinners' union made it nearly impossible for women to secure reliable work in the cotton mills, instituting their proper role in the workplace.
Susan B. Anthony dollar coin

The Feminist History of Prohibition

A look at the feminist roots of the temperance movement.