A person driving a Mercedes

In Epidemics, the Wealthy Have Always Fled

"The poor, having no choice, remained.”
The Last Day of Pompeii by Karl Brullov

Pompeii Mania in the Era of Romanticism

Nothing appealed more perfectly to the Romantic sensibility than the mix of horror and awe evoked by a volcano erupting.
Flakes of sea salt spilling out of a jar

A Grain of Solar-Made Sea Salt

 Artisanal sea salt makers are reviving the ancient method of sustainably harvesting salt.
Algonquin Round Table

The Lonely Hearts of the Algonquin Round Table

The "Vicious Circle" of the Algonquin Round Table included sharp-tongued wits like Dorothy Parker and Alexander Woollcott. But it wasn't always vicious.
Woodstock, 1969

Woodstock: Sex, Drugs, and Zoning

It's the 50th anniversary of the famous Woodstock festival, which was fraught with controversy before it even happened.
An Octagon House

A Phrenologist’s Dream of an Octagon House

Orson S. Fowler thought houses without right angles would offer a better life, but his own architectural experiments did not end well.
Elizabeth Jennings Graham

The Woman Who Refused to Leave a Whites-Only Streetcar

In 1854, Elizabeth Jennings rode the streetcar of her choice, in an early civil rights protest that led to desegregating public transportation in NYC.
Photo by _HealthyMond . on Unsplash

Maroon Societies, Down Syndrome, and Food Justice

New books and scholarship from academic publishers.
Avalanche Lake trail at Adirondack High Peaks, New York.

The Odd History of the Adirondacks

The largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi was deemed "Forever Wild" in 1885. But it wasn't exactly created to preserve nature.
Niagara Falls postcard

When Souvenirs Peddle Stereotypes

The things travelers bring home reflect their worldviews. In 19th c. Niagara Falls, souvenirs revealed problematic stereotypes about Native Americans.