The Big Wheel
The Ferris wheel may not have been a new idea, but the revolving structure offered fun—from the fairgrounds to the classroom.
Lichen Latte, Anyone?
Irrigation and antibiotics might be appropriate treatments for an animal bite—but maybe you’d prefer to sip a steaming lichen-and-pepper latte instead.
Victorians Mourned with Vulcanized Rubber Jewelry
Nineteenth-century Anglo-American mourning rituals called for a period of sentimental sadness, but they also demanded an investment in clothing and jewelry.
Finding Krao Farini
Public discourse on the bearded lady, a staple of circus sideshow, revealed the racial biases underpinning Darwinian theory.
The Adventurous Life and Mysterious Death of Frank Lenz
In 1892, the master cyclist set out to tour the world on wheels. A few months later, he disappeared, never to be heard from again. What happened to Frank Lenz?
Halloween: A Mystic and Eerie Significance
Despite the prevalence of tricks and spooky spirits in earlier years, the American commercial holiday didn’t develop until the middle of the twentieth century.
Kuda Bux: Fire-walking for Fame and Fortune
The Kashmiri American illusionist and mystic drew on his legendary powers of concentration to entertain and astound (in)credulous audiences.
The Wright Brothers: Babysitters Extraordinaire
Wilbur and Orville Wright may not have been “first in flight,” but they were first in taking care of their nieces and nephews on the weekends.
A Tale of Two Times: Edo Japan Encounters the European Clock
In country that followed a time-keeping system with variable hours, the fixed-hour clock of the Europeans had only symbolic value.
Before Long COVID Came Post-Polio Syndrome
While the rise of long COVID and its many symptoms may be surprising and difficult to diagnose, post-viral diseases are nothing new.