Soldiers in gas masks advance on World War I Bonus March demonstrators in Washington, D.C., July 1932.

How Tear Gas Became a Staple of American Law Enforcement

In 1932, the “Bonus Army” of jobless veterans staged a protest in Washington, DC. The government dispersed them with tear gas.
ear gas is fired at protesters demonstrating against the death of George Floyd outside the 3rd Precinct Police Precinct on May 26, 2020 in Minneapolis, MN.

Why Do Police Use Tear Gas When It Was Banned in War?

The development of chemical warfare around the time of World War I led to the use of tear gas as a weapon by civilian police forces.
Kinoautomat

The Cold War Origins of Interactive Cinema

The world’s first interactive cinema system, the Kinoautomat was the brainchild of Radúz Činčera, a Czech cinematographer.
A rig in the ocean with smoke and fire protruding from top

How Natural Gas Helped Make our Industrial World

Gas was in fact one of the first readily available fuels, and shaped spaces and politics in Regency-era London.
An illustration of John Harvey Kellogg and an early corn flakes advertisement

The Strange Story Behind Your Breakfast Cereal

Kellogg's Corn Flakes were originally created by a doctor who believed bland food would reduce people's urge to masturbate.
Kodak Brownie Starlet, 1957

How the Brownie Camera Made Everyone a Photographer

Eastman Kodak used folklore to sell a modern technology, and ended up creating new communities and forms of expressions along the way.
a Book of the Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices by al-Jazari

The Marvelous Automata of Antiquity

Centuries before the computer, whimsical automata pushed the uncanny boundary between human and machine.

Fixing the Grassroots of the American Lawn

A citizen scientist bred low-mow, slow-grow grass that needs little water and fertilizer.
Moscow subway

The Soaring Symbolism of Moscow’s Subways

Lofty ceilings, massive slabs of marble, and colorful mosaics celebrated Soviets in all their incarnations, from military leaders to collective farmers.
Treadmills atonement

Treadmills Were Meant to Be Atonement Machines

America’s favorite piece of workout equipment was developed as a device for forced labor in British prisons. It was banned as cruel and inhumane by 1900.