India 1835 2 Mohurs

The East India Company Invented Corporate Lobbying

The historian William Dalyrmple's new book, The Anarchy, indicts the East India Company for "the supreme act of corporate violence in world history."
Chanel N°5

The French Perfume Boom

The marketing of scents through clever branding, rather than real differences in what’s being sold, originated in nineteenth-century France.
Jerri Sloan

Synthetic Fabrics Inspired a Cultural Revolution

The advent of synthetic fabrics played a surprising role in bringing women into the workforce, as Mercury 13 trainee Geraldine Sloan’s story illustrates.
Bird's Eye frozen meals

The Evolution of Convenience Food in America

Meal kits signal a change in the way we cook, but this is nothing compared with how frozen food disrupted the American kitchen in the mid-20th century.
Gem Chimney ad

Can Advertising Be a Science?

Advertisers have been trying to develop a precise science of advertising for more than a century.
Business woman

The Businesswomen of Early Twentieth Century America

Women's roles in the business world partly depended on their status as consumers in the early twentieth century.
Woodpulp pile

Pulp Nonfiction: The Unlikely Origin of American Mass Media

How wood pulp paper created the American mass media.
Leading the Klu Klux Klan parade which was held in Washington, D.C.

The Ku Klux Klan Used to Be Big Business

At the height of its business operations, in 1923, the Klu Klux Klan was worth roughly $12 million dollars. 

Before Flint: How Americans Chose Lead Poisoning

The United States, unlike other Western nations, did not take a firm stance on lead-based products until much later--despite knowing the health risks. 
1776 Lottery ticket issued by Continental Congress to finance American Revolutionary War.

Jackpot: For Colonial Slaves, Playing the Lottery Was a Chance at Freedom

Complaints that the lottery is a regressive tax on the poor have been around since the beginning of the lottery in America.