Miss Charmion, 1904

The “Trapeze Disrobing Act”

Strongwoman Charmion used Thomas Edison’s experiments with moving pictures to encourage women to embrace strength and physical activity.
Louisa Jacobson in The Gilded Age

Philanthropy and the Gilded Age

As the HBO series The Gilded Age suggests, charity allowed wealthy women to play a visible role in public life. It was also a site of inter-class animosity.
Pancho Barnes and the Powder Puff Derby at Long Beach, California circa 1930-1931

1929 Women’s Air Derby Changed Views On Women Pilots

Women pilots were seen as oddities, opportunists, and "too scatterbrained" to fly. The 1929 All-Woman Air Race set out to change that.
A print based on David Gilmour Blythe's fanciful painting of Lincoln writing the Emancipation Proclamation

The Emancipation Proclamation: Annotated

Abraham Lincoln proclaimed freedom for enslaved people in America on January 1, 1863. Today, we've annotated the Emancipation Proclamation for readers.
Matilda Joslyn Gage

Erasing Women from Science? There’s a Name for That

Countless women scientists have have been shunted to the footnotes, with credit for their work going to male colleagues. This is called the Matilda Effect.
American feminist, abolitionist, journalist and writer Lydia Maria Child

Lydia Maria Child and the American Way of Censorship

Facing ostracism by literary elites and attacks from pro-slavery mobs, an abolitionist blunted her politics.
Design for an Urn, 19th century

How Cremation Lost Its Stigma

The pro-cremation movement of the nineteenth century battled religious tradition, not to mention the specter of mass graves during epidemics.
La Malaria by Auguste Hebert

Cracking the Malaria Mystery—from Marshes to Mosquirix

It took science centuries to understand malaria. Now we’re waiting to see how the 2019 vaccine pilot works.
Photograph showing Waldemar Mordecai Wolffe Haffkine (1860-1930), Bacteriologist with the Government of India, inoculating a community against cholera in Calcutta, March 1894.

Anti-Asian Racism in the 1817 Cholera Pandemic

We should learn from, instead of repeating, the racist assignations of the past.
Diagram representing the divergence of species

An Early Review of On the Origin of Species

"Darwin openly and almost scornfully repudiates the whole doctrine of Final Causes. He finds no indication of design or purpose anywhere..."