Astronauts Anne McClain during her ASCAN EVA Skills 3 Training. Photographer: Lauren Harnett

How Women Helped to Develop the First Spacesuit

NASA recently cancelled an all-female spacewalk, citing a lack of spacesuits. Ironically, women played a key role in creating the very first spacesuits.
H.A. Thomas & Wylie's interior view of the Hoffman House bar

The Painting That Changed New York City

Classical nudes were once reserved for learned men in elite spaces. Then a hotelier hung Nymphs and Satyr in a public bar, shaking up NYC's bourgeoisie.
Two waitresses at Kate Cranston's Willow Tea Room

The Top-Secret Feminist History of Tea Rooms

Nearly all American tea rooms were owned by women. They often opened up rooms in their homes or set up tables in their gardens.
breastfeeding eighteenth century

When Breastfeeding Was a Civic Duty

Think people are judgmental of mothers now? In the 18th- and 19th-centuries, mothers who bottle-fed their babies were blamed for many of society's ills.
arsenic book

Some Books Can Kill

Poisonous green pigments laced with arsenic were once a common ingredient in book bindings, paints, wallpapers, and fabrics. Yikes.
couple with wedding gifts

When Weddings Went Commercial

The rise of industrial production and commercial marketing transformed the way that well-to-do Americans celebrate weddings.
Department of Interior Artwork. "An Incident in Contemporary American Life," by Mitchell Jamieson. Date: 1943 Dimensions: 148" x 82" Oil Painting.

The First Civil Rights Monument

The nation's first civil rights monument is a mural portraying the interracial audience at Marion Anderson's famed Freedom Concert of 1939 on the Washington Mall.
Elise Hooper The Other Alcott

Discovering the Real Little Women: Researching The Other Alcott

Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" is a cultural touchstone. But what about the women behind the "Women," Alcott's real-life sisters on whom she based her characters? An interview with novelist Elise Hooper considers the life of "The Other Alcott."
women in a reading room at Smith College in 1898

The Reading Rooms Designed to Protect Women from “Library Loafers”

In the late 1800s, American women began to move more freely in public. In response, public libraries created sex-segregated reading rooms, intended to keep women in their proper place.
Benjamin Lay portrait

Benjamin Lay: The Radical “Quaker Comet”

Benjamin Lay was a radical abolitionist who helped turn the Quakers from slave-holders to leaders of the anti-slavery movement.