Elizabeth Jennings Graham

The Woman Who Refused to Leave a Whites-Only Streetcar

In 1854, Elizabeth Jennings rode the streetcar of her choice, in an early civil rights protest that led to desegregating public transportation in NYC.
mailboxes

The Massive Fight over Sunday Mail

Sunday mail delivery was hugely controversial in the early 19th century, inspiring one of the U.S.'s first efforts to rally public opinion around a cause.
Degas bather

When Americans Started Bathing

The first baths weren't about getting clean or relaxing. In the 1860s, experts agreed that the best kind of bath was a brief plunge in cold water.
Women gardeners

When Gardens Replaced Children

Historian Robin Veder explains that the way we associate female nurturing with gardens goes back to the way ideas about gender and work changed in the mid-nineteenth century.
toy train

Why We Give Children Toys for Christmas

Giving children toys for Christmas first became a thing in early nineteenth century England.
Nineteenth century British periodicals

Nineteenth-Century Clickbait

Online publications that offer clickbait and easy entertainment mirror some of the most popular nineteenth century British magazines.
19th century police

The Birth of the “Policed Society”

This summer’s high profile violence by and against police officers has focused public attention on the politics of ...

Adultery and Secret Lives Way Before Ashley Madison

Long before Ashley Madison, married people found ways to cheat.

Six Hundred Years of Government Intervention in the Labor Markets

A Harvard law professor argues that the laissez-faire era in the 19th century represented a blip in a long history of powerful labor regulations.