Plaster face casts by Anna Coleman Ladd

How Masks of Mutilated WWI Soldiers Haunted Postwar Culture

In the age before plastic surgery, masks were the best option for veterans with faces scarred by war. The end results, however, were somewhat uncanny.
Building Colonies for WW1 Veterans

Building Colonies for WWI Veterans

After World War I, policymakers seriously considered the idea of setting up farming colonies for returning veterans.
U.S. World War II anti-venereal disease poster

When America Incarcerated “Promiscuous” Women

From WWI to the 1950s, the "American Plan" rounded up sexually-active women and quarantined them, supposedly to protect soldiers from venereal disease.
A WWI-era U.S. Navy ship with dazzle camouflage

The Camouflage That Dazzled

During WWI, artist and British naval officer Norman Wilkinson came up with an idea so crazy it just may have worked: Dazzle Camouflage.
Black Tom Explosion Diver

The Unlikely Spy Alliance Behind the 1916 Black Tom Explosion

German imperialists teamed up with Irish republicans and Indian nationalists during World War I; the resulting conspiracy trial ended in a courtroom assassination.
Closeup of a colorful zipper with metal teeth

How WWI Made the Zipper a Success

A money belt with a zipper became an instant success among WWI U.S. sailors, whose uniforms did not have pockets. Almost all initial zipper sales were for the money belts.
Flu hospital 1918

The Flu Pandemic of 1918, As Reported in 1918

The Spanish Influenza pandemic 100 years ago was the most lethal global disease outbreak since the Black Death. What were people thinking at the time?
Boy biking

How World War I Put Boys on Bikes

The first modern bicycles were for adults. Ads for boys’ bikes drew from, and fed into, a changing vision of boyhood during World War I.
Franz Ferdinand assassination

Does Political Violence Generate Real Change?

U.S. law prohibits American leaders from assassinating their counterparts in other nations. But targeted assassination has long been a part of history.
NYC food riot

“Give Us Bread!”

In 1917, a food riot erupted in Brooklyn over the prices of staples. These forms of protest, sadly, are not quite yet ready for the dustbin of history.