Over on The New Republic, check out the fascinating tale of Andrew Crosse, a.k.a. the “Wizard of the Quantocks” and “the thunder and lightning man”—and, perhaps, the real-life inspiration for one of history’s maddest scientists: “Crosse’s revelations on the power of electricity challenged orthodox c Read more
Over at the Rosen-blog, Kathy Haas dives into the archives to find what might be fiction’s first droid, from an 1868 dime novel titled The Steam Man of the Prairies. The titular “steam man” is described as follows: It was about ten feet in height, measuring to the top of the ‘stove-pipe hat,’ which Read more
Comedy may be tragedy plus time, but what is comedy plus time? In a recent article published in the open-access scholarly journal 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, historian Bob Nicholson explains how his innovative digital project hopes to find out just that. Last year,  Read more
In Chemical Heritage Magazine, Mark Michalovic takes a look at what he calls “Not-So-Great Moments in Chemical Safety“—a bit of an understatement. In the days before tough transparent plastics made eye protection cheap and practical, however, eye injuries were just part of the job. Take Joseph-Louis Read more
Over at BuzzFeed, Dan Vergano has collected some of the most striking mid-century electronics advertisements featured in a new book by Megan Prelinger, Inside the Machine: Art and Invention in the Electronic Age. While some show the technology itself, others, like the header image above, are beautif Read more
We’ve covered Nikola Tesla a lot lately, which we’re not about to apologize for—the Serbian-American inventor’s legacy is often overshadowed by that of his longtime rival Thomas Edison. But even we can’t deny that Edison was a true master at stealing the spotlight. The video below, from Ame Read more
In an 1895 Century magazine article detailing Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla’s experiments in alternating currents, a surprising face appears in some of the photographs: gamely demonstrating Tesla’s discoveries is none other than famous American author Mark Twain. In the above photo, taken Read more
ISIS has always existed in two dimensions. One is the organization’s slick, high-tech recruiting machine, targeted at media-savvy, misguidedly idealistic Millennials around the world. This one lives online and works to turn minds. The other exists in the physical world, relying on the mass murder of Read more
Curious where your history news is coming from? Altmetric, a UK-based company that tracks how often and where academic articles are cited, has released its list of the 100 academic articles published this year that have created the most media buzz. The list was created by identifying which journal a Read more
Back in October, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an op-ed titled “The Future of History” written by Robert Zaretsky, a University of Houston professor who specializes in French history. If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you’ll notice that Zaretsky’s title phrase incidentally Read more