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1800s

Charles Henry Dow: The Man Who Created Modern Economics

October 8, 2019

The day's numbers for the Dow Jones Industrial Average are displayed on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square. Source: (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Ima...

Fairy Tales Are Over 6,000 Years Old

October 5, 2019

The Brothers Grimm are often credited with writing some of the earliest and best-loved fairy tales, but the truth is, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were cultural researchers and lexicog...

Olive Oatman: The Girl With The Blue Tattoo

October 2, 2019

The frontier story of Olive Oatman enthralled the country when it happened in the mid-1800s, and it's still a source of fascination today. It's not the kidnapping of the te...

Montparnasse Derailment: When A Train Went Through A St...

September 29, 2019

A dramatic snapshot photograph of a derailed steam locomotive at Montparnasse Station, Paris, taken by an unknown photographer. Source: (Photo by SSPL/Getty Ima...

Steinert Hall: The Secret Antique Symphonic Theater Hid...

September 28, 2019

Cue The Phantom of the Opera: This is the story of a real-life hidden concert hall, tucked deep underground and forgotten beneath the bustling street above. ...

The Surprisingly Ongoing Global Women's Suffrage Moveme...

September 23, 2019

Three women vote at a polling station in New York City, New York, USA. Source: (Photo by National Photo Company/Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)...

The Spy Who Hung Her Laundry

August 8, 2019

The most effective spies are the ones that don't appear to be doing anything suspicious at all. They look as though they are going about their normal lives. During the Revolutionary War, ...

The Great Plains' Largest Natural Disaster: A Plague Of...

August 7, 2019

A large swarm of locust can eat 100,000 metric tons of vegetation per day. AFP PHOTO/BILAL TARABEY. Source: (Photo credit should read BILAL TARABEY/AFP/Getty Im...

The Mowing Devil: England's First Crop Circle

July 30, 2019

In the 1970s, strange geometric shapes began to pop up overnight in some of the wheat fields of rural England. The designs, at first, were simple circles, giving rise to ...

Central Park, Elitism, and the Destruction of Seneca Vi...

July 28, 2019

Aerial view of Manhattan looking south over Central Park July 2007 in New York City. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA. Source: (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Gett...

Staggering Facts That Show Why Krakatoa Was A Monster V...

July 20, 2019

Mother Nature often shows us her power and strength, and in August 1883, she was feeling particularly boastful. The eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia was one...

Meet the Katzies: The Katzenjammer Kids, One of the Ear...

July 18, 2019

The 'Katzenjammer Kids' cartoon children are the subject of this coloring book issued circa 1915 in New York City. (Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Image...

Letter Perfect: The History of Varsity Jackets

July 15, 2019

If you played a sport in high school, you probably couldn’t wait to get your Varsity letter. That meant you could officially have a varsity jacket, or letterman jacket, ...

Mountain Dew’s Moonshine Past

July 5, 2019

That highly-caffeinated, artificially-yellow, sugary-sweet beverage that you chug when you’re thirsty or need an energy boost was never intended to be a soft drink. In fact, it has tie...

Victorian Buns: The Obsession with Enormous Bustles

July 4, 2019

Late Victorian flower show and garden party dresses with high bustles and fitted corset lines. Source: (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Long before the Kardash...

Lotta Crabtree, The Nation’s Darling

June 26, 2019

Portrait of Lotta Crabtree Smoking a Cigar. Source: (Photo by Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images) Long before the title of America’s Sweetheart was bestowed on Mary ...

Who Were the Lowell Girls? A Force to Be Reckoned With

May 29, 2019

In the mid-1800s, textile mills were a big business in New England town, particularly the town of Lowell, Massachusetts. To keep the mills humming along and to k...

8 Things You Didn't Know About Real-Life Covered Wagons

May 24, 2019

Conestoga Wagon. Source: (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images) Every movie and television show about the old west and the pioneer days include...

The Story Behind 'The Jumping Frogs of Calaveras County...

May 22, 2019

A young boy encourages his frog to perform a long jump. AFP PHOTO Source: (Photo credit STR/AFP/Getty Images) American author Samuel Clemens, better known by ...

The Brothers Grimm: History Of More Than Just Fairytale...

May 20, 2019

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Source: (Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images) We all know the Brothers Grimm from their collections of fairytales, ...

Are Tomatoes Fruits Or Vegetables?: The Supreme's Court...

May 15, 2019

A woman picks a tomato at a market. Source: (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images) The tomato… is it a fruit or a vegetable? Ask a group of botanists and th...

American Dream: The Rise and Fall of Studebaker

May 7, 2019

A happy couple smiling behind a new 1940 Studebaker outdoors in a field. Source: (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Standing in a leaking, cold, and shuttered wareho...

Discovering the Venus de Milo

April 27, 2019

The Venus de Milo at the Louvre Museum. Source: (Photo by Francois LOCHON/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images) One of the most-recognized sculptures in the world, Venus de Milo is an exquisite e...

Why The California Gold Rush Wasn’t A Boon For John Sut...

March 18, 2019

Sutter's saw mill where gold was found in 1848, precipitating the Californian Gold Rush. Engraving, 1853. Source: (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via...

Stephen Decatur And The Barbary Pirates

March 13, 2019

Painting by Rembrandt Peale depicts a portrait of US Naval Officer Stephen Decatur (1779-1820), 1817. Source: (Photo by The New York Historical Society/Getty Images) An exceptio...

When Texas Was Its Own Country

March 1, 2019

1839: The flag of the Republic of Texas, the 'Lone Star' state was admitted to the Union in 1845. Source: (Photo by MPI/Getty Images) Today, it seems strange to think that Texas could st...

Blazing The Oregon Trail

January 20, 2019

The Westward Trail circa 1840: A map showing the westward trail from Missouri to Oregon. (Photo by MPI/Getty Images) In 1971, Minnesota Education Computing Consortium released a computer game ...

Orchidelirium: The Obsession with Orchids

January 18, 2019

Orchids outside Audubon House & Tropical Gardens. Source: (Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images) The Victorian era, orchids were rare and elusive, but folks were smitten wit...

Judge Proctor’s Windmill Versus An Alien UFO: The 1897 ...

January 15, 2019

A windmill at dawn. Source: (Sharpshooters/VWPics/UIG via Getty Images) Forget Roswell and the UFO that reportedly crashed there in 1947. Fifty years earlie...

How 1885 Crowdsourcing Saved the Statue of Liberty

January 11, 2019

New York City had a big problem. France had gifted the United States with the Statue of Liberty to erect on an island in New York Harbor. It was a gracious gift and ...

Seward’s Folly: Who’s Laughing Now?

January 2, 2019

When then-Secretary of State, William Henry Seward under President Andrew Jackson approached Congress for approval to purchase Alaska from the Russians in 1867, he met with ple...

When Phrenology was a Legit Science

November 20, 2018

In the early 19th century, peaking between 1810 and 1840, the science of phrenology was considered to be fact-based, cutting-edge science. Phrenology was the study and measurement ...

Minnie Freeman: Hero of the Frontier Schoolhouse

November 16, 2018

A scene from TV’s “Little House on the Prairie” was inspired by Minnie Freeman and the Children’s Blizzard of 1888. -- Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images. The prairi...

Mary Anning: She Sells Seashells by the Seashore

October 11, 2018

The tongue-twister that none of us can say…did you know that it is more than just an impossible to pronounce sentence? The tongue-twister actually refers to a real pers...

The First College Football Game Looked Nothing Like Tod...

October 5, 2018

Not the 1869 Rutgers’ football team, this is a group portrait of the Rutgers College 1891 football team, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1891. (Photo by FJ Higgins/U...

America's Largest Home: Biltmore Estate By The Numbers

October 4, 2018

The Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned home in America, built by George Vanderbilt between 1889 and 1895, is one of area's major tourist draws as viewed o...

A Charming History: Charm Bracelets Through the Years

September 17, 2018

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall shows off her charm bracelet while visiting Portugal on March 29, 2011. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images) One particular style of b...

Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death: The Year Without S...

September 14, 2018

(Photo by BSIP/UIG via Getty Images) Think our weather is wacky sometimes? It is nothing compared to 1816, also known as the Year Without a Summer in the Unit...

What We Should Know About the Shoot-Out at the O.K. Cor...

September 13, 2018

When you ask someone to think about the Old West and some of the key events that occurred during the days of cowboys, outlaws, and small-town sheriffs, one ev...

Medicine of the Past Was Almost As Bad As the Illness!

August 31, 2018

City dwellers walking past advertising signs for 'Orzone Olive Oil Emulsion, a delicious tonic beverage unequaled for chest and nerve troubles, sleeplessness and in...

‘Little Sure Shot’, Annie Oakley

August 30, 2018

When it comes to Old West heroines, one name often pops to mind – Annie Oakley. The eagle-eyed sharpshooting woman was so accomplished with her gun that she was invited to join Bu...

The Life and Death of Joseph Meister

August 23, 2018

Most people don’t recognize the name Joseph Meister, but it is partially thanks to him that we have the rabies vaccination today. As a child, Meister was the first person to be ino...

The Strange Life of Edgar Allan Poe

August 22, 2018

Portrait of American author Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849) against a green background and under an embossed presentation of his last name, probably taken from a cigar box, 1900. (Photo...

Special Order No. 191: A Huge Chance-Discovery and a Wa...

August 21, 2018

One of history’s most serendipitous moments occurred on September 13, 1862, as the Civil War raged. Two Union soldiers stumbled upon a piece of paper detailin...

“Little Women” Author’s Sensational Early Works

August 1, 2018

Circa 1860: American author Louisa May Alcott (1832 - 1888). (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Louisa May Alcott, the author of the beloved book, “Little Women...

Pawnee Indians and the Night the Stars Fell to Earth

July 24, 2018

Engraving depicting the Leonids meteor shower, which was associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle, as seen over Niagara Falls in 1833. Dated 19th century. (Photo by: U...

Did Giant Birds Roam the American Plains?

July 19, 2018

A Thunderbird, mythical creator of Plain storms, swoops out of the sky, hurling lightning flashes at darting swallows on this graphic Pawnee ceremonial drum, USA. Plains Indian,...

How Barbed Wire Changed the American West

July 17, 2018

Barbed wire on May 23, 2018 (Photo by Wassilios Aswestopoulos/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Nothing did more to change the way cattle ranching was done on America’s western fronti...

Mysterious spiral staircase of Loretto Chapel in New Me...

July 12, 2018

Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, The design may have been inspired by the Paris Sainte Chapel. (Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images) Back in...

The Orphan Trains Delivered Homeless Children to Rural ...

July 10, 2018

New York City in the mid-1800s had a real problem. There were too many homeless and orphaned children living in the streets. By some estimates, up to 30,000 k...

Don’t Blame the Cow: Did the Great Chicago Fire Have an...

July 6, 2018

Painting (by Julia Lemos) of people trying to escape burning buildings during the Great Chicago Fire, Chicago, Illinois, 1912. (Photo by Chicago History Muse...

Accidental Gunshot Wound Leads to Medical Advances

July 4, 2018

When a 1820s fur trapper was accidentally shot in the stomach, his gunshot wound provided doctors with a window into the mysterious inner-workings of the human body…...

Vintage Photos of Women Showing Their Tattoos from the ...

January 11, 2018

Check out some badass ladies of the Western world who used to walk around with tattoos on their bodies, long before it was cool.

The Story Behind the Photo of the Train That Broke Thro...

January 3, 2018

Guillaume-Marie Pellerin had spent much of his life working the railroads. With 19 years of engineering experience behind him, the Express was in safe hands. As h...

The Best Way to Get Rich During the California Gold Rus...

January 3, 2018

James Wilson Marshall was the one who discovered gold flakes in the American River in the Sacramento, California, Valley in 1848. His discovery set off more than ...

The Secret Pet Cemetery of Hyde Park

December 7, 2017

Hyde Park's Pet Cemetery was started in 1881 by the gatekeeper at Victoria Lodge, a Mr Winbridge, who started burying dogs in the lodge's garden. The first dog to be buried was call...

The Human Billboards of Yesteryear

December 7, 2017

A peculiar advertising photographic pictorial was devised during the 1870s, in which women in particular were hired by retailers to pose holding signs heralding businesses, their dresses...

The Curious Case of the Woman with Four Legs

November 27, 2017

Myrtle Corbin, was known as the Four-Legged Woman, however, technically, only one pair actually belonged to her. The other pair belonged to her dipygus twin sister. Born in Lin...

Gustave Eiffel’s Preferred Place of Rest When He Wasn’t...

November 24, 2017

Villa Claire in Vevey, Switzerland, was Gustave Eiffel’s preferred place of rest when he wasn’t building giant iron towers or attempting to engineer the Panam...

Vintage Photos of the Child Laborers of New York City

November 23, 2017

In 1908, Lewis Hine became an investigator and photographer for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC).The organization is dedicated to "promoting the rights, aware...

The Curious Story of the Blue-Skinned Family of Eastern...

November 23, 2017

For nearly 200 years, the Fugate family of Kentucky remained largely sealed off from society as they passed their blue skin from one generation to the next. The B...

A Photo of Billy the Kid Bought for $10 at a Flea Marke...

November 21, 2017

Six years ago, North Carolinian lawyer Frank Abrams unknowingly bought a rare photograph that experts believe shows Billy the Kid hanging out with the man who wou...

Colored Portraits of Native Americans, 19th Century

November 15, 2017

A French artist Frederic Duriez has color-enhanced some Native American portraits. Some of these photos are up to 120 years old and the color enhancement has certainly a...

The Femme Fatale Ring Gun from the 1800s

November 10, 2017

In the early 1800s personal protection guns were all the rage, jut like the 2mm guns marked as Femme Fatal. Large enough to be worn on most any finger, the revolver had to be manua...

A Demolition Permit Has Been Issued for This Abandoned ...

November 8, 2017

The home, fondly called Bon Haven by the locals, has been a landmark in Spartanburg since its construction in 1884. No one has lived here since 1995, when the la...

C.J. Walker: From The Cotton Fields To America’s First ...

November 8, 2017

Hers was a classic and inspiring rags to riches story. One dotted with too many struggles and hardships, and failings and disappointments. But it's also a story...

Everyday Life of People from Around the World Over 100 ...

October 30, 2017

These amazing real photo postcards provide us a peek of how the world was like 100 years ago. Aeron Express, open Sea View, Aberaeron, Wales, 1911 Boating on th...

Man Bought This Tintype in an Antique Shop for Only $2,...

October 9, 2017

Seven years ago, antiques collector Randy Guijarro laid his eyes upon a dusty old tintype photograph at a junk shop in Fresno, California. He bought the picture f...

Abdul, the Young Servant Who Charmed Queen Victoria’s H...

October 3, 2017

During the celebration Queen Victoria's fiftieth anniversary on the throne, 50 kings and queens were invited. Two of the monarchs present were two Indian prince...

The World’s First Car Accidents Ever

October 3, 2017

The first steamed engine accident happened in 1869 when Irish scientist Mary Ward fell off the seat of the experimental steam car she was driving as she rounded a curve on the road. ...

A Look at the Streets of Paris From the 1860s

October 3, 2017

Beginning in the mid-1850s, at the orders of Napoleon III, Paris experienced a grand transformation - old, narrow streets made way for wider boulevards and thousands of gas la...

The Curious Story of the Collyer Brothers, History's Wo...

September 29, 2017

The phenomenon of hoarding has been around since ancient times. In the past, it could be dangerous, with some hoarders tragically found crushed to death by their ...

100-Year-Old Colour Portraits Of New York Immigrants Re...

September 28, 2017

Between 1892 and 1954, about 12 million immigrants arrived at Ellis Island, often dressed in their finest clothes. The portraits below, taken between 1906 and 19...

The 19th Century Elevator of Death

September 27, 2017

A woman rides the “elevator of death” in Prague, also called Pater Noster which means “our father” since the elevators resemble a rosary…it’s a loop of open cabins and dates back to the ...

Gorgeous Black and White Photos Show the Rustic Rural L...

September 27, 2017

These photos below of rural life in Victorian England were taken by William Morris Grundy. After his death in 1859, the photo series was by the London Stereoscopi...

How a Small New York Town Moved to Escape Total Destruc...

September 27, 2017

New York City needed to expand its water system, it needed a new dam - the Croton Dam - and with it, a new reservoir. Unfortunately for the town of Katonah, it st...

Watch How Women Got Dressed in the 1800s... Exhausting!

September 23, 2017

A full outfit for any well-to-do woman of the 19th century consisted mainly of four parts: the linen shift, the corset, petticoat(s), and a fine silk gown. On top of...

Claude Monet's House and Gardens: The Inspiration for M...

September 20, 2017

Claude Monet, a leading figure of the Impressionist movement, is also one of the best landscape painters the world has ever seen. Water lilies, colorful ponds, cl...

Seppuku: The Ancient Japanese Samurai Suicide Ritual

September 11, 2017

The ancient Japanese samurai seppuku tradition is considered as one of the grisliest and most painful ways to end one's life. The highly ritualized practice essentially...

This Guy's Hilarious 'Looking for a Wife' Ad from 1865 ...

August 20, 2017

Back in the 19th century, online dating wasn't a thing yet - no Tinder, no Match, no Craiglist - so people had to find other means to search for a mate. Apparentl...