December 13, 2019
1950s Smart Homes and the Longevity of Design
Aesthetic modes can be surprisingly persistent, even as technologies change. Electric light strips automatically illuminate as the you...
October 30, 2019
Enlightenment-era Ghosts and the History of Technology
A detail of one of Etienne Gaspard Robertson's "phantasmagoria." Ghosts were in the air in eighteenth-century London. Fe...
March 28, 2019
The Most Wonderful Map in the World: Urbano Monte's Planisphere of 1587
At some point in 1589, a Milanese cartographer named Urbano Monte made up his mind: his self-portrait needed updating. Monte carefully ...
October 26, 2018
Seven Weeks to Venice: History Through Isochronic Maps
Detail of a 1921 map that visualizes its own accuracy: red regions are accurately mapped, orange less so, etc. Historians love maps, b...
August 23, 2018
Opium or Cucumber? Debunking a Myth About Sumerian Drugs
"Protective spirit" from Nimrud, c. 850 BCE, British Museum, London. If you turn to an early page in one of the dozens of b...
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