History of Telephones

Telephone

“I believe,” wrote Alexander Graham Bell in 1878, “that in the future wires will unite the head offices of the Telephone Company in different cities, and a man in one part of the country may communicate by word of mouth with another in a distant place. I am aware that such ideas may appear to … Read more

History of Shoes

Step into a modern shoe store and take a look around. High-heeled and platform shoes, boots, sandals, moccasins, wooden-heeled clogs, quite a variety for today’s shopper. Recent fashions? Well, not one of the footwear styles you see today is less than 400 years old! The History of Shoes is indeed interesting. The loftiest high-heeled and … Read more

History of Safety Pins

On April 10, 1849, a New Yorker by the name of Walter Hunt was granted patent Number 6,281 for a device he called the safety pin. Never heard of Walter Hunt, you say? Well, Hunt was not destined to be pinned with the tag “inventor of the safety pin” for one simple reason: The safety … Read more

History of Rulers

Here’s something to think about: a dry goods dealer has a five-yard piece of thirty-six-inch wide material, and wishes to sell a customer one-and-a-half yards. But neither a yardstick, nor a tape measure, nor any other measuring device is available. Can the dealer complete the sale? Yes, it can be done, as you’ll discover later; … Read more

History of Roses

rose

Quick, name a flower. Well, you may not have said rose, but if you were to experiment with the question you’d probably find that, of the estimated 300,000 species of plants on earth, the rose is the first flower to pop into most minds. Why? It’s difficult to say. Many other flowers are larger, more … Read more

History of Restaurants

The restaurant is such a seemingly natural and necessary institution that you’d suspect it’s been with us for as long as man has lived in cities. But the restaurant, as we know it today, is a surprisingly recent development. That’s not to say there weren’t any commercial eating places before our time. But the menu, … Read more

History of Refrigeration

A prominent encyclopedia has suggested that the invention with the greatest impact on worldwide economic life since the railroad is, no, you’d never guess, the refrigerator! Isn’t the refrigerator more of a convenience item? Hardly. Refrigeration technology has completely revolutionized farming and led to the rapid development of a worldwide food trade. It would be … Read more

History of Potatoes

“Meat and potatoes” are the foundation of most American cooking and of many European cuisines as well. The spud is so rooted in Western cooking that it’s sometimes hard to believe the vegetable was totally unknown in Europe just a few hundred years ago. In the mid 16th century, Spanish conquistadors in South America discovered … Read more

History of Pocketknives

The pocketknife is obviously a recent invention, right? After all, the technological skill required to craft a workable fold-up knife must be a product of the industrial age. Besides, what need would men have had for a pocketknife in the days before pockets? Well, don’t be surprised if you come across a rusty, time-worn pocketknife … Read more

History of Playing Cards

Cards

Ask even a hard core cardsharp about the origin of playing cards and pointing to the king and queen in their Renaissance raiment, he may well answer smugly that, of course, the cards originated in Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Well, the reply would be half correct; yes, the design of modern playing … Read more

History of Peanuts

Peanut

“Peanut” may sound like a plant that can’t quite make up its mind where it belongs in the world of botanical classification. What’s your guess? A nut, you say? Nope, the goober is actually more a pea than a nut. The versatile, tasty morsel we call the peanut is the pod or legume, and not … Read more

History of Newspapers

Newspaper

As you may have heard, the famous Battle of New Orleans, won by Andrew Jackson and his troops over the British during the War of 1812, was fought on January 8, 1815, 15 days after the war had ended. A treaty ending the conflict had been signed in Europe, but the news failed to reach … Read more

History of Money

Money

An old fable tells of a miser who buried his gold in the forest. Each day, he crept into the woods, dug up the trove, counted his coins, and buried them again. But one day, another man spied him counting his gold, and returned that night to steal it. The next morning, the miser discovered … Read more

History of Ice Cream

ice cream

True or false 1. Ice cream will cool you off on a hot summer day. 2. Americans invented the dessert. 3. Since mechanical refrigeration techniques were not developed until late in the nineteenth century, ice cream is obviously a recent arrival to man’s dessert table. If you answered “false” to all three of the above … Read more

History of Golf

Golf

The early 1970’s marked a major milestone in golf history: the opening of the 10,000th golf course in the United States. Figuring conservatively at 6,000 yards per course, we can estimate that some 60 million yards, or 34,100 miles, of this country are regularly traversed by some 10 million golfers. Assuming a figure of eighty … Read more

History of Gelatin

To the modern American, the sweet gelatin dessert known as Jell-O is an institution. Just tear open the wrapper, pour boiling water over the powder, and refrigerate in a bowl or mold. Jell-O’s a lot easier to make than pie. Sure, we take Jell-O for granted, until we realize what our forefathers, or foremothers, had … Read more

History of Frankfurters

There is no truth to the notion that frankfurters are unavailable today in Germany, the land of their birth. Stop by a roadside eatery or pop into a quick lunch restaurant in Germany and you’ll have little trouble finding a frankfurter of some dimensions, complete with bread, mustard, and sauerkraut. But there is one difference … Read more

History of Elevators

During the 1977 power blackout in New York City, the business and commercial life of the world’s busiest metropolis came to a complete halt for an entire day. Though buses were still running to take people to work and many offices had sufficient natural lighting to make some work possible, the blackout shut off one … Read more

The History of Eggplants

eggplant

The eggplant is neither oval in shape nor white, and certainly bears no relation to the egg in taste or in usage. “Eggplant,” then, is a misnomer? Well, almost. The first eggplants to reach Europe during the Middle Ages were actually a rare white species, with oval fruits that closely resemble a hen’s egg. The … Read more

History of Dogs

Dogs

“He cannot be a gentleman that loveth not a dog,” reads an old proverb, and there can be no doubt that the American loveth all things canine. There are now about 1.1 million pedigreed dogs registered in this country, about one pedigreed pooch for every 200 Americans. The number of mongrels extant is anybody’s guess. … Read more

The History of the Dictionary

Dictionary

“Everything that coruscates with effulgence is not ipso facto aurous” is a rather highfalutin way of saying “All that glitters is not gold,” but without a dictionary you’d never guess it. “Look it up in the dictionary” is a piece of advice foreign to few ears, but did you realize that until the eighteenth century … Read more

The History of Comics

The History of Comics

ZOWIE! SOCK0 GLuG! WHAP! Pow! Place those words before an American of any age and, without fail, the reaction will be: comics! In terms of longevity, complexity, and influence, those innocent little cartoon panels certainly are no joke. In fact, the comic strip and comic book together form perhaps the largest and most influential iconographic … Read more

History of Alcohol

martini

Ever wondered about the History of Alcohol? The ancient Greeks had a cocktail hour in the late afternoon or evening, complete with hors d’oeuvres. A recent joke has it that a man strolled into a crowded bar, examined the array of aperitifs, liquors, cordials, and mixers on the shelves, glanced up and down the bar … Read more

History of Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards and Santa

No one could fail to notice that most Christmas Cards today have nothing whatsoever to do with Christ or Christianity. But did you know that Yuletide greeting cards were secular from their inception? Sanctimonious individuals may annually decry the deluge of cards and bewail the “loss of religious spirit” but the fact is that few … Read more

Who Invented Chewing Gum?

Wrigleys Chewing Gum

So who Invented Chewing Gum? Everyone and their dog has enjoyed a piece of Gum. The sight of a dried up, mouldering piece of chewed Gum stuck to the underside of a desk won’t strike the non-chewer as very appetizing, but to the Gum-chewer-well, a piece of Gum is a piece of Gum. And there … Read more

What is Caviar?

What is Caviar

Synonymous with opulence is that salty, lumpy marine delicacy known as Caviar. The word is rich with princely connotations for almost everyone-including those with no idea what caviar actually is. For it has been said that those who respect Caviar’s place in the elite of epicurean treats far outnumber those who have actually tasted it. … Read more

History of Cats

cat-melon-hat

Are you an ailurophile or an ailurophobe? In plain English: Do you love or hate our feline fellow mammals? Either way, you’re in large company. Ever since the domestication of the feline, the cat has been variously regarded as a representation of the gods or an embodiment of the devil. Even today, there seems to … Read more

History of Bathtubs

history of bathtubs

This is a gullibility test. The Bathtub was introduced in England in 1828. The first tub in America was used by a Cincinnati resident named Thompson in 1842. After an argument among medical authorities concerning the benefits and hazards of bathing, the Bathtub was banned in Boston in 1845. Six years later, the first Bathtub … Read more

Who Invented the First Car and Where Did Cars Come From?

automobile-1

To the owner of an Automobile 70 years ago, air conditioning, power steering and a stereo would probably seem fit only for the most expensive of limousines. Today, we’re apt to find them in many ordinary family cars. If we insist on comfort as much as speed and reliability in the automobiles we drive, it’s … Read more

History of Dice

history of dice

Comparing the vast, electrified skyline of a modern city with the stark simplicity suggested by an ancient ruin, it’s easy to see that man has changed his environment a great deal over the past millennia. But has man’s nature changed along with his environment? Not really. Take the institution of dice gambling, for instance. We … Read more

History of Hamburgers

history of hamburgers

Sure, everyone knows that the Hamburger comes from Hamburg and the frankfurter comes from Frankfurt. What could be plainer? But it may interest you to know that while the meats themselves are German in origin, the idea of placing a Hamburger or a frankfurter in a bun is an American innovation and institution. The fact … Read more

History of Coffee

history of coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. It is consumed regularly by one third of the world’s population, and consumption continues to rise steadily. At the turn of the 1900s, world exports totaled about one million tons. But by 1950, that figure had doubled. Today, several million tons of beans are … Read more

Where Is the Coldest Place On Earth?

what is the coldest place on earth

So you think it’s cold where you are? Not even close. Vostok, Antarctica, had the Coldest Temperature ever recorded on Earth on July 21, 1983 at -129 Fahrenheit (-89 Celsius). The second Coldest Place on Earth ever recorded was Verkhoyansk, Russia, in February 7 1892, where it reached a chilly -90 ° Fahrenheit (-68 °C). … Read more

Where Did the Statue of Liberty Come From?

where did the statue of liberty come from

The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the people of the United States by the people of France. As a symbol of friendship between the two nations, the statue also commemorated the 100th anniversary of American independence. There are two other Statue of Liberties which reside in Swan Ally Island and the Luxembourg Gardens … Read more

Where Does Soap Come From and Who Invented Soap?

History of Soap

Have you wondered how soap is made? The history of soap is actually quite interesting. Soap is made from combining fats and oils with an alkali. When mixed with water, soap loosens and attracts dirt, allowing it to be washed away. The earliest known soap-like material was found in the excavation of ancient Babylon and … Read more

Where Is the Hottest Place On Earth?

hottest place in the world

So you think it’s hot where you are? Not even close. Updated 17 August 2020 Update: The hottest temperature on the planet recorded hit a new high today in Death Valley National Park, California, where the temperature reach a scorching 54.4 C (130 F). Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53788018 Previous Records 2013 In 2013, the highest temperature reliably … Read more