history

Cotton in the Civil War

Many of us, particularly in the North, like to think that when America gets involved in a conflict, especially on it's own terf, that it's a just war, a righteous conflict. But the truth is, most of the conflict we've fought in the past 243 years have been for economic reasons: tariffs and taxes, access… Continue reading Cotton in the Civil War

history

Would This Kill Me in the 1800s: Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is one of those "old timey" diseases I've been aware of since I was a kid--not just because I read a lot of historical fiction as a kid, but also because I grew up in mosquito country. But knowing it exists isn't the same as knowing what it does. So what is yellow… Continue reading Would This Kill Me in the 1800s: Yellow Fever

history

A Brief History of Elastic

We've all been living in our PJs for so long at this point, it's hard to imagine putting on normal jeans to go to the grocery store. How does anyone function without elastic waistbands, strech denim, elasticated socks, or the hundreds of other strechy, adjustable products we use on a daily basis? It starts with… Continue reading A Brief History of Elastic

history

The Monmouth Cap

It's the time of year when fuzzy hats, toques, beanies, and other headgear are getting a workout for those of use that still have to be outside (or are just sick of being inside for so many months). Every winter seems to see a new trend. A few years back it was bun hats (Ravelry… Continue reading The Monmouth Cap

history

The First Female (Acting) President of the U.S.

If you've been over to my reading blog, then you probably know I am not a big fan of Woodrow Wilson. In fact, I would go so far as to rank him in my top five worst presidents we've ever had, and that is a pretty competitive list. But I'm not here to talk politics,… Continue reading The First Female (Acting) President of the U.S.

history

Would this Kill me in the 1800s: Leprosy

Princess Mononoke, 1997. My first introduction to leprosy was through a Miyazaki film, Princess Mononoke, which I got on VHS in middle school and wore out through successive watchings. In the film, a town on the edge of the forest is a sanctuary for those otherwise ostracized by society. Among them, a group of lepers… Continue reading Would this Kill me in the 1800s: Leprosy

history

The Paris Charity Bazaar Fire

CW: While I've tried not to be overly graphic, this post does discuss the injuries and horrors of a historical disaster. I have not included photo references, but if you would like to see images of the building and the aftermath, please follow some of the links below. If you've been on Netflix (US) in… Continue reading The Paris Charity Bazaar Fire

history

A Brief History of Haunted Mirrors and Photos

It's an old trope that gets trotted out this time of year. Walk through any Halloween decor section at your favorite shop, and you'll probably find a creepy plastic frame on a mirror that makes noises when you walk by, or flashes a ghostly image at the push of a button. There are even decals… Continue reading A Brief History of Haunted Mirrors and Photos

history

Spiritualism During WWI

Ghost stories have been part of our popular consciousness from ancient times. The Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Celts, and the Mesopotamians all believed the spirits of the dead could return to earth. In China and Mesoamerica major festivals evolved around honoring and pleasing the dead. From the Vikings to ancient India, Africa to… Continue reading Spiritualism During WWI

history

The Baroness of Flight

On August 22, 1882 in Paris, one of my favorite figures from history was born: Élise Léontine LaRoche. Élise was solidly middle class, the daughter of a plumber. This perhaps explains her interest in all things mechanical from an early age. She loved motorcycles, cars, and eventually started flying hot air balloons before taking up… Continue reading The Baroness of Flight