Category Archives: The History of…

The History of… People, Places, and Things. The who, what, when, where, why, and how of historical events!

The History of Epidemiology: Thank You Hippocrates and Girolamo

So I ran across an infographic the other day that was basically a breakdown of how Ebola spreads (created by the MPH program at USC). My first reaction to the infographic was “Ewww. That’s nasty!” My second was to wonder how they had figured all of this out. Well, the answer is “Epidemiology”. It’s gross. It’s weird. It’ll make you afraid to touch anything. And because I firmly believe in… Read More »

Where Babies Come From: A History of Childbirth

As nice as it may sound, the stork is not a central figure in delivering babies—nor do any DIY kits purchased from IKEA come into play. But this isn’t an article about ‘the birds and the bees,’ exactly. As interesting as that story is, what comes next—and how babies actually do arrive on the scene—has its own unique history. The story of babies coming into the world—like so much of… Read More »

The History of the Weekend

There are always inventions and aspects of live that people take for granted. Personally, I take air conditioning for granted every day. It is one of those certainties in life we’ve grown accustomed to, only to notice it once it’s too late. I grew up in a family that had weekends off, it was a given: from Friday night to Monday morning, my family didn’t work. It wasn’t until I became… Read More »

The History and Traditions of the Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is almost upon us and come January 31st, the celebrations will begin not just in China, but in many locations around the world. While little is known about the exact beginning of the New Year’s celebrations in China, one such legend says the celebrations began after an attack, on New Year’s Eve, from a mythical beast called the ‘Year’ – or ‘Nián’ in Mandarin. The beast, which was… Read More »

History of Home Heating: From Fire in a Cave to an Electric Fireplace

History of Home Heating: From Fire in a Cave to an Electric Fireplace (Guest Post) It might be hard for us to envision from the relative comfort of our centrally heated, thoroughly insulated homes, but early man — perhaps the same guy who invented the wheel — had to figure out how to light a fire and use it to heat a living space. Clearly, we’ve come a long way… Read More »

The History of Medieval Toilets and Plumbing

The History of Medieval Toilets and Plumbing (Guest Post) Modern indoor plumbing was invented in the 1800s and wasn’t widely used until the 1920s. It was commonly believed that before then, people washed their hair in the river, bathed in bathtubs filled with buckets of water from the creek, and used outhouse-style toilets with no plumbing whatsoever. While some medieval civilizations did do those things, some wealthier civilizations during the… Read More »