history

Burn It All Down: A Guide To Neo-Luddism

Despite what you see in numerous daily tweets and hear in everyday conversation, luddism is not wasn’t a passive refusal to adapt to technology and join with to modern world. The real historical Luddites sought to understand technology, even as they attempted to resist it.


Incandescent Bulbs, 135 Years Ago And Today

On January 27, 1880, Thomas Edison was awarded a patent for an incandescent lamp. It was still two years before his first power grid would flicker to life in NYC, and Edison was living on the precipice of a new age. Oh, how things have changed.


How Radical 1970s Scientists Tried To Change The World

In the 1970s, radical scientists thought they could change the world — if they could change science first. As told to Alice Bell.


The Idea For The Polaroid Camera Was Sparked By An Impatient 3-year Old

Everybody you know is spoiled rotten: we carry around magical slabs of technology that can capture any moment and instantly share it with everyone we know. It’s great, but it didn’t used to be this way — amateur photographers used to have to wait weeks to see their pictures.


Giant Circular Panorama Recreates The Hell Of Fire-Bombed Dresden

Seventy years ago, in one of the most controversial actions of World War Two, the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped circa 4000 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on Dresden. Only months before the end of World War II, in four fierce raids between 13 and 15 February the allied bombers obliterated over 1600 acres of the historic city centre, and the bombing and the resulting firestorm killed at least 25,000 German people.


All The Faces Of Ultron: The Design Evolution Of The Avengers' Nemesis

Outstanding illustration of the new Ultron on the cover of Empire this week. I remember how fascinated I was the first time I saw Ultron in Avengers. It was issue #162, published in 1977 — I saw it much later because it arrived to Spain in 1980s. Here’s how artists changed Ultron’s appearance through the years:


How The Piano Was Invented

The names that come to mind at the mention of the Italian Renaissance are the likes of Medici, Da Vinci and Galileo. Few, however, know the name Bartolomeo Cristofori, an accomplished craftsman who lived and worked during that era. You may not know his name, but you do know his greatest invention — the “harpsichord with loud and soft”, better known today as the piano.


Alan Turing's Hidden Manuscripts Are Up For Auction

Alan Turing was a British mathematician who both broke the infamous Enigma code, enabling Britain to stay alive during WWII, and also the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. He’s the reason why people have laboured for decades to beat the ‘Turing Test’, and also the reason why submarines didn’t break the UK in 1942.


The US State Of Oregon Was Founded As A Racist Utopia

When Oregon was granted statehood in 1859, it was the only state in the Union admitted with a constitution that forbade black people from living, working, or owning property there. It was illegal for black people even to move to the state until 1926. Oregon’s founding is part of the forgotten history of racism in the American west.


A Brief History Of The Rubber Band

Cheap, reliable, and strong, the rubber band is one of the world’s most ubiquitous products. It holds papers together, prevents long hair from falling in a face, acts as a reminder around a wrist, is a playful weapon in a pinch, and provides a way to easily castrating baby male livestock… While rubber itself has been around for centuries, rubber bands were only officially patented less than two centuries ago. Here now is a brief history of the humble, yet incredibly useful, rubber band.