history

The Cute Animated History Of The Van

Though this animation bit is made by Mercedes Benz and probably goes through a little revisionist history on who invented the van (Benz says it was Benz), it’s still a cute take on the history of such an important vehicle in the history of mankind. Yes, the van was and still is important.


What It Was Like To Be Online During The '80s

Before Google Fiber, before broadband, before you got bombarded with enough AOL free trial CDs to build your family a (very pointy and ineffective) home, the internet was a vastly simpler thing. Here are two first-hand accounts of internet life in the ’80s, when porn was restricted to asterisks and dashes and the screeching sound of dial-up was music to young computer geeks’ ears.


An Artist Whose Career Is Based Entirely On Other People's Photographs

Why take photos when millions upon millions of people are taking billions upon billions of them every single day, of every subject imaginable? Artist Joachim Schmid has been obsessed with other people’s photos for years, collecting and re-packaging them as art objects. This great video from the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Invisible Photograph series takes a look at Schmid’s odd practice.


The US Once Considered Using 23 Nuclear Bombs To Blast Out A Highway

Rising out of California’s Mojave Desert are the Bristol Mountains, 1200m of rock blocking easy passage through the scorching desert. For decades, Route 66 and the Santa Fe Railway have had to bend south, acquiescing to the mountains’ height. But in the 1960s, at the peak of atomic age, we had a plan to blast through the mountains once and for all — with nuclear bombs, of course.


You Can Buy This Window From The Manhattan Project For A Small Fortune

Bonhams auction house is gearing up for a big “History of Science” sale on October 22. Among the many intriguing lots is a slab of unique glass used during one of the darkest scientific pursuits we’ve ever embarked upon: The Manhattan Project. But don’t worry. It’s not radioactive.


How Much A European City Has Changed In 100 Years

My favourite thing about these then and now type of videos that show what the world used to look like versus what it looks like now is not seeing what has changed but seeing how much has actually stayed the same. This video shows the 100 year difference at Alkmaar in the Netherlands.


The Design Of Spoons And Knives Can Change The Way We Taste Food

Chances are, you’ve spent more time thinking about the specs on your smartphone than about the gadgets that you use to put food in your mouth. But the shape and material properties of forks, spoons, and knives turn out to matter — a lot. Changes in the design of cutlery have not only affected how and what we eat, but also what our food tastes like. There’s even evidence that the adoption of the table knife transformed the shape of European faces.


These Richly Detailed Maps Give The Modern World A Victorian Twist

Wouldn’t we all love to live in a city where floating dirigibles shared the horizon alongside the glass towers of our modern skylines? Such is the wild world featured in the highly complex, geographically accurate illustrations of Icelandic artist Kristjana S. Williams, whose maps are part of an exhibition for the London Design Festival that opened today.


How Cotton Candy Was Popularised By... A Dentist

Cotton candy, in all of its colourful, puffy glory, is one of those timeless treats capable of evoking childhood with one disintegrating bite.


Get Lost In This Map Of 170,000 Photos From Depression-Era America

Some of the most haunting images of the US were captured from 1935 to 1945, as the country emerged from the depths of the Great Depression and rallied for World War II. A team from Yale has collaborated on one of the most visually stunning interpretations of the era, called Photogrammar: 170,000 photos from the period, plotted on a map of the country.


Product Finder

Find more great products at