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The 110-Year-Old Light Bulb That Has Never Been Turned Off

The oldest lightbulb in continuous use was installed before the Wright Brothers took flight, is 110 years old, and is still as beautiful as the day she was born. In fact, it’s likely the oldest electrical device in continuous use period. Take a moment and consider just how much the world has changed around this one, singular device.


Even The 19th Century Had Needy Nigerian Prince Scams

We’ve all received that email at least once before. A kind prince/princess/spambot in Nigeria has millions of dollars, and better yet, they want to split it with you. Just hand over your social security code and wait for them to arrive on American soil. As the above newspaper clipping shows, these types of scams were going on even before email came around — in this case, as early as 1876.


Could We Have Built A Computer In The 18th Century?

So you want to build a computer in the 18th century. Is it even possible? Probably not. Most people don’t think about the actual amount of money and tools needed to produce exactly one transistor-based computer, power it and program it, to say nothing of the social challenges you’d face trying to build this high-tech machine centuries ago.


Being Fitted For Contacts In 1948 Was Totally Horrifying

Video: Want to know just how badass folks from the boomer generation were? Just watch this nice lady get jammed in the eyeballs with pieces of glass — all in the name of 20/20 vision. Fair warning: you’re going to want to keep a finger on the close tab button because ewwwwwwwwwww.


How This Vintage Lighter Works Without Creating A Single Spark

In the early 20th century, smokers ruining their lungs could do so with the help of a nifty little gadget called the catalytic lighter. It looked like a small double metal tube. Put one tube in the other and, voila, fire. No flint, no sparks. The secret to the catalytic lighter? Platinum.


A Brief History Of The Wine Corkscrew

The corkscrew, like so many other inventions, was borne out of necessity. For as long as we have sold wine in glass bottles sealed with cork stoppers, consumers have struggled to easily remove those corks. As soon as the earliest glass bottles arrived in late 17th-century England, inventors began dreaming up instruments to ease the removal of corks.


Hey, Internet Old Timers, What Was Life Like During The Web's Early Days?

Before fibre optic cables, before Wi-Fi, before you got bombarded with enough AOL free trial CDs to build your family a (very weak and ineffective) home, the internet was a vastly simpler thing. So, tell us, you internet pioneers, what was life like during the wild west days of the early internet?


The Very First Wikipedia Entries For 19 Tech Icons

Single-serving tumblrs tend to fizzle out and die before their first day is even up, but First Drafts of History might actually have some staying power. Because when it comes to hunting down the more delightfully bizarre of Wikipedia’s first entries, there’s enough material to last a lifetime.


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.


Bloodletting And Bone Brushes: The White-Knuckle Days Of Early Dentistry

With all those gleaming, stainless-steel tools readied for painful prodding, few people look forward to visiting the dentist. But modern dentistry is a walk in the park compared with archaic methods of treating oral maladies: Be glad you’re not seeking treatment for mysterious “tooth worms” or using dentures filled with the syphilitic teeth of dead soldiers.


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