People Used to Blame Earthquakes and Droughts on New Radio Technology

New technology is scary. Just ask the people who think that their illnesses are caused by wifi. But blaming unfortunate things on newfangled technology has been happening for decades, if not centuries. Like when farmers of the 1920s used to blame too much rain, earthquakes, and droughts on the new technology of radio.

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Editorial From 1925 Predicted Decline of Coal, Rise of Atomic Energy

Coal has been keeping our lights on and our houses warm for centuries. But coal's inherent messiness — both in mining it and burning it — has always been a problem. So it's no surprise that many people today advocate for cleaner alternatives. What may come as a surprise, however, is that some people were dreaming of a…

This Depression-Era Carphone Was Way Ahead of Its Time

Today if your car breaks down or you’re in an accident, help is little more than a phone call away. It’s something that many drivers of the 21st century take for granted, what with our Space Age smartphone technology. This automotive safety net, of course, wasn’t available in the 1930s. But one visionary who was known…

The Depression-Era TV of Tomorrow Had Home Shopping--And a Like Button

TV advertisers imagine that one day soon you might see a product on screen — say Don Draper's whiskey glass or Daenerys Targaryen's dress—and pause the program, click on the product and then instantly purchase it. Relatively primitive versions of this technology already exist, but the idea is far from new. Long…