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

Before fiber 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? » 10/28/14 2:28pm Tuesday 2:28pm

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 seventeenth-century England, inventors began dreaming up… » 10/28/14 12:42pm Tuesday 12:42pm

The Very First Wikipedia Entries for 19 Iconic Products and Companies

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. » 10/17/14 12:30pm 10/17/14 12:30pm

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… » 9/10/14 3:00pm 9/10/14 3:00pm

Microsoft's First Website From 1994 Looks Delightfully Ancient Today

In 1994, there were just a few thousand websites on the internet. HTML was still new, and the concept of web publishing was still embryonic. It was the year that Microsoft launched its own website—and today, to celebrate its 20th anniversary on the web, the company dug that old website up and put it back online. » 8/07/14 5:49pm 8/07/14 5:49pm

Watch the 1969 Pitch That Convinced AT&T To Adopt Its Iconic Logo

In the late 1960s, the telecommunications revolution was in full swing. Yet the logo of its biggest innovator, AT&T, had remained the same for 80 years. It was time for a complete brand overhaul, so AT&T tapped legendary graphic designer Saul Bass to do it. After working on a new logo for one year—one year!—this is… » 7/28/14 3:15pm 7/28/14 3:15pm

11 Machines That Exercise For You, From the Victorian Era to Today

Time was, humans didn't have to worry much about getting exercise. When we had to kill, gather, grow, or herd our own food, working out happened naturally. Of course, as soon as we figured out how to avoid those laborious chores, we did. Not long after, we had to come up with new ways of staying in shape; hence,… » 6/11/14 4:50pm 6/11/14 4:50pm

Here's How a 1984 Macintosh Tutorial Taught People to Use a Mouse

A generation of us grew up interacting with computers through a mouse—but that has not always case and will not always be the case. (Hi there toddlers on iPads!) When the Macintosh 128K debuted in 1984, it had to teach users how to point, click, and drag with a charming, game-filled mouse tutorial. » 5/29/14 6:00pm 5/29/14 6:00pm

Learn How They Laid the Transatlantic Cable Back in 1959

In this hyper-modern, satellite-powered wireless age, it's easy to forget how not too long ago our main connection to Europe was a single cable: the TAT-1. This, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable was finally completed in 1956, just in time for operators to realize they needed a second. Guess what they… » 5/25/14 6:00pm 5/25/14 6:00pm