The 110 Year-Old Light Bulb That's 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,… » 11/17/14 11:04am 11/17/14 11:04am

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… » 11/14/14 5:27pm 11/14/14 5:27pm

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 10/28/14 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 10/28/14 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