This 3D-Printed Predicta Will Transport You to the 1950's

Once upon a time, long before Twitter or Xbox live, you could turn on a TV that looked a lot like this and watch spacemen valiantly defeat their enemies with rayguns and plutonium-powered rockets. We can't travel back to that simpler age, but we can re-create the experience using 3D printing. » 3/28/15 9:00am Saturday 9:00am

The Last Time Apple Sold an Obscenely Overpriced Gadget

Now that the collective eye roll around Apple's $10,000 watch has turned into a blank stare, it's time for a little bit of nostalgia. Apple is not new to this game of selling seemingly everyday gadgets for ridiculous dollar amounts. The Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh (TAM) wrote the rules nearly 20 years ago. » 3/18/15 12:40pm 3/18/15 12:40pm

​Satellites Looked So Futuristic in 1958

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this was a piece of modern sculpture. But in fact you're looking one of NASA's old Vanguard satellites, photographed at Cape Canaveral, Florida in 1958. » 3/18/15 4:03am 3/18/15 4:03am

This Digital Mondrian Was Made in 1964

Piet Mondrian sits well in the world of science and technology, his clear geometric forms so neatly and rationally ordered. But perhaps the earliest example of technology and Modrian intersecting is in these images, created digitally way back in 1964. » 2/19/15 6:34am 2/19/15 6:34am

The Wild, NSFW World of Old Teletext Porn

Back in the 70s and 80s, there was a little piece of technological magic known as Teletext. Basically, it allowed the broadcast of text, and crude text-art, over unused TV spectrum, so long as you had a special decoder. Very proto-internet. And so of course, it was used for pornography. » 2/13/15 1:30pm 2/13/15 1:30pm

Brooklyn's Best NYE Tradition Ends Tonight 

If Times Square is too gaudy, crowded, and frankly insane for you, then there is another New York tradition worth your New Year's Eve—one that is, in fact, ending tonight. For the past fifty years, the Pratt Institute has set out its amazing collection of big old steam whistles out on the lawn of its Brooklyn campus.… » 12/31/14 5:30pm 12/31/14 5:30pm

And Here's a Treasure Trove of 90s Videos About the Internet 

Remember the 90s, when we had videos on VHS to teach us about this new thing called the internet? Lucky for us, Andy Baio (@waxpancake) has preserved those tapes for the YouTube generation. » 11/17/14 7:50pm 11/17/14 7:50pm

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

Being Fitted for Contacts in 1948 Was Totally Horrifying

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. » 10/31/14 12:26pm 10/31/14 12:26pm

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. » 10/29/14 1:55pm 10/29/14 1:55pm

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 3:28pm 10/28/14 3:28pm

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 1:30pm 10/17/14 1:30pm

What It Was Like to Be Online During the 80s

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. » 9/25/14 1:30pm 9/25/14 1:30pm

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

A Visual History of the iPod Click Wheel (R.I.P.)

The click wheel is dead! Long live the touchscreen. While Apple has moved on to brighter, and screenier devices, the click wheel remains one of our favorite input methods of all time. Call us sentimental, but let's take a walk down memory lane. » 9/10/14 12:56pm 9/10/14 12:56pm

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