If anyone tells you that all you need to do to succeed is work hard, just mention Carl Wilhelm Scheele. They’ll say, “Who?” And your point will be proved. This may be the most accomplished chemist never to get credit for anything — except possibly accidentally killing a dictator.
The story of Peter Stewart Ney isn’t necessarily tied to a crime, but it’s so fascinating that it begs a spot among the other mysteries here. In the 18th century, Ney was a well-liked teacher in the Carolinas; at one point, he designed the seal still used by Davidson College. But was he hiding a secret military past?
Knife, fork, spoon: This is the holy trinity of silverware and (while the occasional spork may jostle for inclusion), in general, these are all you’re likely to see. There is, however, another hybrid utensil you may not know: The Knork. And its creation owes as much to modern medicine as to dining habits.
From 1802 until his exile in 1815, Napoleon embarked on several massive campaigns across virtually all of Europe. This new video shows the changing front lines from his position as Consul for Life to his historic defeat at Waterloo.
Data visualization is an amazing way to get a point across. That is, when you're making infographics that aren't just dumb. Charles Joseph Minard's famous visual telling of Napoleon's 1812 invasion of Russia is one of the first great examples, if a little intimidating at a glance. And this explanation by the folks at…
Back in the early 19th Century, an Irish adventurer and smuggler named Tom Johnson hatched a plot to rescue the exiled Napoleon from his island prison on St. Helena. But to do so he would need to approach the heavily guarded island with extreme caution. That’s when he decided to design his very own submarine — decades…
The 1823 painting Portrait of Don Ramón Satué is considered one of Francisco Goya's finest achievements, but it might actually have been the artist's last-ditch effort to avoid political hot water. X-ray analysis reveals this painting once depicted someone far more controversial than a local judge.
This room might look worthy of pharaohs, but it was built more than eighteen centuries after the last one died. Found in a villa in northern Italy, it's a strange memorial to an Egyptian obsession from three hundred years ago.
This is a 30-foot-tall Martello Tower in Suffolk, England. It has one door, 13-foot-thick walls, and was built to keep Napoleon out of England. This particular fortress was refurbished with a cushy interior. It's perfect for keeping out nosy do-gooders.