Planes first appeared over a century ago, but they've changed considerably since then. What hasn't changed, however, is their role in controlling the air, striking, reconnaissance, and mobility — the roots of which go back back to the first World War.
Before the rise of synchronized sound in the late 1920s, movie theater owners tried all kinds of different ways to get words and music into the movie-going experience. They brought in enormous orchestras, they built gigantic sound effects machines, and they even tried putting voice actors behind the screen who would…
The general idea behind visual camouflage, which is to make distinctive, recognizable shapes difficult to pick out against a background, was nothing new in 1914. The point of camouflage isn't necessarily to make oneself totally invisible, which isn't practical for a large army.
British spies were experimenting with all kinds of invisible inks during the first World War. In 1915, one spy was quite excited to discover a rather handy way to create one. His secret ingredient? Semen.
A century ago today, the first shots of WWI were fired. It was the first modern conflict, fought with fatally efficient technology. Even today, crews must safely destroy bombs left untouched for a century. Erik Olsen traveled with one of those crews for The New York Times, bringing us a video glimpse at the delicate…
Take a look at this WWI-era, 58,000-ton cruiser painted with magic-eye style black-and-white stripes! Doesn't it just blend right into the background? Well, no. No it doesn't. But there was a time when military scientists thought that it might.
Idiots, racists, and old-fashioned xenophobes took to social media this past weekend to express their disgust with Coca-Cola. The international beverage company had the audacity to run an ad during the Super Bowl that featured people singing "America the Beautiful" in different languages. This, of course, was…
At the end of World War I, tens of millions of people died in just a few short years. But these deaths had nothing to do with the bullets and bayonets that had taken so many lives in battle. It was, instead, the Spanish Flu, which killed off about 5% of the world's population from 1918 until 1920. Were a similar…
Requesting information through the Freedom of Information Act isn't always simple, but a group of investigative journalists are making the process more accessible than ever. And one fellow is looking to share his German great-grandfather's WWI photos with the world.
When Charles Bolden enrolled in the U.S. Naval Academy for college, he was absolutely sure of two things. The first was that he was never, ever going to fly airplanes. The second was that he was definitely not joining the Marine Corps when he graduated.
Body armor fell sharply out of favor in Europe during the 18th Century but made a strong resurgence in WWI after folks realized how much getting shot hurt. These are some of the more...eccentric...examples of rudimentary blast shields and flak vests as compiled by our friends at Oobject.com.
If you need to deck out…
Between 1918 end of World War I and the 1939 start of World War II, American newspapers sometimes ran stories about how robots would battle in wars of the future. Still shaken from the incredible death toll of World War I, people hoped for a time when robots would fight in the place of humans. Sometimes this was…
The William Kaufman Organization had the right idea when it built an office tower at 77 Water Street in New York City. Instead of installing drab air conditioning units on the roof, the company plopped down a 1917 biplane.
The oldest secret documents in the CIA's treasure-trove have been cracked open finally. Believed to be the only remaining classified WWI documents, the six files have revealed all manner of espionage message tricks—including the recipe for German invisible ink.
This chilling image from the height of World War I appeared on the February, 1917 cover of Hugo Gernsback's The Electrical Experimenter. The excerpt below is from Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future by Joseph Corn and Brian Horrigan.
DESPITE A COVER that showed an iPhone filled with apps, JOHN ARQUILLA'S cover story for Foreign Policy, "The New Rules of War", is more about the use of infantry and drones in FUTURE WARS and less of a dependence on
During WWI, German U-Boats were alarmingly effective at sinking allied warships and transport vessels alike. But since a ship couldn't exactly be cloaked, Norman Wilkinson, British artist and naval officer, developed another method nicknamed razzle dazzle.
Long before Predator drones and PackBots patrolled Iraq and Afghanistan, unmanned systems were used in combat—as far back as WWI and WWII, in fact. Here's a quick look at the coolest of the old-timey warbots: