That Time Scientists Tested Sulfuric Acid on Prisoners for No Reason

In 1907, food manufacturers used sulfuric acid to control the pH of molasses and fermented drinks derived from molasses. As food regulation got tougher, these manufacturers had to prove that their additives were not dangerous. » 4/21/14 11:20am Yesterday 11:20am

The Zeppelin Train, The Aerotrain And Other Classic Streamlined Trains

Long before there were bullet trains and high-speed light rail systems, people experimented with creating super-streamlined trains that could whisk people across the country in Googie splendor. In some alternate universe, these streamlined trains of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s are still in service. » 4/18/14 2:34pm Friday 2:34pm

Vintage Public Health Posters Show Just How Creepy The 20th Century Was

Last week, we marveled at the unnerving Chinese health posters from 1933 that showed the human body as a kind of bizarre factory. But those aren't the only weird and somewhat horrifying health posters out there. Here are a dozen or so more vintage public health posters. » 4/16/14 3:30pm 4/16/14 3:30pm

Is This Smiley Face From 1648 The Very First Emoticon?

Depending on who you're talking to, emoticons have been adding drama to our typefaces since 1982, possibly even as early as the late 1960s. But was the emoticon actually invented 300 years earlier by an English poet? » 4/14/14 10:27am 4/14/14 10:27am

When Ships Used To Be Painted In Zebra Stripes, For Stealth

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. » 4/01/14 4:20pm 4/01/14 4:20pm

How We Won the War on Dungeons & Dragons

Thirty years ago, a war raged between the dorks who played Dungeons & Dragons, and the conservative parent groups who believed that gaming was debauched at best and Satanic at worst. Lives were ruined. People died. And now that war is over. I still can't believe we won. » 3/26/14 2:51pm 3/26/14 2:51pm