From suffragettes to scientists, activists, artists & leaders who paved the way for future generations, these women in history have played a key role in shaping our world.
In the early 1950s, an atomic energy lab kit for kids hit the toy store shelves. The thing was *actually radioactive*. The set had real uranium ore, and children could conduct real scientific experiments. Here’s what they were like!
Back in the 1920s, footwear manufacturers and merchants decided that X-ray shoe fittings could bring in lots of customers – people who would be thrilled to let a recent scientific advance help them find the perfect shoe. There was just a little problem…
‘Just add water and you’ve got instant life!’ they said. ‘Over 150 amazing Sea-Monkeys born ALIVE before YOUR eyes!’ But, oh, the disappointment when the critters didn’t look anything like the pictures on the package.
On the way to today’s super-simple, pregnancy test sticks that give results in minutes, women had to use these chemistry set-style vintage home pregnancy test kits, then wait hours for a result.
Old pregnancy test sticks like these were a huge step forward, and meant that millions of women finally had a way to find out they were pregnant without going to the doctor, and without having to do a more complicated liquid chemistry test.
By the mid-1980s, reasonably accurate home ovulation predictor kits hit the market, simplifying the process of pinpointing peak fertility.
Look back at the biggest news in the universe on July 20, 1969 – the day we first landed on the lunar surface, walked on the moon, then went for a drive.
There is no more sordid or cynical chapter in IG Farben’s entire ugly history than the story of the concentration camp it built and ran for itself.
For years, curious kids have loved experimenting with vintage chemistry sets and science kits like these with countless things to explore!
Imagine getting paid to think up the wildest retro-futuristic space-age inventions. Back in the 50s and 60s, that’s what commercial artist Arthur Radebaugh got to do.
The insights and inventions of Dr George Washington Carver – which he gave freely to the world – revolutionized the South, and helped millions out of poverty.
Have you ever wondered where products like Formula 409, 7-Up, WD-40 and Preparation H got those famous vintage brand names? Find out here.
Here’s some eye-opening insight into the invention of contact lenses! The contacts were made of glass, and although they worked much like they do today, they were thick, uncomfortable, and even a little dangerous.
The Picturephone, an electronic moving picture device that debuted in the late 60s, let you video chat long before the internet, and way before Zoom, Google Meet, Facetime et al.
Although penicillin was discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, real research and production started in earnest in mid-1941, thanks to World War II.
Old-fashioned dentistry in the early 1900s had come a long way since the Wild West days, but, compared to what we have available in the 21st century, it might as well have been the Dark Ages. Take a look!
What do your dreams mean? How much significance should you give to the symbols in your dreamscapes? See what Sigmund Freud, famously known as the father of psychoanalysis, had to suggest back in 1916.
The basic concept hasn’t changed much in 100 years, but vintage Erector Sets like these are still popular, still inspiring creativity, and still being used to build everything from mini roller coasters to motorized robots.
Ad Astra… to the stars! John Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth, and he did it on the Mercury spacecraft named Friendship 7, on February 20, 1962. Here’s how it went.
Here, see what experts then were saying a century ago about how the height of women has changed over the years. They suggested that women were indeed growing taller – and modern data backs that up.
Who invented television? Unfortunately for anyone looking for a quick answer, the first TV sets weren’t made by one single person — there were several inventors who were incredibly important to its creation and evolution. Here’s a look!
When you look back at how people talked about and used computers in the 1960s, it’s easy to get a feel for how exciting the technological advances were at the time. It was a whole new wild frontier.
When Founding Father Benjamin Franklin died in 1790, newspapers published an account of Franklin’s last illness and death, his obituary, and even the epitaph he wrote for himself.
Back in 1920, lots of people – including media and leading scientists – thought there was an active society on Mars, and that the Martians wanted to talk to us. Find out why they believe that here.
Even astronomers were wondering if Halley Comet in 1910 would live up to the spectacular sky shows it had given on its previous 75-year cycles. They weren’t disappointed.
The measles vaccine was invented because it was a common but dangerous disease that could cause inflammation of the brain – and could also be fatal.
Look years back at teachers, students and old school classrooms from more than a century ago, and see what education was like back then.
Nikola Tesla’s life story is notable, as he saw the world of the covered wagon turn into today’s world of electricity & electronics – and he was a big part of how that happened.
Albert Einstein was a man whose life, philosophies, discoveries and theories changed the way we looked at the world, and at life itself. Find out about him here.
Clyde Tombaugh, a Kansas farmer, loved astronomy, and cemented his name in history by discovering Pluto. Here’s how he found it.
Nikola Tesla filed a US Patent for his improvements on Ben Franklin’s almost 200-year-old lightning rod design.
Find out how X-rays were discovered, see the earliest X-rays, learn where the name came from, and meet Wilhelm Röntgen – the man behind the innovation.
Jack Swigert, the emergency substitute member of the Apollo 13 crew, is a swinging bachelor with a playboy-type pad — but he would rather fly than play.
Radium earned Marie Curie worldwide fame, and changed the face of medicine. Here, she describes how this historic scientific discovery was made.
Through observation, experimentation and genius, scientist Louis Pasteur was able to create the first rabies vaccine – even though he didn’t exactly know what caused the disease.
‘Man-eating shark attacks’ made the headlines back in 1916 after there were several attacks and deaths from sharks off the coast of New Jersey and New York. Find out what happened here!
How the Salk vaccine works to fight polio (from 1955) By Herman N Bundesen, MD – The Plain Speaker (Hazleton, Pennsylvania) May 13, 1955 The
Back in the ’70s, this ‘New Facts About Marijuana’ pamphlet alarmed parents nationwide, telling them ‘Never have so many turned on with drugs and dropped out of society.’
A rancher sparked the Roswell UFO conspiracy theory when he saw flying discs that disappeared and reappeared. Before long, UFO-mania took over the country.
In the ’50s, doctors started testing Thorzaine on patients – a drug capable of powerful, sweeping effects on the emotions, used for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
When the last upheaval came, the whole bottom of the ocean was lifted skyward, and the remains of all kinds of sea life were taken along and left miles inland from the water – which is how this fossilized whale ended up on the top of a mountain.
Albert Einstein’s wife, Elsa, may not have been a scientist – but she understood her husband, at least.
Never having to come up from underground? Cars routinely going 130 MPH? Completely automated cleaning? Solar power dominant? See these and many more predictions from 1906!
A confused and stunned nation searched for answers to what caused the catastrophic explosion of the space shuttle Challenger that sent schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe and six other astronauts to a fiery death 74 seconds after liftoff Tuesday.
Back when radium was first discovered, people loved that it was new and cool and it glowed… so companies decided to put it into a variety of products, like this radioactive X-radium cookware. Yeah, that was a bad idea.
Every year, hundreds of children were stricken with polio. Before testing iron lung machines on humans, two dozen cats had to die under anesthetic.
The way life is carried on now seems near discovery (1953) By Watson Davis, Director, Science Service – Rocky Mount Evening Telegram (North Carolina) December
Free electricity for everyone? Here’s a look at some predictions from Nikola Tesla from a century ago – some we have seen, others… well, not yet.
The flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia marked the first time a vehicle would be flown into space, returned — and refurbished and used again.
Professor Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, has witnessed the trial flights of the machine devised by Professor Samuel P Langley, formerly of Pittsburg. Mr Bell makes the following statement…
Take a look at these antique cigarette cards — collectible free trading cards that were included in packages of cigarettes — featuring images of famous