Category Creative Historical Thinking
Jakub Rozalski and the past meeting the present
A few months ago, I discovered this Polish artist named Jakub Rozalski. His work mixes historical agrarian scenes, folkloric elements like werewolves and gnomes, with futuristic mechanical evils. He sets his work in particular years, such as a series of paintings about “1920” as seen in the top image. It is obviously influenced by the […]
A Brief History of the Origins of Croquet in America
Unlike the obscure origins of most other American sports, Croquet’s beginning in the United States is quite definite. Well, that is if we believe a newspaper advertisement from 1863, in which Daniel O. Goodrich, proprietor of the Boston Bazaar, claimed to have introduced the game to the American public two years earlier, in 1861. […]
Who Invented the “Wet Burrito”?
A recent thread on reddit concerned the origin of the “wet burrito.” For those who don’t know, a wet burrito is like a regular burrito, but it is typically eaten on a plate, with a fork, and it is covered in an enchilada sauce. Growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the 1980s and 1990s, […]
Some images from the county histories of western New York from the 1870s.
A 19th Century Waldo
Browsing through those 1870s county histories for New York and I discovered this guy, a kind of 19th century Waldo, was a frequent stand-in for the artist. Some amazing sketch work in these volumes by the way.
Metal detecting and material culture
When I was much younger, I interned for 4 months at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. It was about that time when I discovered “material culture” as a field of study. As a historian raised on a steady diet of old papers, I couldn’t make much sense out of material culture. It seemed to me […]
A Forgotten Genre of Photography: The Family in Front of the House in late 19th century U.S.
Get the kids, the horses, the cats and dogs, buggies, tractors, and a painting of grandpa. The photographer is here, and it’s time to gather in front of the house for a family picture. I first encountered this genre of photograph when I was doing research for my first book, Veneklasen Brick, in 2004. In […]
Why its OK that you don’t remember anything you were supposed to have learned in History Class
In homage to the Routledge “Why it’s OK” Series I present: “Why its OK that you don’t remember anything you were supposed to have learned in history class.” (1) There’s a good chance that much of what you were supposed to have learned was wrong. The best-known work on this issue is of course James […]