Joined: Feb 21, 2014
Rebecca Onion is a writer and academic living in Philadelphia. She runs Slate's history blog, The Vault.
Made for an aristocratic amateur scientist who might have used it to explore his collection of natural specimens.
Starting a car used to take technical smarts and physical strength.
A scrapbook that gives us a snapshot of the way the international pursuit of criminals functioned during the Victorian era.
Artists of the 1920s found the flapper-butterfly analogy too bewitching to resist.
This beautiful ornament told the world that a woman took her domestic responsibilities seriously.
Maps like this one translated the fraught journey from courtship through marriage into geographical features.
Created by a paranoid duke, these cards were used for entertainment, not mystical divination.
A creative, and decorative, solution for preventing snow blindness.
Men once etched diary entries, rhymes, and souvenir maps on the horns used to carry their gunpowder.
Intricate, decorated "puzzle purses" were a feature of late 18th and early 19th century American courtship.
An ornate—but very necessary—item for a sport enmeshed in Britain's social hierarchy.
They tend to provoke disbelief, but these 19th century marvels really are made of glass.