The humble tubers that changed the history of the world

(Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash)

One entrepreneur created a market, then technology killed it

Ice harvesters work in Massachusetts, 1850s (public domain)

I Can’t Kill You, It’s Thursday

Two knights in combat (public domain)

Medieval chaos

Inside the market for healthy human teeth

An 1811 cartoon entitled “A French Dentist Shewing a Specimen of His Artificial Teeth and False Palates” (public domain)

The surprisingly complex, dangerous, and political quest to measure the world’s tallest mountain

Photo by Andreas Gäbler on Unsplash

Imperial Measures

Louis XIV’s engineering marvel showed the creativity — and limits — of life before fossil fuels

A fountain on the grounds of Versailles (CC 4.0)

Blame corporations, the filibuster, and the GOP

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

And became a $1 billion corporation along the way

Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash

What would it be like to live through 2,900 years of history?

The 2,900 year-old olive tree of Vouves, Crete (CC 4.0)

What mythical islands can and can’t tell us about the past

Albino de Canepa’s 1489 map. You can see the rectangular phantom islands of Antillia and Satanazes to the west of Iberia (PD)

George Dillard

Illuminating forgotten corners of history and using them to think about the present. Shorter entries at Write me: whfacts at gmail.

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