In 1830 the Lancaster, Ohio school board observed with one voice that if God had meant “his creatures” to travel at the “frightful speed of 15 miles per hour He would have foretold it through His holy prophets.” Such speed was the “device of Satan to lead immortal souls to hell.” Twenty-five years later English…More Info
Motorsports and Motoring Public at Full Song (1950 to 1965): Measuring Men, Creatively Destructive, or Stimulating Technology?
Watching a motorsport race live is a visceral, sensory experience. The smells are similar across racing categories and can be either accentuated at certain points on the track or mitigated depending on that day’s weather. When the contest begins, the atmosphere nearest the track is permeated with both fuel and exhaust fumes as the cars…More Info
Speed and Risk in American Entertainment  World War I flying ace and racecar driver, Eddie Rickenbacker told readers of the Altoona Tribune that the greatest accomplishment of the 1928 racing season “was the bringing back to America of the automobile speed supremacy of the world.” In April 1928, Philadelphia-native, Ray Keech, reclaimed the World’s…More Info
The inhalation of gases to relieve pain during surgery is considered one of America’s greatest contributions to medicine. The “discovery” of anesthesia is often credited to Boston dentist William Morton, who brought an inhalation device and ether into the operating room of Dr. John Collins Warren one October morning in 1846. This event was considered…More Info
It is comparatively simple to sketch an historical overview of the chemical industry in Europe and the United States across the twentieth century. The identification after 1900 of naturally occurring vitamins and hormones in the body, followed by the development of novel synthetic chemicals, set the stage for the development of the modern industry in…More Info
Background “Iron rooster” is a Chinese phrase for a stingy bird, one so difficult to pluck it might as well be made out of iron. Paul Theroux borrows this phrase in Riding the Iron Rooster to describe his arduous train travels across China during the 1980s. The Tibet Autonomous Region has long retained an exotic…More Info