19th Century

Baron Franz Nopcsa

Nopcsa lived an adventurous, scholarly life, funded entirely by his family money. He identified dinosaurs, inserted himself into Albanian politics, and wrote volumes and volumes of books and papers. But his life was not entirely charmed. 


Juliette Gordon Low

The, founder of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America had an early life that’s somewhat surprising. But she was deeply interested in helping other from an early age, and when she learned about the scouting movement, she dedicated her life to it. 



The Tiara of Saitaphernes

Our April Fool’s Day story is the tale of an elaborate hoax. It starts with the Scythians and how their artifacts became highly prized in 19th century Europe, and ends with an artist who came into fame as a result of his part in a forgery. 



Transatlantic Cruising Before the Titanic

Ships were of course carrying cargo for centuries before the idea of carrying passengers in any sort of vacation sense existed. But once the Black Ball line decided to prioritize passenger comfort, the development of the cruise industry began. 

Alexandre Dumas Père

Alexandre Dumas wrote such classics as The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, and both those books’ sequels, eight Marie Antoinette romances, and a BUNCH of other novels and plays. And essays. And travel books. And memoirs. And a dictionary of cuisine. Hundreds and hundreds of works. 



Paul Julius Reuter

Paul Julius Reuter had a knack for filling in the gaps in communication systems, and make a lot of money doing so. And eventually, he managed to to turn Reuters - which he had named himself after - into the largest international news service in the world.

A. Gustave Eiffel, Part 2

The second part of our look at Gustave Eiffel's life picks up just after he closed down all business interests in South America, and leads into some of his most famous work, including the Statue of Liberty and the Parisian tower that bears his name. 

A. Gustave Eiffel, Part 1

Gustave Eiffel’s expertise in iron work was sought for projects throughout Europe and South America, and he worked on one of the most iconic structures in the U.S. His career is mostly an impressive series of successes, save one colossal scandal.



The Perdicaris Incident

The Perdicaris kidnapping happened in Morocco in the early 20th century, but impacted American history significantly. It has been fictionalized in writing and film, but it is plenty dramatic all on its own. 

Teresa Carreño

Not only was Teresa Carreño the most famous pianist of her day, she is considered to be Venezuela’s first international super star. And her personal life was just as compelling as her public persona.