Biographies

Sarah Josepha Hale & Godey’s Lady’s Book

Godey’s Lady’s Book was the most popular magazine in the U.S. in the middle of the 19th century. Although it’s most well-known for its hand-tinted fashion plates, its content included poetry, fiction, household tips, music, and etiquette.

Thomas Harriot: Mathematician, Astronomer, Relative Unknown

Harriot's story is tied to SO MANY other notable historic things, including a lot of business with Sir Walter Raleigh. He’s really not a household name like many of his contemporaries, even though he was neck-and-neck with them in terms of discoveries. 

Thomas Cook, John Cook, and the Rise of the Tourism Industry

Thomas Cook and his son John Mason Cook were pioneers of the idea of a travel agency to manage tourist holidays. But Thomas Cook was initially motivated by his support of the temperance movement and his deeply held religious beliefs. 






Hatshepsut and the Expeditions to Punt

One of our biggest sources of information on Punt comes from Hatshepsut, who sent a huge expedition there in the 15th century B.C.E. The expedition to Punt is also an important and illustrative part of Hatshepsut’s reign.

Sylvia of Hollywood – Beauty Consultant to the Stars

In the 1920s and 1930s, Sylvia was famous for shaping up starlets, cementing the idea that Hollywood’s beauties were aspirational figures for the average woman. Many of Sylvia's ideas about fitness were totally sensible, but she could also be quite harsh
 

Marie Laurencin: Avante-garde Painter of Paris

Laurencin is a difficult painter to study. In addition to her work not quite falling in line with the artists who were her contemporaries, her personal papers are difficult to access, are censored, and have strict limitations put on their use. 




Packard v. Packard, Pt. 2

After being forcibly admitted to a mental hospital by her husband, Elizabeth Packard began advocating for herself as well as the improvement of treatment in such facilities. After her release, she lobbied for reform to the asylum system.

Packard v. Packard, Pt. 1

Elizabeth Packard’s marriage started out well, but soon, her questioning nature exploration of new ideas about religion led her husband to decide she was mentally ill. He had her forcibly committed to the Illinois State Asylum and Hospital for the Insane.

Samuel Pepys, Beyond the Diary

We’re coming up on the 350th anniversary of Pepys’ last diary entry, written May 31, 1669, so it seemed like a good time to take a closer look not just at the diary, but also at who Pepys was beyond his famous chronicle of life in 17th-century London.




Alice Hamilton and the Birth of Occupational Medicine

Dr. Alice Hamilton was a trailblazer in science and medicine, and dedicated her life to improving the workplace standards for laborers in an effort to reduce illnesses that came from working with toxic chemicals.