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How to Heat Your House with a Wood-burning Stove

During the 1970s, and into the 80s, the United States went through what is known today as the Gas Crisis or the Oil Crisis of 1973. The members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed...

The Fascinating Origins of Polka Dots

Today, polka dots are considered a cheerful pattern, often featured on children’s toys and cheeky, vintage-style clothing. Perhaps we take the pattern from granted now, but polka dots actually have a very interesting history. For example,...

The Great American Flask

Hip flasks are back in style. While hip flasks became a fashion trend back in the 18th century, their popularity as a convenient and inconspicuous way to carry booze goes back even further. Flasks were used...

A Glamper’s Dream: The Dream House Bell Tent

The idea of "glamping" is probably not something our ancestors had in mind when they started using bell tents. In fact, the use of canvas bell tents dates way back to Byzantine military campaigns in...

Otter Wax

Back in the mid-19th Century, sailors discovered that applying wax to their sailcloth would make them go faster. When it rained, they wrapped themselves in their spare sails to stay dry. Clothing and equipment manufacturers soon...

From Battlefields to Glamping: The History of Canvas Bell Tents

The canvas bell tent glamping trend has taken over campgrounds overnight. But did you know canvas bell tents have been around for ages? From housing military soldiers on the battlefield to hosting scout slumber parties, the...

19th Century Recipes for a Hearty Breakfast

When we were young, Mom and Dad used to send my brothers and I to Grandma’s house for a few weeks at a time during the summer. My Grandparents lived on a working dairy farm...

Hotel Advertising: A History of Guest Welcome Amenities

There was once a time when hotels lacked television or booking websites to advertise. Instead, providing well-designed guest welcome amenities that were hard to pass up, guests did the advertising legwork for them. Compliments...

How to Become a Weaver: A Modern Guide to an Old-Timey Trade

Patrick Kline runs Family Heirloom Weavers in Pennsylvania, where he’s been weaving cool stuff for 31 years, following in his father’s footsteps, on old, outdated equipment. The company weaves tapestries, linens, rugs, throws, and curtains. Family...

6 Dark Stories Behind Classic Childhood Games

Nothing seems as innocent as a family gathering around the table to play their favorite game. Yet, many childhood classics rose from dark tales or suspicious circumstances. So, if you want to find out which game...

11 Bizarre Inventions of the 19th Century You’ve Never Heard Of

The 19th Century and Victorian Age (1837-1901) was a period of great technological advancement in transportation, communication, and many other aspects of life. People were inventing things all over the place. Electric light bulbs, motion...

7 Easy Steps to Clean and Refurbish Cast Iron Pans

Raised in the south, the first thing a girl like me is taught--other than southern hospitality--is how to cook with cast iron skillets. Whether it was cornbread or fried green tomatoes, my mom taught me...