‘Hidden Persuaders’: Advertising and Manipulation in the 1950s

Vance Packard’s ‘Hidden Persuaders’ was an exposé of the new techniques of mass manipulation developed by 1950s advertisers. Introduction In 2014, Facebook revealed details of an experiment they had carried out in collaboration with Cornell University. Researchers modified the type of content that appeared in some users’ newsfeeds. For one group, the Facebook algorithm was[…]

Desperate Housewives and Suburban Neurosis in the 1920s

In the 1920s, doctors who believed labour-saving devices in the home were creating a ‘vacuum’ in housewives’ lives set up an innovative health scheme. Introduction The Peckham Experiment (1926–50) is usually remembered as a pioneering scheme for the promotion of health at a grassroots level. But as I explored its archive at Wellcome Collection, I was[…]

Trade in Medieval Europe

The full range of consumer goods of the period was set out to tempt the shopper and small retailer. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Trade and commerce in the medieval world developed to such an extent that even relatively small communities had access to weekly markets and, perhaps a day’s travel away, larger but less frequent[…]

North Africa’s Place in the Mediterranean Economy of Late Antiquity

The Mediterranean Sea was the economic focal point of the Roman Empire. By Michael GoodyearJ.D. CandidateUniversity of Michigan Law School Introduction The Mediterranean Sea was the economic focal point of the Roman Empire. Rome’s armies first established an empire across these waters beginning back in the times of the Roman Republic. In 200 CE, the Mediterranean[…]

The Economy of Ptolemaic Egypt

The wealth of Egypt was owed in large part to the unrivaled fertility of the Nile. By Arienne KingHistorian Introduction Ptolemaic Egypt rapidly established itself as an economic powerhouse of the ancient world at the end of the 4th century BCE. The wealth of Egypt was owed in large part to the unrivalled fertility of[…]

Towns and Houses in Middle and New Kingdom Egypt

A small number of sites, especially from the Middle and New Kingdoms, provide us with extraordinary amounts of evidence for the settlement archaeology of ancient Egypt. By Dr. Steven Snape Reader in Egyptian Archaeology University of Liverpool Middle Kingdom Introduction A small number of sites, especially from the Middle and New Kingdoms, provide us with extraordinary[…]