Remote Learning during the 1937 Polio Epidemic

In Chicago’s 1937 ‘radio school’ experiment, technology filled the gap during a crisis. Introduction A UNICEF survey found that 94% of countries implemented some form of remote learning when COVID-19 closed schools last spring, including in the United States. This is not the first time education has been disrupted in the U.S. – nor the first time[…]

How a Flu Virus Shut Down the U.S. Economy in 1872 – by Infecting Horses

A fast-moving equine flu cratered the U.S. economy in the fall of 1872. Introduction In 1872 the U.S. economy was growing as the young nation industrialized and expanded westward. Then in the autumn, a sudden shock paralyzed social and economic life. It was an energy crisis of sorts, but not a shortage of fossil fuels.[…]

Classifying, Buying, and Owning Books in Antebellum America

Class became synonymous with the ownership and appreciation of books and the personal qualities books were expected to foster. Abstract This paper explores the role of books in American antebellum domestic fiction. Written primarily for middle-class readers, domestic fiction offers advice on how to create an ideal home and in these ideal homes the presence[…]

The Public Acceptance of Women as Leaders in the Middle Ages

It can be hard to estimate broad social trends in the Middle Ages, but some sources allow us to get pretty good samples. Inheritance vs. Appointment This is a question which people have struggled with for a very long time, as a case of disputed succession from fourteenth-century France shows. In 1341, the duke of[…]