Category Archives: History

Why a Typical Work Day is Eight Hours Long

During the Industrial Revolution, companies attempted to maximize the output of their factories by keeping them running as many hours as possible, typically implementing a “sun up to sun down” work day.  Wages were also extremely low, so workers themselves often needed to work these long shifts just to get by, including often sending their children to work in the […]

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The First Speeding Infraction in the U.S. was Committed by a New York City Taxi Driver in an Electric Car on May 20, 1899

Today I found out the first speeding infraction in the U.S. was committed by a New York City taxi driver in an electric car on May 20, 1899.  The driver was Jacob German who drove for the Electric Vehicle Company, which leased its electric taxicabs to be used around New York. German was driving his taxi at a blistering 12 […]

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Why Bathing Was Uncommon in Medieval Europe

Mark R. asks: Why didn’t people in the middle ages ever bathe? To begin with, it is something of a common misconception to say people never bathed in the Middle Ages (or centuries around it). In fact, in some regions, bathing regularly (in some form or other) wasn’t really all that different than today. And even in regions where it […]

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An Encyclopedia Finished in 1408 That Contained Nearly One Million Pages

Yongle Encyclopedia

Today I found out about an encyclopedia finished in 1408 that contained nearly one million pages.  This particular encyclopedia was called the “永樂大典”, which translates to “The Great Canon of the Yongle Era”; today it’s  just called, in English, the “Yongle Encyclopedia”.  This encyclopedia was originally commissioned by Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty in China.  It was not only […]

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Lamborghini Cars Were A Result Of A Tractor Company Owner Being Insulted by the Founder of Ferrari

Today I found out the creator of Lamborghini S.p.A. originally owned a tractor company, Lamborghini Trattori S.p.A., which produced tractors from surplus military hardware.  He decided to get into making cars as a result of frustrations he had with a Ferrari he had purchased which ultimately resulted in him being insulted by Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the famed Ferrari […]

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Sarah Hale, Author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, Was Largely Responsible for the Establishment of the United States’ Thanksgiving Holiday

Sarah Hale

Today I found out Sarah Josepha Hale, author of Mary Had a Little Lamb, was largely responsible for the establishment of the United States’ Thanksgiving Holiday. Hale, one of the great women in American history, campaigned for nearly 20 years to get Thanksgiving made a national holiday.  It previously was only celebrated, as we think of it, in New England; […]

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