Archive for the 'Forgotten History' Category

Kodak Invented the Technology That Later Forced Them Into Bankruptcy

US Patent number 4,131,919. Though it may not go down in history, it’s sure to be one of the most important inventions in our modern age. In 1975, Kodak employee Steven Sasson built the world’s first functional digital camera using then-new but now-ubiquitous CCD chips. Though it would take a few decades for the technology […]

After Mein Kampf, Hitler Wrote a Second Unpublished Book

When Adolf Hitler died at his own hand in 1945 he left behind Mein Kampf, his ideology encapsulated in a two-volume, 720 page set of books. But what’s lesser known is that he also wrote a second book, unpublished in his lifetime, which sat hidden in a vault until his death. In 1928, two years […]

I get (hate)mail

For the first time in a long time, I got two emails from readers. One was a very encouraging email from a reader who wanted me to begin posting on this blog again (and I very well might, after a long period of dormancy). The second email was, well, this: EJ (gofuckyourself@gmail.com) wrote: Buddy, is […]

President Roosevelt Used to Ride Around in Al Capone’s Limousine

Hours after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Secret Service found themselves in a bind. President Franklin D Roosevelt was to give his infamy speech to Congress the next day, and although the trip from the White House to Capitol Hill was short, agents weren’t sure how to transport him safely. The White House […]

Lysol Used to be Advertised as a Feminine Hygiene Product and Birth Control

Yes, the disinfectant more commonly known today as a toilet bowl cleaner, was once suggested for vaginal use. Talk about versatile! Although it was always intended for household cleaning, from the 1920s up until the ’60s, Lysol was largely marketed for personal bodily use, rather than disinfecting doorknobs or coffee tables like we see in […]

Coca-Cola’s Secret Ingredient Used to be Cocaine

Where did you think it got the name Coca-Cola anyway? Yes, popular legend is correct, and the soft drink did originally contain cocaine (obtained from the coca leaf). Coca-Cola was first conceived between 1885 and 1886 by a John Pemberton, a former Confederate soldier turned drug store owner. He marketed it as a “patent medicine” […]

The Official Pledge of Allegiance Salute Used to be a ‘Hitler Salute’

… Yes, that title is correct. Read on, intrepid history-seekers. The pledge of allegiance was originally written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a socialist magazine writer. When he wrote it for an children’s magazine, he also described a salute that he thought would be appropriate during its recital. The pledge was aimed towards children, and […]

The First Openly Gay Elected Official in the US Was Shot to Death

The year was 1977 and after several earlier failed campaigns, photography store owner turned equal rights activist Harvey Milk (pictured above) was swept into office as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the city’s 11-member legislative assembly. When sworn in the following year, Milk became the first openly gay American to be […]

Color Photography Technology Has Existed For About 150 Years

When people think history, they all too often think in black and white when events before, say, the 1970s are mentioned. But the world was “in color” back then too, and color photography technology goes all the way back to the 1860s, becoming widely commercially available in the 1930s. Color photographs are a lot older […]

Pink Wasn’t Always Considered a Feminine Color and Blue Wasn’t Always Masculine

Any expectant mother or father these days is doubtless aware that items designed for baby girls are commonly pink, and those meant for baby boys are blue. But it wasn’t always this way. As recently as the early 1900s, pink was seen by many as a color that went better with boys, and blue as […]