“Where did X begin” is a common question asked by adults and children alike about almost anything under the sun. We can get more insight into the world around us if we are aware of the history of some of our favorite things. The origin of almost everything is fascinating, as are the stories of those tireless individuals who would not rest until they perfected the ideal whatchamacallit.

There are many lessons can be learned from the history of every day things as well as the history on a larger scale. From the history of the cell phone, we can learn how political reform can improve our quality of lives in a very practical way. From the history of coffee, we can observe the way in which an empire (in this case, the Ottoman) can literally have its effect on what people drink with their morning pastry or toast.

The history of common objects and concepts can be quite fascinating in its own right. Who would have thought, before reading about it, that the history of medicine is rather recent, and that germs were not “discovered” until 1822? Electricity was a known phenomenon, even to the ancients, but it had no practical use until people made an effort to try to channel it (including Ben Franklin, who also taught us not to fly our kites in a thunderstorm). The history of flight traces mankind’s ambition, and even if the flimsy wings would lead experimenters to plummet to the ground, visionaries like Leonardo Di Vinci dreamed of the possibility of flight and drew diagrams today which are used in aviation.

This site will guide you through the whys hows and whens of everyday things, and will enable you to learn interesting things about objects and concepts we take for granted. As the saying goes “knowledge is power”, and learning about the history of particular things will not only enable you to impress your friends at cocktail parties, but can also provide a deeper understanding of the world.

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