Tag Archives: Obscure history

Hiding Homosexuality on the Cover of America’s Magazines a Century Ago

Hiding Homosexuality on the Cover of America’s Magazines a Century Ago

One of the first things you’ll start to notice about Joe Christian Leyendecker’s work is that his women were never quite as good-looking as his men, who were devastatingly handsome. He gave us the elegance of Gatsby 20 years before F. Scott Fitzgerald had even invented him. Take a moment to observe the dashing man on the stairs, who couldn’t be showing less interest in the girl standing below him in the provocative pink slip dress.… Read the rest

A Bewitching Compendium of Victorians Letting their Hair Down

A Bewitching Compendium of Victorians Letting their Hair Down

There was one fairytale character in particular that seemed to leave an impression on the ladies of the Victorian era. Rapunzel was originally written in 1790 by Friedrich Schulz and retold by the Brothers Grimm in 1812. The story was told during the Georgian era where long, loose straggling locks were unheard of and ringlets in a poodle-like up-do was all the rage. It was only during the Victorian times that the ladies really let down their hair…

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All Aboard the 1970s Sex Raft Experiment: the Best Reality TV Show That Never Was

All Aboard the 1970s Sex Raft Experiment: the Best Reality TV Show That Never Was

Fasad Productions

Five men, six women and one 101-day, sex-starved ocean adventure. Has a catchy ring to it, no? “It was a fabulous adventure story,” said Marcus Lindeen, director of a 2018 documentary called The Raft that chronicles 1973’s “Acali Experiment,” in which an eclectic group set sail to find out if the best– or worst– of humankind rears its head in isolation.Read the rest

The Transgender French Spy History Forgot

The Transgender French Spy History Forgot

The Chevalier d’Eon knew how to turn heads. She was charming to boot, and an unmatched swordfighter; an impeccable spy for the French government, and capable of dazzling the Empress of Russia. Above all, she found the courage to publically affirm her identity as a transgender woman ­— an especially intimidating task in 18th century.

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She Taught Amelia Earhart to Fly

She Taught Amelia Earhart to Fly

Without Neta Snook, there may never have been an Amelia Earhart. “The Lone Aviatrix” of Iowa had been shattering the proverbial glass ceiling with her plane long before the Earhart took to the skies, and she did it in a plane she assembled in her parents’ backyard. In other words, Snook was the kind of woman who saw what she wanted, and didn’t just ask for it — she built it with her own two hands.

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Morse Code Mine Dancing: A Language Born in the Darkness

Morse Code Mine Dancing: A Language Born in the Darkness

Born in the darkness of South African gold mines during Apartheid, “gumboot dancing” sprung from the basic need for exploited miners to communicate in what was a harrowing environment, where they were forbidden to even speak to one another. Workers decided to let their boots do the talking for them, and developed a kind of “morse code” from the noises made by the stomping of their rubber “Gumboots” or “Wellingtons.”  What became their form of communication in the underground took “body language” to whole new level and inspired an entirely new form of dance…

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Meet Benjamin Franklin’s Girlfriends

Meet Benjamin Franklin’s Girlfriends

Sure, on the surface, Benjamin Franklin might have all the sex appeal of a hedgehog, but back in the day, the Founding Father was renowned for an unparalleled charm that not only made him America’s most valuable asset in foreign affairs, but a major hit with the ladies. Especially with French ladies.

Franklin arrives in France.

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