History of technology


Latest Popular


Animals and humans Anthropology Archaeology Automation and robotics Cities Demography and migration Economic history Economics Education Environmental history Fairness and equality Future of technology Gender Global history History History of technology Human rights and justice Information and communication Making Nations and empires Politics and government Poverty and development Progress and modernity Public health Race and ethnicity Religion The ancient world The environment The future War and peace Work

Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters (c1608), by Hendrick Avercamp. Avercamp was deaf and mute and specialised in painting scenes of the Netherlands in winter. Courtesy the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Essay/
Environmental history
Little Ice Age lessons

The world’s last climate crisis demonstrates that surviving is possible if bold economic and social change is embraced

Dagomar Degroot

Lloyds Coffee House, which eventually became Lloyds of London. Photo by Bettmann/Getty

Essay/
Information and communication
Reddit, with wigs and ink

The first newspapers contained not high-minded journalism but hundreds of readers’ letters exchanging news with one another

Rachael Scarborough King

Photo courtesy fabrikbrands.com

Essay/
Design and fashion
The universal design ideal

At every turn, the design of our environments either creates barriers or opens doors. Let’s design a more humane world

Anna Leahy

Photo by Carre Philipe/Getty

Essay/
Technology and the self
Who pushes the button?

From elevators to iPhones, the rise of pushbuttons has provoked a century of worries about losing the human touch

Rachel Plotnick

Orson Welles recording in the radio studio. Courtesy University of Indiana Libraries

Essay/
Stories and literature
What War of the Worlds did

The uncanny realism of Orson Welles’s radio play crystallised a fear of communication technology that haunts us today

Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey

Asterion the Minotaur prowls the streets of Toulouse in the show ‘Le Gardien du Temple’ by La Machine street theatre company, France, 4 November 2018. Photo by Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Essay/
Future of technology
AlphaGolem

When we pit ourselves against machines, the game can only end in tears. It is in our gift to imagine another way

John Cornwell

Detail from a contemporary fake miniature, purporting to be from the 17th century, depicting Ottoman-era scholars observing the night sky through telescopes. Allegedly from the Istanbul University Library. Photo by DEA/Getty

Essay/
History of science
Forging Islamic science

Fake miniatures depicting Islamic science have found their way into the most august of libraries and history books. How?

Nir Shafir

A 1937 poster for the Rural Electrification Program. From the invention of Edisons light bulb, mass electrification outside the big cities took half a century. Graphic design by Lester Beall, photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Essay/
Future of technology
The blitzscaling illusion

All the great inventions took painstaking, risky, indirect routes to fruition. Has Silicon Valley really escaped history?

Edward Tenner