Patented: History of Inventions
The Ouija Board was patented in 1890. But in did not appear out of thin air. It was only one in a long, long line of devices attempting to pierce the veil between this world and the next.Come with us, if you dare, on a journey through the Spiritualism that rocked America in the 19th century and the wild world of inventions the movement spawned.Dallas’s guest today is the wonderful Brandon Hodge, expert on all things talking board. Find out more at Brandon’s website: http://www.mysteriousplanchette.com/Edited by Stuart Beckwith, Produced by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte Long.
The Electric Chair
In 1890, the Governor of New York called for a new method of capital punishment. A more modern, efficient, scientific method was being sought. There was still a buzz around the recently harnessed power of electricity, which, when delivered. at high voltage to a prisoner strapped to a chair, would do the job (though not quite, at least the first time). The terrifying prospect of the Electric Chair was also hoped to put off potential criminals. Mark Essig, author of Edison and the Electric Chair: a Story of Light and Death, tells Dallas how it came about. Mixed by Benjie Guy. Produced by Freddy Chick. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long. For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!
Every bottle of Tabasco sauce on earth comes from one place - Avery Island, deep down in Louisiana. The same place where the sauce was invented by one Edmund McIlhenny in 1868.Joining Dallas to uncover the origin story of the world’s favourite spicy sauce is the official Tabasco historian Shane Bernard.Edited by Joseph Knight, Produced by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte LongFor more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.If you’d like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!
Concrete is the second most used material on earth after only water. There are more than half a trillion tons of it weighing down the earth. Which is a problem. Where did concrete come from? And why are we so addicted to it?To get into the nitty gritty with Dallas is Barnabas Calder who is Head of the Architectural and Urban History Research Group at the University of Liverpool and the author of “Raw Concrete: The Beauty of Brutalism” and “Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency.”Edited by Stuart Beckwith, Produced by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte Long
Cold War Origins of Tanks in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine is being fought with tanks designed in the Cold War. The US Abrams. The German Leopard. The British Challenger. All have been sent to fight Russia’s soviet era machines. T-72s, T-62s, T-80s.One year into the war in Ukraine we explore the origins of the tanks being used to fight the battle with David Willey of the Tank Museum.Produced and edited by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte Long
The First Computer Program
This is the story of the first modern computer program and the extraordinary woman who wrote it, Klara von Neumann.The program Klara wrote was a list of numbers eight hundred odd lines long. Gibberish to look at now but to the room-sized computer she was working with, it translated into a sophisticated set of instructions telling it how to map out the path neutrons would take inside nuclear bombs.To mark International Women’s Day we’re going in search of Klara von Neumann and giving her the recognition she so richly deserves.Dallas’s guest to make this happen is Ananyo Bhattacharya. Ananyo wrote a wonderful book about John von Neumann called The Man from the Future and has championed Klara and her work.Edited by Stuart Beckwith, Produced by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte Long.
The keyboard on the first ever commercially successful typewriter and the keyboard on your smartphone are separated by a gulf of time and technology. Yet their layout is essentially the same (plus or minus a few new buttons along the way).Who invented the QWERTY keyboard layout and why hasn’t it been updated?What is the Shift button all about?Who else remembers the weird way it felt to type on the ZX Spectrum?To tell the stories that lurk underneath the keyboards you use every day, Dallas is joined by Marcin Wichary. His book ‘Shift Happens’ is available via Kickstarter now: bit.ly/3ETOn8cProduced by Sophie Gee, Edited by Freddy Chick, Senior Editor is Charlotte Long.For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today! To download, go to Android or Apple store
It’s perhaps the most overlooked invention of all time. Consigned to a forgotten corner in the basement of history. The Filing Cabinet.Yet the humble Filing Cabinet was at the centre of an information revolution and became critical to the infrastructure of 20th century nation states and businesses. One sign of the deep mark it has left on us are the names we give things on our computers - Files, Folders, Tabs.To help us restore the filing cabinet to its rightful place is Craig Robertson, author of The Filing Cabinet: A Vertical History of Information.Produced and edited by Freddy Chick, Senior Producer is Charlotte Long
In the year 2000 Japan was asked what its greatest invention of the twentieth century was. They had a LOT to choose from. The Walkman. The bullet train. Digital Cameras. Pokemon. But the winner was Instant Noodles.Today Dallas learns about Momofuku Ando, the inventor-cum-tax-evader who invented instant noodles. Listen to Dallas’s chat with Barak Kushner, author of “Slurp! A Social and Culinary History of Ramen”, to discover:Who invented the original ramen dish that these noodles are based on;What America’s preparation for a land-invasion of Japan in WWII has to do with the story;and Dallas’s recipe for a curry Pot Noodle sandwich!!!Produced by Freddy Chick, edited by Anisha Deva, Senior Producer is Charlotte LongFor more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here. If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad free podcasts and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today! To download, go to Android or Apple store