By Bethanne Patrick, John Thompson

Someday approximately 30,000 years in the past, an individual caught a pointy rock right into a cut up stick—and presto! The awl was once born. Our inquisitive species simply loves tinkering, trying out, and pushing the bounds, and this delightfully diversified publication is a freewheeling connection with 1000's of customs, notions, and innovations that mirror human ingenuity all through history.

From hand instruments to vacation trips to guns to washing machines, An unusual historical past of universal Things positive aspects 1000s of colourful illustrations, timelines, sidebars, and extra because it explores with regards to each topic lower than the solar. Who knew that indoor plumbing has been round for 4,600 years, yet punctuation, capital letters, and the convenient areas among written phrases purely date again to the darkish a long time? Or that historical infantrymen baked a type of pizza on their shields—when they weren’t busy flying kites to frighten their foes?

Every web page of this quirky compendium catalogs anything attention-grabbing, mind-blowing, or serendipitous. a full of life, incomparably browsable learn for background buffs, popular culture fanatics, and someone who relishes the strange and striking information hidden within the daily, it is going to tell, amuse, astonish—and modify how you take into consideration the shrewdpermanent creatures we name people.

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700), but it took European exploration to introduce them to and popularize them in North America. Beverages The fascinating thing about this section is that whether your tipple is hard or soft, each item in it is based on one substance: water. Without this basic liquid, there would be no coffee, tea, or soda pop; no wine, beer, or liquor. Of course, drinking water is the healthiest way to quench thirst, but human beings appreciate variety, and as you’ll read, there are reasons for boiling and brewing and steeping and stewing beverages.

ISBN 978-1-4262-0420-3 (direct mail) 1. United States--Civilization--Miscellanea. 2. United States--Civilization--Chronology. I. Thompson, John M. (John Milliken), 1959- II. Title. 1 CONTENTS Cover • Title Page • Copyright Foreword • About This Book CHAPTER ONE FOOD & DRINK Daily Fare • On the Side • Beverages • Snacks • Sweets • Utensils & Containers CHAPTER TWO SEASONS & HOLIDAYS Spring • Summer • Fall • Winter CHAPTER THREE CEREMONY & CUSTOMS Courtesies • Weddings • Babies • Funerals • All-American CHAPTER FOUR SYMBOLS & MARKINGS Gestures • Signs • Superstitions • Tributes • Hair & Body Marking CHAPTER FIVE HEARTH & HOME Buildings • Houses • Rooms • Elements • Appliances • Backyard CHAPTER SIX GARMENTS & ACCESSORIES Clothing • Underwear • Headwear • Footwear • Fasteners • Accessories • Laundry CHAPTER SEVEN MEDICATIONS & POTIONS Hygiene • Beautification • Health • First Aid CHAPTER EIGHT TOYS & GAMES Old-fashioned Fun • Classic Games • Sports • Classic Toys • Other Pastimes CHAPTER NINE TOOLS & INNOVATIONS Tools • Communication • Transportation • Observation • Weapons • Medicine • Economy Further Reading • Illustrations Credits • Index Foreword Everything has a story behind it, and some of the commonest things have the most uncommon stories.

Another fascinating story has to do with the discovery of Silly Putty, which engineers at first called Nutty Putty. The funny material—which could be formed into a ball that would bounce higher than any other and could also be flattened over the Sunday comics to take up a colorful image of whatever it touched—was the result of a wartime quest for a cheap substitute for rubber. Although Nutty Putty did not find its way into military use, the more innocently named Silly Putty became a great hit with children.

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