Categories
The First

The Lost Highway: The Tale of the Lincoln Highway, America’s First Cross Country Road

THE FIRST PODCAST  In 1900, there were about 8,000 registered automobiles in the United States. They were a genuine novelty. Those that attempted to go on ‘road trips’ met with a frustrating reality — there were no drivable roads, no unified road maps, no nation-wide infrastructure of gas stations or amenities. The first automobiles to […]

Categories
The First

The Plant Doctor: The Extraordinary Life Story of George Washington Carver

THE FIRST PODCAST How much do you know about George Washington Carver, the man born into slavery who became America’s most famous botanist in the first half of the 20th century? He didn’t discover the peanut, a legume commonplace in the human diet for thousands of years, nor did he invent peanut butter. What Carver […]

Categories
The First

The Unbelievable Life of Benjamin Franklin: A Podcast in Three Parts

Benjamin Franklin helped to create the modern world. His legacy is all around you — from the electricity which powers and illuminates our homes to the ideas that form our system of government. For the past three episodes of The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences (the Bowery Boys spin-off podcast), Greg Young has […]

Categories
The First

The Rebel — Benjamin Franklin: America’s Founding Inventor

THE FIRST PODCAST The story of Benjamin Franklin at the end of his life — at the birth of a new nation. Part Three of The Invention of Benjamin Franklin. Check Part One (Franklin Gothic) and Part Two (Lightning Strikes) to catch up on his extraordinary story! Benjamin Franklin was the most famous American in […]

Categories
The First

The Invention of Benjamin Franklin Part One: Franklin Gothic (1706-1748)

THE FIRST PODCAST   Benjamin Franklin did more in his first forty years than most people do in an entire lifetime. Had he not played a pivotal role in the creation of the United States of America, he still would have been considered an icon in the fields of publishing, science and urban planning. How […]

Categories
The First

A Cabinet of Curiosities Awaits You — The First: Stories of Invention

Tom and Greg are on life-changing adventures this week so no new  episode of the Bowery Boys: New York City History. But there is something awaiting you in the Bowery Boys feed this week — one very New York City-centric episode of The First: Stories of Invention, the Bowery Boys spinoff hosted by Greg Young. With […]

Categories
The First

The First Song Ever Recorded (Was Never Meant To Be Played Back)

THE FIRST PODCAST Imagine if we could hear the voices of Abraham Lincoln, Queen Victoria or Harriet Tubman? Believe it or not, somebody was making audio recordings as far back as the 1850s. Had these techniques been widespread, we might have had the words of those famous people preserved, as well as recordings from the Civil […]

Categories
The First

Josephine Cochrane and her Dazzling Dish-Washing Machine

THE FIRST PODCAST Of the tens of thousands of U.S. patents granted in the 19th century, only a small fraction were held by women. One of those women — Josephine Cochrane — would change the world by solving a simple household problem. While throwing lavish dinner parties in her gracious home in Shelbyville, Illinois, Cochrane […]

Categories
The First

The Big Story Of Old Bet, America’s First Circus Elephant

PODCAST Before the American circus existed, animal menageries travelled the land, sometimes populated with exotic creatures. This is the story of the perhaps the most extraordinary wandering menagerie of all. This year marks the end to the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus and, with it, the end of the traditional American circus. Once at the core of […]

Categories
The First

Unimate and the Rise of the Robots (The First Podcast)

THE FIRST PODCAST This is the history of the future. Robots conjure up thoughts of distant technological landscapes and even apocalyptic scenarios, but the truth is, robots are a very old creation, tracing back to the ancient world. We can thank science fiction writers for inventing new serious ideas about robots, automatons previously relegated as mere […]

Categories
The First

The Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Revolution: The Story of the First Bikini

THE FIRST PODCAST In 1907, the professional swimmer Annette Kellerman was arrested on a Massachusetts beach for wearing a revealing bathing suit — a skin-tight black ensemble which covered most of her body. Less than forty years later, in 1946, the owner of a Parisian lingerie shop named Louis Réard invented the bikini, perhaps the smallest […]

Categories
The First

This Morbid Invention: The Terrible Story of the First Electric Chair

THE FIRST PODCAST The story of how electricity became a tool of death for the state of New York and the strange circumstances behind the invention of the electric chair. The harnessing of electricity by the great inventors of the Gilded Age introduced the world to the miracle of light at all hours of the day. […]

Categories
The First

The Making and Remaking of the Pledge of Allegiance

THE FIRST PODCAST   The Pledge of Allegiance feels like an American tradition that traces itself back to the Founding Fathers, but, in fact, it’s turning 125 years old in 2017. This is the story of the invention of the Pledge, a set of words that have come to embody the core values of American citizenship. […]

Categories
Podcasts The First

The Wheel: Ferris’ Big Idea (Special Preview of The First Podcast)

This is a special preview for the new Bowery Boys spin-off podcast series The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences, brought to you by Bowery Boys host Greg Young. 01: The first Ferris Wheel was invented to become America’s Eiffel Tower, making its grand debut at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. The wheel’s […]