Hunter Oatman-Stanford

Letters of the Damned: Exorcising the Curse of the Petrified Forest

Letters come in each year with pilfered stones from the national park, hoping to break the senders' curse.

True West: Searching for the Familiar in Early Photos of L.A. and San Francisco

A look at early photography reveals the nuances of California's early development.
853 map of San Francisco by the U. S. Coast Survey

Demolishing the California Dream: How San Francisco Planned Its Own Housing Crisis

Today's housing crisis in San Francisco originates from zoning laws that segregated racial groups and income levels.

From Yosemite to Bears Ears, Erasing Native Americans From U.S. National Parks

150 years after Yosemite opened to the public, the park's indigenous inhabitants are still struggling for recognition.

Headbadge Hunter: Rescuing the Beautiful Branding of Long Lost Bicycles

Jeffrey Conner has collected over 1,000 headbadges from old bicycles.

Furniture of the Future: Victorian New York’s Most Visionary Designer Loved His Machines

Barry R. Harwood says of George Hunzinger's work, “No one else was doing this. They didn’t have a name for it yet.”

The Sissies, Hustlers, and Hair Fairies Whose Defiant Lives Paved the Way for Stonewall

In 1966, the queens had finally had enough with years of discriminatory treatment by the San Francisco police.

Why Are America’s Most Innovative Companies Still Stuck in 1950s Suburbia?

Suburban corporate campuses have isolated themselves by design from the communities their products were supposed to impact.
Woman sniffing perfume in a magazine ad.

Our Pungent History: Sweat, Perfume, and the Scent of Death

Throughout the long and pungent history of humanity, smelling healthy has been as delightful as it has disgusting.

How the Military Waged a Graphic-Design War on Venereal Disease

"Fool the Axis—use Prophylaxis!"In many ways, such a coordinated public effort to alter sexual behavior was unprecedented.

The Struggle in Black and White: Activist Photographers Who Fought for Civil Rights

None of these iconic photographs would exist without the brave photographers documenting the civil rights movement.

Straight Razors and Social Justice: The Empowering Evolution of Black Barbershops

Black barbershops are a symbol of community, and they provide a window into our nation's complicated racial dynamics.

Losing Ourselves in Holiday Windows

Nostalgia has always been harnessed or packaged to sell things.

Retail Therapy

What our mannequins say about us.

A Filthy History: When New Yorkers Lived Knee-Deep in Trash

How garbage physically shaped the development of New York.

War and Prosthetics: How Veterans Fought for the Perfect Artificial Limb

The needs and entrepreneurship of wounded soldiers have driven many of the most significant advances in prosthetic technology.
Leyendecker’s distinct cross-hatch style is seen in this 1911 painting for Cluett Dress shirts, featuring a particularly intimate gaze between two gentlemen.

Before Rockwell, a Gay Artist Defined the Perfect American Male

Alfredo Villanueva-Collado on his J.C. Leyendecker collection and the fascinating story behind this oft-neglected male image maker.
Turn of the century campers eating melon outside their tent

Before Camping Got Wimpy: Roughing It With the Victorians

A brief history of camping.