Beauty entrepreneur and philanthropist Madam C. J. Walker and Boston bicycling trailblazer Kittie Knox.
Fan of a multi-step beauty routine? (Same.) So, as it happens, was Madam C. J. Walker, who built a national beauty empire while providing a path for other Black women to build businesses of their own. Meanwhile, over in Boston, Kittie Knox was riding and racing her bicycle, charming reporters, and challenging the idea that the sport was solely the domain of white men.
The Vatican library and the Council of Trent.
In which we ponder the finer points of the Vatican’s vast pornography stash and look for a fabled storage room brimming with marble dicks.
Weird pope facts and the bizarro world that is Vatican City/the Vatican/the Holy See.
Welcome to Christmas in vintage holiday hell! We’ve got terrifying Santas, classic Christmas tree beehive hairdos, and photos that are anything but merry and bright.
S03E17: It’s National Native American Heritage Month, so we’re talking about stone cold badass Madame Marie Dorion, and the many ways in which Native and Indigenous Americans have contributed to medicine and public health, from baby bottles, to pain killers, to early syringes!
We included our bonkers pre-show conversation in the recording, because nobody has their shit together–except maybe the Count and/or Natali’s kid with a hotline to Jesus–but Haley did (probably) accidentally catch a ghost on video.
Then, once we reigned it in a bit, we explored the fascinating estate of a Harley Davidson shop owner turned fine art collector, and discovered that an entire house of Victorian antiques must have been made out of old fireplaces.
We’re not saying it was a sex dungeon, but it was a sex dungeon.
We’re also *pretty* sure we’ve uncovered a very real Miss Havisham situation.
S03E16: Victorian dress reform, the Rational Dress Society, and the history of bicycles.
For Victorian women, bicycles usher in both a newfound freedom and a new wave in practical, flexible fashion: Pants!
The chemistry, craftsmanship, and cringe behind wax figure making, Marie Tussauds Chamber of Horrors, and the early special effects makeup at the Grand Guignol.
S03E15: Madame Tussaud and her famed museum of lifelike wax figures, and Grand Guignol, a pioneering theater at the forefront of shockingly realistic body horror.
Marie Tussaud’s exceptional talent brought a spark of (kind of creepy) life to the art and craft of creating wax portraiture, inviting the public to mingle with likenesses of the famous. The masterful craftspeople at Grand Guignol, by contrast, brought a truly dramatic spark of death–and an in-house doctor–to audiences looking for a different kind of thrill.
September auction oddities: A confusing nun and a clown that *probably* isn’t trying to take you apart with power tools.
S03E14: Celebration, Florida and Arcosanti, Arizona: Two very different approaches to building a (mostly failed) utopia.
Learning how to almost successfully thrive in the desert, and why we wouldn’t want Disney in charge of our HOAs.