Thanks to an eccentric New York lawyer in the 1930s, this college in a corner of the Catskills inherited a thousand-year trust that would not mature until the year 2936: a gift whose accumulated compound interest, the New York Times reported in 1961, “could ultimately shatter the nation’s financial structure.” The mossy stone walls and ivy-covered brickwork of Hartwick College were a ticking time-bomb of compounding interest—a very, very slowly ticking time bomb. One suspects they’d have rather gotten a new squash court.
PUBLISHED: Sept. 15, 2011
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2730 words)
The story of Barbara Follett, a child-prodigy author who mysteriously disappeared in 1939. "Some prodigies flourish, some disappear. But Barbara did leave one last comment to the world about writing—a brief piece in a 1933 issue of Horn Book that earnestly recommends that parents give their own children typewriters. 'Perhaps there would simply be a terrific wholesale destruction of typewriters,' she admits. 'An effort would have to be made to impress upon children that a typewriter is magic.'"
PUBLISHED: Dec. 17, 2010
LENGTH: 15 minutes (3837 words)
When Paris hosted the Exposition Universelle in 1900, it unveiled its vision for the future of transport.
PUBLISHED: Aug. 6, 2009
LENGTH: 6 minutes (1588 words)
James Curtis was part of the first generation of reporters to work what we now think of as the crime beat. Of course, criminal proceedings had always held a fascination for readers: ever since the 1600s there’d been a roaring market in broadsheets that relished the details of a crime and a malefactor’s bloody end, usually with a crude accompanying woodcut showing them dangling from a gallows.
PUBLISHED: Nov. 1, 2006
LENGTH: 40 minutes (10128 words)