May 28, 2023 – KitchenAid – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 471

A mini-episode from Bill and Rachel on how a major defense contract led to the iconic KitchenAid stand mixer, followed by some announcements about the podcast for the summer months ahead.

Links and notes for ep. 471 (PDF):

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

May 14, 2023 – Barbed Wire – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 470

150 years ago, in May 1873, work began on developing the breakthrough design for mass-produced barbed wire, with wide-ranging (pun intended) implications for agriculture, society, and warfare.

Links and notes for ep. 470 (PDF):

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Apr 30, 2023 – Home Economics/Domestic Science – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 468

This week we are talking about the field of home economics or domestic science. Was it really a science? To what extent was it a marketing exercise? Can it ever really overcome its founding racist and classist overtones? Does home economics even exist anymore?

Links and note for ep. 468 (PDF):

Opening music by Stunt Bird.

Apr 2, 2023 – The Anthracite Coal Strike of 1887-88 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 464

The failed anthracite coal mine workers strike of 1887-88 in eastern Pennsylvania illustrates some of the fault lines and contradictions within capitalism and highlight some of the ways our 21st century economy is devolving back toward older patterns. (Bill and Rachel)

Links and notes for ep. 464 (PDF):

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Mar 12, 2023 – Gillette – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 463

At the start of the 20th century, eccentric inventor and utopian theorist King C. Gillette developed the disposable blade for safety razors, launching one of the most influential, trend-setting American corporations of all time, for good or ill. (Bill and Rachel)

Links and notes for ep. 463 (PDF):

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

March 1873: The Comstock Laws – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 462

150 years ago last week, on March 3rd, 1873, the Comstock Laws on obscenity, including birth control and abortion supplies or information, became part of the US Criminal Code. (Bill and Rachel.)

Links and notes for ep. 462 (PDF):

Theme music by Stunt Bird.

Feb 5, 2023 – Watch City – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 458

In 1857, Waltham, Massachusetts jumped from the First to the Second Industrial Revolution by becoming the global home of the mass-produced pocketwatch, capitalizing on the railroad industry and then the American Civil War.

Links and notes for ep. 458 (PDF):

Theme music by Stunt Bird.