Three Things I Didn't Know About The Vice Presidency

"¢ Between July 10, 1850, and March 3, 1857, the Office of Vice President was vacant for all but forty-five days.

"¢ The 12-year-old who taught Vice President Dan Quayle how to spell "potato" dropped out of high school at age 16.

"¢ The following people I'd never heard of served as VP: George Dallas (1845-1849), Elbridge Gerry (1813-1814), Thomas Hendricks (almost nine months in 1885) and Garret Hobart (1897-1899).

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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