Articles by Bess Lovejoy

Pohl emphasized that killing rats was a civic duty, telling the Oregonian that “everyone in the city, rich and poor, should consider it his duty to exterminate rats.”

Women Who Shaped History

The Pioneering Health Officer Who Saved Portland From the Plague

Tasked with curbing a 1907 outbreak, Esther Pohl emphasized the importance of clean, vermin-free environments

One of 50 rooms in the Colonial Revival mansion in Rochester, New York, where George Eastman lived for 27 years.

Visit the Homes of America's Greatest Inventors

Within these walls, our nation's most brilliant tinkerers once ate, slept and imagined

Guanabara Bay at night, Rio de Janeiro.

11 Fun Facts About Rio

It’s more than beaches, favelas and that Duran Duran song

Photographer Joseph Michael explored the 30-million-year old limestone caves of New Zealand's North Island, a favored spot for glowworms, to create these dazzling long-exposure shots.

Captivating Long-Exposure Photos of New Zealand’s Glowworm Caves

These new shots show the otherworldly magic created by a carnivorous fungus gnat

A skull at Bolivia's Fiesta de las Ñatitas.

New Photo Book Explores Places the Dead Don’t Rest

From mossy burial caves to bone-filled churches, photographer Paul Koudounaris spent a dozen years documenting sites where the living and dead interact

Smithsonian Best Small Towns 2015

The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2015

From sea to shining sea, our top picks for the most amazing American small towns to see this year

The ubiquitous shamrock has mythical origins.

No One Really Knows What a Shamrock Is

The three-leaf clover is what everyone wears, but what species is it?

The familiar SkyMall magazine on planes is now unfortunately bankrupt.

How SkyMall Captured a Moment of Technological and American History

The now-bankrupt catalog had a meteoric rise and fall

Parque Central in Old Havana, Cuba

Top Historic Sites to Visit in Cuba

Cuba is rich in history-laden spots—and a relaxed travel ban will make it easier for Americans to visit

Off for the Sabbot, circa 1927

The Photographer Who Ansel Adams Called the Anti-Christ

William Mortensen’s grotesque, retouched photos of celebrities were a far cry from the realism favored by the photography elite

Dr. Linda Hazzard’s Washington State Penitentiary mug shots.

The Doctor Who Starved Her Patients to Death

Linda Hazzard killed as many as a dozen people in the early 20th century, and they paid willingly for it

A shrine marking London's Cross Bones Graveyard.

Halloween

The London Graveyard That’s Become a Memorial for the City’s Seedier Past

Thousands of bodies from London’s first red light district are buried beneath a lot in the South Bank, an area under massive redevelopment

The Gory New York City Riot that Shaped American Medicine

Back before medical school was a respected place to be, New Yorkers raised up in protest over the doctors’ preference for cadavers for study

Old Medical College at 598 Telfair Street in March 1934.

Meet Grandison Harris, the Grave Robber Enslaved (and then Employed) By the Georgia Medical College

For 50 years, doctors-in-training learned anatomy from cadavers dug up by a former slave

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