Jonathan Schifman

Jonathan works in New York and still often stops to marvel at the skyscrapers, where he finds inspiration for his writing. He's previously written for Newsday and amNewYork.

The Entire History of Steel
From hunks of iron streaking through the sky, to the construction of skyscrapers and megastructures, this is the history of the world's…
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How the Secret of Concrete Was Found, Lost, and Found Again

How limestone, rocks, and volcanic ash allowed humanity to build the modern world.

The Remarkable, War-Torn, Spacefaring History of the Slinky

How a tension spring became a national sensation.

How the Pencil Sharpened the World
From sticks of graphite wrapped in string to mechanical pencils made of gold, centuries of innovation went into crafting the perfect wr…
How the Humble Index Card Foresaw the Internet

A 3 x 5 history of the cards that helped catalog all of human knowledge in a way anybody could use.

11 Calculators That Show How Far Computing Has Come in the Past 2,000 Years

Before there were smartphones, there were two millennia of calculators.

10 Stories That Prove Gurkhas Are the Fiercest Fighters on the Planet

They can take down tanks and fight battalions single-handedly.