Tag Archives: 1906


Warts and All

The ugliest part of the novels and nonfiction masterworks of the early 20th century are not, in the end, what they describe – all kinds of human cruelty, crushing poverty, corruption and violence – but their authors’ limitations, the muck they failed to rake from their minds. In 1906, just five years after the publication […]


18 April 1906: San Francisco Earthquake

Two cameramen captured an ordinary day on Market Street just four days before the Great Earthquake and the (seventh) Great Fire destroyed San Francisco, killing thousands: Another video juxtaposes the same scene with footage taken after the earthquake: From the uploader’s page: Here is a side-by-side comparison of two filmed journeys down Market Street shot […]

Original Corn Flakes

1906: Kellogg’s Corn Flakes

It’s difficult to understand Upton Sinclair’s character without dipping into the 20th century history of cereal. And it’s impossible to tell the story of two brothers’ accidental invention of what would be marketed as corn flakes in 1906 without also talking about God and sex. John Harvey and Will Keith Kellogg were two of a […]


1906: The Jungle

To the working men of America. Upton Sinclair originally conceived what would become his classic exposé of the American meat packing industry as a book about “wage slavery.” In The Jungle‘s Lithuanian protagonist, Jurgis Rudkus, he recognized both an immigrant everyman and the raw material from which a new America would be born, a country […]