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The Printing Press | Gutenberg's Grand Idea and How It Left Him Poor (TSB128)

If you’re listening to this episode when it comes out, you may know that The Story Behind book will be released on Monday, October 15th. In the spirit of that, I’ll be doing a few episodes revolving around books. This topic seemed almost too easy to cover, since the invention was something I think we all remember learning about in grammar school. But, as per usual with this podcast and the book, whenever I dig a little deeper, I always find out new information that wasn’t in my history...


The Story Behind Book Update #2

There will be a new episode this week, but I also wanted to put out a bonus episode talking about The Story Behind book, which releases Monday, October 15th. In all honesty, it's still not real, even after getting the advanced copies of the book, and on top of everything, social media fatigue and impostor syndrome have really gone into overdrive the past few weeks. But before the book launch day is here, I wanted to thank you all, once again, for all your support. Plus, get a preview of...


Banned Books | A History of Putting Books on Blast (TSB126)

Only a few more weeks until The Story Behind book is out! And one of my podcasting mentors and buddies Dave Jackson gave me the idea to do a bunch of episodes relating to books around this time to hopefully set the mood for its release. While I was looking into different topics, I found out that the week this comes out, the week from September 23-29, 2018, is Banned Books Week, so what better time to have that as a topic. I’m your host, Emily Prokop, and this is The Story Behind Banned...


Hairspray | School Photo Horror, Big Hair Throughout the Decades, and the Real Story that Inspired the Musical (TSB125)

School picture time is here and every time I get my daughter ready for her picture, I try not to follow current trends too much. I have this fear she’ll have the same experience I had in 1990 when my mom decided to go all out with my school picture and not only give me a big enough pinafore on my dress that it could double as a wind sail on a small boat, but she also teased my bangs and hair so much that I remember the photographer moving his camera back to get the full look. And, yes, if...


Matches | Alchemy, Phossy Jaw, and the Matchstick Girls Strike (TSB124)

I honestly didn’t think I would be as interested in the history of today’s topic when I first started reading about it. There was a lot of chemistry involved and anyone who knew me in high school knows that was the worst subject for me. When you listen to the episode, you’ll notice I kept the chemistry aspect to a minimum. But as I kept researching, what intrigued me the most was when the chemistry switched to biology and women’s studies toward the end, when working conditions for those...


The Teddy Bear | Conflicting Stories, Theodore Roosevelt, Steiff Bears (TSB123)

I love when I find out an origin story I think I knew turns out to be either a widely believed false rumor or when I find out other people learned different origin stories. That’s what this episode is about, so if you think you already know the story behind today’s subject, you may be surprised to learn there are actually multiple versions. I’m your host, Emily Prokop, and this is The Story Behind the Teddy Bear. Check out Varmints! Episode 73 — Black Bears Find out more about The Story...


Roller Coasters | From Russian Ice Slides to Disneyland to the Psychology Behind Thrill Seekers (TSB122)

For us in the Northern Hemisphere, the summer is pretty much reaching the end. And, as a parent, I’m pretty happy about that because it means my daughter is back in school. But before we start talking about Pumpkin Spice-everything and the holiday season, here’s one last hurrah. And, for many like me, no summer is complete without having ridden the topic of today’s episode at least once. Although, you might be surprised to learn its origins actually began as a winter recreational...


S'mores | The (Awkward) History of Graham Crackers, The Medicinal Marshmallows, and All About Milton Hershey (TSB121)

This episode will be told in layers. The tasty summer treat I’m talking about has three ingredients, and while they’re all delicious on their own, together they are incredible. And this episode will be set up similarly, with different stories smushed together into one show. This episode has just a little mature subject matter in the first section that refers to the birds and the bees, just a heads up. I’m your host, Emily Prokop, and this is The Story Behind S’mores. Find out more about ...


Roadside Attractions | A Road Trip with Josh Hallmark from Our Americana (TSB120)

Today I’m doing a collaborative show with Josh Hallmark from the podcast Our Americana, which explores unique small towns across America through the stories that impact, cultivate, and challenge community. America can feel oppressive. Every day it feels more and more like pieces of it are disappearing. That it’s losing its value. But … there are monuments and mementos of the past if we just take a moment from our busy lives to take a look. Strange reminders of small victories, new life,...


Headphones | From Telephone Operators to the U.S. Navy to Your Ears Today (TSB119)

If you’re listening to this when it comes out, you may know that next week I’m going to a huge conference for podcasters known as Podcast Movement. And I thought it only appropriate to do an episode related to this. You may be using the topic of today’s episode right now and listening to this episode with it. You may have even been appalled two years ago when Apple announced it was getting rid of the jack to plug today’s episode topic into on their iPhones. Nevertheless, almost everybody...


The Necktie | From Chinese Soldiers to European Dandies to Politicians (TSB118)

One of my favorite things about doing this podcast is looking at things in everyday life and wondering if they still have the same purpose they did when they were invented. This week’s subject is a bit ambiguous. It’s most notably known for bringing a pop of color and whimsy to an otherwise drab suit, but aside from that, it’s more seen as form over function. Yet it’s so ubiquitous and has been around for hundreds of years, showing no signs of going out of fashion, despite many men counting...


The Stethoscope | Thoroughly Modest Medicine (TSB117)

If you’ve ever read Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” you may hear a heartbeat as something a little creepy. Although it’s funny to note that on many sound machines for babies, a heartbeat is offered as a way to help them remember one of the sounds they heard in the womb. However, for doctors, the sound of a heartbeat can tell an awful lot about a person. It’s one of the first things they listen to during a physical exam. It’s also one of the first things an OB-GYN looks for and,...


The Story Behind Book Update #1

No new episode this week, but I wanted to give a quick update on the book, since I am up against deadline right now to get it finished on time. I also wanted to thank everyone in The Story Behind Discussion Group on Facebook for their encouragement and support, and also go through some of the #TriviaTuesday posts from the past few weeks. Thank you to everyone who listens to the show and has been so patient waiting for new episodes. You are all basically my inspiration whenever I sit down...


Hamburgers | More Than Meats the Eye (TSB116)

Earlier this week, one of the funniest exchanges on social media came about after the company known as IHOP changed out their P, which stood for Pancakes, to a B. Initially, no one knew what the B stood for. International House of Breakfast? International House of Bacon? International House of Brunch, complete with mimosas? Nope. The B stood for Burgers, something IHOP has offered on its menu in the past, but when they finally revealed what the mystery was, they also decided to change their...


Bingo | From the Italian Lottery to Popular Church Fundraising Game (TSB115)

No, those weren’t bloopers, although I’m sure this episode will have plenty. Those were actually number nicknames used in a particular game that’s been around for 500 years we’ll be talking about today. This isn’t your granny’s church basement version, either. I’m your host, Emily Prokop, and this is The Story Behind Bingo. The role of Edwin S. Lowe was played by Stargate Pioneer from the GonnaGeek Network, and it was watching Better Podcasting before writing this episode with him and...


Pong | Bleep, Bloop! Table-Tennis for your Television! (TSB114)

If you’re one of the die-hard listeners of The Story Behind who eagerly await the episode to be released at midnight Eastern time on Thursdays -- yes, Adam, I’m talking to you — you may be wondering why it’s a few hours late. Usually, when an episode is late, it’s because I’m either dealing with family things or taking too long editing. But not tonight. The reason is that I’m hopelessly addicted to a game on my phone called Toon Blast. And I was on a winning streak tonight so, yeah, not a...


The Traffic Light | Stop Right Now, Thank You Very Much (TSB113)

As many of you know, The Story Behind is being turned into a book, which means I’m in the process right now of doing probably one of my favorite parts of making the podcast, which is doing a ton of research in preparation. This week’s episode will be one of the chapters in the book, but the information and the inventor was one I found hard to keep to myself until the book came out. Even though we may curse at this week’s topic sometimes, it’s saved numerous lives and made driving much safer...


Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen | Freddie Mercury, The Music Video, Wayne's World (TSB1112)

I’ve only done one other episode of The Story Behind about a song, and that was The Story Behind Imagine by John Lennon. And if you’ve been in the Story Behind Discussion Group on Facebook, you probably would think I would be doing The Story Behind Arica by Toto. Well, not yet. Usually, I get ideas for topics from stumbling into a piece of trivia I find fascinating during the week. However, this week, my son has been not only working on walking, but working on his first words, and his...


Livestream for the Cure | Fundraising for Cancer Research with the Epic Film Guys (TSB111)

This will be a different episode from normal, since I normally don’t do interview shows, but I wanted to bring on Nick from the Epic Film Guys to talk a little bit about the fundraiser he and other podcasters are doing called Livestream for the Cure. Nick is one of my oldest friends in podcasting and we met each other when we were in the beginning stages of podcasting, so I know you’ve heard me talk about him before. He was even on the episode The Story Behind Forrest Gump (The Movie) and...


Emily Prokop | Meet Your Host and Learn About the Show (TSB110)

If this is your first episode, this is a warning it’ll be a little different than past episodes, but it will also be a good way to hear what this show is about. Does that make sense? Don’t worry. It will. On the day I’m recording it, it is currently my birthday. It’s the ninth time I am turning 27, or 35 if you want to rub it in. And one of the great things about social media is getting birthday wishes from all over the world, so, really, I’ve been celebrating for 36 hours. One message...