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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...


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...


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...


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...


The Paperclip | Office Supply and Demand, Paperclip Trading, and Clippy (RIP) (TSB109)

This episode is actually one of the first topics I ever thought to talk about when I created the show. And I weirdly kept putting it off. Whenever I tell someone what my podcast is about, I say something along the lines of it being a short history podcast about everyday things. And this particular topic has been the first thing that has popped into their minds as something I would do an episode on. Well, after more than 100 episodes, I’m finally doing it. I’m your host, Emily Prokop,...


Mercury Retrograde | Damn it, Planet! (TSB108)

While not scientifically proven as a reason why communication and technology fails, there was plenty of evidence in this episode to prove otherwise, including having to record three times. I'm your host, Emily Prokop, and this is The Story Behind Mercury Retrograde. Join The Story Behind Discussion Group on Facebook! Learn about Podcast Share at or by following @PodcastShare on Twitter. Follow The Story Behind: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Website This...


The Paralympics | The Doctor Who Turned World War II Spinal Injury Patients Into Athletes (TSB107)

I am pleased to have worked with Win from the podcast Ask Win for this episode and I’m going to let her introduce it. When Win first talked to me about doing an episode in conjunction with Cerebral Palsy Awareness month, which was in March, many of the articles and stories I read were about people with Cerebral Palsy who were amazing athletes competing in the Paralympics. Through that rabbit hole, I discovered Dr. Guttmann and the BBC movie “The Best of Men,” which is an incredible...


April Fool's Day "Remastered" | The Quotes Are Intentional ;)

!yojnE .yadot yrt ot eno tcefrep eht saw siht dnA .edosipe redlo na gniretsamer a dnah ym yrt ot detnaw I ,(srehto dna flesym rof) stsacdop gnitide fo neht ecnis nettog ev'I ecitcarp eht lla htiw dna ,yaD s'looF lirpA dniheB yrotS ehT fo edosipe laiceps a desaeler I ,raey tsaL ----------------------Reverse---------------------- Last year, I released a special episode of The Story Behind April Fool's Day, and with all the practice I've gotten since then of editing podcasts (for myself...


PEZ | History, Candy Marketing, The PEZ Outlaw (TSB106)

If you follow The Story Behind on Instagram, you may have seen our weekend adventure with the family to the factory where today’s sugary-sweet topic is made. We looked at the old uniforms ladies used to wear to dispense the candy, which is funny because the candy already comes in a plastic dispenser to begin with. Find out the history of this almost 100-year-old treat, including the outlaw in the ‘90s who sold made a Black market for the dispensers. And by the way, there will be details...


Pi(e) | Meetups, Meatpies, and Mathematics (TSB105)

If you’re listening to this on the day it comes out, beware the Ides of March! That is if you’re Julius Caesar. But in all honesty, I tried looking up the ides of March and, really, when I found out how Romans calculated dates and that they actually counted backward from certain points within the month instead of, you know, sequentially, I gave up and got a slice of today’s topic to celebrate March 14th instead. I’m your host, Emily Prokop, and this is The Story Behind Pi(e). Want to be...


The Band-Aid | Adhesive Bandages, Marketing Highs and Lows, and the 1980s Supergroup (TSB104)

For those who don’t know, I am incredibly accident-prone. I’ve never had any sort of grace. In fact, it’s a miracle I’ve never broken any bones. But one thing I do end up with are a lot of cuts and scrapes, and we end up keeping quite a large supply of the topic of today’s episode in the house at all times From the ubiquitous First-Aid kit staple, to an 80s supergroup, to Penny Lane and her friends in the movie "Almost Famous," the episode is a little all over the place, but don’t worry,...


Post-its | Persistence, Productivity, and Romy & Michele (TSB103)

One of my favorite movies I feel doesn’t get enough love is Romy & Michele’s High School reunion, starring Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow as two 20-somethings who realize their 10-year high school reunion is coming up and begin to transform their lives so they can go back and impress their former classmates. They come up with a story of inventing something they think no one will question them on -- this movie came out in 1997, before we all had tiny computers in our pockets to fact check...


Sliced Bread | The Greatest Thing Since Betty White (TSB102)

Today’s topic came about in 1928, and in the span of time since then, many things have been said to be the greatest thing since its invention. The more I read about it, and how easy it made people’s lives, the more I realize the idiom about how great it is isn’t too far off the mark. Because of this topic, sandwiches were made faster, toasters increased in sales and became a common wedding present, and breakfasts became easier to make on the fly. I’m your host, Emily Prokop, and this is...


The Pink Slip | Enjoyment from Unemployment (TSB101)

Hey there! Remember me? Yup, The Story Behind is finally back after a hiatus I did not expect would be as long as it has. Here’s the short version of what happened and why it was so long, and I promise this has everything to do with today’s topic. I started editing and writing show notes for other podcasts on the side before I found out in October that I was going to be let go from my full-time job. When I found that out, it was the week I was gearing up for episode 100, so on top of...