Rob MacDougall is Wendigo University’s* Ignatius L. Donnelly Professor* of Old Weird American, Secret Canadian, Gilded Age, Digital, Geek, Gaming, Big, Alternate, and Two-Fisted History.* He has just published two books: The People’s Network: The Political Economy of the Telephone in the Gilded Age, and The Wire Devils: A Classic Mystery Novel of the American Railroad.
My new book, The People’s Network, tells the story of the telephone in the United States and Canada before the triumph of the Bell System: the rise and fall of the independent telephone movement and its forgotten struggle for a more democratic communications regime.
The Wire Devils is a classic pulp adventure novel by Frank L. Packard. Originally published in 1918, it’s a high-tech thriller from when the railroad, telegraph, and telephone were new. The University of Minnesota Press has just published a new edition with a historical introduction by me.
Tecumseh Lies Here is an augmented reality or alternate reality game (ARG) designed to teach critical historical thinking and explore the history of the War of 1812. Over 150 elementary school students and others played the most recent iteration of Tecumseh Lies Here.