18 episodes

Brains On presents Forever Ago®, a history show for the whole family! Every episode looks into the surprising and fascinating history of things we think are ordinary, but they’re not -- like ice cream flavors, video games, baths and more. We make learning about the past fun while teaching listeners to think critically about history.

Forever Ago American Public Media

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.2 • 118 Ratings

Brains On presents Forever Ago®, a history show for the whole family! Every episode looks into the surprising and fascinating history of things we think are ordinary, but they’re not -- like ice cream flavors, video games, baths and more. We make learning about the past fun while teaching listeners to think critically about history.

    Pirates: More than peg legs and parrots

    Pirates: More than peg legs and parrots

    Ahoy, matey! When you think of a pirate, you’re probably thinking of a white man with a beard and an eyepatch, maybe a pegleg, maybe a parrot on his shoulder. But we’re here to tell you that pirates didn’t usually look like that. Joy and co-host Elsa learn about what pirates were really like from expert Laura Sook Duncombe (instead of an eyepatch, they usually had… a written contract?) and hear the story of Cheng I Sao, a fierce female pirate who ruled the South China Sea in the early 19th century. And on First Things First, it’s an all captain edition. Who came first: Captain America, Captain Hook, or Cap’n Crunch?



    We want to hear what you think about Forever Ago! You can help us out by filling out a short audience survey: foreverago.org/survey



    This episode was sponsored by:

    Outschool (outschool.com/foreverago to save $15 on your child’s first class)

    Fabric Insurance (meetfabric.com/FOREVER Fabric Insurance Agency policies issued by Vantis Life. Not available in New York and Montana. Prices subject to underwriting and health questions.)

    • 31 min
    Who was the first lifeguard?

    Who was the first lifeguard?

    Whenever you go to a big pool or a public beach, you’ll always see lifeguards around: a person whose job it is to stand by the water and make sure everybody is safe. It’s a cool job, but did you ever wonder how it got started? Joy and co-host Brooklyn want to learn how to be lifeguards, and they learn from a couple of robots programmed to be like Hawaiian surfing legends Duke Kahanamoku and George Freeth, who are part of the early history of lifeguarding in the United States. And on First Things First, you’ll guess which came first: seatbelts, fire extinguishers, or CPR.Also, we have a favor to ask of you! We want to know a little bit more about our listeners and it will help us a lot if you’d head to foreverago.org/survey and complete a short, anonymous survey. It takes less than 5 minutes and you’ll be doing all of us at Forever Ago a huge favor by filling it out. Again, that’s foreverago.org/survey. Thanks so much!

    • 33 min
    The Joy of Swimming

    The Joy of Swimming

    Everybody loves a nice dip in the pool when it’s hot outside… but if you never learned to swim, that pool can be pretty scary. Host Joy Dolo and co-host Brooklyn take us on a personal journey this week, exploring Joy’s own history with swimming, along with why many African-Americans aren’t comfortable in the water. (Hint: it’s about colonialism.) We’ll look at the history of swimming around the world, some of the misguided beliefs that led some people to think there was only one right way to swim. We’ll also meet someone who’s working to make sure more Black kids know how to get around in the water. Plus, there’s a new First Things First! What came first: swim caps, swim fins, or swim goggles?



    This episode was sponsored by:

    Outschool (outschool.com/foreverago to save $15 on your child’s first class)

    • 30 min
    When baths met soap

    When baths met soap

    Scrub-a-dub-dub, it’s time for the tub! Or is it? You probably wash up with soap plenty of times throughout the week, but did you know that most people throughout history didn’t use soap for their bodies at all?

    Joy and co-host Maeve take a trip to Menaka’s ‘Storical Soap Stand, to learn how soap became such a big deal. And on First Things First, we’ll be putting these items in historical order: kids’ bubble bath, shower caps, and rubber duckies. 

    • 24 min
    Mac and Cheese: From 'What's in these?' to 'Yes, please!'

    Mac and Cheese: From 'What's in these?' to 'Yes, please!'

    You might think macaroni and cheese is just a quick and easy meal, or a special dish that comes to the holiday table. But Joy and her co-host Buddy are here to tell you that macaroni and cheese is actually a pair of SUPERHEROES!

    We’ll trace the history of the dish back to ancient Rome, through the Elizabethan Age, and all the way to America by way of James Hemings, an enslaved chef who cooked for Thomas Jefferson at Monticello.

    The modern history of mac & cheese continues with the invention of powdered cheese. And you’ll get a chance to guess the historical order of shelf-stable foods including peanut butter, powdered milk, and instant ramen noodles. Spoons up!

    • 32 min
    The rise and fall of fancy men

    The rise and fall of fancy men

    We can learn a lot about what a culture thinks is important through its fashion. These days, most men don’t wear makeup to work, or lace collars, or powdered wigs, but that wasn’t always the case! Joy and co-host Max go on a journey to the history spa, where they get a 1770s makeover from Frank, the macaroni maven. (What’s a macaroni? Not just a noodle!) Listen as they learn about the ancient history of makeup (we’re talking Egypt here) and why being a fancy man eventually fell out of style. Plus, there’s a new First Things First! Do you think neon clothes, baseball caps, or bellbottom pants came first in history?



    This episode was sponsored by:



    Outschool (Outschool.com/ForeverAgo promo code: foreverago)

    Fabric Insurance (Meetfabric.com/FOREVER)

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
118 Ratings

118 Ratings

Joosh C ,

Great Podcast

Really enjoyable podcast that teaches you a lot about history. Joy is a great host, and the format is really good. My only wish is that they would upload more!!!!!

#dreamgirl ,

I loooovvveee this show!!!

I’m from England so can you do fish and chips? Like, proper chip shop ones.😆😆😆

bilbob 12 ,

Great podcast

This is really great.
I would like an episode on tea; because I’m from England and it would be interesting to see the history behind it.
However, I love all your American history.
It really fascinates me and is very interesting.

Keep going
☕️☕️☕️☕️🇬🇧🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 :))

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