Charleston Time Machine
About Charleston Time Machine
The Charleston Time Machine is an imaginary time-travel device created by historian Dr. Nic Butler. It uses stories and facts from the rich, deep, colorful history of Charleston, South Carolina, as a means to educate, inspire, amuse, and even amaze the minds of our community. By exploring the stories of our shared past, we can better understand our present world and plan more effectively for the future.
The Charleston Time Machine is piloted by Nic Butler, Ph.D., an interdisciplinary historian with an infectious enthusiasm for Charleston’s colorful past. A native of Greenville County, South Carolina, Dr. Butler attended the University of South Carolina before completing a Ph.D. in musicology at Indiana University. He has worked as archivist of the South Carolina Historical Society, as an adjunct faculty member at the College of Charleston, and as an historical consultant for the City of Charleston.
Sign up for the Charleston Time Machine newsletter!
Recent Trips in Charleston's History
PREVIEW: Charleston's First Market and Place of Public Humiliation
Following the precedent of “market towns” in England, the founders of Charleston created a public marketplace with stalls for the sale of meat, fish, and produce, as well as a cage, stocks, and pillory to punish malefactors in public view. The town plan of 1672 reserved a prominent central space for such purposes, but a number of factors induced early residents to use an alternative, long-forgotten market site prior to 1735. To learn more about the sights, sounds, and smells of the city’s first market and place of public humiliation, tune in to the next episode of Charleston Time Machine on Friday, April 7th.
Blanche Petit Barbot: A Musical Life in Charleston
Blanche Petit was a child prodigy on the piano whose European career commenced at the age of nine in 1851. After she performed in New York the following year, her family settled in Charleston, where her influential father died suddenly in 1856. Thirteen-year-old Blanche then launched an illustrious career as a professional musician, teacher, and conductor in the Palmetto City that continued until her death in 1919.
Florence O'Sullivan: South Carolina's Irish Enigma
Florence O’Sullivan was among the first European settlers who came to Carolina in 1670, and he played a significant role in the growth of the colony during the ensuing years. Few details of his life or his personality survive, however, beyond a litany of complaints and accusations made by his English contemporaries. Perhaps by considering O’Sullivan as a stoic Irishman struggling within an Anglocentric framework, we might lift the veil shrouding his enigmatic story and expand a curious narrative from the earliest days of the Carolina Colony.
Don't know how to get a podcast? Let us help!
Think of a podcast as a radio show that you can get on the internet and listen to, pause, restart, and skip through anytime you want. You have a couple options: You can listen to a podcast through a website like CCPL's, which is called streaming; or you can download the podcast, which means it is saved to your phone, tablet, or computer so you can listen to it anytime -- even without an internet connection.
To stream the Charleston Time Machine: Visit the Time Machine page and either choose an episode from the player above or choose which story you want to know more about. In each story we embed a player of that episode so you can listen as you read.
To download: Use an app and it will be delivered each week to your phone, tablet, or computer. You'll get a fresh Time Machine podcast every Friday afternoon! We offer downloads through services you may have heard of before: Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and Tune In. Just click on the icon above of the service you want to use and click the subscribe button. It's that easy!