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.
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Recent Trips in Charleston's History
The public cemeteries for Charleston’s poorest citizens and enslaved people of African descent between 1794 and 1927 occupied nearly 35 acres beyond those used during colonial-era, but all of that real estate has been developed for other uses over the past two centuries. The paper trail of evidence suggests the existence of tens of thousands of unmarked urban graves.
The historic landscape of urban Charleston contains several large unmarked public cemeteries that are filled with the remains of thousands of nameless bodies interred by local government. Those buried between 1672 and 1794 are contained within a well-settled neighborhood on the city’s west side, where the forgotten graves were built over and ignored by successive generations.
Although the telegraph is functionally irrelevant in the 21st century, its legacy is more important to our modern lifestyles than we realize. The advent of the telegraph in the 1840s sparked a bold new era of telecommunication that connected South Carolina to an international conversation and brough Charleston “one line” in the winter of 1848.
The identity of the author of a well-known Charleston poem from 1769 is obscure, but clues imbedded in the manuscript suggest a candidate whose unfamiliar name recalls a distant era of local maritime history, and whose biography provides a colorful backdrop for the creation of a famously bold description of the colonial capital.
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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.
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