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STRANGE TIMES and WEIRD SCIENCE: For curious people who enjoy Victorian Secrets from footnotes in history.

Welcome to our transmedia project based on the Victorian Era and two famous women in history, Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland. Racing Nellie Bly began with a mere footnote in history. Many people already knew about Nellie Bly and the undercover stories she wrote for Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World Newspaper in the late 1880s to 1890s. One of Nelly Bly’s most famous Victorian Era stories was Ten Days In a Madhouse in which she pretended to be insane and went undercover to write about the abusive treatment of mental patients in Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum. Bly’s series won front-page headlines that lead to legal changes in mental institutions.

After writing front-page stories for nearly three years, Nellie Bly decided to top herself with one that would spike readership and attract world recognition. On Nov. 14, 1889, Nellie Bly launched on a race to beat Jules Verne’s fictional record around the world in eighty days.

It was the Victorian Era footnote about two famous women in history that drew our attention and sparked our imagination. Few people knew about Nellie Bly’s arch rival, Elizabeth Bisland, also a New York journalist, who launched several hours later, in the opposite direction, thereby challenging Nellie Bly on her own race.

It’s the footnotes in Victorian Era history that inspired this story and many others in the blogs and games that make up Racing Nellie Bly. We hope we can inspire you to join the adventures!