Economics, like geology, is an historical science. Geology has made incredible advances by accepting it is an historical, rather than a laboratory science. Economic historians can help economics make similar advances by adopting the research strategies of modern geology. Intensely empirical and global in their range, today's geologists focus on the historical remains of shocking, usually catastrophic, events in the earth's past. Already empirical and global, economic historians have ample shocks to study whether their specialty is population, technology, or institutions. A few examples of the possibilities should stimulate us to reinvigorate our parent disciplines of economics and history.