Weird Universe Blog — March 15, 2023

Tax on intercourse

1971: Rhode Island legislator Bernard C. Gladstone proposed that every male "over the age of puberty" would be taxed $2 for every act of intercourse they engaged in. However, "only acts of sexual intercourse occurring in Rhode Island, either by residents or tourists, could be taxed."

Lewiston Evening Journal - Jan 9, 1971

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 15, 2023 - Comments (7)
Category: Government | Sexuality | 1970s

March 14, 2023

A third leg

Back in the nineteenth century, Alexander Robinson operated a photographic studio on the Isle of Man. In 1885 he applied for a British patent (British Patent Specification 15,376) for an unusual invention — a fake third leg, which he envisioned using as a prop in his studio.

From his patent application:

a light artificial leg made to any required size, bent or straight, or with adjustable joint or joints, and to be attached to the person so as to appear to be a third leg. The end next the body is provided with straps, and a joint close to the body or soft air cushion or both so as to fit it in any required position to the body. It must be dressed with trousers, knickerockers, stocking, sock, legging, shoe or boot to correspond with the dress of the wearer, and can be fitted with spurs or not as desired. It is preferaly made of papier-mâché, cork, tin, pasteboard or inflated rubber cloth. To enable two of the legs to rest clear of the ground I prefer to let the real leg at least, or both, to rest on fine wire suspended from above.

His invention makes more sense once you know that the Isle of Man's heraldic coat of arms consists of three legs. I imagine that tourists would come to his studio to get a photograph of themselves with three legs, just like the Isle of Man.

I don't know if Robinson was ever granted a patent for this. The British patent office, unlike the American one, is not fully searchable online. More info: History of Photography journal

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 14, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Photography and Photographers | Patents | Nineteenth Century

Bounty Candybar Ad

Most erotic candybar ad ever?

Posted By: Paul - Tue Mar 14, 2023 - Comments (6)
Category: Innuendo, Double Entendres, Symbolism, Nudge-Nudge-Wink-Wink and Subliminal Messages | Advertising | Candy | 1980s

March 13, 2023

Cigarettes for mermaids

Why did the guy take cigarettes with him while scuba diving? And what exactly does the mermaid do with the cigarettes? Use them as jewelry?

House Beautiful - May 1956

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 13, 2023 - Comments (8)
Category: Advertising | Smoking and Tobacco | 1950s

Thirty Years Among the Dead

The Wikipedia page for Wickland, where we learn:

Wickland turned away from conventional medical psychology and toward the belief that psychiatric illnesses were the result of influence by spirits of the dead. Wickland came to believe that a large number of his patients had become possessed by what he called "obsessing spirits", and that low-voltage electric shocks could dislodge them, while his wife Anna acted as a medium to guide them to "progress in the spirit world". Spiritualists considered him an authority on "destructive spirits" and he wrote a book in 1924, Thirty Years Among the Dead, detailing his experiences as a psychical researcher.[3]

Wickland was convinced that he was in contact with a group of spirits known as the "Mercy Band" who would remove the possessors, and help them in the spirit world. Psychologist Robert A. Baker listed Wickland and Arthur Guirdham as early psychiatrists who preferred to "ignore the science and embrace the supernatural".[4]

Read his book at the Internet Archive.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Mar 13, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Death | Supernatural, Occult, Paranormal | Books | 1920s

March 12, 2023

Welcome To Gila Bend

I've driven through the small town of Gila Bend many times, because it's on the road between Phoenix and San Diego which I drive fairly often. But I only recently realized that it has a weird welcome sign: "Gila Bend welcomes you. Home of 1917 friendly people and 5 old crabs."

The 5 old crabs are listed: Earl Carpenter, Clyde Kreeger, Scott Smith, Peggy Perry, and Pat Lauderdale.

From Wikipedia:

Gila Bend enjoys a minor notability among tourists and aficionados of roadside attractions. Besides the quirky welcome sign, the town boasts several roadside sculptures and the Space Age Lodge motel and restaurant (opened in 1963), named for its "Space Age" themed architecture and decor.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 12, 2023 - Comments (4)
Category: Signage | Billboards

March 11, 2023

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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2016 by the author of the post, which is usually either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.

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