Weird Universe Blog — June 14, 2018

Hat Guard

Back in the day when the theft of hats from hatracks was an ongoing problem, Frank P. Snow of Los Angeles patented this invention designed to inflict pain on any would-be hat thieves.

A thief could take the hat, but if he tried to put it on, a "guarding prong" would jab into his skull. The prong locked in place and could only be moved if you knew the code to the combination lock.

Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office - June 2, 1914

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 14, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Inventions | Headgear | 1910s

World Trade Week Queen



...World Trade Week, which begins May 18 and winds up on Harbor Day, following Sunday. Princess Los Angeles will be Miss World Trade Week, the queen. Other girls her honor court. Chosen by Junior Chamber of Commerce of various cities. Left to right: Eloise Koch, World Trade Week Queen, of Los Angeles; Princes Bianca Detert, standing, San Pedro; Jane Stevenson, Princess Wilmington, and Joyce Niederberger, Princess Long Beach.


"The Princess of Los Angeles" or "The Princess of Long Beach" would make great movie titles.

Original photo here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jun 14, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues | Business | Contests, Races and Other Competitions | Regionalism | 1950s

June 13, 2018

Impact Therapy

Shamokin News Dispatch - Aug 31, 1968

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 13, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Health | Medicine | 1960s

Santa Esmeralda, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”



How can you resist the thickly accented singer when he bites his lower lip?

Their Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jun 13, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art | Music | Homages, Pastiches, Tributes and Borrowings | Sex Symbols | Foreign Customs | 1970s

June 12, 2018

A long, awkward silence

With the Trump-Kim summit all over the news, this 1969 N.Korea/U.S. meeting seems timely:

Back then, an American and North Korean general sat across a table from each other for 11 hours and 35 minutes. For the entire time, no one took a bathroom break or ate, and during the final 4½ hours, no one even spoke. They just stared at each other in silence.



Palladium-Item - Apr 11, 1969

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 12, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Politics | 1960s

Anna Halprin



"Since the late 1930s Anna Halprin has been creating revolutionary directions for dance..." The actual "dance" starts at 1:11.

Perhaps, after viewing that, you would like to watch a feature-length documentary on Halprin. It'll cost you $3.99 however, although the trailer is free.



Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 12, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Avant Garde | Dance | Twentieth Century

June 11, 2018

Boned Rolled Pig

WUvie Phideaux sent along another fake vintage ad created by Cris Shapan, who's the reigning master of the genre of fake vintage ads. (About a year ago, a number of us had fun puzzling over another one of Shapan's faux ads. You can check out more of his stuff on his Facebook page.)

Arnold Zwicky, on his blog, has analyzed this particular ad in close detail and points out some interesting details, such as that the image of "boned, rolled pig" is actually adapted from an image of rolled, pink fiberglass insulation.



fiberglass insulation

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 11, 2018 - Comments (5)
Category: Advertising

Mystery Gadget 61



What's it do?

The answer is here.


Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 11, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Technology | 1950s

June 10, 2018

Presto Wine

It was powdered wine. You just added some water and sugar, let it sit for a month, and you had wine. For dirt cheap. The stuff was briefly available in the mid-1980s, but then it seems to have fallen afoul of lawmakers who were worried about kids being able to buy this stuff in stores (where it was sold as a food product, no age requirement for purchase).

Wilmington Morning News - May 24, 1984



Popular Mechanics - Feb 1984



Wilmington News Journal - Apr 21, 1984

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 10, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: 1980s | Alcohol

Top Ten Teen Idols of 1967



I would have liked to see the sample cohort of teens that voted in this poll.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Jun 10, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Celebrities | Music | Politics | Teenagers | 1960s

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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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