Weird Universe Blog — March 7, 2022

The Farmer’s Anti-Automobile Society of Arkansaw

I'm going to assume that there never was a "Farmer's Anti-Automobile Society of Arkansaw" (or any other state) and that the list of road rules they supposedly adopted was early twentieth-century humor meant to poke fun at car-hating farmers.

Although some blogs, such as here, seem to think that this list of crazy road rules might have been real.

The Carmen Headlight - Sep 10, 1909

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 07, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations | 1900s | Parody | Cars

The Wonderland of Doo

The history of newspaper comic strips is replete with many oddities.

An excellent blog on the topic, with almost daily posts, is STRIPPER'S GUIDE.

Here's one creation that has received very little attention, based on its scarcity of Google hits. Its creator was Arch Dale.

Each instance featured a big block of text, which I am omitting, save for one sample.

This survey is by no means complete, just a taste.

The strips were also collected in book form.


















Posted By: Paul - Mon Mar 07, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Anthropomorphism | Newspapers | Comics | Surrealism | Fantasy | Twentieth Century

March 6, 2022

Frank P. Reese, light-bulb eater

When they say that the food in prison is awful, I guess that depends on what you like to eat.

Detroit Free Press - Mar 26, 1972



El Paso Times - Mar 25, 1972



Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin - Mar 25, 1972

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 06, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Food | Prisons | 1970s

The Princess Rajah Dance

Man, that gal's got some strong jaws--as you will see!

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 06, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Furniture | Human Marvels | 1900s | Dance

March 5, 2022

Buried in Snuff

Margaret Thompson of London was buried on April 2, 1776. Her will directed that her casket should be filled with snuff, and that snuff should be liberally handed out to the crowd at her funeral.

I Margaret Thompson, &c. being of sound mind, &c. do desire, that when my soul is departed from this world, my body and effects may be disposed of in a manner following, &c. &c.—

I also desire that all my handkerchiefs that I may leave unwashed at the time of my disease, after they have been got together by my old and trust servant, Sarah Stuart, be put by her alone, at the bottom of my coffin, which I desire may be large enough for that purpose, together with such a quantity of the best Scotch snuff (in which she knoweth I always had the greatest delight) as will cover my deceased body — and this I desire more especially, as it is usual to put flowers into the coffin of departed friends, and nothing can be so fragrant and refreshing to me as that precious power.

But I strictly charge that no man be suffered to approach my body till the coffin is closed, and it is necessary to carry me to my burial, which I order in the manner following:

Six men to be my bearers, who are well known to be the greatest snuff takers in the parish of St. James', Westminster—and instead of mourning, each to wear a snuff coloured beaver, which I desire may be bought for that purpose, and given them.

Six maidens of my old acquaintance, viz. &c. to bear my pall, each to wear a proper hood, and to carry a box filled with the best Scotch snuff, to take for their refreshment as they go along. Before my corpse I desire the minister may be invited to walk, and to take a desirable quantity of the said snuff, not exceeding one pound; to whom I bequeath two guineas on condition of so doing. And I also desire my old and faithful servant, Sarah Stuart, to walk before the corpse, to distribute every twenty yards, a large handful of Scotch snuff to the ground, and upon the crowd who may possibly follow me to the burial place—on which condition I bequeath her £20. And I also desire, that at least two bushels of said snuff may be distributed at the door of my house in Boyle street.

Source: Euterpeiad, or, Musical Intelligencer & Ladies' Gazette - June 28, 1821

Source: Crazy - But True!, by Jonathan Clements

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 05, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Death | Eighteenth Century

Lorne Greene, “Ringo”

Another in our series of "Actors Who Should Have Stuck to Acting."

Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 05, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Guns | Hollywood | Music | Television | Wild West and US Frontier | 1960s

March 4, 2022

Druid Priest William Price

Dr. William Price (1800-1893) led a highly eccentric life. Some details from an article about him on bbc.co.uk:

  • He "ate no meat, drank mainly champagne, eschewed the wearing of socks and prescribed a vegetarian diet for his patients instead of medicine."
  • He had a liking for outlandish costume, "notably a fox-skin headdress with the legs and tails hanging down over his shoulders and back."
  • "He became fascinated by the old druidic rites and even held druidic ceremonies at the rocking stone outside Pontypridd."

Price in 1884 wearing his druid attire. Source: MarkBerePeterson.com



However, his main claim to fame is that he helped to bring about the legalization of cremation in Britain.

Supporters of cremation had been trying to get it legalized throughout the nineteenth century. But Price caused the issue to come to a head by burning the body of his five-month-old son, Jesus Christ, on a funeral pyre, after the child had died a natural death. Yes, he had named his son Jesus Christ, or "Iesu Grist" in Welsh.

Price was arrested and charged with the crime of illegal cremation. His eventual acquittal led directly to the passage of the Cremation Act, which made it legal to burn bodies in Britain.

When Price himself died in 1893 he was cremated on a giant funeral pyre as thousands of spectators watched.

However, it's worth noting that while cremation is now legal (and commonplace) in the UK and USA, open-air pyres aren't legal, as far as I know.

More info: wikipedia

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 04, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Death | Eccentrics | Nineteenth Century

March 3, 2022

Self-Witness

1979: Thomas Martin, an assistant manager at a Jack in the Box restaurant, told police he was robbed of $307 while closing up the store. Police asked him to describe the robber. He described himself. He later confessed to taking the money from the store.

I wonder if this sketch is preserved somewhere in the archives of the Oroville, CA police department.

Kenosha News - Mar 9, 1979

Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 03, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Stupid Criminals | 1990s

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