Weird Universe Blog — April 7, 2024

Eclectric Oil

Dr. Thomas' Eclectric Oil was widely sold as a cure-all in the second half of the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth. This was even though, as Wikipedia notes, it "mostly contained common ingredients such as turpentine and camphor oil."

Some of the things it supposedly cured included rheumatism, lame backs, sore throats, coughs and colds, throat and lung disease, and asthma. It could even cure "chicken flesh wounds" (see ad below).

Wikipedia notes that the name Eclectric Oil was "likely a portmanteau of the words 'eclectic' and 'electric', alluding to the then-popular belief that electricity had curative powers." Of course, the oil was not electric in any way.

image source: wellcome collection

Canadian Poultry Review - Apr 1926

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 07, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil | Nineteenth Century

April 6, 2024

Humanised Trufood

Make sure your food has been humanised...

Daily Telegraph - Jan 28, 1937

Post-Graduate Medical Journal - June 1935

Posted By: Alex - Sat Apr 06, 2024 - Comments (6)
Category: Babies | Food | Advertising | 1930s

April 5, 2024

Miss Gary Cigaret

In 1944, a newspaper in Gary, Indiana held a beauty contest to select a "Miss Gary Cigaret." The public were encouraged to vote, with each vote costing five cents. All the funds raised would be used to send cigarettes to American soldiers.

Over $15,000 was eventually raised, which was able to buy six million cigarettes (or 300,000 packs).

The contest winner, Irene Kuchta, got to model a bathing suit made of cigarettes.

Vidette-Messenger of Porter County - Sep 22, 1944

Windsor Star - Sep 9, 1944

Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 05, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Fashion | Smoking and Tobacco | 1940s

Ornamental Ash Tray

The entire patent, figure and text, is given below. How I wish the inventor had gone on at length about his design.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 05, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Obscenity | Patents | Smoking and Tobacco | 1940s

April 4, 2024

By 2531 everyone in Japan will be named Sato

Japanese demographics professor Hiroshi Yoshida has warned that by 2531 everyone in Japan will have the last name 'Sato'.

Why? Because a) Sato is the most common last name in Japan, and b) Japanese law requires that married couples use the same last name. Because Japanese women almost always take their husband's name, this means that the surname 'Sato' is slowly crowding out all other names.

From the Guardian:

According to Yoshida’s calculations, the proportion of Japanese named Sato increased 1.0083 times from 2022 to 2023. Assuming the rate remains constant and there is no change to the law on surnames, around half of the Japanese population will have that name in 2446, rising to 100% in 2531.

The Think Name Project is promoting Professor Yoshida's research as a way to gain support for ending Japan's law requiring couples to have the same surname.

More info:

Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 04, 2024 - Comments (3)
Category: Odd Names | Predictions | Science | Asia

Follies of the Madmen #591

It's hard to remember a time when Lambchop could serve as a role model. Certainly the puppet was abetted by Shari Lewis being so gorgeous.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Apr 04, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Puppets and Automatons | Advertising | Children | Twentieth Century

April 3, 2024

Journal of Universal Rejection

Similar in spirit to the Society for the Prevention of Progress.

via Book of Joe

Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 03, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Magazines | Success & Failure

The Language and Music of the Wolves

Don't play this while your dog is listening!

The first video is Redford's speech; the second is the calls.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Apr 03, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals | Vinyl Albums and Other Media Recordings | 1970s | Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

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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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