Weird Universe Blog — July 14, 2017

Streamlined ice cream tricycle

Streamlined for speed? Also, nice hairdo.

popular mechanics - May 1936

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 14, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles, 1930s

Doddy and the Diddymen

Apparently, the UK had their own version of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Creator's Wikipedia page.

Live version of the act here, not embeddable.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 14, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Fey, Twee, Whimsical, Naive and Sadsack, Music, 1960s, Europe

July 13, 2017

Myrtle Reinhart, trade show model

As a model at Chicago's Merchandise Mart in the late 1930s, Myrtle Reinhart got to dress up in things like lampshades, curtains, and streamlined underwear beneath a coverall of cellophane.

Could this be her obituary from July 2007? The city (Chicago) and age seems about right.

"You've heard women say they haven't anything to wear. Well, next time they say it, men, look around the house a bit and see what you can find. Miss Myrtle Reinhart at the Chicago Merchandise Mart's home furnishing show produced this lampshade outfit." (continued below)

Pittsburgh Press - July 18, 1937

"Golfing Outfit: At least it would draw attention away from those dubbed shots. It wasn't really designed for the links, however, but to demonstrate the new streamlined underwear. Myrtle Reinhart and Don Fristy do a bit of golfing on the roof of Chicago's great Merchandise Mart with the above-mentioned streamlined undies and a coverall of cellophane for appearance's sake."
Star Tribune - July 17, 1938

Greenfield Daily Reporter - Oct 14, 1937

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 13, 2017 - Comments (10)
Category: Fashion, 1930s

Mystery Illustration 50

What technique is being demonstrated here?

Answer found at this link.

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 13, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Body, 1910s

July 12, 2017

Hitler Heater Ad

1999: A Taiwanese company came under fire for its "Hitler Heater Ad." The ad for the German-made heater featured a cartoon image of Hitler standing alongside the heater. A company representative explained, "We decided to use Hitler because as soon as you see him, you think of Germany. It leaves a deep impression."

The German manufacturer insisted it hadn't been told about the ad before it ran. More info: Taipei Times - Nov 23, 1999.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 12, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Advertising, 1990s

Follies of the Madmen #320

Sexy Owl Lady is recruiting cigar smokers.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 12, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Business, Advertising, Products, Tobacco and Smoking, 1960s

July 11, 2017


Design company Hochu Rayu has come up with a noise-blocking helmet for office workers. From their website:

Helmfon is a device in a form of helmet, which thanks to the system of active sound absorption allows to concentrate in open working spaces. Because of the special absorption features, this helmet fully reflects the outside sound waves and thus makes the process of working comfortable, with no outside noise. In addition to it, the helmet blocks the Helmfon noise to outside surroundings and thus people, who sit near the Helmfon user don’t experience any discomfort of hearing unimportant sounds.

Our main idea was to create a tool, which helps fully concentrate on working project, get some personal space and doesn’t allow office noise kill person’s productiveness.

It reminds me of the isolator helmet invented by Hugo Gernsback, back in 1925. (See Laughing Squid for more details).

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 11, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Inventions

Claude Hall, RIP

Obit source.

Frank Chacksfield page.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 11, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, Obituaries

July 10, 2017

Bugs for Dolls

From the Pittsburgh Press - Oct 23, 1938:

Dead Crickets Are Toys in China

In China, where life is hard and patience strong, the toy man is a favorite of old and young. On the streets of Peiping he displays his wares and children flock to see — and if they have pennies — to buy. A set of his most fascinating wares are fashioned from skins of dead crickets, dressed up to satirize the many street vendors in the ancient city.

"This cricket has been mounted to represent a vendor of flowers and plants."

"These crickets represent a barber shaving a customer."

"Barbers bring their trade to the customer in China. They carry their 'shops' on long poles which they balance on one shoulder. Above is a Chinese cricket-barber carrying his tools along the street, offering to shave the head of any he meets."

"Bicycles fill the streets of Peiping. Hence the toy-man's set would be incomplete without a cricket astride a wheel."

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 10, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Toys, 1930s

Land of Islam

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 10, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Foreign Customs, 1930s, Africa, Middle East

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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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