Weird Universe Archive

March 2021

March 21, 2021

Clothes Form

Butler Baker invented a "clothes form" to prevent clothes from sticking to a person's body in hot weather. It consisted of a scaffolding of wire rings to be worn beneath a person's clothes.

In his 1927 patent, Baker asserted that these rings would "maintain clothing spaced from the body of the wearer at all times, thereby overcoming the disagreeable feature of the clothing sticking to the body during warm weather." Furthermore, "the device is simple in construction, light, and constructed in a manner whereby it will not interfere with the bending of the body."

It would be even better if it somehow had a fan at the bottom blowing air over your body. You might look weird wearing it, but at least you'd be cool.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 21, 2021 - Comments (7)
Category: Fashion, Underwear, Patents, 1920s

Juror Goes Insane

I would totally cite this precedent when trying to get out of jury duty.



Source: The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) 26 Jan 1909, Tue Page 9

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 21, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Law, 1900s, Mental Health and Insanity

March 20, 2021

Exit Traveler Rescue Kit

The Exit Traveler came on the market in the late 1980s. It was designed to let hotel guests rappel out of their window in the event of a fire.

Of course, you had to carry the thing around in your luggage, on the off chance that you got stuck in a burning building and the stairs were inaccessible. Then you had to find something to anchor the device to. And it was one-use only. Perhaps why it never caught on.

Seems that the inventors also tried to get hotels to pre-install them in rooms, anchored to walls. But the hotels probably had visions of guests rappelling out of windows even when there wasn't a fire.

More info: Exit Traveler



Newsweek - Oct 26, 1987

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 20, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Inventions, Hotels, 1980s

Primitive London








The IMDB page.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 20, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Movies, Exploitation and Grindhouse, 1960s, United Kingdom

March 19, 2021

Name That List, #63

What is this a list of? The answer is below in extended.

  • A nude dance bar, massage/modeling studio and adult video/bookstore — all in one
  • 40,000 dog costumes for Halloween "or other special occasions"
  • 9,000 "Calypso Cup Holders"
  • A 10-foot wooden giraffe sculpture
  • A patent "for a process to convert manure into cattle feed"
  • Bear Island outside Ely, Minnesota



More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 19, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Patents, Name That List

Illegal Bikini




Source:
Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas) 20 May 1966, Fri Page 12

Posted By: Paul - Fri Mar 19, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Domestic, Sexuality, Public Indecency, Scary Criminals, 1960s

March 18, 2021

Bic Disposable Pantyhose

1976: The Bic Pen Corp. decided to branch out into the women's underwear market by introducing a line of disposable pantyhose. The thinking was that their company was already known for making disposable pens and lighters. So why not disposable pantyhose as well? Plus, they figured that female secretaries would be keen to order pantyhose together with other office supplies.

The Rotarian - May 1976



This is now considered to be a classic marketing failure. Matt Haig writes in his book Brand Failures:

When the Bic brand applied its name to women's underwear, consisting of a line of 'disposable pantyhose', they were unable to attract customers. Okay, so the disposability element was still there. But that was about it. Consumers were unable to see any link between Bic's other products and underwear, because of course there was no link.

The main problem was that the company insisted on using the Bic name. As marketing writer Al Ries has observed, using the same name in unrelated categories can create difficulties. "If you have a powerful perception for one class of product, it becomes almost impossible to extend that perception to a different class," he argues.

The company apparently didn't learn much from this failed product, because in 1989 it introduced Bic Perfume, which is considered to be another classic business blunder.

Chicago Tribune - Apr 3, 1976

Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 18, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Products, Underwear, 1970s

Kruger and Ward

Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 18, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Human Marvels, 1910s

March 17, 2021

Goliath Messiah, the backward-running mystic

1938: Bronx-resident Goliath Messiah celebrated his 72nd birthday by running backwards for three miles. This was an annual birthday tradition for him. He attributed his good health to a diet of "tree bark, fruit, green vegetables and a pint of wine daily." Also, he claimed to be a descendant of Xerxes.

Later he moved to Death Valley where, he predicted, his daily five-mile hikes would allow him to live to be 150. I haven't been able to find out what age he actually was when he died. I suspect Goliath Messiah wasn't the name the government knew him by, which makes it difficult to get info about him.



Los Angeles Times - Apr 25, 1938



San Bernardino County Sun - July 22, 1941

Posted By: Alex - Wed Mar 17, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Eccentrics, 1930s

Follies of the Madmen #502

Baby Napoleon plus goat = ?

Source.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Mar 17, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Ambiguity, Uncertainty and Deliberate Obscurity, Animals, Business, Advertising, Domestic, 1950s

Page 3 of 7 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›




Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Chuck Shepherd
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
August 2022 •  July 2022 •  June 2022 •  May 2022 •  April 2022 •  March 2022 •  February 2022 •  January 2022

December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •