Weird Universe Archive

September 2021

September 28, 2021

Kmarto Wine

In the mid-1980s, K-Mart stores in Gainesville, Florida introduced a K-Mart-branded wine, which they called Kmarto. It cost a mere $1.97, and was available in both a red and white variety.

Very little information remains about Kmarto. For instance, I don't know how long it was sold. Just a few years, I think. As far as I know, it was never sold outside of Gainesville.

I was only able to find one picture of a bottle of the stuff — on, of all places, The Horse Doctor (a veterinarian's blog):



If you happen to still own a bottle of this stuff, I'm sure you could easily sell it for a couple of hundred dollars, because it's definitely a collector's item. As Paul Kirchner has reported in his book Oops!:

Gary Kirkland wrote about Kmarto for the Gainesville sun and received a number of calls from area residents who still treasure their vintage bottles of the stuff. Oddly, it didn't seem to have occurred to any of them to actually drink it—it was kept solely for its shock value. Many feel it broadens the scope of a well-stocked wine rack. One family uses it as the centerpiece for all important family photos—weddings, reunions, birthdays, etc.—to give events that special élan. In another family it has become traditional, whenever an expensive wine is served, to acknowledge that, of course, it cannot compare with the debonair-yet-somehow-impudent Kmarto.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 28, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Inebriation and Intoxicants, Alcohol

Advice for Doctors, 1948

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 28, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Medicine, Smoking and Tobacco, 1940s

September 27, 2021

Vanguard Tobacco-Free Cigarettes

Vanguard cigarettes, which came on the market in 1959, were advertised as containing no tobacco tars, no nicotine, and no arsenic. So what did they contain? It was a mystery substance called 'Fibrila'.

The FDA examined a sample of Fibrila and determined it was a blend of "sugar cane bagasse, licorice and corn silk." But mostly corn silk.

Corn silk is that stringy stuff you have to remove before eating an ear of corn. Apparently it's long been a popular tobacco substitute among teenagers denied access to real cigarettes. And it's possible to make a tea out of it as well.

The Hackensack Record - Sep 24, 1959

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 27, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Smoking and Tobacco

Follies of the Madmen #516

Some wild and dubious claims for this metal briefcase.

Source.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 27, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Family, 1940s

September 26, 2021

Wham-O’s Sunvu

It protected your face from the sun... just like a hat. While looking more ridiculous.

image source: flashbak.com

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 26, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Headgear, 1960s

September 25, 2021

Felix Barrel’s Pneumatic Guitar

I originally posted this back in Oct 2012, but I was recently contacted by Matt Nolan who informed me that the info in the post wasn't entirely accurate. 'Felix Barrel' was actually the tongue-in-cheek stage name of François Baschet, who was granted both a French and US patent for his invention. Also, he invented it in 1952, not 1955.

The picture of Baschet with his guitar can be found on the website of the Baschet Association, which explains that its invention was just the start of Baschet's long career as a creator of unusual instruments, particularly ones that involved "folding metal sheets into geometric shapes".

Thanks to Matt for the info!




Back in 1955 1952, French musician Felix Barrel invented an inflatable guitar. His idea was that it would be easier to travel with because it wouldn't take up much room when deflated. But his invention evidently didn't catch on with other musicians. Today, you can buy inflatable guitars, but they all seem to be marketed as kids' toys.



Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 25, 2021 - Comments (8)
Category: Music, 1950s

The Stunts of TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES Radio Show

Many folks of a certain age might recall TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES as a TV show. But it began on radio in 1940, and was known for its far-out stunts, as detailed on this page.


Excerpt below.

A 1942 contestant told Edwards that her 17 year old son was serving in the Marines - as if Edwards didn’t know this in advance when she was “randomly” selected to appear on the show. Her consequence was to count pennies - pennies mailed to her home by listeners to buy War Bonds for her son. Broadcasting magazine reported within a week that the woman received 301,464 coins, mostly pennies, totaling over $3,100. Variety reported that after ten days the amount of mail had reached 236,000 pieces and the amount was $3,560. To handle the massive amount of mail Edwards temporarily rented office space and hired 200 clerks to pick it up, open it, count the money and track the postmarks to learn where it came from, valuable research for NBC and sponsor Procter & Gamble.

Edwards sent a 1944 contestant on an involved and hilarious search for a thousand dollars that climaxed after a month with listeners mailing 18,000 old books to the man‘s home which were donated to servicemen and veterans’ hospitals - after the contestant was directed to leaf through the books to find the missing half of a thousand dollar bill sent to him by the show.


The fact that they gave out big money prizes didn't hurt their popularity either.

Source: Lancaster New Era (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) 08 Dec 1947, Mon Page 3




Posted By: Paul - Sat Sep 25, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Money, Publicity Stunts, Radio, 1940s

September 24, 2021

Robber warns of robbery

Jan 1995: Raymond Cuthbert warned an employee at Nolan's Pharmacy that he would be back in half an hour to rob the store. Sure enough, he returned a half hour later with a friend who was carrying a concealed weapon. The two were arrested by the waiting police.

The Vernon Morning Star - Jan 6, 1995



Perhaps Raymond had in mind the law proposed in Texas in 1973 that would have required criminals to give their victims advance notice before committing a crime.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 24, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Stupid Criminals, 1990s

Page 1 of 6 pages  1 2 3 >  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
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 •