Weird Universe Archive

November 2021

November 20, 2021

The Other JFK

John Francis Kennedy served three terms as Treasurer of Massachusetts, from 1954 to 1960. He was legendary for putting almost no effort (or money) into campaigning. He made no speeches, nor did he advertise. He didn't even have any relevant experience for the job. Before becoming state treasurer he had been a stockroom supervisor at the Gillette Safety Razor Company.

By all accounts, the only reason for his political success was the resemblance of his name to John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

John Francis Kennedy probably would have kept running for state treasurer if he could have. But term limits prevented him. He tried running for governor in 1960 (while JFK was campaigning for President), but his winning streak finally ended.

More info: Commonwealth magazine, Our Campaigns

John Francis Kennedy



Miami News - May 22, 1960

Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 20, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Odd Names, Politics, 1950s

The Climax Couch

Surely even in 1910 the name must have been suggestive.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 20, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Furniture, Innuendo, Double Entendres, Symbolism, Nudge-Nudge-Wink-Wink and Subliminal Messages, Advertising, 1910s

November 19, 2021

Miss Spirit World of 1960

In our ongoing exploration of strange beauty titles, this may be the strangest one yet. To be considered for this title, a contestant had to be dead.

In 1960, the editors of Psychic Observer magazine asked their readers to send in "pictures of departed beauties taken by spirit photographers." A photo of the contestant while alive was also requested. The readers of the magazine would then vote to determine the winner.

Unfortunately, I haven't yet been able to track down any pictures of the Miss Spirit World contestants. Only a few issues of Psychic Observer are archived online. Nor are there back copies in a library near me.

The Realist - Feb 1960



Carlsbad Current-Argus - Feb 9, 1960

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 19, 2021 - Comments ()
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Death, 1960s

November 18, 2021

Skin whitening by intestine shortening

Back in the 1970s, some women in Japan reportedly tried to whiten their skin by having surgery to remove a section of their intestines:

surgeons have recently discovered a dramatic way to make Japanese females less yellow and thereby satisfy their obsession for the skin, as well as the features, of an Audrey Hepburn.

Up to 50 inches of the large intestine have to be removed according to Dr. Tadao Yagi, director of a private hospital that specializes in the operation.

I can't imagine why this would work. Perhaps the women grew paler because of malnutrition?

San Francisco Examiner - Mar 26, 1975



I believe these may be photos of the operation being performed, from an article by Tadao Yagi in the Japanese Journal of Medical Instrumentation.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 18, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, Surgery, 1970s

November 17, 2021

Do you have auto legs?

Beauty advice from The Pittsburgh Press (Feb 20, 1938):

The greatest menace to beautiful feminine figures is auto legs. Such is the contention of LeRoy Prinz, Paramount dance director, who makes a living out of his ability to tell a good leg when he sees one. The leg impressario insists that American girls spend so much time riding and so little time walking that the legs don't get enough exercise to develop in shapely fashion, but become knobby, knock-kneed and skinny.





Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 17, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, 1930s, Legs, Cars

November 16, 2021

Double-Heeled Shoe

Patent No. 7,574,819, granted to Jin Rie of Los Angeles:

A high heel for women is provided. The high heels according to the current invention have at least two tall heels fixed to rear end of the bottom of sole of the shoes... The multi heeled high heels according to current invention reduces dislocation of wearer's ankle though the heels are narrow and long.



But why stop at two heels when you could have seven?

'Cleat Heels' from Jean Paul Gaultier's Spring 1993 collection


Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 16, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Patents, Shoes

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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.

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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.

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