Weird Universe Archive

August 2022

August 21, 2022

Miss Wisconsin Cheese

Marvene Fischer won the title of Miss Wisconsin in 1948. The Armour food company then decided to name a brand of cheese 'Miss Wisconsin' in her honor. It simultaneously hired her to serve as the traveling ambassador for the brand. In this position, she became known as Miss Wisconsin Cheese.

She ended up working for nine years as Miss Wisconsin Cheese. During this time she reportedly traveled more than two million miles in 48 states, visited more than a thousand towns, and distributed over 15 tons of cheese samples in more than 8000 food stores.



Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulleting - June 6, 1951



Here are some more details about her job from the Portage Daily Register (Dec 21, 1953):

Miss Fischer's carefully planned visit to a town usually sets off a varied series of events, most of which are reported in the press and over radio and TV broadcasts.

She is greeted by mayors, governors, senators, congressmen, movie stars, chiefs of police, food editors, currently reigning local beauty queens, and other assorted celebrities.

Most of these meetings are highlighted by a formal presentation of a basket of cheese by Miss Fischer in exchange for a gift symbolic of the city being visited. She has received roses, posies, rhododendrons, wine, fruit, foam rubber pillows, cake, and Indian headdress, and any number of giant keys of the city. In St. Joseph, Mo., she was made a deputy sheriff. At the Rockingham Park race track, Miss Wisconsin Day was proclaimed in her honor. In San Francisco, she toured a submarine, and the event was officially publicized by the U.S. Navy.

Miss Fischer takes all this gracefully, in fact gives a continuous impression that it's all a lot of fun. Actually, a lot of good hard salesmanship is involved.

Miss Fischer does most of her traveling by air and prefers to travel alone. She says she has no need for a chaperone. "Why I have about 65,000 chaperones — all Armour employees," she says.

Glamour may be fleeting, figures Miss Fischer, but cheese is here to stay.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find many details about what became of Marvene Fischer after her time as Miss Wisconsin Cheese. The only info I came across was a listing for a Marvene Fischer, age 94, living in Wisconsin. About the right age, and living in the right state — so I'm guessing it's her.

Miss Wisconsin Cheese in Denver, 1949

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 21, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Food, Jobs and Occupations, 1940s

Follies of the Madmen #540

Not sure how pajamas could cause or cure bow-leggedness...

Source.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Aug 21, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Fashion, Advertising, 1930s, Men

August 20, 2022

Bulletproof Ointment

1915: Inventor Percy Terry of Los Angeles believed that he had perfected an ointment that would toughen the skin so much that it would become bulletproof. He envisioned "an army of bulletproof men who could advance with immunity against anything less than cannon."

He decided to test the ointment on himself. After rubbing it into his skin for several weeks, he shot himself in the face. Turned out, he wasn't bulletproof. He died at the County Hospital.

Los Angeles Times - Aug 30, 1915

Posted By: Alex - Sat Aug 20, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Death, Experiments, 1910s, Weapons

Personal Cleanliness

NOTE: stereotypical African cannibal imagery at end of film.



Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 20, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Hygiene, Military, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1940s

August 19, 2022

The Atomic Balm prank

I'm not sure when exactly Atomic Balm was first sold. I believe it was sometime in the 1950s. But it very quickly became widely used by football teams as a pain-relieving ointment.

It also became a favorite of pranksters. The prank involved surreptitiously placing Atomic Balm in a player's jockstrap. Since the ointment contains Capsaicin, the results were painful.

The Atomic Balm prank was a perennial favorite on high school football teams, but the most famous instance of the prank occurred on the Miami Dolphins, recounted below.

Source: Teena Dickerson, The Girlfriend's Guide to Football



Posted By: Alex - Fri Aug 19, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Sports, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, Pranks, Pain, Self-inflicted and Otherwise

Bertolt Brecht Before The Committee On Un-American Activities

Want to empty out the dance floor? Just pop this on the turntable.

Player embedded below.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Aug 19, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Hollywood, Politics, Vinyl Albums and Other Media Recordings, 1940s

August 18, 2022

Carol Stream Fire Department Group Photo

Now that's how to do a group photo!

"It's a rare occasion when the paid firemen and the volunteers of the Carol Stream, Ill., fire departments get together. So the chief decided there should be a group picture. Other matters could wait, for a big fire, after all, is a real challenge. Actually, they set the fire themselves in an abandoned farm house, just for the practice in putting it out."
Calgary Herald - Apr 22, 1984

Posted By: Alex - Thu Aug 18, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Photography and Photographers, Firefighting, Arson, Wildfires, Infernos and Other Conflagrations

Fur-bearing Trout




In 1935, a newspaper article revealed the supposed existence of "fur-bearing trout."


Article source: Napa Journal (Napa, California) 17 Feb 1935, Sun Page 4

Then humorist Robert Benchley wrote a piece on it.


Article source: Cumberland Evening Times (Cumberland, Maryland) 23 Feb 1935, Sat Page 3

Since then, the legend continues to resurface, down to the present day.




Article source: Lansing State Journal (Lansing, Michigan) 03 May 1964, Sun Page 70







Posted By: Paul - Thu Aug 18, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Cryptozoology, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Lakes, Ponds, Rivers, Streams, Swamps and Other Bodies of Fresh Water, Fish, 1930s, North America

August 17, 2022

Does college turn young women into communists?

Back in the 1930s families were concerned about whether they should send their young daughters off to college, fearing they might come home infected with communism. So in 1934, psychologist Stephen M. Corey set out to determine whether such fears were justified.

Corey administered the Thurstone Attitude Scale to 234 female freshmen at the University of Wisconsin, examining their attitudes with respect to six topics: Reality of God, War, Patriotism, Communism, Evolution, and Church. A year later he retested 100 of these students when they were sophomores.

Godless communists?


When he presented his findings at the Midwestern Psychological Association convention in May 1940, he assured everyone that it was safe to send young women to college, saying, "There was no great difference in the girls' attitudes. The average co-ed apparently would rather mix with stag lines than picket lines."

He also emphasized that the young women lost none of their feminine habits at college. A United Press reporter paraphrased his words:

He found that in general college did little to upset or change a co-ed's home training but that she might learn to apply her makeup better, dress better and talk better. "But she won't talk about Communism — college offers too many other diversions."

However, if you look at his 1940 article in the Journal of Social Psychology*, in which he published the results of his study, you find somewhat different information. There he revealed that after a year at college the attitudes of the young women did change slightly, but consistently, in the direction of liberalism — which is to say that they showed less sympathy for god, war, patriotism, and the church, and more sympathy for communism and evolution.



Corey wrote in that article, "The opinions of the students appeared to have undergone at least a degree of liberalization during their one year of attendance at a University."

I guess he wasn't actually lying to the folks at the Midwestern Psychological Association. It's all how you choose to spin the data.

San Bernardino County Sun - May 5, 1940




* Corey, S.M. (1940). "Changes in the opinions of female students after one year at university." The Journal of Social Psychology, 11: 341-351.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 17, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Psychology, 1930s, Women, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia

Shooting Paintings

1961: Artist Niki de Saint-Phalle attached bags of paint to her paintings and then shot at them with a .22 caliber rifle, causing the bags to burst and the paint to ooze down the canvas. She called these her "shooting paintings."

She explained:

I shot because it was fun and made me feel great. I shot because I was fascinated watching the painting bleed and die. I shot for that moment of magic. . . Red, yellow, blue — the painting is crying the painting is dead. I have killed the painting. It is reborn.





Louisville Courier-Journal - July 16, 1961

Posted By: Alex - Wed Aug 17, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Art, 1960s, Weapons

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